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Boost Your Web Site Presence With RSS
Copyright Herman Drost 

It's getting increasingly difficult to reach your targeted
audience these days by simply using email. Even if you have
a large ezine list there's no guarantee your message will
be read. This is because today’s' spam filters and
firewalls may block or delete your email before it even
reaches your intended audience. A great alternative
solution is to use RSS.

In this article I will discuss:

1. What is RSS?
2. Benefits of RSS
3. What are RSS Feeds and Why You Need a RSS Reader?
4. RSS Tools You Need
5. How to Get Started With RSS

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's a new way
for people to publish and distribute their content ie news,
headlines, newsletters, articles etc. It's a Web content
syndication format. An RSS file is written in a simple
language called XML. It is a lot like HTML, only simpler.
An XML file contains the information (Title, Description
and Link URL) that your audience will receive through a RSS

Here's an example:

<item> <title>Web Site Design | Hosting | Marketing</title>
<description>Affordable Web Design in
Maryland</description> </item>

Syndication means you don't have to visit each site
individually to see what's new -- you simply scan headlines
or brief article summaries and click to read the full text

Benefits of RSS

1. RSS is dynamic. When a publisher changes content,
consumers know it instantly.

2. Review a large number of sites in a very short
time ie you can review 20 headlines then choose
which one to read.

3. Distributes content to consumers who might be too
afraid to subscribe to your ezine - they can remain
anonymous and don't need to subscribe or unsubscribe.

4. Bypass spam filters, firewalls, and avoid getting
viruses. Consumers opt-in to receive RSS feeds.

5. Can replace or be an additional channel to distribute
content besides using email to send your newsletter or

6. Allows consumers to see some of the producer's content
without needing to visit the site.

7. Provides fresh content for your web site - by adding
RSS to your web site you can automatically publish
other people's content.

8. Increase search engine rankings - search engines
love web sites that provide fresh content on a
continuous basis. ie adding an article feed will
provide that fresh content.

9. Save time - instead of browsing multiple sites to
find information of interest, syndicated content can
be delivered directly through your RSS Reader.
You scan the headline that interests you, then click
to go directly to the source.

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For the best and most comprehensive guide on RSS
for Marketers grab a copy of:

 " Unleash the Marketing and Publishing Power of RSS "


What are RSS Feeds and
Why You Need a RSS Reader ( RSS Aggregator )?

RSS feed is in a non-HTML format called XML. RSS readers or
aggregators can interpret and display that coding, but Web
browsers can't. Soon, RSS/XML readers will be part of every
browser and e-mail software. But for now, you need a
separate reader. You use an RSS reader to bring new,
constantly updated material to you, from all your favorite
sites. There is no need to check whether a site has

RSS feeds bring automatically updated information straight
to your desktop. You can monitor news, job listings,
personals, and classifieds. Thousands of sites now offer
feeds, which you can identify by a small orange button that
says either RSS or XML. However, if you click one of these
links, you will most likely get a page full of code in your
browser. To properly read the feed, you need an RSS reader.

Content published in an RSS feed is typically set up to
send out notifications whenever new material is available.
This makes the new content immediately available to feed
readers and RSS search engines. Contrast this with ordinary
web pages, which are essentially passive and generally
aren't accessible to most of us until search engine
crawlers find and index them. Once indexed, these pages
stand relatively little chance of being read by web
searchers on a frequent basis.

Instead of opening your Web browser when you sit down at
the computer, you open your news feed reader, usually a 2-
or 3 paned window that allows you to see at a glance which
sites have added content, and to scan clickable headlines
and summaries of that content. Imagine looking at update
info on 10-20 sites at a single glance, and never waiting
for a single page to load!

RSS Tools You Need

Here is a collection of some of the most popular
newsreaders for reading article feeds, news etc

Newsreaders | Aggregators

Win users

1. RssReader  - It's free!
2. BlogExpress
3. Other RSS Readers  - if you want to try several before deciding

The most important point about RSS newsreaders is that they
should be fast and simple to download, install, and start
adding feeds. If it's not, find one that does.

Mac users

4.NetNewsWire has a free trial and is the best of a smaller selection.

5. My Yahoo

6. MSN

How to Get Started With RSS

Simply right-click on the orange RSS button (control-click
for Mac users) for each feed that interests you.
Select Copy Shortcut ("Copy Link to Clipboard" for Mac;
"Copy Link Location" if you use Firefox browser) then paste
that URL into your RSS Reader.

copy clip

And that's it! You're subscribed.

(If you prefer, click on the My Yahoo! or My MSN buttons to
add each feed to "Your" Yahoo! or MSN.)

Now you have the ability to quickly scan the sites that
interest you without being bombarded by unwanted email

Part 2 of this article will discuss "How to Use RSS to
Attract Visitors to Your Web Site"


For the best and most comprehensive guide on RSS
for Marketers grab a copy of:

 " Unleash the Marketing and Publishing Power of RSS "

Herman Drost is a Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
and owner of
Web Site Design, Web Hosting, Web Site Promotion    (301) 805-6796

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