by Sharon Housley
You have an RSS feed and you have worked hard to get the word out. According to your logs you have subscribers! Now the hard part: how to retain the subscribers to your RSS feed. Follow these simple steps to insure that your subscriber base will grow.
1. Original Content
A consistent stream of original content will do well to earn subscribers loyalty. The best RSS feeds provide content that is compelling and unique. Do not rehash existing content, look for a unique angle or spin if you wish to cover something that is hot in the blogosphere.
2. Quality Over Frequency
A posts quality is far more important than a post's frequency. Readers will tire of rambling or nonsensical posts that contain no real value. Time is precious and there are plenty of feeds and blogs, in order to retain readers provide quality not quantity.
3. Get it Right
Syndication has the power to do damage; misquoting or just plain getting it wrong can affect your reputation and perpetuate incorrect information. Be sure to verify all your RSS feed and blogs information prior to posting.
Blog posts are not instant messages: you should always use proper grammar, correct spelling and punctuation. Your posts are a reflection of your knowledge; content presentation matters and will affect how you are viewed.
Do not constantly gripe, no one likes a whiner. If you are going to complain it is not enough to point out problems, you should offer a suggestion for improvement or specifics on how to solve a problem.
Titles of RSS Feed Items and Headlines of blog posts should relate to the contents of the actual post. There is nothing worse than just tempting readers with information and not following through. Use catchy titles but be sure to follow it with related content. In your actual posts, strike a balance be sure to provide enough information without overwhelming readers.
Regardless of your RSS feeds focus' stay on topic! Your feed or blog posts will generally revolve around a specific theme, don't stray too far or you might lose readers. If your RSS feed has a specific theme, stay true to that theme.
8. Length Matters
Not too long, not too short it is a difficult balance, but your post length does matter! If a post is excessively long consider breaking it up or partitioning it into easy to digest paragraphs or break it up into multiple posts. Post length should be consistent throughout your blog and feed. Try not to vary it too much.
As a publisher, you want to be viewed as a credible source. Posting or reposting inaccurate information will reduce if not nullify any credibility that you have. Provide credentials when offering an opinion and be sure any factual information is accurate before posting.
Include links to any related information in the description field of your RSS feed, this is a great way to supplement content. Outgoing links will also often result in links back to your blog or website.
It is important to remain consistent, try not to vary too much in your daily posts. Stay true to your formula for content if it is working.
12. Listen to Your Audience
Readers will often communicate what they like and what they dislike about your content. It is important that you stay in tune with what your subscribers like and don't like and make the appropriate accommodations.
Do not clutter your RSS feed with advertisements. If you choose to include advertisements in your RSS feed be sure to strike a balance between advertisements and quality content.
Starting an RSS feed or is not difficult to attract readers, it is however difficult to retain readers. By following a few simple unwritten rules you will find your subscriber base swell.
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About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.