How RSS Feeds Can Build Traffic And Bottom Lines

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One way of understanding RSS is to contrast it to something you know — something like email.

When you send an email (and the key word here is “send”) you are “pushing” that email from your email software into someone’s inbox. That ‘someone’ didn’t necessarily ask for the email or go searching for the email — it was, in a sense, “pushed” on them. Put yourself on the receiving end of that scenario for a second. You may receive well over 100 emails every day; some of them are from friends, family, business associates, etc. and are welcomed and the senders understand that you welcome their email, but the vast majority of those daily emails are probably not only not requested or welcomed, the majority of them are, no doubt, junk mail or spam: someone trying to sell you something you have no interest in buying.

An RSS feed works just the opposite of that “pushy” email. As an example lets say you write a brilliant post in your blog, if you have the capability of RSS syndication (syndication simply means that you are publishing the article, i.e., making it available) you can make that post available to anyone who wants it.

Those people who, on a regular basis, want to read your blog posts will either have already ‘subscribed’ to your RSS feed or they will have that option. For those who have subscribed to your RSS feed, the blog post will automatically appear (it will be ‘pulled’ rather than ‘pushed’) on a special reader (called an aggregator) that they use to read your RSS feed, and all of the other RSS feeds they subscribe to.

What Makes RSS Really Something Special

The previous example was of a blog post. Mainly because the majority of blog sites offer RSS as a standard feature but, in reality, any kind of information can be syndicated through RSS; that includes, of course, any information relating to your business web site as well. You can send notifications of upcoming sales, articles that promote your product or service, your weekly newsletter, chapters from an e-book . . . well, you get the picture, anything that will help you keep your customers (those who subscribe to your RSS feed) coming back and promote new ones.

How to Get RSS Capability

There are two sides to this story, receiving RSS Feeds and making your ‘information’ available to RSS readers (aggregators).

Receiving RSS feeds is simply a matter of downloading an RSS reader and subscribing to the RSS feeds you want to see. Many RSS readers are available for free — just ‘Google’ “RSS reader” and you’ll find a large selection of RSS readers. Search again for “RSS directories” and you’ll find a virtual world of offerings.

Making your information available to RSS is also, in most cases, a freebie through your website’s host software. If your site’s host does not offer RSS or if you host your own website there is a good supply of RSS Publishing software available — much of it for free — just ‘Google’ “RSS Publishing”

Now that you have the capability of syndicating your information — whatever information you choose — there is one more step to get your RSS feed visible to those people with RSS readers, publicize it!

Either manually list your RSS feeds on several RSS directories or list your RSS feed with services that do that job for you. There are many of these RSS listing services but here are three that you can start with:

FeedSubmitter at: feedsubmitter.com Feed Shark at: newsniche.com/feed-shark.php LS Blogs at: lsblogs.com

Each of these will list your RSS feed with multiple directories. An RSS feed, listed in a directory, will lead people who are searching for the types of products or services you offer right to you; that’s called targeted traffic and for a business website there is nothing better.

Turning Your Website Into a Dynamic Website

Now that you have targeted traffic and the increased sales that brings, lets get a little more income potential:

Step 1 is adding Google Adsense (and/or one of its competitors) code on your site. You’ll earn cash every time a visitor clicks one of their ad links.

Step 2 is adding RSS feeds of targeted information to your website.

Think about this: a visitor comes to your page once, reads what you have there, buys or doesn’t and goes away. If that visitor comes back and you have the same information there, that’s probably the last time you’ll see him or her. If, however, your website has constantly changing content, you’re likely to see visitors coming back (and perhaps buying) again and again.

With some of the RSS publishing software you will have the capability of adding several RSS feeds to your website turning it into a truly dynamic website, One such free service is called “Carp.” Carp can be downloaded (as a zip file) from geckotribe.com

After downloading Carp (or one of the other programs that enable you to add RSS feeds to your website) and following their instructions you’ll be able to add on-topic RSS feeds to your website and, as a result, keep the visitors coming back and the sales coming in.