WordPress and RSS Feeds: Getting My Word Out

Imagine in days of old when newspaper salesmen used to stand on the street corner yelling, “read all about it!” An RSS feed can do pretty much the same thing for your website.  It lets people know there’s something new on your site that they just have to read.  These feeds can increase your traffic tenfold and are vital for the success of any WordPress blog.  If you’re not already using RSS feeds, you could be missing out on a simple yet valuable opportunity to increase your traffic and of course your income.

How To Use RSS Feeds To Your Advantage

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, or sometimes it’s referred to as Rich Site Summary, and it’s basically an XML-based format.  These feeds work by keeping people informed of changes to your content, so they can keep coming back for more.  It also allows people to subscribe to your site and keep up to date of what’s new on your blog using a feedreader.

Each RSS feed basically offers a headline of the new content on your site, with some graphics or an image, alongside a direct link to the full content. By using feeds you can bring new and repeat visitors in, as well as improving your search engine ranking.  In fact it’s rated as one of the most effective ways of getting your message out there and letting people know what’s happening on your site.

Using RSS Feeds From Other Sites

The first way to use RSS feeds is to actually place feeds from other sites onto yours.  You may be thinking, “but won’t this publicize other people’s sites instead of mine?”  The answer is yes, it will, but it will also bring traffic to your website through a number of ways.

By choosing an RSS feed that provides content relevant to your WordPress site, you’re adding extra keywords to your site which can help improve your search engine optimization.  This can be even more powerful due to the fact that keywords contained within a link can be ranked as higher value by search engines.  RSS feeds can also get search engines to trawl your site more frequently, once again improving your ranking and therefore making it more likely for someone to click on your site.

Here’s an example of how to use an RSS feed from another site to your advantage.  Imagine you’ve used your website builder to create a site about health and wellbeing.  You could then add a link to a feed from a health news website.  People often search using topical keywords that are relevant to current news stories, so by searching for these keywords your site will also appear in the results due to the RSS feed.

One tip, once you’ve installed the feed, click on it to make sure it works!

Publishing Your Own Feeds

It’s also vital to get your own RSS feeds on other sites, which should encourage visitors to click onto your site.  By offering an RSS feed that’s linked to your content, other people can then use your content on their site which creates external links back to your website.  This is great for search engine optimization and for building traffic.

To publish a feed, simply locate the URL to your feed on your WordPress blog and then promote it.  If you sell products through your website, this is a great way to contact existing customers and use your RSS feeds to keep them informed of new products or promotions.  Other sites might also want to publish this kind of information.

One really useful plug-in to add onto your website builder is the Category Specific RSS Feed Subscription plug-in, which is available on our resources and plug-ins page.  This allows people to choose category specific feeds.  Some people are put off by subscribing to feeds if they can’t choose the categories they are interested in because they’re worried about too much mail.

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About the Author

Melanie Citron

Melanie Citron is a freelance writer and self proclaimed “techie” who lives in Denver with her husband, Glenn, and their three dogs Ralph, Sam and Billy. Melanie has become the “go to person” for creating online businesses for her friends and family. “I do it every day so I may as well write about it” Her knowledge has appeared on websites, in local newspapers and in person as a public speaker. In her spare time Melanie loves the outdoors and hikes and cross country skis.