Learning to feed…

No, I haven’t reverted back to my childhood days.  And no, I haven’t joined some sort of cannibalistic cult.  I’m simply learning how to get my blog out to more readers by using services like Feedburner.  This is new territory for me and so far, it’s been enlightening. 

Knowing very little about the world of RSS or Really Simple Syndication, I had been trying to promote my blog solely by word of mouth, MySpace bulletins and various e-mail campaigns.  I stumbled upon (no pun intended) a marketing book which encouraged me to add my blog to Feedburnerso that people could subscribe to it and receive updates as often as they would like.  From what I can tell, which isn’t nearly as much as I’d like it to be, my affiliation with Feedburner has definitely directed more traffic to my blog

This is good because one of the big goals on my list for 2008 was to increase traffic to my blog, thereby increasing the amount of interest in my books.  In addition to offering e-mail subscription on the blog itself, I enlisted the aid of the Headline Animation tool that is offered there and created a nifty e-mail signature that I use whenever possible.  This feature alone has more than tripled the hits to my site over the past week. 

RSS feeds have evidently been around for quite a while, but this is the first time I’ve ever really worked with them.  From my handy, dandy Web Marketing for Dummiesmanual, I see that RSS involves four steps:

1.  Formatting the content into a file called a feed.

2.  Readers add your URL to their RSS reader list. 

3.  When you add new content, your feed is updated.

4.  The user’s feed software updates on whatever schedule that the reader has defined and they are notifed by e-mail or on the reader itself.

Sounds simple enough.  And it is.  The benefits to using an RSS feed to distribute your information are enormous.  For one, you don’t have to search your mailing list for places to send updates.  If a reader has subscribed to your feed, they get all of the new stuff whenever they want it. 

The service is free to readers and you can update it as often as you like.  It’s also one of the timeliest ways to send updates about your projects.  And what I really like about it is that I’m not spending as much time creating eye-catching e-mails that never make it through all of the spam filters out there. 

I still have so much to learn about syndication and how to better serve those who subscribe to Benston Blogs, but I feel as though I’ve made significant progress by simply adding myself to Feedburner.  The challenge will be creating enough substantial posts to keep readers interested.   

Until next time…

Rebecca Benston 

Benston Blogs

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