Mar 15 2007

Introduction to Feed Reading

As the months have gone on, it’s become extremely difficult to keep updated with everyone’s blog that I read, by visiting each of them.

That’s where feed reading comes in handy.

What is a RSS feed?

To put it simply, it is the blogs content. By subscribing to each blogs feed, you can then keep track of them all at once. I use Google Reader, but there are many alternatives that act the same.

Why should I subscribe?

The main point is simple, ease. It’s easy to simply subscribe to a blog and then keep track of it on the same page all of the other blogs are. You can easily find out when its updated, and read all of the most recent entries within minutes. No need to wait for the site to load, guess when it is going to be updated, or wait for it to be delivered to your email.

The downside seems to be small. However, there is nothing small when it comes to traffic. Since Blog about your Blog has seen an increase of feed reader subscribers, we’ve seen a small decrease in regular traffic. That just means, those 40 people that used to visit the blog, now don’t really have to daily, unless to comment.

If traffic decreases, what is the benefit?

Most bloggers seem to like traffic, but more importantly, want their blog to be read. And when it’s read, they want it to be read by many. That’s always been my goal. I like knowing that 40(ish) people are going to read our content everyday. Not because they find it randomly, but because they want to. So by making your blog easy to add to feed reading, you are increasing the chance of that reader to come back and contribute.

Since the increase in subscribed readers, we have also experienced an increase in comments as well as participation in more bloggers.

How can feed reading be made easier?

If you haven’t installed the wordpress plugin for feedburner I suggest you do. Before the install, our feed count displayed under 10, now it displays 40. That is because not everyone was subscribed through feedburner. Now with the plugin, it directs all our feed readers through feedburner.

Not only does it better display the actual feedcount, but it also gives customized options to leave a comment, digg us, submit to reddit, and more.

If you are struggling to visit your favorite blogs everyday, check out their feed. If you don’t find one I suggest you simply ask. If not it is pretty easy to find out what their feed url is to subscribe to. If you haven’t made your feed available to your readers, you are already a step behind a lot of blogs.

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10 Comments on this post


  1. Blog About Your Blog wrote:

    [...] 1. Introduction to Feed Reading [...]

    May 14th, 2007 at 1:32 pm
  2. 6 Great Tips for Hosting a Blogging Contest wrote:

    [...] has benefits for you. Whether you are trying to rank for a certain keyword in google, or get your RSS Feed Readership up, base your contest on that. You can even get that all in one. “Linkback to our website [...]

    July 12th, 2007 at 7:01 pm
  1. Tony said:

    Firefox makes it extremely easy to spot the feed address – it displays that little RSS icon next to the URL whenever it finds one.

    March 15th, 2007 at 3:36 pm
  2. Lee said:

    Also for firefox they have a plugin called Sage that I HIGHLY recommend!!!

    March 15th, 2007 at 3:47 pm
  3. Matt said:

    I didn’t even think of that tony, I just recently started using a new version of Mozilla. Thank you for that.

    Great recommendation Lee. I’m definitely not an expert, I love the addition.

    Remember to Digg Us!

    March 15th, 2007 at 4:09 pm
  4. Jennifer said:

    Just take your regular traffic statistics and add onto that your reader statistics and you will instantly feel like a star. LOL…

    There goes your disadvantages of the feed out the window. I love my reader and your chances of me reading your site without a feed. Zero… Yeah, I almost don’t even visit sites without a feed. Isn’t that crazy. LOL…

    March 15th, 2007 at 4:55 pm
  5. Ed the Editor said:

    We have a feedburner feed that is based on the original .xml address, but it seems that only a handful access the site via Feedburner.

    However according to the stats there are about 100 a day accessing the site via the original .xml URL for the Pisstakers homepage.

    Is there any way of combining Feedburner and non Feedburner stats into a nice button? thanks

    March 15th, 2007 at 6:05 pm
  6. Jon Lee said:

    I used to use Google Reader, but now I use a greasemonkey script that integrates Google Reader with GMail.

    March 16th, 2007 at 7:55 am
  7. ryan444123 said:

    I will definantly be installing that wordpress hack, it is on my list of many to install when my blog moves to my reseller account. Cheers!


    I am more likely to comment on something intresting in a feedreader than a blog. Not sure why.

    March 16th, 2007 at 12:17 pm
  8. Matthew Jabs said:

    Hey Matt…

    This is a great post all about RSS feeds. I have one suggestion: the plugin you gave has some competition. There is a plugin (recently adopted by Feedburner) that does the same thing. You may have seen it.

    Anyway, here is the link. I’ve had it installed for a few months now, and actually just wrote a new post about Feedburner adopting it from the original author.

    May 14th, 2007 at 4:05 pm


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