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How To Set Up And Optimise A Really Cool RSS Feed

rssSo if you haven’t caught on yet there are these things called RSS feeds that your readers can use to keep up to date with your blog. The benefit of RSS readers is that your inbox doesn’t get overloaded with subscriptions. Many readers choose RSS over email. On this blog only 15% of subscriptions are by email the rest are RSS subscribers.

Here is a walkthrough for setting up a FeedBurner account right through to adding cool RSS buttons to your blog.

Set Up FeedBurner

FeedBurner is owned by google and will track your RSS statistics for free. Tracking your RSS is just another way of finding out how many people are following your blog and what they find interesting. Go to FeedBurner and set up a FeedBurner feed now.

If you are on wordpress (you should be) you can install the FeedSmith plugin to your blog which will direct all of your existing feeds to your new FeedBurner feed. Once you have your feed then go to Settings>FeedBurner and insert your new FeedBurner feed.

Optimise Feed

Before you click the optimise tab make sure you have checked the item views and item link clicks (and podcasts if you are doing them) at analyse>configure stats options.

Then go to the optimise tab and select Feed Flare and add any social media options your readers might want to use. This will help your posts get more exposure should your readers decide to bookmark/share them (don’t forget to activate once your done).

Use the Publicise feed and set up the Headline Animator and Pingshot.

Subscribe Icons

Now that you have set up a FeedBurner feed you need to set up your subscription buttons for your readers. You can use standard ones or you can download some more unique designs. Check out Design Bliss and SpeckyBoy for some free unique RSS buttons.

Having a RSS button that stands out will increase the number of subscribers your blog will get.

Add RSS Icons

Once you have chosen your subscribe icon, upload it to an images folder. In wordpress you can use the text widget (WP Admin>Appearance>Widgets>Text) to add your RSS button as a widget in your sidebar. Simply add the widget and paste in the following code:

<a title=”Subscribe RSS” href=”http://feeds2.feedburner.com/YourBlog”><img src=”http://YourBlog.com/images/rss.png” border=”0″ style=”margin-right:10px;margin-left:10px; ” alt=”Subscribe RSS” >

While your doing it you should also think about adding a Twitter button. Simply add the following code to add a twitter badge:

<a title=”Follow YourName” href=”http://twitter.com/YourName”><img src=”http://YourBlog.com/images/twitter.png” border=”0″ style=”margin-right:10px;margin-left:10px; ” alt=”Follow YourName” /></a>

Once you have your RSS and Twitter buttons showing your can play with the  margin-right/left to get the right placement within your sidebar.

(If you find that the widget makes your blog layout go weird you might need to add </div> at the end of the text file to clear it up).

Email

You can use FeedBurner to handle your email subscriptions as well. Simply activate Email Subscriptions in the Publicise tab then add the code to your subscribe widget.

12 Comments »

  • Elena said:

    This was really helpful. I've always been curious about putting feeds in to websites and this is definitely an article I'm going to keep. Great Job!

    Reply

  • katie anderson said:

    RSS feed set up and optimization is really very helpful. This article is very helpful for bloggers to create a RSS feed button and track its users.

    Reply

  • Fergal_Crawley said:

    Useful tips there, I've linked to this post from a thread in your favorite business forum, for a member looking for tips to optimize RSS feeds on her writers' blog.

    Reply

  • Mauricio Villamil said:

    Damn it.. I dont know why these things never work out for me….the RSS Feed Buttons in my blog came out broken….

    Reply

  • Brianna Lee said:

    RSS Feeds are really very helpful and you could get site and news updates from it.-:*

    Reply

  • Natalie White said:

    Feedburner is really very useful for syndicating feeds from other websites.~-*

    Reply

  • Ali Nasir said:

    as far as rss feeds optimization is concerned there are lots of aspect missing from this article like description, titles, images etc.

    Reply

  • Amelie Griffiths said:

    RSS feeds are really great if you want to stay updated ,-’

    Reply

  • Electric Griddle ` said:

    feed burner is very useful for blog owners because it is easy to syndicate feeds using feedburner ~’-

    Reply

  • Dress Pants said:

    i always syndicate feeds on my subcribers and of course feedburner is definitely a great help “,.

    Reply

  • Transistor said:

    i think that RSS FEEDS should also be included on the list of the best inventions because it makes life easier for bloggers like us -.:

    Reply

  • Jimmy Vacanta said:

    The Rss feeds s are a good way to be informed. In fact if you use feedburner services, you can receive on the email your favorite news when the news are posted.

    Reply

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