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RSS Revisited – Promotion and Distribution

by SMD 


RSS Feed Promotion and Distribution Using FeedBurner
I mentioned earlier that I created a page that spits out my articles in RSS style xml. So that is the first requirement and most blogging websites have this functionality (sometimes you’ll need to enable it manually – look in the options or control panel).
Once you have this then it is really easy. All you need to do is sign up with a feed burning service (I use feedburner.com – they are great, really good support via their forums). Then you point there service at your RSS xml page. They automatically provide the translation to all the various formats of RSS and they also provide the links so you can have all the cool buttons (they have some other really nice promotions do-dads too).
Here’s my raw RSS xml page (not meant for humans): RSS XML
And here’s the Feedburner version – notice on there the viewer can instantly add the RSS feed to many choices of portals and readers: FeedBurner for Smart Money Daily. They also provide the code so you can add the colored ‘chicklets’ to your page so that a vistor can instantly connect your feed to their “My Yahoo” or “My MSN” and others.
They also offer all kinds of stats so you can see how many people are reading your feed and how (what with).
A side note about RSS feeds. It has happened to me that I have searched for my site on Google and have seen my feed being used in other websites (this is easy to do and provide automated content to a site). But to use an entire post is a violation of copyright. Also if someone can read the entire post in their reader, there is no incentive to visit your site (and click your ads!). It is because of these issues that I now provide only summaries of my stories in my RSS feed.
Feedburner also has a beta test going which offers context specific Amazon banner ads in your feeds. You must have an Amazon affiliate account and you can control the frequency of ads and where they appear in the feed. (Note: one of every 5 ads is a Feedburner ad). I chose not to use this since the spirit of RSS, so far at least, has been to be a way to read the internet without the noise.

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