RSS iconYou’ve most likely heard of RSS feeds, but you might still be wondering exactly what they are. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” RSS itself is just the format for delivering regularly updated web content. Blog feeds allow readers to keep up with the newest info posted on different sites, and people “subscribe” to the feeds of their choice.

Enter the “Feedreader”

For example, there are 25+ blogs out there that I enjoy reading on a regular basis. I want to keep up with them because they help keep me up date with all of the latest information in my niche. However, I don’t want to have to go out to the web and pull up each blog individually every day just to see whether they have been updated. The solution to this is to use a “feedreader” to see all of my favorite blogs’ latest content all in one place. Feedreaders allow you to access new content in two main ways: through the actual reader itself or via email updates. One of the most popular feedreaders and the one that I use is Google Reader.

The Business Use

Why is this important for marketing? Two reasons: 1—It’s a great way to stay current and educated on the things going on in your niche or market through blogs; and 2—It provides a simple way for people who are interested in you and what you have to offer to stay informed. You want to remain on people’s radars consistently so that even if they are not ready to buy from you now, you are able to stay top of mind for them when they are ready to. Just like an email newsletter helps to build and strengthen a relationship with its subscribers, a blog does the same with those who subscribe to its RSS feed.

By its very nature, social media allows content to be shared and spread far and wide across the internet, resulting in more exposure for you and your business. Therefore, it’s crucial to be able to share your blog’s content through multiple channels. For example, many social media platforms and services such as Facebook require you to provide an RSS feed address in order to syndicate (publish) your content.

Managing Your Own Feed

Blog platforms such as WordPress come with feeds already built in and it’s pretty easy to find the RSS feed of your own blog. Just type your site’s address into a browser and add /feed right after it. I use a service called Feedburner through Google to manage my feed and give me detailed statistics on my site’s subscribers and traffic. I suggest you “burn” your feed as well to keep track of your subscribers at http://feedburner.google.com.

Now you know a bit more about RSS feeds and why they are such an integral part of having your own blog—or keeping up with the ones you like to read the most. I’d like to know—do you use a Feedreader?  How many blogs do you read on a regular basis?  Let me know your thoughts in th comments.

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