Thursday, July 2, 2009

How To Make Money Using Remote Site Syndication (RSS)

http://creativenerds.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/rss-icons.jpg



5 Reasons Why RSS Will Thrive in 2009



RSS is a technology whose time has come. Five trends driving the demand for RSS include:



1. Spam controls



As users have demanded better spam controls, ezines have lost favor. Many ezines are now scooped up by aggressive antispam measures before hitting users’ inboxes. RSS is already moving in to take the place of ezines. RSS is better suited to keeping site visitors aware of updates anyway: Site articles are best added one at a time.



2. Blogging



The blogging phenomenon of the last few years introduced a great many people to RSS. RSS is the perfect technology for helping keep track of numerous websites. Internet users of all skill levels do not have time to check their favorite sites for the latest posts.



3. Upcoming Software Releases



Recent releases of Firefox and Thunderbird have integrated RSS into many internet users’ everyday experience, but the upcoming releases of Internet Explorer v7 and Firefox v2 will bring RSS even closer to the average internet user.



4. Huge investments by Google, MSN, and Yahoo: MSN Search, MSN Spaces, Yahoo 360, My Yahoo, Del.icio.us, Flickr, Blogger and Google Desktop have all embraced RSS.



5. Laziness



People want to find the easiest way to do things. We tend to seek out and use more efficient ways of performing tasks. RSS will simply catch on because it is one of those technologies that enables folks to have more free time!



8 TOP Ways To Promote Your RSS/XML Feed For MAXIMUM Exposure



RSS(Real Simple Syndication) is the new technology on the block and is taking the Internet by storm as Internet marketers are hurrying to incorporate this new form of communication and technology into there existing online businesses to Maximize there exposure online with NEW and/or Existing customers.



I recently received a post on my Blog from a fellow that inspired me to write this article since I found the nature of the topic important to ALL who are serious about getting the most out of there RSS feed and this new technology.



I'm pretty sure you can guess what he ask from reading the headline of this article.



Well... I did some research on what he had asked of me and came up with...



"8 TOP Ways To Promote Your RSS/XML Feed For MAXIMUM Exposure"



So, with that said, let's dive into the first and MOST important step to Maximizing your RSS feed for the exposure it deserves.





Step #1. Build a dedicated webpage for your RSS feed.



This is probably the most important part of getting the most out of your RSS feed, is by building your own dedicated webpage for your RSS feed subscription.



The KEY here is to give your potential readers many options to adding Your RSS feed.



The best way for me to illustrate this to you is by clicking on the link below that leads to my dedicated RSS feed subscription page so you can see first hand what you need to do to get yours started.





http://www.internetwondersezine.com/rss_feed.html



Did you notice all the different options I give?



That's what you need to do.



Now, for those of you who aren't so web savvy, don't worry, I have something for you that will auto-generate a RSS feed webpage for you within minutes if you already have a Blog or RSS feed.



The service I'm talking about is called FeedBurner.com -- http://www.feedburner.com -- and is a free service for you to sign up for.



Here's what my webpage through FeedBurner.com looks like so you'll have an idea of what yours will look like.



http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheInternetWondersBlog



Do you see all the options they give your potential readers to add your RSS feed to there RSS readers?



Once you've accomplished one of the two options above your all set to start promoting your RSS feed for MAXIMUM exposure.



Step #2. Add links to your RSS feed webpage on your website.



This is yet just another way to pull your visitors towards your RSS feed webpage by simply adding Text or Graphic links to your existing webpages.



Make sure you put them in Highly visible area's where your visitors will see your links.



I would would put one at the top, middle and bottom of your website.



This really depends on what kind of website you have so you'll have to use your own dicression.



Here's what I have done on my website to give you an example.



http://www.internetwondersezine.com



Step #3. Add this HTML tag to your RSS feed webpage.



Here's something you can add to all your websites webpages that will get the attention of Search Engines spiders to come on over and check out your RSS feed further.



Simple add the following HTML tag to the of your document:



link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="YOUR SITE TITLE RSS Feed" href="URL TO RSS FILE"/



(note: add this <> to the end after the forward slash /)



Step #4. Some idea's if you have your own newsletter.



If you have your own newsletter like I do, here's a couple ways to get your visitors to visit your RSS feed webpage.



