If you just started a blog on Blogger, Wordpress or elsewhere, or you've been blogging for a little while but payed no attention to RSS, it's time to Feed your need. You should definitely head over to Feedburner.com. Feedburner is an amazingly free RSS feed service that will help hook your blog up with a unique RSS feed and many, many more great features (including potential money making).
According to Wikipedia, the definition of RSS feed is:
"RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel", contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually."
This is what the Monetizer's RSS feed URL looks like:
To get yours, go to Feedburner, enter your blog's URL link and sign up for free. Feedburner then gives you an RSS feed for your blog, which will allow you to offer the feed to your readers. You can place small widgets on your blog allowing readers to subscribe to your feed in a feed reader of their choice (Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc). This keeps your readers up to date as you provide any new blog entries. You can add a area of your blog that allows visitors to sign up to receive email updates from your blog as there is new content.
You can also set up widgets that display your blog's latest headlines (to promote your blog on other sites) and monitor your feed's performance as well as subscriber stats and more. In addition, Feedburner offers an Adsense style advertising program that will insert payed ads into your feeds (once you have a big enough amount of traffic and rank). It also has a setting where you can put your Amazon Associates ID (discussed previously here), and anytime a product in your blog is selling at Amazon, Feedburner will provide a link from your text, which means possible commission of a sale. It's a very valuable tool in the world of blogging, and if you're not using it already, make sure to get started as soon as possible.
What to Do With Your RSS FeedOne you have your RSS feed setup at Feedburner, you can then take the RSS feed URL you created, and start to submit it to various search engines, blog directories and RSS directories.
Blogsearchengine.com has a great comprehensive list of where to submit your blog RSS feed to. This will help get your blog entries out to the rest of the internet, so that you can possibly benefit from more readers, or search engine traffic finding your feed and your blog.
The Monetizer recommends spending a little bit of time each day to submit your feed to the various sites listed. Maybe set yourself a goal of 5-10 submits a day. The more the merrier.
It's also highly recommended that you create a small text document which includes the following details:
- Your blog Title
- Your blog's URL
- Your RSS feed URL
- A list of 10 keywords (comma seperated) that describe what your blog is about.
- A short description of your blog content (maybe 2-4 lines describing your blog to someone new). Try to make it exciting, captivating and clever, to catch a potential reader's attention. If they see something they like, a simple click, and they are at your blog and potentially your next loyal fan.
Create a notepad or text document containing the above info and save it on your computer. The reason you want the above info handy, is that many of the RSS and Blog directories ask for these same things. It's better to have them all ready, so you can copy and paste, versus typing them each over and over again.
The other thing to remember, once you have a Feedburner RSS feed, is to head over to both Pingomatic.com and Pingoat.com. Enter your blog title, blog URL, and RSS URL into them both and "Ping" the services. It will notify 10-40 different directory services that your blog is there and has fresh content. As mentioned before, once you ping, these sites will tell you to bookmark the page, because you can easily return to that page and it will automatically ping with your info.
Several of the Social Media sites also allow you to integrate your RSS feeds into your profile or page very nicely, which makes a ton of sense as you start to build friends and connections there. One example is Facebook. Facebook will take and display your latest RSS feed and even offers a special tool to allow others to share your blog RSS headlines with others. Basically, that translates into promoting your blog to more people. Squidoo also offers an RSS module, which you can stick into your "lens" page. The module auto-updates with your blog headlines as you post new ones. Pretty nifty, and you've got your blog headlines there to capture a passer-by's attention.
There's also some cool sites out there such as Feedblitz which allow you to submit your RSS and build widgets that will let others display your blog's latest headlines on their various social media pages or websites. BlogRush is the latest to create one of these widgets, and that can also take your RSS feed and translate it to visitors.
Hopefully this will help you on your way to using RSS Feeds to start getting your blog more noticed. A little time each day will bring you even closer to a bigger blog audience and more monetization opportunities.