July 7

Why EVERY Website Should Have an RSS Feed

Do yourself a favor and stop reading this post for 30 seconds, drop over to your Twitter, Facebook or Google+ stream and take a peek at what you see.

I’m guessing that you like most folks you’re going to see a lot of one thing: content. Content being shared in the form of links, photos, videos. It may take lots of forms, but it’s content — because you see that’s what social media is really about.

Sure there’s a lot of conversation, but that conversation is often stimulated by piece of content — content and more specifically the amount of content sharing that goes on in social media is why every website, including yours, should absolutely have an RSS feed.

My company, Converse Digital, which is a social media marketing company in New Orleans, spends a lot of time counseling small, medium, and large businesses on ways that they can go about creating an engaging in digital conversations. And the important phrase there was creating, because unless your brand is inherently discussable, and let’s face it most brands are not, then you’re going to have to stimulate discussion.

And the way you do that is with content. But here’s the stickler, creating content is hard and it’s a time consuming process. However, finding content, curating it and sharing it… now that’s not so hard.

By investing a little time in building out a list of great content that you monitor via RSS reader, all of a sudden you can curate a lot of feeds into a single place and then you can share that content through Twitter, on Facebook or via your own blog in the form of a curated post once a day, week or whatever.

For instance, as a brand you can start every morning by scanning your RSS feed for great content. Then pick seven to 10 great pieces of content and schedule those to periodically appear on Twitter throughout the day, a few could also make sense for your Facebook page maybe via Google+ or even LinkedIn if you’re in B2B. Important Note: while it’s fine (IMO) to schedule the release of content via timed posts, you need to be online when that content posts.  It’s important to make sure you’re there when that information is shared because most likely commenting, questions, and that discussion that you’re seeking to create is going to happen pretty instantaneously upon the shared information posting. So if you’re not going to be there to participate to participate in the conversation you stimulated, well then you’re missing half the equation.

Easy right… wrong. Today I spent a painful few hours trying to curate a list of websites for a client in the health and fitness world. Honestly, you would be surprised how many health and fitness websites do not contain RSS feeds. This forced me to have to then find a tool that can convert those sites’ pages into RSS feeds so that I couldn’t turn the entire thing over to my client so they could use it.

And here is the rub and why I’m writing this post for you…. more than a few of the sites almost didn’t make the cut because frankly I got tired of trying to find a tool to convert their site into an RSS feed. This was before I found a great tool to convert pages to RSS feeds.  So because I was doing it for a client, I went back but what if I didn’t have that duty to a client? These sites would have lost the opportunity to have my client share their content.

So if you’re in the web content business if you’re in the content marketing business or your just trying to drive more traffic to your website, maybe do yourself a favor make it easy for everyone to share your stuff. Let me sign up by e-mail, let me sign up to get it through Twitter, but most important to let me sign up to get the RSS feed, because that is the facilitation device I think curated content marketers in the near future are going to rely on. Oh yes, and it’s free y’all — doesn’t cost you a cent to create one. In fact here’s a link to create an RSS feed for your site using a simple process called feed burner.

But hey, that’s just my opinion… I could be wrong. What do you think? I’m all ears… so comment away.


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content marketing, social media marketing

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  1. Hello Tom,

    I found your website/blog whilst looking for information about rss feeds through google, I have just relaunched and updated my own website here http://www.irelandrevealed.com it still needs a lot of work but anyways.

    Just won’t to say thanks for the info on rss feeds. I will head over to the link that you provided, to create an RSS feed for my site using the simple process called feed burner.

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