Thursday, December 29, 2005

What is RSS? How to Create and Syndicate a RSS?

What is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for "really simple syndication". For example I write articles every 2 weeks and place them on my web site. I then link to that article from my home page and from my article headlines page. I make that article available to others as an item in my RSS file. People who use RSS readers or news aggregators can read, then link to your article from their web site.

How to create an RSS File

RSS files use the XML language. This is similar to html except you must be careful to use closing tags and be sure to validate it before you use it. An XML file contains the information (Title, Description and Link URL) that your audience will receive through a RSS reader.

Hëre is all you need to create an RSS file:


Open notepad on your computer, then copy and paste the information below replacing it with your own title, description and link information.

The first part contains information about your web site. The second part contains information for one of your articles. You can also include optional information in your headlines such as language, copyright info, contact email addresses, or an image.

Try to limit the number of articles you wish to include in your RSS file to 5 or less. Enclose your RSS information with the xml and rss versions you are using followed by the channel and item tags. Finish off with the RSS closing tag.

How to Syndicate Your RSS Feed

If you syndicate your RSS Feed or advertise it, you will get an immediate boost in traffïc to your web site by others reading and/or linking to your information. There are 2 ways to do this:

a) Place an XML button at the top of your home page. Any image will do that can be easily recognized as XML document. Place the image, with your xml link, on your home page. For example, here's the line of code I placed on my home page:

b) Submit your site's RSS feed URL to various aggregators or news readers. This will enable them to start checking your RSS feed for updates.

Below is a list of some of the most popular news aggregators:


Update your RSS feed regularly - add new articles to your RSS file on a regular basis. Make sure you link each article to your site to increase your web traffïc. Remember to delete your old articles because the dates next to your articles will adjust depending on when news aggregators pick them up.

You only need to do this once and then syndicators tracking your feed automatically pick up your new feed items as you update them.


Even though RSS feeds are a relatively new way of marketing, once you set them up it takes very little time to maintain and provides another great way to increase the number of visitors to your web site.

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