Greetings! I’m on a train en route for Anthrocon as this post goes live. Last time, I talked about email subscriptions for blogs. Each and every comics blog, or any blog for that matter, should have one. But there’s something else that a blog should have and it’s a great way to attract readers to your Web presence. That is an RSS feed. Huh? What’s that? You don’t know what an RSS feed is? Well, let me explain.
RSS is usuallly represented by this icon you see here (my facsimile thereof). RSS usually stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a format that allows for publication of frequently updated works such as blogs and multimedia.
Many Web users out there like to use feeds and feed readers to check out their favorite content. By offering RSS feeds, you can let users read content from your blog all without having to go to your page.
Well, that sounds all and good to some of you. But how do you go about offering an RSS feed on your blog? Once more, Google Feedburner (the same tool I talked about in the email subscription blog post) can come to the rescue and give you a feed.
You’ll need a Google account at the very least. Sign into Feedburner with your Google account information. If you don’t have one…don’t worry. You can sign up for one; it’s free. The Feedburner MyFeeds page will open up and look for the “burn a feed” box. Type your blog’s URL into that box and click next.
The Identify Feed Source page will open up after that. It will list the feeds that are available on your URL. Click the feed you want to track so that there’s a green circle in the button.
Click Next from there. Feedburner will confirm the feed and click Next on that page so that you can get a page saying that the feed is ready. From there, you’ll get options for putting the feed on your blog, be it TypePad, WordPress.com, a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, etc. If anyone gets lost or my instructions aren’t clear enough, check out Google Feedburner’s help feature. It’ll answer all your questions.
Once you have an RSS feed, you can tell people to subscribe to it. It’s a good idea to subscribe to your own feed to make sure it’s working okay. RSS feeds for blogs, especially comics blogs, are a major boon and will help pull in more traffic and readers to your site.
So how do you tell if RSS feeds for blogs exist?
Just look for that orange icon on a page or blog. That will tell you that it has an RSS feed.
How do you go about reading and subscribing to a feed? Many browsers like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox have built-in feed readers. You also have feed aggregators out there such as Google Reader. There are many aggregators out there and listing them all would take a lot of time so check out this handy list complete with comparisons between the different ones. Some sites out there like NewsGator and FeedDemon also allow for reading feeds.
In conclusion, there’s no reason why your comics blog (and any other kind of blog) shouldn’t have RSS available for it. Not having one is like having one hand tied behind your back.
Any comments and feedback are welcome. Do you use RSS feeds on your site? What readers or aggregators do you use?
Be sure to subscribe to my own blog via email or RSS if you haven’t already. Well, what are you waiting for? Do it and be sure you look into getting your own RSS feeds for blogs.