opinion

RSS Do’s and Don’ts

Joe D

I promised I would continue to throw up entries on the two tools I feel are the most misunderstood and underutilized in the webmaster's arsenal. I remember wanting to launch the first B2B blog portal back in early 2004...and although the domain was purchased, not everyone recognized and supported the powerful potential of blogs or wanted to invest the time and resources in them, so over the years mainstream blew everyone away with the prolific expansion of social, political and corporate blogging...just as most of the true innovation is now emanating from mainstream, as Tom Hymes recently lamented.

So as I go through all the personal notepads and journals I've accumulated, filled and kept over the years with scribblings of ideas for blogs and feeds and tools that I would one day research and write about, all those piles of paper scraps covered with quick annotations made while driving or popping wide awake at 3am with another great idea I would not have time for - I am now getting to expand on all those ideas to share here - because now I'm making time for me and what I like, and hopefully that will benefit and motivate everyone striving to create successful ethical e-commerce venues just as I am...

RSS Do’s and Don’ts

DO use targeted text to inspire your customers to click on the feed links to read more.
DON’T give away all of your content in the actual feed – remember, the idea is to get them to your site, think about it as a teaser, a thumbnail of information.

DO incorporate your brand into your feeds – remember building your brand is an excellent side effect of offering a popular RSS content feed.
DON’T be afraid to use advanced feeds to include small versions of your logos and sprinkle your text (sparingly mind you!) with trademarked phrases and keywords associated with your brand.

DO create special landing pages and articles that provide an entry to your join page or online stores.
DON’T make this a whole other project – remember reusing existing content, both text and image-based, is the backbone of a good RSS feed.

DO promote your feed as FREE CONTENT when applicable, and be sure to make registration for your free feeds easy to follow and simple to locate for your site’s visitors.
DON’T bury your feeds or make them available only on the inside of your membership area. Remember – you want to use these to attract NEW customers too!

Related Posts & Further Reading

RSS and E-Commerce

Will RSS Overtake E-mail?

Blog and RSS Essentials

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