Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Mystery of RSS…

The truth is RSS is just an acronym for “Really Simple Syndication”. As the name implies, it is a method for syndicating the content of a web site.
An RSS file is really just another version of your web page, written in a code meant to be read by a program called a “parser”. You could write an RSS file by hand, just like you could write an HTML page, but since the purpose of an RSS file is to provide quick and up-to-date information from your site, most RSS files are built by a website’s content management system.
So what are we supposed to do with an RSS file? Read it in an RSS reader, of course. The real beauty in publishing an RSS file for your web site is in this; it allows your visitors to read your blog site in an RSS reader, it allows your article to be delivered to followers emails.

The true benefit is that some site visitors are more likely to regularly read your posts if they can read them in an RSS reader. Most of these people will read the feeds from several sites every day, and isn’t that the kind of site visitor you want to cultivate?

While you’re at it, there are a few other useful things you can do with your RSS feed.

First, you can offer blog updates by email if a person subscribes to your feed through a service like:
FeedBlitz
- http://www.feedblitz.com/

FeedBurner - http://www.feedburner.com
Second, you can send broadcast emails to your mailing list by attaching an RSS feed to your autoresponder.
Using this method you can actually publish a newsletter based solely on your blog posts, scheduling a broadcast each time you have a certain number of new entries.

Above all, the key benefit of RSS feeds is convenience. If you make it easy for your site visitors to keep reading your content, and the content is good, you’re more likely to keep them around. We all know it is cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one, and an RSS feed provides an easy way to keep those visitors reading your site.