Add a link on your "Thank You" page that leads to your RSS feed webpage. Whether its a Text or Graphic link.



The key here is to get your RSS feed link in front of your readers as much as possible to get them to add your RSS feed to there readers.



The next one is, add a link inside your "Welcome" email that's sent out to your New newsletter subscriber after they've subscribed.



This again, will give you another chance of getting them to add your RSS feed to there readers.



Step #5. Put together a "Signature File".



Here's another couple great ways to get your RSS feed webpage more exposure every time you send out an email or post to any online forums is by simply putting together a "Signature File".



Now, every time you sent out an email to your list and/or business contact you can attached your "Signature File" at the end of every email you send.



The same goes for online forums, every time you make a post or answer someone else's, your "Signature File" will be automatically attached.



Your "Signature File" doesn't have to be a huge, a few enticing lines will do fine with your RSS feed URL.



Step #6. Submit your RSS feed to RSS Directories and SE's.



Another great way to give your RSS feed more exposure is by submitting it or them to RSS Directories and Search Engines.



I've listed a few resources for you below to get you started with.



- Feed Shark

http://feedshark.brainbliss.com



- Ping-O-Matic

http://pingomatic.com



- RSS Top 55

http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55



Step #7. Write an article, if you write articles.



This is a great way to get your RSS feed webpage in front of thousands of targeted readers absolutely FREE!



Simply write an article on a HOT topic within your niche, and at the end of your article add an enticing, attention grabbing "Resource Box" that points to your RSS feed webpage URL.



Step #8. Set-Up a PPC(Pay-Per-Click) campaign.



For the last step to getting your RSS feed webpage Maximum exposure is to set-up a PPC campaign.



By doing this you will be able to send HIGHLY targeted traffic to your RSS feed webpage that are hungry for the information you have to offer.



The only downside to doing the PPC tactic is that it will cost you.



And, this tactic solely depends on whether or not you chose to set-up an RSS feed webpage of your own.





Now, I'm sure there are many others ways out there that could draw in more visitors to your RSS feed, but, these ones I just outlined in this article are the Best ones in my mind and are the ones I use.



Well, this concludes the, "8 TOP Ways To Promote Your RSS/XML Feed For MAXIMUM Exposure", so, the only thing I have left to say to you is... Get Started!





Advertising in RSS Feeds



As publishers have moved towards monetizing RSS feeds, their have been vibrant discussions as to whether advertisements in feeds are viable or whether they will drive subscribers away. At the end of the day while it appears that many are discussing the philosophical approaches to ads in RSS feeds few are taking the time to examine the options available for inserting advertisements in feeds.



Ultimately the advertisements served are going to determine the success of RSS as an advertising medium. The ads served must be related to the content contained in the feed. If the RSS feed contains quality content, the ads are relevant, and the volume of ads is in balance with the volume of content served, advertising in RSS feeds will succeed.



Take a closer look at some of the ad serving options currently available for RSS feeds.



Review of Current Options



Google AdSense for Feeds

Google's AdSense for Feeds offers contextually targeted advertisements, with a wide selection of advertisers. Google chooses not to divulge the percentage of revenue that is shared with the publisher, so it is difficult if not impossible to predict monthly revenue. The current Google AdSense system for feeds is tied to blogs and does not appear to be overly flexible.

http://www.google.com/adsense



Pheedo

Pheedo displays categorized advertisements rather than contextual advertisements. The upside to this is that Pheedo's advertisements can be used in conjunction with Google AdSense or AdSense for feeds without violating Google's contract. Pheedo works with the publisher to serve advertisements from similar or related categories associated with the feeds contents.



Pheedo's system allows for advanced ad filtering, giving publishers control over keyword ad filtering, specific ad filtering or url filtering. Pheedo's system also allows publishers to sell ads to existing advertisers whom they already have a relationship. The revenue split is 50% and feeds can be a sponsored flat rate advertisement or a pay-per-click advertisement, where the publisher is only paid if the advertisement is clicked.

http://www.pheedo.com



Kanoodle for Feeds

Kanoodles systems for providing advertisements for feeds is similar to Google's but they do not have the breadth of advertisers that Google boasts. Advertisements are served based on topics, not to keywords. Kanoodle shares 50% of the revenue generated from the advertisements with the publisher serving the ad.

http://www.kanoodle.com





Evaluating Options

When evaluating feed ad serving solutions consider the following:



1. Ad Relevance

In order to generate revenue from RSS advertisements or for an advertising campaign to succeed using RSS as a channel. It is absolutely critical that the advertisements served in the feed contain related content, the more related the content the higher the likelihood that the advertisements will be of interest to the reader and clicked. Also the closer the content relates to the feeds theme the higher the likelihood the reader will have genuine interest in the product or service being advertised.





2. Ad Ratio

Publishers need to retain control over the frequency of advertisements. Readers will become frustrated with feeds that are heavily laden with advertisements and genuine content.



The advertiser is happy as they are reaching a targeted audience the publisher is happy because their advertisement is being clicked and generating revenue.



3. Clearly Denoted as Ads

The debate over editorial control and advertisements rage on. It is generally considered proper net etiquette for publishers to clearly mark advertisements to distinguish them from editorial web content. When selecting a RSS advertising partner consider the context in which the advertisements are displayed. Does it blend with the feed or site, while still being clearly marked sponsored material? Or does the content blend so well that it appear as a product or service endorsement from the publisher? Credibility and reputation online matter, and the segregation of advertisements and ensuring they are properly denoted as such will go a long way to enhance credibility with readers.



Clearly as RSS increases in popularity publishers are looking for ways to monetize their content. RSS in advertising is a logical step, and striking a balance between quality, consistent content and occasional related advertisements will lead to the success of advertising in RSS feeds. If the balance is not found, publishers may be forced to move to a subscription RSS feed model.



Permissions:

Permissions and notification of use not required.



Cashing In With RSS Feeds



You may already know that RSS stands for Remote Site Syndication, but what does that mean to you and more importantly, how can you use RSS to help you make more money?



Simply put, RSS feeds are written in a computer language called XML, a special mark up language much like HTML. This means that they have mechanisms included that identify structures in a document. The structures define the content and how that content will be displayed within that document. RSS is what makes big news websites possible: RSS files are used to create a data feed which will deliver headlines, links or virtually any other piece of information to a channel viewer application, commonly called a news reader.



These readers are subscribed to certain RSS feed URL's and constantly monitor them over the Internet, alerting the user when ever any new information has been added to the feed. So, how can you use this to your advantage as an internet marketer?



Here are the most popular ways to integrate RSS feeds into your marketing effort:



You can use RSS to supplement any email marketing you are currently doing, take advantage of RSS feeds to drive traffic to your blog or sales site or create your own RSS feeds so your messages and information show up on thousands of websites, blogs and desktops online.



Although many marketing gurus will claim that email marketing isn't dead, with the advent of increasing spam complaints and filters coupled with the threat of viruses originating from an email, more and more people are leery of even opening your email. So even if you have a large email list, the likelihood of your emails being opened is becoming increasingly slim.



With RSS, your messages won't ever get filtered and they will have a much higher chance of actually being read vs. email. Your marketing results can only be better when people actually read your message. You can even incorporate autoresponders in conjunction with RSS.



Including RSS feeds on your content site or blog allows you to add fully dynamic theme-related content to your web pages making your site or blog very popular with the search engines. The constantly updated content is exactly what the search engines crave and helps increase your search engine ranking, driving more traffic to your page.



Probably the best way to use RSS to help your online marketing efforts is to create your own RSS feed. This way your information will be published on any website that is using the RSS feed you are supplying that information to. There's even automated software to submit your RSS feeds to the various directories that supply the feeds to marketers using them on their websites as described above.



RSS is still a relatively unknown method of driving traffic to websites, but is becoming more popular every day. As an internet marketer, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of this new technology before the rest of the online community jumps on the bandwagon.



Enhance delivery of your Internet content to end-users with RSS



The first step in marketing your product is to get your content delivered to end-users. Only then can you communicate to them, sell your products and build lasting relationships with them. While some Internet information delivery channels fail in their purpose as in the case of e-mails. This in turn throws most of our publishing efforts to delete box. We end up wasting money, efforts and most of all our precious time. Direct marketing, direct selling, relationship building, public relations through direct communication with media, communicating with your business partners and employees, direct advertising of your products, customer announcements and updates all these are made impossible if your content cannot be delivered to the end-users. End users can be your customers, prospects, the media, business partners and employees.

