an RSS feed
I had heard a lot of good things about
RSS feeds ang blogs, and that starting one was a very good
idea for traffic, return visitors and alike. With Yahoo
starting a new RSS directory, i thought that it was more
than time to get my feeds into action. Firstly I had to
figure out what an RSS feed was exactly, most of the pages
I found about RSS left me more confused. Eventually it clicked,
a I understood what an RSS feed was. Then I set about finding
out how ones made, I found the XML specification, which
looked rather daunting. I looked for some free software
for making one, but what I found was quite complicated to
setup and use, and I'm a programmer! I thought what was
needed was a simple piece of software that made making an
RSS feed easy. Then a clear cut step by step guide of how
to setup the feed, and make it work for you. So here we
go, I couldn't find it so I decided to make it myself! I've
put together a piece of software that is easy to setup and
use, and makes the RSS feed(s) for you, and this guide telling
how to put it all together.
So what is an RSS feed?
An RSS feed is very much like a bulletin
board. You post an article with a headline, and visitors
can view and read through your articles. Often readers are
encouraged to add comments to the articles. What's special
about RSS is that the articles are available as a feed.
This means that the readers don't have to come to you to
get the latest news, you send it to them (you don't actually
send anything, read on). The feed is an XML version of your
articles, which can be read by RSS readers. Basically visitors
to your site that use an RSS reader can subscribe to your
feed by adding your feeds XML file to their readers list.
Then whenever you update your feed with a new article the
reader automatically gets notified. An RSS feed is also
know as a Blog for those of you who have wondered what a
Blog is. If this is still sounding a bit alien to you, download
an RSS reader, I chose RSS
reader (no reason why, just sounded straight forward)
there is a good list of available
readers here. Grab the URL from one of the feeds at
the bottom of this page, and you'll see how it works.
So what do I need to do
to set one up?
Firstly you'll want to decide what's it's
going to be about, this has to be something related to your
sites content if you want your feed to be useful. My feed
for this site is "free cgi scripts news". Once
you know what your articles are going to be about you want
to get some easy to use software that'll do it for you.
I've developed CosmicSimpleRSS, free
rss software based on our free BBS script. I makes setting
up an RSS feed or create blog
for your site as simple as it's going to get, and it's completely
FREE. It creates you a feed in RSS 1 and RSS 2, which should
be more than enough to please most RSS readers. The software
provides a guide for setting up your feed. Once you have
your feed in place the next step will guide you through
getting your feed noticed, and adding it to your site so
that the search engines, and browsers know it's there.
How do I get subscribers?
Now that you've got your feed you'll want
to start signing up subscribers. The first steps for doing
this are getting the feed links on your site.
- Add your feed to your HTML page as a link tag in your
head area. So between <head> and </head> at
the top of your page add:-
title="Free cgi scripts news as RSS 1" />
title="Free cgi scripts news as RSS 2" />
This will let browsers and search engines know where to
find your RSS feed(s).
- Add RSS buttons to your page so that visitors can see
and choose your feed. Popular graphics for this are:-
Link these buttons direct to your RSS XML feed.
- Add a button for MyYahoo so that Yahoo uses can add
your directly to their home page.
- Get yourself listed in the new Yahoo RSS directory.
I found this yahoo
- Submit your RSS feed to all the RSS
and Blog directories and search engines that you can
find. I found that site had enough to keep me busy.
- Keep your feed updated, and don't fill it full of commercial
promotions. Readers can unsubscribe to your feed at will,
so to keep them you'll have to give them information that
they want to hear.
That's it. I hope this guide has helped! If you are thankful
and want to give something back to me then please look through
the free scripts offered on this site, and subscribe to
one or more of my RSS feeds:-
"Free cgi scripts news" The RSS feed for this
"CGI website software news" The RSS feed for CosmicPerl.com.
"Affiliate marketing news" The RSS feed for AllAffiliatePro.com.
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