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Everyone in the blogging industry has heard of the word RSS,  but do they know what it actually stands for? I bet a lot of people don’t know what the real meaning behind RSS is. They just see it as a simple address to use for reading the blog in a feed reader, that’s as far as it goes. In this article I will explain to you what the meaning of RSS is and the benefits there of.

The Definition of RSS

RSS (most commonly expanded as “Really Simple Syndication“) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed” or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship.
def – wiki

Using RSS in Blogging

Running a blog and having a RSS address is really useful in not only one way. Having a RSS FEED entitles your readers to have access to your blogs content without having to visit your actual blog. They subscribe to your RSS FEED through the address and then open your blogs feed in the reader of their choice. This makes it easier for readers to decide where they will be commenting and visiting. What I mean is that the reader can now decide if its worth navigating to the actual blog or moving on to the next article of another blog. I know that I don’t want to keep visiting different blogs to find out what content they have in store for me today and then they have a article that I’m not interested in at all. Following your favorite blogs through a Feed Reader is just so much easier and it saves you time.

Different Feed Readers

There are numerous feed readers around that you can use to subscribe to the different blogs of your choice, but the most popular feed readers are:

1. Google Reader

2. Feed Reader 3

3. Bloglines

4. FeedDemon

5. NetVibes

6. RSSOwl

All these readers are eligible to handle your Subscribed feeds with ease and they are very easy to set up. I personally prefer Google Reader, due to having it linked with one of my email accounts. You are free to choose any one you like though.

Making Your Feed Stand Out

Once you have setup your feed address for your blog make sure it is clearly visible to first time visitors. I recommend putting at the top of your blog layout and at the bottom of your single posts layout. Having your Feed Stand out makes it easier for visitors to notice and subscribe. Another option is to display your Feed Subscriber count, this shows users that you have a decent following and that you are delivering content worth reading.  I have rounded up 5 RSS examples that shows you how you have to make your RSS stand out, yet keeping it simple and fine tuned.

Email Subscriptions

Another key benefit for your readers is to have your feeds delivered straight to their email addresses. That’s why having the option to subscribe via email on your blog front page is really worth it. You will be surprised to know how many people actually subscribe to feeds via email. If you don’t have your email subscription setup yet. Go to your Feedburner.com homepage and click on Publicize and then navigate to Email Subscriptions. Follow the instructions on page and activate your email subscription service. Use the Sign Up address provided and incorporate it into your blog.

Hopefully this article helped you out a bit.

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About the Author:
Jacques is the CEO and Founder of the An1ken Group. Connect with him: Jacquesvh.com - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest - Google+

10 Comments so far

  1. I think RSS is something that is only well known in technological circles! That is why on my blogs that are outside the internet niche, I usually focus on building an Aweber list, because the majority of visitors have no idea what RSS actually is.
    .-= Tom | Build That List´s last blog ..The 4 Reasons People Unsubscribe Mailing Lists =-.

  2. Duane says:

    Thanks for the useful information.
    IMO you can’t go past Google Reader set to display in list view. Setup like this it takes a matter of seconds to scan through hundreds of articles.
    .-= Duane´s last blog ..10 Inspirational Japanese Digital Illustrators and Artists =-.

  3. Great explanations and information. Thanks for including my site in your examples.
    .-= Chris Thurman´s last blog ..25 Examples of Watercolor Art in Web Design =-.

  4. sriganesh says:

    i installed reader 3 desktop today morning, its really helpful and one thing you know where we can get rss with images . :D
    .-= sriganesh´s last blog ..Community News : Next Level =-.

  5. […] Below is the link to the article. The Meaning Behind RSS […]

  6. The Meaning Behind RSS…

    In this article I will explain to you what the meaning of RSS is and the benefits there of….

  7. […] The Meaning Behind RSS On 09.03.10, by Jacques van Heerden var addthis_pub = ''; var addthis_language = 'en';var addthis_options = 'email, favorites, digg, delicious, myspace, google, facebook, reddit, live, more'; […]

  8. […] work-in-progress. Make sure to include an About Me section with a photo, contact information and an RSS feed button if one’s not one built into the template. If you have questions about how to do […]

  9. grace AB says:

    I have read this article….. a good one… but I have also found some interesting material at 
    http://freefeast.info/general-it-articles/rss-really-simple-syndication/ 
    regarding RSS… Thought you people might like it…

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