The Meaning Behind RSS

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 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.

Jacques is an Entrepreneur and Founder of the An1ken Group. He recently launched a daily vlog on Youtube — JacquesvhTV. He started Creativeoverflow in 2009 as a hub for creatives. Connect with him: - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest