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Sunday

What is an RSS Feed?



I've been messing around with my RSS Feed subscriber widget today which has been a pain in the neck! Grrr. It got me thinking that I should share what I've learned with you. So once again, you get to learn from my mistakes and hours of researching. ;)



1. First off let's talk about, What is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. For bloggers, it's basically a technology that updates 'RSS Readers' when new content (such as a post) is uploaded. Many people refer to it also as a news feed.

2. How can I find a blogs RSS Feed?

Go to the bottom of any blog and you'll find a link that says Posts (Atom). Click on that link and a new page will pop up. This is the RSS Feed default address which you'll need to copy & paste into your RSS Reader. (See picture above #1.)



3. That brings us to, What are RSS Readers? There are tons of them out there. From my experience Google Reader and Bloglines are the most widely used.

RSS Readers are basically free programs that constantly check your favorite blogs for new content. If there is something new - it bolds the title of the blog and gives you the number of new posts.

It's a more efficient way to read blogs and to make sure you don't miss anything on your favorites. I have so many blogs I love, I have divided them up into different categories: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Crafty, etc.

* For Google Reader simply login/register to your Google account.
* Click the +Add a Subscription button on the top left to add your favorite blogs.
* Copy & Paste your favorite blogs RSS Feed URL.
* Don't forget to go back to Google Reader to read them. ;) A heads up, if you want to leave a comment you'll have to go to that persons blog.



I want to give a shout out to the 4,482 Google Reader subscribers for Tip Junkie. You Rock!!! Huge thanks for your support. {{hugs}}

To find out how many subscribers you have, simply click on your Blog then click on the 'Show Details' link on the top right of your feed.



4. Now that we know what it does and how it works, let's talk about How do I use my RSS Feed to promote my blog?

a. The first way is to put the RSS logo and links onto your side bar in a prominent place. Making it easy for people to sign up. I would suggest giving your readers an e-mail and a RSS Feed option.

I use 2 different services which is a big pain! The other service I use is now charging money. Grrr. So I would suggest that you use FeedBurner which was recently bought by Google and it's seriously so easy.

Anyway, go to FeedBurner and register. Next click on Publicize (see above image) and then choose how you want your RSS Feed to look and what RSS Readers you want to include.

Get your Chicklet code and then copy & paste it in the sidebar of your blog (choose html gadget option).



b. Next you're going to want to upload a Subscribe via E-mail option. To do this click Publicize then click on Email Subscriptions on the left sidebar in FeedBurner. Follow the prompts and then copy & paste the html code below your RSS Reader code in your sidebar.



It will look like this (above). You can also have it be a link if you copy & paste the 2nd code in FeedBurner just be sure that you choose the Blogger option.



c. Once you get a following, I would suggest that you add the FeedCount Chicklet under your RSS Subscriber options. This gives your blog instant credibility. It's a cinch to do it with FeedBurner.

Simply click on Publicize then click on FeedCount follow the prompts and copy & paste the html code into the sidebar of your blog. The Feed Count will automatically update as you receive new subscribers. Easy!

That's it! I hope I answered any questions that you had and made it easy for you to promote your blogs' RSS Feed. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I'll either answer them in a new post or add it to this one.

Are you looking for more Blogging Tips? Check out my previous posts:

1. Blogger Questions and Tips
2. Blog Etiquette
3. Free Blog Templates
4. Who's Linking to my Blog?
5. How to Throw a Blog Party


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