RSS is yet another acronym: it stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds allow you to provide a constant stream to information for your readers. The RSS readers for these streams update automatically and let people know when new content has been added to your blog. There are many different readers available for RSS feeds, including the popular Google Reader and plug-ins for just about every major browser.
Incorporating RSS in WordPress
WordPress is designed to work with RSS. In fact, most premium themes in WordPress come with features that make it even easier than it already is to get your RSS feed set up. Using your RSS feed effectively requires that you learn some techniques about blogging that don’t necessarily have to do with technology. These techniques have to do with good blogging in general.
If somebody has an RSS reader, it will show them a list of headlines from their favorite sites. It really is simple, just as the name implies. One of your goals as a blogger should be writing catchy headlines. In most RSS readers, the only thing you’re going to have to persuade your readers to take the time to read your latest entry is the quality of your headline, at least at first. Because it does make the first impression, it has to be good.
Remember that headlines should include your keywords when you blog, just for search engine optimization purposes. Including your keywords, however, also means that you’re likely to reach your target audience more effectively. After all, they’re interested in those words. Headlines that convey a sense of action are also more interesting to readers. Be creative, have fun writing your headlines and you should get more people reading your articles off RSS.
RSS doesn’t really get as much attention as it should in most guides to blogging. It’s actually important. People who read blogs regularly use this quite a lot and, because of that, you can reach a lot more readers with RSS technology. Another significant advantage is that, by subscribing to an RSS feed, the user is making something of a commitment to your site.
Make sure that all of your blog posts inform readers that they can subscribe via RSS. You don’t need to put this in the text of the blog. The icon for RSS feeds is widely available and, in fact, most premium WordPress themes will actually have these types of icons included with them. Clicking on the icon allows the person to subscribe without having to enter any information at all. It’s convenient and easy.
A lot of play is given to the importance of social networking icons on blogs. As has been recently demonstrated by General Motors pulling ads from Facebook, not everyone is convinced of the real commercial value of social networking. RSS feeds, however, allow you to keep information flowing to people interested in your products or services and to do so however you wish. RSS feeds do not require you to follow the policies of a social networking site and, unlike social networking links, clicking on an RSS link brings users to your actual site.
WordPress is already set up for RSS feeds; they’re just not used as much as they should be by bloggers. Make sure you’re advertising to readers that they can sign up for your stream of information via your RSS feed. Encourage them to do so and use call to action words to prod them along. The benefits to your blog are potentially very substantial and, to make this even better, RSS feeds don’t cost a thing and don’t require you to get a subscription at an outside website.