What is RSS and what does it do?

Fairy Blog Mother: blogging help

Fairy Blog Mother

One of the things I mentioned in my last post was RSS, or Really Simple Syndication.

Some people ‘get’ RSS, and there are others that don’t. It took me a while, partly because of the word ‘syndication’. Myriam Webster’s Learning Dictionary’s definition is: “to sell (something, such as a piece of writing, comic strip, or photograph) to many different newspapers or magazines for publication at the same time”.

It’s the words “at the same time” that is the crux. By using RSS, you are able to publish your posts not only in your blog, but in many different places simultaneously. Everyone who has subscribed to your blog (sort of like a magazine) will have requested to receive a copy of your latest post delivered to their inboxes or their search engine readers.

It doesn’t have to be your subscribing readership, you can use RSS to deliver your post to other media where it will be read by new, different, uninvolved, exciting people. This is a brilliant way of exposing your post to a myriad of potential subscribers, if not followers, even if it is in passing.

This is where your headline comes into play – that is why I’ve been stressing it needs to be catchy, informative, intriguing, educational, pertinent, inviting – it must strike a chord with its potential audience immediately or the opportunity will be lost, especially in social media where the pace is so fast.

You can get a RSS URL (special domain name for your blog’s RSS feed) from Google Feedburner, but most blogs provide a simple version automatically. It depends what you want to do with it.

The simple version opens the facility for you to bookmark the post – something I find unsatisfactory because you have to make the effort to click on the link to find out the latest contribution.

The RSS URL not only sets up the subscription service, but allows you to activate posting applications throughout social media so you can ‘syndicate’ (publish immediately in several places at once) your latest post automatically to an alternative audience who wouldn’t get the chance to see it otherwise.

It also means you don’t have to actively go around all the social media sites you are connected to, pasting up your post’s URL manually every time you publish, saving you time, inconvenience and not forgetting their access details.

And if you schedule your posts to publish to a more appropriate or convenient time, they will automatically appear when you’re busy doing something else more profitable. (I have a scheduling your posts e-course for that too!)

Of course this blog is meant to be a resource, so you can find out more by using the search facility, or by clicking on the following links: RSS Simply Explained, Setting up a RSS feed, and How to use Feedburner to feed into Twitter – enjoy!

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
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