Posts Tagged ‘Readers’
When I was a new blogger I remember one thing that used to confuse me time and time again- RSS. I saw the term keep cropping up and I had no idea what it was all about. Yet actually your RSS feed is a very important part of your blog and one that new bloggers should be aware of.
Fear not, we are here to demystify it!
RSS stands for Rich Site Summary but is often termed Really Simple Syndication. That clearly means nothing to me so lets simplify it even further…
RSS is a nifty bit of cyber geekery that is being used by thousands of bloggers all across the world, essentially enabling them to keep track of websites and blogs that they love. That way they never miss a post. I remember the old days of copying and pasting website content into Word if I came across one I liked, or book marking or saving the page. With RSS you don’t need to worry about any of this- it automatically accesses new information and sends it to you so you can read it when you have a free moment.
I like to think of it like this. Say you really loved ‘Glamour’ or another monthly magazine and you never wanted to miss a copy. You could sign up for a subscription to the magazine and it would get delivered to your door every month. Perfect now you will never miss an issue. RSS is exactly like that. You subscribe to the blog or website you like and it will automatically get delivered into your inbox each time they write a new post or update their content. The only difference RSS is completely free!
How do I find my blogs RSS Feed?
Atom 1.0: http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
RSS 2.0: http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
Try doing it for your blog url and you will be able to find your RSS feed straight away. Another way you can find a sites RSS feed is by clicking on the right hand side corner of the url box…e.g
If you click on this you will be able to get the feed url from the url box. The symbol may vary depending on what browser you are using but the icon should always be on the right hand side.
It is always useful to know where your RSS is as some blog subscription services like ebuzzing or technorati need this in order to proceed with validating your blog. (Don’t worry more about these in a later post!)
Subscribing to another bloggers RSS feed.
Reading blogs and commenting and engaging with others is a huge part of the blogging community. Therefore you may want to subscribe to a few other bloggers RSS feeds. I have hundreds in my reader and try and read as many as I can in a week, but there are a few which I comment on all the time. However it is important to comment on as many as you can so you can involve yourself in the community.
There are a number of ways of subscribing to a bloggers RSS feed.
Firstly you can do it on the blog itself.
Nowadays there are lots of ways in which you can subscribe on the blog itself. You may have seen a number of different icons or widgets, there are lots of different types but basically they all do the same thing. Here are some examples of what you might see.
One big player in this market is Feedburner, I use this for my blog and it allows readers to use a widget box on my blog to subscribe via email. There are lots out there though so if you see something similar to one of the images above, just click on it and follow the instructions and you will be a subscriber in no time!
Another way in which you can subscribe to a blog is via a reader. There are a fair few out there but a popular one is Google Reader. Basically you can group all the blogs you like together in one convenient place, it works a bit like an email software- the unread ones are in bold and you can have the choice of reading them or skipping them and moving on the next one. You can read the post in the reader service, or you can click on it and go through to the actual post if you wanted to comment or look at more. Readers are a great way of getting to grip with RSS as they are really straightforward and easy to use.
Lastly you can follow the RSS feed by clicking on the right hand side of the url box (like discussed above)
When you click on the icon it takes you through to a screen which will look something like this (depending on your browser)
From here you can go down to the bottom right hand side and click ‘subscribe in mail’ or something similar. This is the way I use to read other blogs, it means that when I open Apple Mail I have all my blogs I read listed and I get daily updates depending on whether they have posted or not.
So there we have it. A really simple (hopefully) guide to RSS. I think sometimes these things are a lot less complicated than they appear to be. Hopefully now you will be able to find your RSS feed for your blog and also will be able to follow some other blogs as well.
By all means feel free to click our RSS button and subscribe to us or follow us via email. If you have any questions about RSS leave a question in the comment box and we will be sure to help.