Success with RSS: Why business blogs need an RSS feed
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Success with RSS: Why business blogs need an RSS feed

Posted on 26 March 2014

If you have a blog on your website, having an RSS feed is crucial for getting read. Here's what you should know about RSS and why it's important.

What is it?

RSS, or "Really Simple Syndication", allows website users to read in one place all the blogs, news sites and other content producers they follow. Rather than individually checking a whole range of sites, many users rely on their RSS feeds for their day-to-day online reading, so if you don't have RSS, you will have far fewer readers.

RSS also ensures that users receive new content as soon as it is posted. If you are attempting to nurture a community of dynamic discussion in the comments sections of your posts, making sure that all your readers are notified of a new post in a timely fashion is particularly important.

How to access RSS

To access RSS feeds, users need an RSS reader. RSS readers are available in a range of formats, including registration-based websites, browser plug-ins and standalone apps. Whatever reader type a user chooses, it will have the capacity to recognise RSS feed data embedded in a webpage, which can be added to their feed.

While RSS readers work without explicit, visible signposts about the availability of the feed data, it can be a useful prompt for users if you flag the availability of RSS by including an RSS icon on your blog. The standard RSS icon looks similar to the usual Wi-Fi icon, but turned on a 45-degree angle. It is typically orange.

Add RSS to your social strategy

RSS technology predates the rise of social media as a major business marketing tool. While it's important to ensure your readers who aggregate their reading using RSS are catered for, it's also valuable, alongside this, to ensure the same is done for those who use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ for the same purpose.

Integration with these services can be automated, so that when you post a blog entry, not only does it appear on RSS, it will also appear on the social media feeds of those who have followed or liked you through one of these platforms. Again, having the appropriate social media icons on your blog entries provides a valuable shortcut for readers.

The Bloomtools blog tool includes a built-in RSS feed and automated Twitter integration, so that your customers will never miss a post.