RSS isn’t dead, no matter what you might have read to the contrary. Especially when you learn how to use an RSS aggregator to help improve SEO & traffic.
Feedly, one of the most popular RSS readers, gained over 12 million users when Google got rid of Google Reader in 2013.
Even if you don’t want to grow an RSS subscriber base, you can use RSS to promote your content on a massive level.
What You Will Learn
In this post, I’m going to show you how you can use RSS to amplify the reach of your content.
You will learn how to do the following-
- Find all of your RSS feeds.
- How to use an RSS aggregator to combine your feeds.
- Use your RSS feed to get more traffic to your content.
- Put your content promotion on auto pilot
- The secret world of RSS SEO
Find Your Blog’s RSS Feed
To promote your content using RSS, first, you’ll need your RSS feed.
If you use WordPress (self-hosted or the .com version), it’s pretty simple. Just add /feed to the end of your blog URL.
If you have a Tumblr blog, you add /rss to the end of your blog URL.
If you’re having trouble finding an RSS feed, you can install the RSS Subscription Google Chrome Extension. It will detect RSS feeds on any website.
To get the feed URL, click on the RSS icon in your browser’s address bar.
Find Your RSS Feed on Other Blogs
Not everyone writes solely on their own blog. If you write for other sites, you’ll want to promote that content too.
Finding your RSS feed on another blog can be tricky, but it can be done.
Start by finding your author page on the blogs you write for. You can do this by clicking on your name in your latest post.
Next, look on the author page. Some blogs will give you your RSS feed.
For others, you’ll need to use the RSS Subscription Google Chrome Extension mentioned earlier.
Be sure to actually test out that author-specific RSS feed. Some blogs will redirect all RSS feeds from their site to their main feed.
In the event that the blog you write for redirects your RSS feed to the main feed, or you can’t find your RSS feed at all, there’s a workaround.
The workaround is a little service called Zapier.
It allows you to create a custom RSS feed from another RSS feed.
You start by creating a new “zap” (kind of like IFTTT recipes) that says when a new feed item appears in one RSS feed, it will be added to another custom RSS feed.
You will hit Continue three times. Then you will enter the RSS feed from the site you write for.
And you will filter it to find only your posts.
Next, you will configure the new feed that will contain only your posts from the blog you write for. (Be sure to copy the URL to your custom RSS feed to your Clipboard at the top.)
Setup the publish date field and hit Continue.
You will then get the option to test your zap. If you have recently published a blog post on this site, it will appear in the test. Click the Test Zap with this sample button to add that post to your custom RSS feed.
Once you’ve confirmed the zap works, hit Continue, name your zap, and turn it on. Name it something you’ll recognize later so you can go in and get your RSS feed URL when needed.
Or, better yet, as you find or create your RSS feeds from different publications, put them in a spreadsheet or text file for future reference.
You can create up to five zaps for free, so hopefully you don’t have more than five publications that are difficult with your RSS feed.
Combine Your Feeds With An RSS Aggregator
If you don’t have multiple RSS feeds from different sites you write for, then you can skip this section. But if you do, you will love this tip.
For those with self-hosted WordPress blogs, install this free RSS aggregator WordPress plugin. Then add each of your RSS feeds (including your own blog’s RSS) as a new feed source.
Once you’re finished, you can go to http://yourdomain.com/wprss and have an RSS feed that combines all of the RSS feeds that you entered as feed sources.
If you don’t like http://yourdomain.com/wprss, go to the WP RSS Aggregator plugin settings. You will see a custom feed URL (which defaults to wprss) and custom feed title.
You can change the feed URL to something custom (but not feed as that will conflict with your blog) and change the title, or leave them as is.
Now, you have one RSS feed for all of the posts on your blog and all of the ones you contribute to other blogs.
You can also use an online RSS aggregator like RSSMix but I prefer to have it hosted and under my control.
How to Use RSS for Content Amplification
Armed with your blog’s RSS feed or an RSS feed that includes all of the posts you write on the web, you are ready to start the content amplification and promotion process.
Without further ado, here are eight ways you can use to spread your content.
1. Promote Your Latest Posts Everywhere with IFTTT
IFTTT allows you to create recipes that are triggered each time a new item is added to your RSS feed. To create a recipe with your RSS feed, you will start by choosing feed.
You will choose the new feed item trigger and then enter your RSS feed URL.
You will choose an action channel from over 150 channels. For this example, we’ll choose Twitter.
You will choose the action of post a tweet, and then you will customize the tweet you want to send when a new feed item is published to your RSS feed.
You can customize your tweet based on ingredients from your RSS feed.
Finally, you will name your recipe and save it. Whenever new posts are published to your RSS feed, IFTTT will automatically tweet it using this recipe.
As I mentioned, there are over 150 channels on IFTTT. Here are some that you can set up with your RSS feed to promote and distribute your content.