RSS assures 100% delivery of the contents to the people who have willingly subscribed for your information.



Below are some general examples of the contents you can deliver to your various subscribers:

· Newspapers can use RSS feeds to deliver their latest news articles to the subscribers. This enables them to always stay informed about the flash news around the globe. The book publishers can use RSS feeds to announce their best sellers. This would help their users to keep track of releases they are most interested in.

· RSS feeds can help the affiliate managers to communicate with their affiliates.

· Banks can create RSS feeds to post their customers on their new schemes on savings or any change in the interest rates calculated etc.

· Software being the hottest on the current technology market, software companies can keep their subscribers informed on the latest downloads and relevant software packages available. They can also provide them with easy access to software updates, delivered to them exactly as they become available without the fuss of having to visit your website or deal with huge e-mail attachments. Thus avoiding Spam filters or other barricades.

· A few hundred content publishers are using RSS to deliver audio content, such as interviews even radio shows.

· Some websites allows people to post pictures, videos and text from their mobile phones via RSS feeds.

· Educational institutions use RSS to deliver educational content.

· As a supplement to their e-mail delivery some use RSS feeds to deliver their newsletters as I do with mine.

· RSS feeds can help you publish living digital catalogues of your products and provide your customers with your latest product releases. The products may be categorized so that it is easier to view and place order according to the product they are interested in.

RSS auto responders with scheduled messages can be created to keep in constant marketing touch with your prospects and slowly get them to the point

· of purchase.

· You can provide limited-access content to your customers, employees, team members and even investors, without fearing other unwanted eyes. RSS feeds can be used for internal communications, team working and other needs.



As you can see, through RSS, practically any kind of content to practically any kind of target audiences can be delivered. The only thing to be kept in mind is the content has been broken down into several individual items or stories. The opportunities for integrating RSS in to your communicational strategies are endless. There are no limits to what, who and how you can communicate through RSS.



James McIntosh has been a business development consultant for the past 23 years helping his clients start and grow a wide variety of businesses. He is the editor of the free newsletter Concept Development. The newsletter provides free and low cost methods and tools for today’s entrepreneur.



http://blog.elekta.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/rss.png

Feed The World's Press With RSS



Microsoft stands accused of usurping an emerging web application, and information professionals are advised to sit up and take notice. Not so much of the non-story itself, but the underlying trends which spell fundamental change to their industry.



To put things in perspective, here’s a tech flashback: At the height of the dot-com bubble, when billions of venture capital dollars were being blown on one 15-minute cyberfad after the next - and Netscape and Microsoft were at each other’s throats in the vicious Browser Wars - the industry media caught wind of a new buzzword: ‘Push’.



Push technology was going to redefine the web. Why should we spend hours just surfing (I mean, how much fun does that sound?) when we could spell out our requirements and allow content providers to ‘push’ what we were looking for to our desktop?



For a while there, push looked like the answer to all our web needs and in 1997, push player PointCast appeared to be actually worth the $450 million bid made by News Corp. Two years later, PointCast went for just $7 million after running into the kind of revenue problems that would burst the global dot-com bubble.



Push became synonymous with dot-com failure. Wanted to sound a bum note at a Silicon Valley party in 2001? Just slip “Boo.com”, “Irrational exuberance” or “push” into the conversation. Then sit back and watch them choke on their frappuccinos.



While push may be dead and buried, it lives on - in spirit, at least - in a technology that has been quietly taking the web by stealth. Where push tried the direct approach and failed, the new contender – RSS – has crept in through the backdoor.



Here’s the tech stuff in a nutshell: RSS (which stands for Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication; take your pick) has emerged as the dominant delivery method for news websites and weblogs.



RSS is, in turn, a file format of XML (no choice with this one, it’s Extensible Markup Language), and, frankly, even information professionals can end the tricky part of their RSS education here.



What matters now is this: RSS is everywhere. And it’s not just the 800lb gorilla sites like Google News (http://news.google.com) and Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/) making use of RSS - want to keep track of the 25 hottest urban legends? Snopes.com’s feed is here: http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.rss. Or why not subscribe to The Mead Feed(http://www.gotmead.com/atom.xml) and receive “random maunderings [sic] on the mead-making industry”.



For public relations professional, gaining comprehensive knowledge of RSS and how to use it is an absolute no brainer – major news aggregators are waiting for press releases right now, as long as they are provided in RSS format. And RSS feeds of search engine results can automate daily press clipping chores.



Even the lowliest news and information sites are offering full RSS compliance. Which is why many developers and other early adopters were outraged by Microsoft’s perceived highjacking of RSS last month.



Word hit the street that Big Bill was planning to refer to RSS feeds as “web feeds” in a future version of Internet Explorer. Foul, cried the geeks. Microsoft was simply renaming an existing technology and shouldn’t be allowed to pass this technology off as its own innovation.



But the furore was short lived when the same geeks realised the vast majority of computer users didn’t have a clue what RSS was in the first place, never mind how to put it to good use. And when it was also pointed out that Google and the open-source web browser Firefox also gave RSS feeds more user-friendly names, the Microsoft bashing died down to the usual background noise.



In fact, most commentators skimmed over the key element of the Microsoft scare: the Internet Explorer integration. It doesn’t matter what it’s called, just as long as the main players see enough potential in it to maintain and expand their support for it.



Like it or not, Microsoft still holds the lion’s share of the browser market and if RSS is to continue its conquest of the web, then a little help from Bill could be just the ticket.



How ? - RSS improve my Search Engine Rankings



1. RSS Feeds Provide Instant Themed Content?



There are several publishers of RSS feeds that are specific to a particular theme. Since the feed is highly targeted, it could contain several keywords that you want to rank highly for. Adding these keywords to your pages helps Google tag your site as one with relevant content.



2. RSS Feeds Provide Fresh, Updated Content



RSS feeds from large publishers are updated at specific intervals. When the publisher adds a new article to the feed, the oldest article is dropped.These changes are immediately effected on your pages with the RSS feed as well. So you have fresh relevant content for your visitors every hour or day.



3. RSS Feeds Result in More Frequent Spidering



One thing I never anticipated would happen as a result of adding an RSS feed to my site was that the Googlebot visited my site almost daily. To the Googlebot, my page that had the RSS feed incorporated into it was as good as a page that was being updated daily, and in its judgement, was a page that was worth visiting daily. What this means to you, is that you will have your site being indexed more frequently by the Googlebot and so any new pages that you add to your site will be picked up much faster than your competitors.



Better Search Engine Rankings with RSS



RSS



is the latest craze in online publishing. But what exactly is RSS? RSS or Rich Site Syndication is a file format similar to XML, and is used by publishers to make their content available to others in a format that can be universally understood. RSS allows publishers to "Syndicate" their content through the distribution of lists of hyperlinks.



It has actually been around for a while, but with the advent of spam filters and online blogging, it is fast becoming the choice of ezine publishers who want to get their message across to their subscribers. However, not much attention has been given to the advantages RSS provides for search engine optimization.



Why Search Engines Love RSS?



Many SEO experts believe that sites optimized around themes, or niches, where all pages correspond to a particular subject or set of keywords, rank better in the search engines. For example, if your website is designed to sell tennis rackets, your entire site content would be focused around tennis and tennis rackets.



Search engines like Google seem to prefer tightly-themed pages.



But where does RSS figure in all this? RSS feeds, usually sourced from newsfeeds or blogs, often correspond to a particular theme or niche. By using highly targeted RSS feeds, you can enhance your site's content without having to write a single line on your own. It's like having your own content writer - writing theme-based articles for you - for free!



How Can You Explode Your Website Visitors Overnight Using RSS?



Imagine a tool that would:



1. Simply allow you to add all of your RSS feeds into a list.



2. Select which RSS feed directories you would like to submit your feeds to



3. And with the push of a button blast your feed instantly to all of them



4. Possibly double or triple your income, with the extra traffic almost overnight.



RSS Announcer Is Easy To Use-

RSS announcer is so easy to use, that even a child could figure it out. When we were having the software developed my nine-year-old son did most of the testing.



He had a ball watching all the content we created showing up immediately in the major RSS directories and knowing that he and put it there all on his own what this simple to use the software.



