An RSS feed is an absolute must for your blog. Popular blogs are popular because they manage to retain their readers. The idea that popular blogs attract lots of new readers or casual readers is false, as most popular blogs are popular because the same people come back every week. If you want to make it easier for a reader to return to your blog, and make it harder for them to forget about your blog, then set up an RSS feed.
Manual and content management system blog feeds
There are different ways of setting up RSS feeds, and the first thing you need to do is choose the method suited to your blog. If you have made your blog yourself via your own design prowess, then you are going to have a slightly harder time setting up your RSS feed. However, if you are a web designer then you will easily be able to handle the code needed to set up your RSS feed.
On the other hand, if you run your blog via a content management system such as Joomla and WordPress, then there are plugins just waiting for you so that you may install an RSS feed with ease. Most (if not all) of the content management system programs available online have their own plugin for an RSS feed and most content management system shows you how to do it.
Sign up for a Feedburner account
If you are using something such as Google Blogger, then you can use a Feedburner account to set up your RSS feed and to track its progress to see how many subscribers you have.
First create your RSS feed via the Feedburner website and then add it into your blog. Google own Feedburner and they have plenty of tutorial material to help you set it up and to troubleshoot any problems. The reason they have more than one tutorial is because Feedburner works with other content management systems such as TypePad, MySpace and WordPress.
Adding your RSS feed to your WordPress blog
There is an RSS feed widget that comes by default with WordPress. Go to the left hand side of your WordPress dashboard, go to appearance, go to widgets and you will see an RSS Links widget. You can drag the widget to your sidebar and you can choose what to display.
What about blogging templates
There are lots of content management systems that use templates (within WordPress they are called themes), and they often have their own RSS feed functions that you can use without having to install plugins or use your own programming code. You do not even have to pay a lot of money for this sort of thing, as there are plenty of free templates that come with this sort of thing installed.
There are even more templates that have an RSS feed as one of their features. If you do have a template that has a space for adding a theme, you may add it in to the space provided and that is all the work you have to do (this again assumes you have set up an RSS feed with a company such as FeedBurner).
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Your RSS icon
Like most widgets, you have a choice of icons, and if you can’t do fancy designing one yourself then there are lots of places online where you can choose one. As you may imagine, the company with which you create your feed will most likely have a selection of widget icons you can use for your RSS feed widget.
An RSS feed will get you more traffic
It sounds counter intuitive until you reason it out. It does not attract people to your blog, and if there is an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefit then it is either hardly written about online (comparative to the other 200 ranking factors), or it is, as yet, still unproven as a ranking factor. So, take SEO out the equation and know that your RSS feed will not attract people.
However, if people sign up for your RSS feed, then they more likely to return the week after. Plus, if they do not check their RSS feed library in a while but then do look at it in (let’s say) a month, they are still going to see that you have new posts and will take a look. Without the RSS feed they would have forgotten about you after a month.
This means that even though your newly installed RSS feed is not going to bring people to your website the week it is installed it will bring back more and more people as time goes on. It will bring in people who would not have otherwise come back to the blog, cause increasing your traffic numbers.
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