RSS Made Easy
by Adrian Ling
If you’re not using RSS yet, you need to take a closer look at the technology. RSS has been around since 1997 but until late last year, it was only being used in small circles. That’s about to change.
Longhorn, Microsoft’s next operating system will include a built-in RSS reader so will Apple’s new web browser. When that happens, look out. RSS will be everywhere. If you visit sites like ESPN.com, eBay, Amazon.com, the Wall Street Journal website and most major news sites, you’ll find RSS feeds. Usually, you’ll see a little orange box with RSS inside. That allows you to get automatic news headlines using some of the free readers that are available online.
If you want to get more targeted traffic to your website, I suggest you take a long, hard look at Blogging and RSS. It’s impact may not be quite as significant as when Internet browsers were introduced but it will be huge nevertheless. People will use RSS to get news tailored to their specific interests. They’ll add it to their desktops, laptops, PDA’s and smart phones.
I suspect that people will treat this technology in the same way they initially used ezines. Early on, they subscribe to several usually biting off more than they can chew. There are only so many hours in the day and people tend to delete, unsubscribe or ignore only the most important ezines.
When that purge comes, assuming you provide good, relevant information and the reader is still interested in your topic, I believe you have a distinct advantage if you were one of the first feeds they subscribed to. But there’s another big advantage to being an early adopter of RSS in your niche.
RSS is the hot topic right now among website owners seeking more traffic. They’re also aware that it’s getting harder and harder to get email through to their subscribers and customers. We can all thank spammers for that.
They’re buying books on RSS like this one and using RSS to add content to their sites. They’re making the decisions now about whose content they want to carry. Chances are, six months to a year from now, they’ll be focusing their attention elsewhere rather than continuing to add more feeds. Right now, there isn’t a lot of competition for those spots. Later on, there will be.
And unlike readers unsubscribing from your ezine or your RSS feed, I don’t see website owners going back and removing feeds. They have no compelling reason to do so and don’t have the time. So once you’re in, you’ll probably be syndicated on their sites for years.
The blog software I’m using, WordPress has RSS built-in. I understood the basics but wanted to learn more about how to really make it work for me.
I checked forums, contacted a few people I respect that understand the technology and asked where I should go to learn more. I got several recommendations but the one I heard most often was Adrian Ling’s RSS Made Easy.
This 56-page ebook is divided into four main parts. Part one explains what RSS is and defines the relationship between RSS and blogs. Then he explains how to use both to increase your businesses exposure and create a ‘brand’.
You’re probably familiar with Blogs by now (you’re reading one); it’s just a simple way to put regular content on your website. That can be in the form of an informal online diary or regular articles. RSS, on the other hand, is technology that works behind your content. RSS allows others, if you permit it, to use your articles as content on their websites automatically. And the reverse is true, as well. You can use RSS to syndicate content from other authors on your website.
For example, using RSS, you could publish this review and any of my other articles on your website automatically. So why would you want to do that? Because search engines love sites with fresh content.
It makes sense. From a search engine’s perspective, which do you think they’re most interested in, a site selling a product or an online newspaper or magazine with new articles appearing daily? The latter, of course. RSS can help your website look like a information site and get more targeted traffic.
Part two explains how to use RSS and blogs to generate targeted traffic to your websites fast. According to Ling, you can get search engines to crawl your site in eight days or less. I’ve seen this happen myself. Google crawled my blog within 48 hours. For the first eight days, you’ll have to add to your blog daily but Ling shows you how to do this quickly and easily.
In part three, you learn how to make your site popular with search engines using RSS technology to add content to your site without actually writing anything yourself. This is where RSS comes in, enabling you to pull free, relevant content from all over the web.
In part four, Ling talks about the future of RSS and explains how we can make money with the technology. He demonstrates some of the ways some businesses are using RSS now hoping to give you some ideas about how to make it work for your business.
I finished the book in a couple of hours and came away with a much clearer understanding of how to best use RSS on my websites. It’s been in front of me for quite a while but I was too blind to see it’s usefulness.
Have you noticed more websites adding news content at the bottom of their article pages and even their main sales page? I have and I couldn’t understand why anyone would add links that could potentially take visitors away from their website. Plus, why place news items below a sales letter?
Now I understand. It’s all about how search engines view your website. Let’s take a typical mini-site like my own RudlReport.com. Although I sometimes test different headlines and do small tweaks to the sales letter, the content doesn’t really change.
RudlReport.com is #1 on Yahoo under "Corey Rudl" but something like #150 on Google. On three different occasions, RudlReport.com has shot to #1 on Google but within a month, it drops off the charts. Yet most of my top-ranked competition for those keywords may move up or down a spot or two bug generally seem to hold their positions.
So I have to spend five to six hundred dollars per month in pay-per-click fees to rank #1 under my primary keywords for Rudlreport.com. If I can get a consistent top ranking in the regular Google listings, I could save $6,000+ per year.
I keep an eye on my competition. And most of them are using some kind of news feed on their sites. And now I get it, the news feeds are automatically updated on a daily basis. So although my competitors sales letters never change, the news feeds do. To Google, those other sites appear to be updated daily so they get higher rankings.
Thanks to Adrian Ling’s RSS Made Easy, I know exactly what to do to add relevant news feeds to my websites. He explains the procedure very clearly and it will probably take me less than an hour to set this up.
I’ll let you know how it works as soon as I see results.
RSS Made Easy also showed me how to get any blog listed on Yahoo for free. There’s also an extensive list of blog directories that you can submit your blog to. However, one link that Ling includes let’s you submit to most of the major directories in a single click.
Ling piles on the bonuses with this ebook, too. I haven’t dug into them yet but will post an update as soon as I do. They look promising.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for free, targeted tra
ffic, this ebook will show you how to get it fast. If you want to understand how blogs and RSS work, you’ll get that with simple, easy to understand instructions that a newbie will understand.
If you’re not a writer yourself and don’t think you have anything to put in a blog, Ling shows you how to create a few brief articles that you can put together in an hour or two that’ll get Google to come crawling.