If only he knew the value these RSS feeds can bring, we would probably have never been able to get him away from the computer



It's all been automated for you-

When you open RSS Announcer's interface you will be prompted to enter in some basic information such as the title and description of your web site, plus the actual link to your RSS feed, the category of which your RSS feed falls under, and a few other small things.



It will then save this information for future use so as you build more and more RSS feeds up, RSS Announcer will remember them for the next time you use the software.



I absolutely guarantee you will be amazed when you see the amount of time that you can save, the amount of content, you can spread all over the Internet, and the amount of extra money that content can be bringing in immediately.



If you respond immediately, you'll also receive the following:





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Together these 2 free bonuses are worth more than double your investment in “RSS Announcer”-- but they're all yours absolutely free when you order by midnight today!



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http://www.adsenseclicking.com/software/adsense_wealth_rss_announcer



How To Display An XML Feed On Your Website



Really Simple Syndication (RSS) has taken off in a big way. Just as satellite television beams more channels into your home than you can watch, RSS allows to you display an endless amount of other peoples content. Whilst RSS XML feeds are plenty, there's not as much in the way of clear, simple instruction when it comes to making use of those feeds.



If you're one of the webmasters who uses a content management system that makes using RSS XML feeds as simple as specifying a feed URL then you're fortunate in that respect. For others, the options available tend to be offered by developers of the software and the usage instructions provided can often be riddled with technical jargon. Many cry, "Use my feed", but fewer tell you how.



One of the best and easiest ways I've found to show the content from an RSS XML feed on one of my websites is to use a ready made PHP parser. Now, don't worry about what that means, just think of it as somthing that someone has already created; a blackbox that makes it easy for you to use content from RSS feeds and display it on your website.



For this guide, I've used MagpieRSS because it's compact, works well and is distributed under the GPL, which basically means it's free for you to use. Now, MagpieRSS is written in PHP so you'll need a compatible hosting account that allows you to execute PHP scripts.



For the purposes of this guide, I'm assuming you've some level of basic knowledge about websites e.g. you know how to FTP, change file permissions etc. Covering the basics of running a website is beyond the scope of this article.



Instead, let's cover what are probably the most difficult steps; displaying the content from an RSS feed on your website.



1. Download the latest stable release of MagpieRSS.

2. Extract the contents of the ZIP file onto your computer.

3. The core files you need from the ZIP package are rss_cache.inc, rss_fetch.inc, rss_parse.inc, rss_utils.inc. You'll also need the extlib folder together with the Snoopy.class.inc file inside of it.

4. Create a new file to display your RSS feed. I've called mine, index.php. Inside this file, copy and paste the contents of the file referred to below and save it.

5. Upload all of the files and the folder mentioned in steps 3 and 4 to your hosting account. Put them into the desired location, but ensure that the Snoopy.class.inc file is still within the extlib folder.

6. Then visit the file you created in step 4 using your web browser.



That's the basics of it. Once you've got this far, customising the way you present the content of the feed is relatively easy. Just refer back to the MagpieRSS website for guidance on how to do this.



How To Make Money Using Remote Site Syndication (RSS)



You may already know that RSS stands for Remote Site Syndication, but what does that really mean to you and more importantly, how can you use RSS to help you make more money?



Simply put, RSS feeds are written in XML, a special mark up language much like html. That means that they have mechanisms included that identify structures in a document. The structures define the content and how that content will be displayed within that document. RSS is what makes big news websites possible: RSS files are used to create a data feed which will deliver headlines, links or virtually any other piece of information to a channel viewer application, commonly called a news reader.



These readers are subscribed to certain RSS feeds and constantly monitor them, alerting the user when every any new information has been added to the feed. So, how can you use this to your advantage as an internet marketer? Here are the most popular ways to integrate RSS feeds into your marketing effort: you can use RSS to replace any email marketing you are currently doing, take advantage of RSS feeds to drive traffic to your blog or sales site or create your own RSS feed so your messages and information show up on thousands of websites, blogs and desktops online.



Although many marketing gurus will claim that email marketing isn't dead, with the advent of increasing spam complaints and filters coupled with the threat of viruses originating from an email, more and more people are leery of even opening your email. So even if you have a large email list, the likelihood of your emails being opened is becoming increasingly slim.



