Monday, September 19, 2005

Encourage your visitors to subscribe to your feed

Topic: Using RSS to bring visitors to your website or blog.
Today: Encourage your blog visitors to subscribe to your Feed

Now that your blog has a Feed (either RSS or Atom), provide a way for your visitor to subscribe to the feed.

I am surprised when I visit blogs that have feeds, but have nothing on the blog to encourage visitors to subscribe. (I peek at the HTML source to find out there is a Feed.) It is a little like publishing an ezine with no way for people to sign-up for the ezine.

This is a very easy step. There is no reason not to.
This is how to encourage your visitors to subscribe to your Feed.

The basics:
- Create a hyperlink on your blog that points to your feed URL. The anchor text can say "RSS" or "Feed" or "RSS Feed" or "Subscribe to my Feed". That is all that is required to get started.

Add a graphic:
- You can add one of the orange RSS or XML graphics to the hyperlink. The following directory has a random collection of RSS and XML graphics.

Add buttons:
- You can add special buttons for those that use the popular RSS Readers. Yahoo, Bloglines and Newsgator have instructions for webmasters to make it easy for your visitors to subscribe. Most of them generate the HTML for you.

for Yahoo -
for Bloglines -
For Newsgator -

And the final optional piece:
- You can include a link to a URL that describes what a feed is for those that have no idea.

Here is just one of many examples where someone did a thorough job of helping people to subscribe. (Scroll down to How to subscribe to our RSS feeds)


And if all that is too much, you can use FeedBurner, which is the next topic.

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