RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary (and is more commonly referred to as Really Simple Syndication) is a way for people to keep up with websites that have constantly changing content. For the end user, RSS Feeds essentially act as a 24-hour newsfeed that immediately updates any time a blog that they are subscribed to posts new content or modifies the site. The benefits of RSS for frequent blog readers is that they no longer have to waste time visiting each of the sites they are subscribed to, and their privacy is enhanced as they don’t have to use their email address to subscribe to a site’s newsletter for updates. The bottom line here is that RSS Feeds can provide the ultimate convenience for your busy readers.
However, it is important to note that your blog readers are not the only people who can benefit from RSS Feeds. You as a blog owner can use RSS to grow your blog and increase the size of your audience – and possibly your wallet if you know what to do with all of that traffic and publicity you’re going to be getting! Here are a few ways that RSS can benefit you as a blogger:
First, RSS feeds increase your chances of others linking to and talking about your content or blog. RSS is, by nature, designed for syndication, which means RSS feeds are just out there begging to be shared. Because you can submit your RSS feed to be syndicated on major news sites (and other big, popular sites, for that matter), content published via RSS has the potential to get picked up over and over again. Think of what it could do for your readership to have major news outlets, tons of social media users, and all of the influential bloggers in your niche syndicating your content with your name on it. When your content is shared in this way, your audience is greatly expanded and you are able to make a name for yourself and for your blog.
Also, some RSS Directories actually get a lot more traffic than some people would believe. If you submit your blog’s RSS feed to these directories, you could be getting your piece of that free traffic pie! People who visit these directories may subscribe to your RSS feed, which could then drive them to visit your blog. The fact that they subscribe to your feed from one of these directories increases your chance that they will become repeat visitors, and maybe even repeat buyers (if you are making money by selling a product or through affiliate links). This may not sound very exciting right now, but you could grow a blog audience of epic proportions by submitting your blog to a couple hundred of the best directories. As you being your submissions, keep in mind that it is best to submit slowly (let’s say over a period of one to two weeks) so that your back linking remains natural and your blog grows at a steady pace.
Finally, RSS feeds can be one of the greatest boons to your SEO efforts because of all of the relevant back links it can bring to your blog – and for very little work on your part. When you submit your RSS feed to RSS aggregators and directories, each accepted submission means a back link for you. Furthermore, you can even create an RSS feed just for your back links so that they will get indexed faster and bring you even more traffic more quickly. When your content gets syndicated, so does the link to your blog , and no one has to tell you what it could do for your search engine rankings to have tons of natural back links from megasites like Yahoo.com.
With all of that said, there are a few things that you need to remember when using RSS feeds to grow your blog audience:
1) Some subscribers may not visit your site very often. Instead, they may rely on your RSS feed to view your content, making it impossible for them to see any banner or text ads that you have displayed. This may be a problem if you rely solely on banner or text ads to monetize your blog.
2) Your RSS feed is competing with others – including some in your industry – in the RSS aggregators and directories. You’re definitely not the only game in town!
The easiest way to overcome these obstacles is to have the best blog with the best content out there. It seems a daunting task, but your subscribers will come to know, like, and trust you when they see that well-written and relevant content is your primary concern. All you really have to do is get the ball rolling. Once your RSS feed begins to snowball, you’ll have no problems getting all the syndication you need to bring you a large and loyal fan base.