Blog Promotion: Learn to Love Your RSS Feed

(Astroblogging) The Age of Aquarius, the Information and Technology Age, brings the advent of a singular phenomenon, the death of single stream news dissemination: newspapers, radios and television. The internet brings a flood of information, literally more than any one person cares to know about. Social media sites cropped up to sort through the noise with the premise that what your friends care about, you care about too.

But Social Media does not do the entire job to organize what you want to know. Long before social media cropped up as information disseminators, the folks at Netscape created a feed aggregator that individuals could use personally, that would bring content to them as the content was produced. Called at first the RDF site summary, then later RSS, which some people say stands for “really simple syndication” RSS caught on like wildfire sparking competition and no end of controversy as to who owned the RSS concept. Nontheless, RSS continues to play a role in helping readers create their individual news and information streams. If you don’t love your RSS Feed, its time time learn!

What RSS Does for You

The number of your RSS subscribers gives you a piece of information that looking at other web analytics does not. It tells you the number of actual people who finds your content interesting or valuable enough to make part of their regular reading. If you want to know how you stack up compared to other astrology blogs you can go to FeedCompare and punch in your and up to three competing blogs to check out the numbers. This kind of information is also used by other sites as well in gauging how popular your site is. Both Invesp and and Hub Grader use RSS numbers in the ranking of your site. In addition news aggregators such as Astrodispatch and Astrology Blogger use RSS feeds to automatically update your content on their sites.

Its up to you where you want to syndicate your site. Google’s Feedburner is popular, though others are popular too.

When you create your feed, your syndicator should produce a piece of code for you to insert in your website that will lead your loyal reader to the syndication site. Your fan will then choose the “reader” they use to view content and add your site. Nothing is simpler.

Standard RSS Icon

Standard RSS Icon

Getting People to Notice Your RSS Portal

Wikipedia tells us:

In December 2005, the Microsoft Internet Explorer team[18] and Microsoft Outlook team[19] announced on their blogs that they were adopting the feed icon first used in the Mozilla Firefox browser. In February 2006, Opera Software followed suit.[20] This effectively made the orange square with white radio waves the industry standard for RSS and Atom feeds, replacing the large variety of icons and text that had been used previously to identify syndication data.

Around for six plus years, the problem for many bloggers is that the icon for the RSS reader has become so familiar that many people ignore it. If you are a seasoned blogger like me seeing little increase in your RSS numbers, or you just want to start off right, its time to up your game and get a unique design for your RSS invitation. I created the one on top in Photoshop and put it on my Astrology Explored page. In less than a week my RSS subscriptions shot up 25%.

Oh Beth! You Make it Sound So Simple

Some of my astrology blogger friends are web page designers, so they know what I’m talking about. But many of you aren’t photo shoppers. If you want if you use WordPress you can use the RSS Star I created.

a.) Copy this web address:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7141/6775995869_ed49c1b923_m.jpg

b.) Open the widget with your RSS code. Look for piece of code that says:

c.) insert the web address just after the first ” and before the second ” so it looks like this:

d.) Leave the rest of the code just as it is.

e.) Type in a snappy invitation at in your widget title bar.

You can see how it looks at the top of my right side bar. See, easy! Click on it and you will see it goes right to where your readers can subscribe.

Question: What have you done to increase your RSS readership?
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Beth Turnage authors Astrology Explored as well as being publisher of Astrology Media Press. Beth is available for private consultations. You can contact Beth at starrynightastro@aol.com.
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2 Responses to Blog Promotion: Learn to Love Your RSS Feed

  1. Nick says:

    I already subscribe to a healthy number of RSS feeds + agree they’re great. But I can’t seem to get your feed as I recognise none of the providers – normally they add to my IE feed list. Am I missing something or do I have to subscribe to one of the provders you list at http://feeds.feedburner.com/AstroBlogging?