RSS Feeds and how you can enter the syndication business

Posted on June 19, 2010

RSS feeds – they look so bland don’t they?

RSS feeds have to be one of the most overlooked freebies in the online world. They get overlooked so often because they just don’t look that sexy, and as a consequence  most online marketers just plain ignore them. This is of course an oversight that allows other marketers to grab some mind share in this space.

So what is an RSS feed? Other than being an acronym for “Really Simple Syndication” – what that really means is that RSS or an RSS feed is a stream of text and links accessible from one single URL.

A lot of software applications for developing websites automatically create RSS feeds for you as part of doing their job of managing your site. Popular blogging software platform, WordPress, is one such application that automatically generates RSS feeds for all the articles on your WordPress site. So if you are using platforms like WordPress, then you will already have several RSS feeds already generated for your website content.

The great thing about an RSS feed is that you only need to generate them once, however every time you add new content to your site, your RSS feed will automatically be updated with this new content as well. And that is what makes them so cool. So in the case of your WordPress site, whenever you make a new post, your RSS feed from your site is also getting data relating to this new content.

Where this gets interesting is when other people out on the internet make a choice to subscribe to your RSS feed. Lets say you have 500 people subscribed to receive content from your RSS feed – whenever you update your website then these 500 subscribers will also get an update of this new content – automatically! That is very, very cool, because what in effect you have done is you have suddenly entered the business of syndicating content over the internet. Not just any content – but your own content.

RSS then is kind of like a news service on autopilot – that’s an easier way of describing what it does. Think of it another way. If you have ever sent out a newsletter by email, you know that you have to create the newsletter, and then send it out to people who have opted in to receive your news. RSS kind of does something similar, however with RSS you don’t need to manage opt ins and unsubscribes, there is no bounce management or SPAM issues to be concerned about.  RSS feeds also have a much greater reach when you get serious about using their true power – because rss feeds  have a much greater potential to reach new customers than a newsletter does. Newsletter services are great when you have identified your customers and their interests. RSS feeds pnt he other hand are like a big fishing net being trolled through the web.

RSS feeds can be created for just about any website regardless of whether or not it has a feed currently being generated. If you need help creating RSS feeds for your websites and then getting the feeds syndicated across the internet so that thousands of people can see your content, contact us for some assistance. Otherwise, just start promoting your RSS feeds right away.