What the heck is a RSS feed? What do you do with it?
Generally, if you’ve set up your blog on Blogger or WordPress, you already have a RSS feed installed. Now you need to harness the power of utilizing it to get more views and followers to your blog.
There are different things you can do to gain subscribers, readers, or even email subscribers.
What is RSS?
RSS is a simple way to display your content across various platforms. It stands for Rich Site Summary but is also referred to as Really Simple Syndication. An RSS feed is a dumbed-down version of your content without your whole blog layout attached to it. RSS feeds contain your blog post content, the published date and time, and other standard information attached to your blog posts.
RSS feed readers exist so that your blog content can be read on a variety of devices, without the need to have to load up your entire website. Apps and websites (feed readers) like Bloglovin’ and Feedly access your RSS feed to display your latest posts and content to your subscribers. Many email programs also have an option to display RSS feeds from selected websites.
When a user “subscribes” to your RSS feed using a feed reader, your blog’s latest posts will automatically be delivered to them.
If you have a Blogger or WordPress blog, it is standard that an RSS feed is already created for you and will automatically update based on your settings. In WordPress, you can usually see your feed by accessing: www.yourwebsiteurl.com/feed, whereas Blogger automatically creates a feed at: yourblogurl.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default.
How can people subscribe to your feed?
Including a link to your RSS feed somewhere on your blog is always a good idea. When the reader opens the link, they can subscribe automatically using their feed reader of choice with the options that appear for them at the top of the page.
Sites and apps like Bloglovin‘ and Feedly will automatically find your feed and allow readers to subscribe to it, so there isn’t much to do but be sure that you have an active feed on your blog. Having an active feed allows different feed readers and apps to communicate with your website to display your content across their platforms automatically.
If you wish to personalize your Bloglovin’ profile and claim your blog, I go over all of that in this post.
People can also subscribe to receive your latest posts to their email inbox. For this, you’ll need to use an RSS to Email solution. Installing a gadget in your sidebar will auto-configure subscriptions for you and allow readers to start receiving your posts to their inbox after you publish them.
In WordPress, there are various Plugins available if you search “RSS to Email” on the “Add New” plugins page.
Aren’t RSS Feeds Old News?
Yes and no. With people consuming most of their updates and news through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, RSS feeds still have a place in terms of pushing stripped-down content from your blog to various platforms, like Bloglovin for example.
YouTube channels all have RSS feeds as well which allows for plugins and widgets to connect to a creator’s feed of content and display it on your blog. A WordPress plugin like Feeds for YouTube allows you to grab your video content so you an display it all on a blog page.
The best part about RSS feeds is that they update automatically, so you don’t constantly have to add new content. For example, if you add a new video to YouTube, your RSS feed is automatically updated resulting in your RSS feed widget to automatically update as well.
Have you harnessed the power of your own RSS feed yet?