As I wrote in one of my previous articles, the orange revolution has begun. RSS is here and it has taken the internet by storm. The number of webmasters becoming a part of this online revolution is growing on a fast pace. The reason is, RSS feeds have proved to increase traffic in a big way. And creating your own RSS feed would surely be a step towards tapping in a new source of traffic.
However, just publishing your own RSS feed and waiting for miracles to happen won't work. In order to get those most wanted subscribers, RSS feeds need to be promoted and marketed in the right way. With a good dose of quality traffic directed towards your feed, long term subscriptions will definitely start pouring in.
The following 6 ways will not only help you get the word out about your RSS feed but also help you retain a fresh flow of targeted visitors to your website.
Strategy #1: Create an individual webpage for your RSS feed
The most important part of your promotion should be creating a webpage dedicated to your RSS feed. Since RSS is still new to most of the online users, you can give your readers an introduction and explain how beneficial it is to subscribe to your RSS feed.
You can also have a small FAQ section about RSS here answering any questions and doubts your readers might have. Most of the time, the key here is to give your potential subscribers more than one option to add your feed. Different subscription options like "My Yahoo!" "My MSN" and "Newsgator" allow your visitors to add and subscribe to your feed with their own convenience.
However, if you are not a techie and wouldn't prefer to create a webpage, then you can use a service like http://www.rapidfeeds.com . Here you get a designed page for your feed with different subscription options. There's also a link to a short tutorial for those who are new to RSS. Once you publish a feed with them, you can directly promote your feed's URL. But it would be much better if you can create a webpage specifically for your RSS feed.
Strategy #2: Add the Auto-Discover code to your RSS feed webpage
Browsers like Mozzila Firefox have added a lot of new features in the past few years and made browsing a different experience. One of the good features offered by Firefox is subscribing to RSS feeds.
That's right, it acts as an aggregator and lets readers add feeds directly into their browser. The browser automatically detects RSS feeds on the site and asks the user, while he's surfing the site, if he or she wishes to subscribe to the feeds. In other words, it makes it very easy for users to centralize information of their choice.
However, for Firefox to detect your feed on the webpage, you need to have the "Auto - Discover" code on it. So that the browser can automatically detect the feed, alerting the user.
Simply include the following code in the
section of your web pages:
This should set you up for some automatic subscriptions to your feed!
Strategy #3: Write and distribute articles
Writing and distributing articles is a well known and a very respected method of driving traffic to your website. It has been effectively used by thousands of webmasters over the years to bring in some quality visitors.
Therefore, it's an excellent idea to promote your RSS feed through articles written by you. There are many benefits that you'll experience once your start writing your own informative articles. First of all, you'll be recognized as an expert in your field. Secondly, you will gain the trust of your readers even before they subscribe.
Your article doesn't have to be very long in length. It can be anywhere between 500 -1000 words. A "resource box" in the end should follow your completed article. The resource box usually is a short bio of the author. Here is where you can promote your RSS feed and give a link to it, explaining about it in brief.
Once you are done with the article, you can go ahead and submit it to online article directories like ezinearticles and goarticles. You can also go ahead and contact individual ezine publishers for publishing your article, as they are always on a look out for fresh content.
It's really not a big deal to write an article on the web. If you know your expertise, then I'm sure you can come up with an article worth reading.
Strategy #4: Submit your RSS feed to directories and search engines
Submitting your RSS feed to online directories will certainly draw in visitors who are actually interested in what you offer. In the past few months a lot new directories have come up. For example, Syndic8 and 2RSS are thriving with thousands of RSS feeds on different topics with many more being added daily. Your feed can very well find its place in these ever growing directories.
There are even feed specific search engines like Feedster, which index only RSS feeds. These search engines get visitors who are searching for RSS feeds on a specific. So getting listed in them could convert to more targeted traffic and give your feed a good subscription rate.
These niche directories and search engines always tend to bring out the best out of your promotions. They don't cost you anything, so are definitely worth a try!
Strategy #5: Promotion through email
Promoting your RSS feed via email is one of the most under - used methods. However, email promotion for your RSS feed usually yields in a higher subscription ratio.
If you are already running a newsletter, then you should consider including a section introducing your readers to your RSS feed. Since, RSS is growing rapidly, you can expect a large number of your email subscribers turning to your RSS feed.
You can also strike joint venture deals with other ezine publishers and swap ads promoting each other's RSS feeds. This can mutually work wonders for both the publishers. You can even try promoting your ezine on the "thank you" page of your email subscription or your joint venture partner's page.
Lastly, don't forget to promote your feed in your email signatures. As your day-to-day correspondence can get you new subscribers for your feed.
There are many creative ways you can use email to promote your feed. You just need to come up with your own, which compliment your business in a positive way.
Strategy #6: Update your content regularly
Keeping your RSS feeds fresh and updated is very important if you want repeat visitors and new subscribers. Just like content oriented websites are updated regularly, content-wise, your RSS feeds are no different. RSS is meant to deliver new and up to date information, as it directly goes to the aggregators.
Your readers really don't have any reason to be subscribed to your feed, if it doesn't deliver new updated content. RSS feeds aren't just meant for new visitors but also your old subscribers. You have to keep it updated for people to keep coming back to your feed.
On a finishing note, RSS feeds are an absolute way of turning the cards in your favor when it comes to building traffic and a loyal subscriber base. You need to keep on experimenting with new promotional methods and test new marketing techniques.
That's all it would take to put your promotion on steroids!
Mustafa Khundmiri is the co-founder of http://www.rapidfeeds.com - A Free online service which helps anyone create, edit, publish and track RSS feeds and podcasts. Sign Up for your FREE account on http://www.rapidfeeds.com and also get a free subscription to "RSS Chronicle" - A Newsletter exclusively based on RSS and syndication.