free rss icon imagesIn this blog post I am going to try and explain a method I have been using to increase the visibility of my blog and effectively drive more traffic to my blog, it’s RSS feeds.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, now it is really simple, but only once you understand it.

Like I said, it can get a little confusing when you have not used Rss before and I don’t want to get too technical.

What is RSS?

Basically an RSS feed is a list that is created from the content contained or added to your website or blog and updated on autopilot.

Let’s say, for example, I create an RSS feed for my blog today, then in a few days I add a new blog post, my rss feed is automatically updated without me doing anything, it’s like MAGIC!

Ok, I am going to try and keep this as simple as possible because it confused me lots when I first tried to learn about rss feeds, I am quite clearly not an RSS expert, but hopefully it helps you…

Here are the steps…

You create an RSS Feed for your website or blog.

A visitor comes and subscribes to your RSS Feed.

When they subscribe they are asked how they would like to receive notifications from the feed.

This is normally by email or through a free RSS Reader such as Google reader, or David Walker recently told me about Feedly, which I love, it’s gorgeous and makes reading feeds a more beautiful experience!

When the website or blog is updated, the feed is automatically updated and a notification is sent to all the feed subscribers.

They read the notification, click the link and visit your website or blog.

To see this process, watch a previous video I done here:

Video Tutorial – Adding An RSS Feed To Google Reader

(Don’t worry it will open in a new page so you can come back to read the rest of this post).

Ok, now you should completely understand the process after watching my video.

Now I will show you how to get your own feed for your blog so you can get your own feed subscribers.

You will need two things at this stage, an RSS feed url and an RSS image icon…

The first step is creating your own rss feed.

Most wordpress blogs have a default wordpress feed which is located on your blog domain name / feed.

ie. http://www.sallyneill.com/feed

Simply substitute www.sallyneill.com/feed  for yourwebsitename.com/feed to see your own blog feed.

If you do not have a default feed you can create one using feedburner: http://www.feedburner.com.

The reason I use feedburner is because it gives me some nice statistics and I can quickly check if I have anyone has subscribed to my feed.

As I write this blog post, I have 27 people subscribed to my feed, not a lot I know, but hey it’s a start!

Each time I make a new blog post, those 27 people will be notified about it in their preferred choice of feed notification.

So when they signed up to get my feed they would have choose email notification or reader notification.

They will be notified of my new blog post and can come visit my blog and hopefully leave me a comment.

So ultimately each time I make a new post I can drive traffic to my blog, I have not had to send an email to those people, they were informed automatically.

Getting An RSS Icon On Your Blog

Once you have your feed created either using the default wordpress one I mentioned above or you create a feed using feedburner you then need to add an image on to your blog so visitors can subscribe to your feed.

Depending on the wordpress theme you use, there are many options to display your wordpress feed on your blog.

I simply cannot cover the steps for adding an rss feed icon to all available wordpress themes.

So this method is one I think every wordpress blog owner can use, there may be an easier way for your theme, you will have to do some research on that yourself.

Add A Feed Using A Text Widget

The way I done it, was to visit my wordpress admin dashboard, choose widgets and under available widgets there is one named “Text”.

I then opened the sidebar where I wanted my rss icon to be shown (I have my blog’s RSS Feed Icon on my left side bar) and dragged and dropped the “Text” widget on there.

In the “Text” widget box I added the following code:

<p align=”center”><a href=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/sallyneill/wPwd”><img src=”http://sallyneill.com/images/rssglassyblack.png” width=”55″ height=”63″ border=”0″ /></a>

And save the widget box.

If you have not used widgets before, near the end of this video I done, you can see how to add widgets to your blog:

Video 8 – Adding Widgets To Your Blog

Now the code I have given you needs to be amended for your own site and the links pointing to my site and image location have to be replaced with yours…

So replace

http://feeds.feedburner.com/sallyneill/wPwd

for your feed name ie.

http://www.yourwebsitename.com/feed or your feedburner feed url.

Finding an RSS Image Icon

Next you will need to upload an image to display for your RSS Feed Icon and you can get some really lovely, sexy and cool ones for free here:

http://www.bloggingtips.com/2008/11/06/free-rss-icon-list/

Choose an image you like and upload it to your website using cpanel or ftp, remember the location because you will need to add it to the code I gave you above, for example:

You will need to change the code from

http://sallyneill.com/images/rssglassyblack.png

TO

http://yourwebsitename.com/imagelocation/imagename.jpg.

Now you have your own image and rss feed url, that’s it done.

People can visit your blog, click on the RSS icon and choose which way they wish to receive notification of updates.

Each time you add new content to your blog, they will be notified.

Advanced Step: Promoting Your Feed.

You can actually submit your feed to directories and increase the visibility of your feed.

Be warned, this is time consuming but if you have some spare cash there are paid services such as FeedForAll.

I have put a few links below that contain a list of directories where you can submit your feed for increased visibility and more traffic…

List Of 261 Submit Feed Sites

Hub Page List Of RSS Directories

You can quickly search Google for more, as quite a few on the list of 261 are “dead links” or sites no longer available.

There is also a service that allows you to add your blog feed to facebook and twitter called TwitterFeed.

To be honest there are a million and one ways you can promote your blog’s rss feed, have a look around and see what you can find.

Please be sure to leave a comment if you find any good rss submission sites, or if you know any super sneaky tips and tricks for rss feed promotion and then myself and your fellow readers of this blog can benefit too.

Sally :)

Here are the steps…

Filed under: Traffic Tips

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