How to Make Real Simple Syndication Work Awesomely for You

You're a smart content marketer or publisher, and I'm sure you're aware of Real Simple Syndication (RSS). RSS is not a new term, or way of publishing content to the web, but you may not know about all the things you can do with your RSS feed to ensure that you are driving audience's to your website using this tool with others. The truth is, RSS could be the lifeblood of your content publishing strategy. It really is that important. I'm aware that with all the shiny tools in your content marketing and publishing toolbox something like RSS isn't top of mind, but it truly is the simplest way to syndicate your content and in that simplicity is its genius and utility.

An RSS feed allows your audience to "subscribe" or keep tabs on whenever you update the content on your site. That means every time you hit publish, the RSS captures your update and distributes to anyone who's subscribed. Imagine that, automatically notifying your audience that you've published something new. That's a very powerful engagement piece, since your audience has actively subscribed to your RSS feed to get content from you.

Virtually every content management system allows for RSS. There are several really great guides for setting up and making use of your RSS feed, depending on what CMS you're on.

Here are some resources by CMS worth checking out:

There are obviously RSS resources and plug-ins available for your CMS, and a google search can quickly point you in the right direction. I'm not a coder, but on the surface, implementing RSS publishing from your site does not seem very complicated. Depending on how you decide to use RSS, you can your RSS to full or summary mode (full mode publishes your entire piece while summary creates a tease for your post with a link back to your site),  and how many articles to keep within your RSS feed (last 5 posts etc.). These settings are simple to change, so consider A/B testing, and be aware of how to change things as you need to.

Once you've created your RSS feed, you should consider putting it through a system like Feedburner so that you can track your RSS's activity once your publish it.

Savvy audience's will know how to subscribe to your RSS feed, but it's worthwhile to either publish a link to your RSS feed on your site. You should consider using the universal RSS mark found here.

Speaking of subscribing to an RSS feed, you may want to take advantage of publishing your RSS feed on your own, to various platforms to help drive audience engagement wit your content. There are hundreds of sites on the web where you can publish your RSS feed so that people can know you have content available to read. Amongst my favourite of those sites is All Top. All Top is a tremendous compendium of all kinds of content, a literal what's what of the internet, and you may want to consider submitting your RSS feed to All Top so that your content is readily available on their site.

While publishing content to an RSS aggregator like All Top is an awesome idea, you can also use RSS to simply publish your content to the platforms your audience is always engaging you on. Virtually all social platforms allow for some kind of RSS integration, but be aware, that some like LinkedIn, are a closed network, and don't allow for RSS integration.

The key to using RSS as a content marketer is planning. Consider how you want to engage with your audience with your content and how to use this technology to help drive your ROI and KPIs.

Your use of RSS as a content marketer is not limited to you publishing content for your audience's benefit. Consider the flip side of the equation and being able to ingest RSS feeds to sites that you want to curate content from or just peruse. Feedly is an excellent resource for you to use to monitor  your own RSS feeds, but also to display other RSS feeds you want to follow. They've recently added a whole bunch of powerful add-ons in the pro model. You could also take advantage of a product like IFTT to automate process around your RSS curation.

Atomic Reach has its own RSS feed. We'd be delighted if you included it in your set subscriptions.

Tags: Content Marketing, RSS