Do I Need A Feed?
by Sharon Housley
RSS has been around for more than 10 years but has only recently become popular. RSS provides headlines and summaries of information in a concise and standardized way.
Benefits for Publishers
1.) Avoid Spam Filters
Statisticians estimate that 70% of the email transferred each day is spam (unsolicited email). With that statistic, even opt-in users risk losing valuable messages in the cesspool of spam. RSS feeds effectively nullify spam as an issue. Requesting feeds allow users to maintain complete control over the content they view. Users can easily opt-in and out of feeds that provide content of interest or importance.
2.) Expanded Reach
RSS allows publishers to reach a number of new and different markets that typically are less crowded with competition. Many small businesses are often slow to adopt or learn new technologies, giving businesses that lead the way a competitive advantage.
3.) Content Syndication
Syndication of feeds increases exposure.
4.) Repeat Visitors
RSS is all about repeat visitors. Users who have previously visited a site often have a stronger connection to the site and are more likely to purchase or trust the information on the site.
5.) Free web traffic
As the internet has evolved, many webmasters have found that what was once free traffic must now be paid for in order to sustain decent visitor statistics. RSS is in a unique position to bring free traffic because they are content-driven, and if they include interesting or valuable information, will pique the curiosity of web-surfers and entice them to visit a particular site.
6.) Less Effort
Newsletters and E-zines undeniably bring visitors, but the effort involved in creating, distributing and maintaining a newsletter can be a burden. Maintaining the list, ensuring the list is clean, growing the subscriber base, updating and removing bad e-mail addresses, all take time. RSS feeds are not burdened with those issues. There are easy-to-use RSS feed creation tools that require little effort, allowing publishers to recycle content, often simply cutting and pasting into RSS feed creation software.
FeedForAll RSS feed creation - http://www.feedforall.com
Consider supplementing existing communication venues with RSS. Place the contents of newsletters into feeds and measure the results. You might be surprised at the added traffic.
Examples of various feeds with different intended purposes -
RSS feed - http://www.rss-specifications.com/blog-feed.xml
Establishing expertise in a specific field.
Business Feed - http://www.notepage.net/blog-feed.xml
Contains product and industry information.
Marketing Feed - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/blog-feed.xml
Builds relationships, endorses products in industry sector.
RSS has potential to help companies develop strong relationships with consumers and creating brand loyalty with customers. While the world will not end tomorrow, nor will business come to a screeching halt if you don't use an RSS feed, there are a number of reasons online businesses should consider using RSS feeds.
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net and FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com .
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