What is a RSS Feed and How To Use it in 2015.
RSS is the abbreviation for Rich Site Summary or better known as Really Simple Syndication. In a nutshell an RSS Feed is a way for your readers to be notified when new content is added to your website or blog. In days gone by people used to bookmark sites they liked and then continually battled to manually visit those sites to look for new content. With the introduction of RSS, users can simply subscribe to your RSS Feed and they will automatically be notified when new content is posted. You can learn more about RSS Feeds and how they work here.
How to find your RSS Feed for WordPress 3.5 +
A RSS Feed in it’s RAW state is a XML page created for ‘machines’ to read, not humans. That being said, from WordPress Version 3.5 and up, WordPress has it’s own built in Feed utility that decodes (burns) the XML content into a human readable format. Finding and reading your sites RSS Feed is simple:
- Go to your primary URL
- Add the string /feed to the end of the URL String.
- Click Enter – and you should find your Feed
If you have an older version of WordPress (prior to version 3.5), you can read this post on WordPress.org’s official site to find your RSS Feed URL. Again, if you have an older version of WordPress that doesn’t have a default RSS Feed, then you will need to ‘burn’ your RSS Feed.
Basically, burning a RSS Feed is a term used to change the XML Format of the original feed into something user friendly. To do this, you can use a tool like Google Feedburner (Search Google for instructions on how to do this).
How to test your RSS URL contains a Valid Feed
Once you have confirmed your feed URL it is highly advisable to test that your feed is valid. There is no point doing anything with your feed, if it’s not working or recognised as a valid feed. Doing this is exceptionally easy too.
- Go to: http://feedvalidator.org
- Insert your feed URL
- Click the Validate button.
If your feed comes back with an error, you will have to spend some time fixing this and it can be quite technical. Personally, I have never had an issue with any WordPress 3.5+ feeds.
Submitting your RSS Feed to RSS Directories
Armed with your Valid Feed URL it’s time to submit this URL to some RSS Feed Directories as this is going to be the source of your newly found FREE TRAFFIC. Submitting Feeds is a relatively time consuming task, but only has to be done once, per directory. How many directories you decide to use is up to you, but be aware that not all RSS Directories are worth using. Like using Blog Commenting and Forum Signatures for FREE traffic, you need to do some due diligence before simply submitting your URL anywhere and everywhere. Things to consider are the PageRank of the RSS Directory, whether it is a PAID or FREE Service and whether the RSS Directory itself is in good standing (i.e. not blacklisted etc). Also note that some RSS Directories are Niche Specific are of more value, if you are in the related niche.
Finding RSS Directories is easy too!
Simply do a Google Search for Top RSS Directories
(eg. “Top 20 RSS Directories 2015” – see image below)
Once you have found some suitable RSS Directories, all you have to do is sign-up and submit your RSS Feed URL. Each RSS Directory will have it’s requirements and many also offer various tools for tracking and monitoring, if you are interested. Remember your task here is to add your RSS URL and that’s it. Don’t get distracted!
Here’s a few FREE RSS Feed Directories to get you started, with their current PageRank (PR).
- http://www.feedage.com – PR6
- http://www.feedcat.net/ – PR5
- http://www.blogdigger.com – PR4
- http://www.blogtopsites.com – PR4
Outsourcing your RSS Feed Directory Submissions
My suggestion is to maybe submit your own RSS Feed URL to one or two RSS Directories yourself (maybe to the 4 recommended above), simply to learn the process first hand. After that, head on over to Fiverr.com and outsource this task. For as little as $5 you can get a freelancer to submit your RSS Feed to several RSS Directories, leaving you free to do other more important tasks.
Get your first Fiverr.com Gig for FREE
Conclusion: While not it’s intended use, this is how to use your RSS Feed to Drive Traffic. There are some other uses for RSS Feeds (like auto-posting content to Social Media), but that’s another topic…
How do you use your RSS Feed?
Comments and feedback is appreciated – add yours below…