12 Most Stupendous Tricks You Can Perform with an RSS Feed

12 Most Stupendous Tricks You Can Perform with an RSS Feed

One of the most important tools a blogger has is their RSS feed. It is not all about the subscriber count. We can make our feed a very prominent aspect of our promotion activities.

Here are 12 tricks that will take your feed from invisible to an essential part of your daily routine.

1. Add social sharing buttons

One of the big issues with subscribers is that they have little reason to return to your website. This means they are not seeing any of your fancy calls to action, commenting, or sharing. Fix this by attaching items to the end of your feed. This is my favorite tutorial on how to accomplish this.

2. Insert an author bio

Google’s author markup makes having a bio essential. It is pretty easy to add a bio that will appear at the end of your content (and in your RSS feed). Great for when you have guest authors so you can give them proper credit.

3. Make them readable

Feedburner can do much more than just count subscribers. This tool makes your feed, written in XML, as readable as a blog post. The extra benefit is that the experience is seamless from blog to reader.

4. Display them on your blog

If you have a WordPress blog it is easy to show any feed in widgets, post or pages. WPBeginner shows you how to do it with a simple shortcode or you can use this tutorial from 2009. Of course, this should only be used to aggregate content that you personally created. You can add any service that has a feed — Pinterest, Flicker, Scoop it, and many more.

5. Create a custom feed

This is a favorite of mine. You can create a custom feed that you update yourself. This is very powerful.

6. Create a lifestream

Once you understand how to create a custom feed, then it is a simple matter to create a life stream. What I mean is a feed that pulls in your posts, guest posts, and status updates. Then your fans can subscribe easily to them all at once, or publish the feed in a widget on your blog.

7. Import to a newsletter

The most popular newsletter services AWeber and MailChimp allow you to import an RSS feed. If I could do my blog all over again, I would have set this up right way.

8. Use Triberr

Triberr is a powerful tool that only requires a Twitter account and an RSS Feed. In fact they allow you to have three that you can import. You can select which one you want to share with a tribe.

9. Buffer your updates for max reach

Are you on the If This, Then That bandwagon yet? I use it to buffer my blog updates to my Twitter account. Most of the time we send a tweet as soon as we publish, but this is not that helpful. Instead, buffer your updates for maximum reach.

10. Create category feeds

WordPress creates feeds for posts, categories, tags, and authors. Allow readers to subscribe to specific categories if your blog spans several niches. Or let them subscribe to specific authors on a multi-author blog.

11. Syndicate

Let another blog repost your content word for word with your bio information attached. Professional blogs often offer this type of syndication. You submit your RSS feed and give them permission to republish your posts with attribution.

12. Email signature

This is probably the best way to handle exposure for your blog. Using a tool like WiseStamp, it is easy to create a beautifully branded email signature. Why not add your feed and see who clicks through?

It is pretty easy to forget about your feed. I think it is the most useful tool a blogger has. It is a fundamental part of the reader’s experience. Lets make it awesome!

Featured image courtesy of Kyknoord licensed via Creative Commons.


Susan Silver

http://susansilver.info/

Susan is a copywriter who crafts content strategies that rank. She is also the community manager for Gygax Magazine. She shares information on business, social media, and writing.

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15 comments
dbvickery
dbvickery

Very interesting suggestions, Susan. I pay little attention to my own RSS feed other than I love that I can use it with Triberr. Regarding other RSS feeds, I either have them imported into BundlePost for scheduling several days of posts in a row (like to space out the blog content I share as a benefit to my followers). In some cases, like 12Most, I have the RSS Feed setup in Google Reader for access on a computer...and I use Mr. Reader on the iPad.

Susan_Silver
Susan_Silver

@kstaxman @WillRussellMktg Thanks for the tweets on the RSS post. Hope to see more writers taking advantage of their feeds.

Susan_Silver
Susan_Silver

@WillRussellMktg Thanks for sharing the RSS feed post. They are so versatile!

mphcoach
mphcoach

Use them as content feeds for youyr Twitter account, using the free Twitterfeed, Pluggio or Hoostuite. Great inbound value for your followers as well as brilliant for creating relationships with those whose feeds you Tweet! I use them a lot at @mphcoach

Susan_Silver
Susan_Silver

@JavierArronis Thanks for the Tweet of my RSS post!

frankxgullo
frankxgullo

Nice, Susan,

Thanks for offering some good old fashioned RSS tips. Even with the proliferation of social media services and SMS, I still consume a ton of content via RSS, and I appreciate it when someone takes the time to customize the feed.

kstaxman
kstaxman

@susan_silver Your welcome more than glad to help you have a great weekend

kstaxman
kstaxman

@susan_silver Yes RSS is still way underused by writers and internet users alike

susansilver
susansilver

@mphcoach I use IFTTT to send my feeds to various social networks. The ability to use buffer makes it even better. Actually, using If this then that, you can do almost anything you want if you can find an RSS feed to use. 

susansilver
susansilver

@douglaserice It is amazing what you can do with a little bit of customization. I love having my author bio and share buttons show up in feed. It drives traffic back to the website and makes it easy for people to share. Makes the RSS experience similar to the website. 

susansilver
susansilver

@frankxgullo RSS delivery is key I think for everyone. It got me interested in learning XML. I have been studying responsive design and it is clear, content no longer lives on a website alone. Bloggers should see their RSS feeds as tools that can be wielded like other forms of social.

Thanks for the comment!

mphcoach
mphcoach

@susansilver I have a 5,000 buffer using Pluggio and with just 12 feeds stacking up, I have around 500 in the dripfeed - as well as 38 RSS feeds in Twitterfeed also feeding in! Not long ago, my son asked why I was Tweeting him at his wedding (not that he was checking his Twitter account, of course!). The magic of Dripfeeding!

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