Creating and Using a RSS Feed

First, you might be asking, "What is a RSS Feed"?

You can Google What is a RSS Feed and you will come up many results that most commonly explain a RSS Feed as "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary Feed".

Create and Distribute a RSS Feed

Ok great, now what is that? .. We understand, it really doesn't explain much about what or how to use them, and we believe for good reason. It's not as simple as they make it sound, although once you do understand it, it is easier to understand why they call it simple. So let's get started with a simple look at "Really Simple Syndication".

What are RSS Feeds good for?

A RSS Feed will deliver content (as in articles, posts, video's or practically any other type of material) through-out Cyber Space. Most people will create a RSS Feed to use in either one of two ways:

A: To Distribute Content. B: To Pull in Content.

To Distribute Your Content

A RSS Feed will allow others the ability to view your articles/posts without having to go to your website. Most of the followers who sign up for your feed will view your posts with an aggregator, a program that manages any number of feeds and presents them in a web page style.

To Pull In Content

For example, read the SEO Alien in a Feed Reader

Add to netvibes

  1. Allow your visitors the ability to sign up to receive your feed by email. This means every time you post to your blog and/or website, people that have registered for your feed will now get notice of your post via email, never needing to visit your website. How easy it that? Now that's "Really Simple Syndication"!
    Within your own blogs, you can create an individual Feed for each category. This will make it easier for followers to sign up for only what they want to read.
  2. Allow other website owners who may like to use your RSS feed to populate their own websites for additional content. This is very likely when you have an active feed.
  3. With more powerful feed creators like Feedburner, you have a significant amount of valuable options; like being able to add links to other major social media and bookmarking sites under each of your posts for even more visibility potential and SEO Juice.

A RSS Feed will:

  1. Allow you to use other peoples feeds on your blogs/websites for additional content.
  2. Allow you to use your own content on other blogs/websites you have.
  3. ..(let's just start here for now)

Why Use a RSS Feed?

Here is a pretty common example of why people may want to use a RSS Feed to populate their own online "stuff". Let's say you have a twitter page, but you don't have enough content or enough time to tweet. This is where you can add a RSS feed to your twitter account and post relevant tweets for you.

There are several sites like Hootsuite that will allow you to "pull in" a number of different RSS feeds. These will post to your twitter account as a tweet. You can even schedule how often you want to tweet them.

This way, you can pull all your feeds into a program like Hootsuite and have it all go to twitter. then each time you post to:

  • Your blog, it goes straight to Twitter as a tweet.
  • Facebook, it goes straight to Twitter as a tweet.
  • any site that has a feed, it can go straight to Twitter as a tweet
  • Then, in between all your posts, you can have an alternative feed post tweets for you that you think your followers would be interested in.

Using a Feed for Content

Once you start getting the hang of it, you can add these types of feeds to your blog or website. In most cases, the search engines will recognize your site having new content when ever someone adds an article to the feed you using.

Then, with a little bit of promotion, perhaps your RSS Feed with your content will be picked up by another blogger or twitter user so they can use it!

This is only the start of what you can do with a RSS Feed! You will also start to learn their are different types of Feeds, such as Atom and XML RSS Feeds that you can use for different types of uses.

Popular RSS Feeds you can use for free!:

Here are some popular RSS Feed locations that you can use to start pulling into your tweets and/or blogs. Find one that you would be interested in, as well as your followers, to populate some of your social networking sites!

Click on any of these links for a variety of different categories you can use:


About the Author:

The SEO-Alien is a project started in 2009 regarding all things online marketing. The site started out more of a diary of predictions, suggestions and references to things I frequently used for online marketing... before social media marketing was even an option.

I hope you find the information and tools presented here useful and something worth sharing with others.

If there is anything else about online marketing or any online advertising strategy you think would be helpful, please let me know.

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