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What is an RSS Feed?

RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication. In a standardized format, web feeds are used to keep the updates from blog entries, audio, video and news headlines published automatically. The RSS informational document is called a FEED which can be the full or partial content and also includes the publishing date and author. The feeds from all sources are sent to one central location for a person and read by using RSS READER software. These feeds can be read while on the web, directly on the desktop or on a mobile device.

As a blogger, one of the first steps to ensuring your content can be read is to set up the feed and provide an icon for your readers to click in order to subscribe to the feed. Most people will not search desperately for a tiny little
RSS ICON or RSS BUTTON, so be sure that it is large enough to be seen and in a format that is easily recognizable. This is the accepted and well known symbol to use for RSS feed subscriptions. I’m sure everyone can see this button!

Subscribe to The Redhead Riter feed - You know you want to click it!

Display the RSS icon above the fold. That means when you initially pull up a website, you should see the RSS icon without scrolling down. Everything you see on your screen is considered to be ABOVE THE FOLD. By having it located above the fold, it is obvious for anyone who visits your website to see it.

If you want to ensure that people remember to read your blog, remind them to subscribe to the feed by writing a post asking them to do so. Sometimes they just need something to remind them. Explain to them why it will be beneficial if they read your blog.

Be sure to subscribe to The Redhead Riter by clicking the large icon. This will ensure that you stay updated with the latest on:

So go ahead now and click the large icon!

Does my example help you understand this step in marketing your blog’s RSS feed?

There is also another way for people to get your feed and that is through email subscriptions. I use Feedburner and they make it quite simple to have a method of obtaining a site’s RSS feed. It looks something like this:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

You can also encourage readers to subscribe at the bottom of every post. Don’t put the RSS icon at the top of the post because the reader hasn’t read the post yet. By placing it at the bottom, when they finish reading the post it is a convenient reminder to subscribe.

Have a subscribe page with a different button leading to it in your side bar. On the page you can have the RSS subscription link or icon, email subscription and an explanation of what it means to “Subscribe to an RSS feed.” You will see my SUBSCRIBE PAGE BUTTON in the right sidebar will lead to this posting in the future.

Don’t forget to let your prospective readers know that your blog feed is FREE. Your blog isn’t like a magazine subscription which means in most cases that you will have to pay. That type of subscription has been around a lot longer than the FREE RSS subscription, so help your readers deprogram the old tendency.

FULL FEED or PARTIAL FEED, that is the question. Full feed means that your entire blog post is put into the feed and then into your readers feeder, so they do not have to visit your blog site. A partial feed has just a few teaser sentences from the beginning of your post with the intention of having people click over to your blog to read it.

There are many schools of thought on this issue. Many of the biggies believe in full feeds, but people visit their sites in spite of it anyway. Small bloggers often want people to visit so that they can make money on ads, look better to advertisers, etc. They need the actual visits to their blogs.

I vacillate between full and partial feeds. I do see less people visit my blog when I have a full feed and more people subscribe too. I don’t really know which is the best way to go.

Below are several discussions on whether to use a full or partial feed. If you are interested, read the pros and cons of both.

Graywolf’s SEO Blog

FYI, it will cost a bit of money to do what he proposes.

Top Mom Blogger

Blog For Profit

BlogHer by Virginia DeBolt

ProBlogger with the debate

As always, attached is the weekly Linky to enter either the main URL to your site or add each post you publish throughout the week.

This was a long and information packed post, so be sure to refer back in order to get everything set up your blog with the most efficiency.

The Redhead Riter

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