If you’re completely new to blogging and don’t know what the RSS fuss is all about, RSS simply stands for Really Simple Syndication and it is a family of web feed formats that is automatically updated regularly. So in blogging this is usually in the form of blog posts. Each time you publish a blog post, whoever is subscribed to your RSS feed, be it via book marking or email, they’ll automatically be updated or notified of the new post. In a nutshell that is the simplest way to understand RSS…
What do we mean when we say optimizing your RSS? Let me explain –
When I’m talking about optimizing your RSS I mean taking steps to ensure that your RSS is performing effectively, to attract new subscribers to your content, aka your blog. Let’s take a look –
Tips for Optimizing your RSS
- Bowl them over with mind blowing and content awesomeness…
First thing’s first, if you don’t provide exceptionally great quality and resourceful content, the 5 remaining tips below will be worthless to you…
- Offer full RSS
Offer your readers both options for subscribing either by RSS bookmarking, or email opt-in for RSS updates.
- Make it unique
Think about the design of your RSS icon and the design of your RSS email opt-in form. Make it unique; add some extra texts or incentives for enticing readers to subscribe. Don’t bombard it so that it looks like a billboard ad, just make it stand out.
- Make it Visible & easy subscribe
Whilst you can make your RSS unique, don’t paddle backwards by making it a challenge for readers to find your RSS subscriber icon or opt-in.
I’ve visited many blogs where I’ve enjoyed reading the content, but felt so damn frustrated because I couldn’t find the RSS subscription form or icon. In the footer is a no!, hidden in a page somewhere else on your blog no, no, no!, not having any… worst still! Top of the side bar and below your posts is often the best places for having RSS icon and subscriber form.
Also make it easy for readers to subscribe, don’t give them questionnaires or a list of radial buttons to check, just make it really simple.
- Let them know what it’s all about
Don’t assume that everyone knows what that big orange square RSS logo means. Consider teaching your readers about RSS; write a couple of posts or do a video tutorial explaining what it’s all about and the value of subscribing to an RSS feed. Education is the best policy in any blogging niche…
- Don’t give them too many other options
My last tip is for those who want to greatly increase their RSS subscriber count. Don’t offer your readers too many other options for subscribing. You’ll see many bloggers putting RSS icon with social icons and everything else, this isn’t a bad thing at all so please don’t get me wrong here, but if you’re really want to increase subscribers, place RSS close to the top in your sidebar and place the rest i.e. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube further down below.
So just to recap the tips for optimizing your RSS using bullet points, because we all love bullet points right? Yeah… I thought so…
- Give readers awesome content
- Offer full RSS
- Make it unique, visible and easy to subscribe
- Let your readers know what RSS really is
- Don’t give readers too many other options (If you want to increase RSS subscribers)
What do you think?
Well those are my tips for optimizing your RSS and getting the best out of using it to get more subscribers. I now want to hear your thoughts, or perhaps you have your own tips you’d like to share. Please do so in the comment section below as always