Blogging: Feeds and Subscriptions

by Julie on July 9, 2009


By Julie Roads

There is one thing that every blogger wants – across the board (besides fame and a book deal – or is that just me?). The answer? Readers. Daily traffic is delightful, but we want our readers to stick. We want them to read our blog, one post, the first sentence, the tagline and say to themselves, “I want to read every inch of this blog from this day forth.” As Aerosmith so aptly put it, they don’t want to miss a thing.

The way to offer your readers total access and awareness every time you post news or information on your blog is via your RSS Feed or through email subscriptions or alerts.

RSS Feeds

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication – and it is, sort of. Traditional syndication is the act of publishing or broadcasting your material simultaneously in a number of newspapers, television stations, etc. Blog RSS is the act of publishing or broadcasting your material simultaneously to an infinite number of readers.

When someone subscribes to your feed, they get ‘pinged’ every time you post new content. This allows the person to get your new content without having to go to the blog or web site every day to check manually. You can use an “RSS Reader” like Google Reader or Newsgator or a customization service like iGoogle or My Yahoo to subscribe to blogs. Some email clients also provide a way to subscribe to RSS feeds including Thunderbird and Mac Mail.

Feeds are powered by services like Google’s Feedburner or Feedblitz, Zookoda or AWeber. Or by Feed plug-ins and widgets that come standard in blogging software like WordPress, Blogger or Typepad. Using a service is beneficial because they tracks stats and offer people many options about how they’d like to view/recieve your Feed. And people really like to choose and customize.

Note: When you subscribe to someone’s RSS feed – the onus is on you to check the feed for updates. Personally, this doesn’t work for me – I like for new content and information to appear magically before my eyes without having to even think about it which is why I love….

Email Alerts

Throughout the day, I get emails that I’m just waiting for with breathless anticipation. These messages contain the recent posts of my favorite bloggers. Using a subscription service like Feedburner, Feedblitz, etc., the blog posts arrive in my inbox formatted, with pictures and live links – from the post and direct to the post’s web page.

Comments can’t be left on the email, you simply have to click through to the actual blog, but it’s simple enough to do as the blog’s name and the post’s title are live links.

The beauty of the email alert is that your readers don’t have to remember to think about you every day or once a week or however often you post. They only had to think about you that one time, click on the email link and sign-up with their email address and often, pass through a security captcha and a confirmation email.

After that, its up to you – the blogger – to show up in front of their eyeballs as often as you’d like with as much good information and value as you can fit on the screen.

Image credit: Violinha

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 King Kan July 9, 2009 at 9:35 am

great job

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