An average user, while browsing the internet, uses various pages and applications. Usually, various search engines and specifically websites, blogs and social media where new content is constantly uploaded. What a lot of people want is to be the first to be informed about the latest posts of every page they follow, which is possible via the RSS feed! But what is RSS?
What is RSS?
To RSS feed is a technology that has influenced many modern web tools. Its basic function is that it is embedded in web pages (through an RSS reader) and automatically and instantly informs you about the new content of each page. It doesn't just integrate into one web page, but into as many as you want at the same time, scanning all of them -every half hour- and notifying you of new posts.
The acronym RSS comes from the words "straightforward syndication" or, according to other sources, from "rich site summary". It therefore translates as "direct link" and "rich site summary".
RSS is in the form of text files (in xml). These files are put into a feed reader, which is a form of interface that converts RSS text files into news that you read when you are on the web.
RSS Feed Types
After a basic idea of what RSS is, it is important to categorize some types of RSS feeds. The most basic ones are:
- Feedreader: You can use this reader as it is a simple application and offers you easy reading. It has an amazing preview so you can see what it offers before you sign up. In case you don't like something, you can change the configuration.
- Feedly: You can use this feed for both business and entertainment/information purposes. It consists of a home page that has the latest news from a wide range of topics. The interface it has is considered quite simple and for this reason it is a great choice for your purposes.
- Flipboard: In case you want people to read your news in an RSS feed that has an amazing design and is mobile friendly, then Flipboard is the one for you.
- The Old Reader: As you can tell from the name of this RSS feed, it's a pretty simple to use feed. Your website readers can surf with ease from any device they use (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile).
What are the benefits of RSS?
From both the reader's and the poster's point of view, RSS benefits in many ways. Regardless of your website's goals, an RSS is an essential upgrade... which more and more sites are adopting. The main benefits of RSS include:
- Visit: One of the most basic benefits. Once a user sees a post of yours that catches their interest, it is very likely that with one click they will use their RSS to see more in the future. That means a new loyal reader and someone who is likely to visit your website.
- Automation: With any new update to your blog your audience will be notified immediately via the reader. So, if you were sending newsletters and notifications to keep up to date with new content until now, you can now have another update option, otherwise, you can now start with an RSS.
- Expansion to a new audience: Someone visiting a website for the first time is reluctant to sign up to receive notifications. But instead, he would be more willing to use an RSS feed reader since it is a more user-controlled medium.
- Use of older content: If you have older articles, newsletters and product reviews, you can use them in your RSS Feed to grow your brand to new audiences.
- Direct linking of your content: By directly linking your content you are exposed to a larger audience that in the future may also bring more sales of your products and services. Also, if you have a local business with products from a well-known brand that uses RSS Feeds, you will also benefit greatly from using them.
How can you use RSS?
Practically now, how do I use RSS as a professional - and not?
- Follow all the new blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels
Beyond the various sites with RSS feeds, it's quite important to have a global view of what's happening on other blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels, gaining insights from the competition. Podcasts in particular are a new trend in business and are a good way to show your audience that you know your stuff.
- Receive newsletters from accounts you want and create your own
As mentioned above, you can receive newsletters from accounts that you have not subscribed to, via an RSS Feed Reader. You don't have to commit to subscriptions and fill your inbox with emails. By receiving a variety of newsletters, you're both educating and inspiring your own brand.
- Monitor the social media accounts you are interested in
It is a fact that on social media, apart from the flood of posts, there is also a huge amount of activity from users. By the time something is uploaded, it has already been viewed by thousands of people. So, having a way to be informed about new posts in time gives you a head start.
At the same time, the algorithm messes things up by displaying some posts on your homepage out of sync. In this it will help you to create an RSS feed for the account you want with an RSS.app. Then you can subscribe to that account in the RSS Reader you are using.
In this article you understood what RSS is and learned some basic features about it. RSS feeds are great if you want to update your website via blog, podcast or YouTube channel you have. The benefits you will have are multiple, because there is a great chance to attract new audience and build credibility to the existing one. Finally, it's also a great alternative to not having multiple social media accounts or only following the ones you're really interested in.