- Feed to Blogger – Creates new posts on Blogspot blogs with links your latest posts.
- Feed to Buffer – Shares your latest posts to Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages, groups), LinkedIn (profiles, pages), and Google+ (pages).
- Feed to Delicious – Creates Delicious bookmarks for your latest posts.
- Feed to Diigo – Creates Diigo bookmarks for your latest posts.
- Feed to Facebook – Shares your latest posts to Facebook profiles, pages, and groups.
- Feed to LinkedIn – Shares your latest posts to LinkedIn profiles.
- Feed to Reddit – Creates new links to your latest posts on Reddit.
- Feed to Storify – Creates new stories linking to your latest posts on Storify.
- Feed to Tumblr – Creates new posts on Blogspot blogs with links your latest posts.
- Feed to Twitter – Shares your latest posts to Twitter.
- Feed to WordPress – Creates new posts on WordPress blogs with links your latest posts.
As you can see, you can automate some social sharing, bookmarking, and link building to your posts using your RSS feed and channels on IFTTT.
2. Send Your Latest Posts to Your Email List
If you are likely to publish more than one new blog post per day, you may want to choose the daily digest option. You don’t want people to unsubscribe because they are being bombarded with emails.
Choosing this option is especially important for those that write for multiple blogs and have no control over the publishing schedule.
3. Syndicate Your Latest Posts to Other Blogs
Did you know that there are blogs that will allow you to contribute content to them via your RSS feed?
Here are just a few that I found and a link to their full policies. Be sure that your content matches theirs, otherwise it will be approved.
- Business 2 Community
- Social Media Today
- The Patriotic VanGuard
- Data Science Central
- Share Aviation
- Defero Law
- Do We Comply
Follow the directions on each site carefully – some will require you to get approved as an author on the site prior to submitting your RSS feed.
I would suggest only sharing content from your own blog. Other sites you contribute to may not want you to share the blog posts you write for them in whole on other sites.
Also, you have to have your RSS feed set to share the full content of your blog posts. Otherwise, they cannot publish your posts.
4. Get Your Latest Posts Listed on Alltop
Alltop is a popular blog directory that displays the latest five posts from popular blogs in hundreds of categories.
Simply create a free account on Alltop and submit your blog (and your blog’s RSS feed) when ready.
Make sure your blog has some quality, recent content to choose from. That way, when the editor goes to approve it, they will have no trouble doing so.
5. Get Others to Promote Your Latest Posts on Triberr
Want to have groups of people with an audience reach of millions to share your posts? Give Triberr a try.
Once you sign up and set up a profile with your RSS feed, start looking for tribes with one or two people that you know to see if you can get an invite.
Or, create your own tribe.
If you create your own tribe, convince everyone to auto-share. Or to visit at least once a day to share everyone’s content.
That way, the content from your RSS feed will get shared often.
6. Link Your Latest Posts to Blog Comments
Have you seen blogs with a CommentLuv reference in the comment form?
If so, start commenting. You’ll not only get a link to your website, but you’ll get a link from your latest blog post pulled from your RSS feed.
It happens automatically – you will get the option (in most cases) to select one out of up to ten of your latest posts, depending on the blog owner’s CommentLuv settings.
While this isn’t an automated way of getting exposure for your content, it is a great way to network with others while getting links to your latest posts.
If you want to choose a post from a different RSS feed, but still link to your website in the website field, you can.
Start by entering your RSS feed URL as your website URL. Select the post you want to add to your comment.
Fill out the rest of the form, including your comment.
Before you submit your comment, change the website URL to your main site’s URL. Do not put your cursor in any other field of the comment form and click the submit comment button.
You’ll now have a link to your website and a link to your latest post off of any other RSS feed. This tactic is good if you are using a WP RSS Aggregator feed.
7. Link Your Latest Posts to Forum Posts
Have you been on a forum and seen a link to someone’s latest blog post when they post in a thread?
Some forums allow you to add your RSS feed to your forum profile and will link to your latest blog post automatically when you post in a thread.
When you see this in a forum you belong to, go to your user control panel and edit your profile. You will find the following field to enter your RSS feed.
Once you’ve entered this, you can start posting throughout the forum (not as a spammer, of course) and promote your latest blog post.
Again, this isn’t 100% automated. But it’s a great way to get exposure for yourself and your blog posts with a new audience.
Add Your Latest Posts to Your Email Signature
Anytime you email someone, you should be promoting your latest blog post to them. You can do so automatically using a service called WiseStamp.
When you create a signature, make sure to add the blog RSS feed app with your feed.
Your latest posts will be appended to all of your emails going forward!
Wrapping It Up
I hope you’ve discovered that RSS isn’t dead, but rather a powerful tool you can use to get more exposure for your content.
Especially when you use an RSS aggregator to combine RSS feeds from multiple sources.
Have you used an RSS feed aggregator to help promote your content? If so, please share how you’ve done it in the comments!