Stay Informed: Learn About RSS Feeds

One of the smartest things a new blogger can do, other than writing their own content, is to keep track of what others are doing. This is especially true if you are running a news focused blog, or are trying to compete with another blogger. Many of you probably understand that there are RSS feeds, and that you can subscribe to them, but do you know how or why?

In talking to a client of mine, I was asked, “why do I want to subscribe, rather than just bookmark and check back in?”

The simple answer to this is: so new content gets pushed to you. If you don’t want to miss potentially important content, and want to receive it in a reasonably timely fashion, making sure to subscribe to various RSS feeds, is like buying into your own, personalized newspaper consisting of all your favorite blogs. This will allow you to be more efficient, and if you turn that time savings into writing time, you’ll produce more content.

If you are still bookmarking sites, and visiting them each day, or getting their content in your e-mail inbox. How does that help you? Why are you still doing that when we have RSS subscriptions now that are near instant in pushing content out to you, easy to manage, and powerful, when you dive deep into controlling them.

Currently, I use Bloglines as my RSS reader of choice. It is a hosted, web-based service that makes subscribing, managing subscriptions and reading my subscriptions from any computer connected to the Internet very easy. I know the more popular choice is Google Reader, another hosted service, but I’ve never been completely happy with their user interface (probably because I used Bloglines first and have become accustomed to how it works).

There are also hundreds of desktop clients that you can install on your computer, no matter the operating system you use, and thus allow you to download and read your content when not connected to the Internet, or notify you when you have new content to read in a more “attention grabbing” way than an online RSS reader can do.

If you are looking for more information on the best available options, LifeHacker did a roundup a while back with some great choices.

Start using an RSS reader, keep yourself organized and informed, and you might just be more productive on your blog, but don’t blame me if you start subscribing to everything under the sun, and it consumes your whole day. RSS subscription overload can be a common problem as well. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

8 thoughts on “Stay Informed: Learn About RSS Feeds

  1. David, Thanks for your valuable information. Your article is really helpful for the people I believe. Of course I have learned a lot from your posting. It is highly recommended. šŸ™‚

  2. Hi David

    Thanks for the valuable RSS information. I’ve never understood RSS, still don’t fully but clearly its a must have item if you are to keep abreast with the goings on in the blogosphere!

  3. Hi David,

    RSS feeds are great for keeping track of what is happening on blogs you know about, but what about blogs you do not know about? Some of these are also worth reading.

    I use Feedly/Google Reader for my RSS feeds, but I also use Google Alerts to track of keywords I am interested in. My inbox does get a bit busy at times, but I have come across some very interesting blogs using Google Alerts.

  4. Hi David,

    Keeping track of what else is going on in the blogosphere is essential for any serious blogger. I must have about 200+ blog RSS feeds plugged into my Wizz RSS feeder for Firefox now!

    It’s great – I can keep a track quckly of hundreds of blog posts and also have an unlimited supply of new post material and commenting opportunities.

    Long live RSS!


  5. Thanks for the tip. I never thought about subscribing to rss feeds, but now that I think about it, it is a better way keep up with trending topics based on the subject of my blog. Iā€™m going to bloglines right now to check it out.

    Danni diarrhea

  6. RSS feeds is a good way to build your link. Actually i know some pattern of oneway back link building.
    first, you have to have 10 blogs that has customizable sidebar like BLogger. In blogger you can put RSS feed into its side bar also WordPress too. for example. blogger’s RSS will be put on wordpress side bar and wordpress feed will be put on the next blog. if you have 10 blog hosting the 10th blog feed will be put on 1st blog sidebar. All blog should have your main site.

    And now when you promote it by submitting all FEEDS into RSS directories. It will give you a quality back link and every time you post new to your blog, it add up to your sites backlink points.

  7. Thanks for the tip. I never thought about subscribing to rss feeds, but now that I think about it, it is a better way keep up with trending topics based on the subject of my blog. I’m going to bloglines right now to check it out.

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