Small Business Websites
Growing and Maintaining a Feed Subscriber Base
Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a technology which enables webmasters to easily publish and distribute syndicated content online. When you establish an RSS feed and have subscribers, it is crucial that you have a plan for growing and retaining subscribers to your RSS feed.
The following tips will help you grow your subscriber base.
A consistent flow of original content will help earn the loyalty of subscribers. The best RSS feeds offer content that is unique and compelling. Don't repeat existing content. Find a unique angle if you want to cover a topic that is hot.
Quality over frequency
The quality of a post is much more important than the frequency of a post. Readers have no time for useless posts which don't offer much value. Time is valuable and there are many blogs and feeds. In order to maintain readers, offer quality not quantity.
Get it right
Syndication is capable of doing damage. Getting it wrong or misquoting can perpetuate incorrect information and affect your reputation. Make sure you verify all your blogs and RSS feed information before posting.
Always use correct spelling, punctuation and proper grammar. Your posts reflect your knowledge. How you present your content matters and it will affect how readers view you.
Don't always gripe. If you have to complain, don't just point out the problem. You should provide suggestions for improvement or solving the problem.
Headlines of blog posts and titles of RSS feed items should be relevant to the actual post's contents. Do not tempt your readers with information and fail to follow through. Use catchy titles, but make sure you follow it with relevant content. In the actual posts, have a balance. Provide enough information, but don't overwhelm the readers.
Your blog posts or feed will usually be based on a particular theme. Don't wander too far or you will lose readers. If the RSS feed has a particular theme, stay focused on that theme.
Not too short, not too long is not an easy balance, but the length of your post matters. If a post is too long, you could break it up or partition it into easy to read paragraphs or split it into multiple posts. The length of the post should be consistent all through your feed and blog. Don't vary it too much.
As a publisher, it is important that you are viewed as a credible source of information. Posting or reposting wrong information will affect your credibility. Provide credentials when giving an opinion and ensure factual information is accurate prior to posting.
Include links to any relevant information in your RSS feed's description field. This is a great way of supplementing content. Outgoing links often lead to links back to your website or blog.
Listen to your audience
Readers will often say what they like and don't like about your content. It is vital that you stay in tune with your subscribers' likes and dislikes and make the appropriate adjustments.
RSS fees should not be cluttered with advertisements. If you decide to have advertisements, make sure you strike a balance between quality content and advertisements.
Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.
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