With RSS, your messages won't ever get filtered and have a much higher chance of actually being read vs. a typical email. And your marketing results can only be better when people actually read your message. You can even incorporate autoresponders in conjunction with RSS.



Including RSS feeds on your content site or blog allows you to add fully dynamic theme-related content to your web pages making your site or blog very popular with the search engines. The constantly updated content is exactly what the search engines crave and helps increase your search engine ranking, driving more traffic to your page.



Probably the best way to use RSS to help your online marketing efforts is to create your own RSS feed. This way your information will be published on any website that is using the RSS feed you are supplying that information to. There's even automated software to submit your RSS feeds to the various directories that supply the feeds to marketers using them as described above.



RSS is still a relatively unknown method of driving traffic to websites, but is becoming more popular every day. As an internet marketer, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of this new technology before the rest of the online gurus jump on the bandwagon.



Monitoring RSS Feeds



Measuring and tracking RSS while a fairly simple concept, is really anything but. Unlike websites, RSS have the added caveat of potential syndication, making accurate tracking a challenge to anyone but the extremely tech savvy.



It is not unrealistic for marketers to want to know how many subscribers they have, which items in their feeds attract the most interest, or how many click-throughs are generated as a result of an RSS feed.



There are a number of 3rd party providers who focus on tracking the consumption of RSS feeds. Some solutions are rudimentary but likely sufficient for a small business testing the waters with RSS. Other RSS tracking solutions are more complex and while they can come close to being accurate, with syndication there is no solution that tracks with 100% accuracy.



Techniques Used to track RSS Consumption

Small businesses can view web logs to provide information on how many times a specific file (RSS feed) is requested. The logs and information is rudimentary but will give a basic sense of a feeds success. Many 3rd party tracking options have additional tracking information available.



Hosting

The most common method to track the number of feed accesses or individuals accessing a feed is to use a 3rd party feed host. Companies like FeedBurner essentially track feeds based on accesses. The downside to using a 3rd party like Feedburner, is that the url is a FeedBurner url and any PageRank or popularity associated with the url will benefit the feed host rather than the feed creator. Additionally, no distinction is made between unique views or syndicate feeds.



FeedBurner provides a free no frills service to host RSS feeds and they have been proactive in circumventing user concerns. Recently implementing a service that eases users concerns about migrating from FeedBurner. There is a 3 step process for users interested in migrating from FeedBurner's free service, implementing a permanent redirect, and url forwarding.



Details can be found at:



Some publishers, who were concerned about lock-in or wanted to retain control of the domain and feed urls often resist a hosting service. The new program FeedBurner Partner Pro is not free, but allows for users to point to their own domain, retaining complete control of their feeds without sacrificing statistical tracking.



The downside to using a service like FeedBurner is that some filtering applications used on corporate proxy servers block feeds residing on FeedBurner or other free hosts.



Redirects

Companies like SyndicateIQ have more complex tracking solutions that generate unique urls for each subscriber. The tracking benefits to such a customized solution is obvious. Individual user habits can be monitored and any users abusing their access and inappropriately syndicating a feeds content can have their feed turned off. The downside of course is that the success of RSS is in a large part due to the anonymity. Users don't want their personal habits tracked.



Considering the venture capital interest in these 3rd party hosting services. It is important to note that their value is in the data that they collect. As with any 3rd party service, it goes without saying that publishers should read the privacy policy carefully, be aware of who owns the rights to the collected information, and how that information might be used. It goes without saying that the value in many of the free services currently available lies in their aggregate data.



Uniquely Named Transparent Images

Uniquely named transparent 1x1 graphics can be added to the description field of an RSS feed. Users can use standard web logs to see the number of times the image is viewed and determine the number of times the feed was accessed.



Companies Specializing in Tracking and RSS Metrics



Pheedo - Pheedo creates tools that enable individuals, organizations and corporations to promote, analyze, and optimize their weblogs and content.

http://www.pheedo.com



SyndicateIQ - SyndicateIQ's position in the content distribution chain provides clients a set of analytics.

http://www.syndicateiq.com/



FeedBurner - FeedBurner offers a full range of services to help you build awareness, track circulation, and implement revenue-generating programs in your feed(s).

http://www.feedburner.com



Each individual using RSS needs to make a decision of the extent and importance of the analytics they require. Realizing that any system they employ is not going to be perfect.



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