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.
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.