Yes, RSS feeds have been around for a while. But after talking with clients, I've realized that a lot of business owners still don't know how the concept works and how they can work to their advantage. Here's a quick rundown on what they are, how you should be using them and how others will hopefully use yours.
Simply put, RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication"- really- and basically, it's a way for publishers to deliver content to their readers by way of a web feed. For example, if you read a blog article that you like on the Web, you can subscribe to that blog so that every time new content is posted, you get an email with the fresh article right in your inbox. Think of it in the same way you would think about a newspaper subscription: if you like the articles in a daily newspaper, you might subscribe to the newspaper so that you get it on your front doorstep each day. Except- wait for it- these subscriptions are most often free!
How should you be using RSS feeds? For business purposes, you should subscribe to industry blogs that keep you informed on new concepts, industry news and other knowledge that you can share with your co-workers and clients. I personally subscribe to many blogs on social media, Internet marketing and advertising, which help me stay up to date on the latest and greatest in a very fast-paced industry. One more thing- blogs can also be a great source of content for your social network feeds. Of course, you want to promote your own company, blog and products and services, but if you come across an article that provides value and is in line with your social media goals, share away. Just make sure the whole article isn't about promoting that company's services.
Don't know how to subscribe? On any blog or website with a feed, you'll either find an icon like the one above, or a "Subscribe" link, or both. Click on it, then choose the service with which you want to subscribe, whether it be Google (a Gmail account or Reader), your Outlook account, or other available service).
Now, you want people to regularly read your blog articles too, right? Well then you definitely want an RSS feed to help increase and maintain your readership. If you don't already have one set up on your blog- services like TypePad have it built into the design- tell your webmaster that you need an RSS feed. They'll know what you're talking about (and if they don't, you might want to look for a new webmaster). There is a lot more to increasing blog readership than just RSS feeds, like search engine/directory submissions and search engine optimization (SEO), but I'm going to keep to the Syndication for today :)
Subscribe away- and I hope you, my American readers, had a great Thanksgiving!
Icon by https://instatuts.com/