Many of our clients are eager to create a site that updates itself. Pulling an RSS feed into your site is one such feature, and pulling in feeds of pertinent blogs is an excellent way to update your site without doing any work. Once the feed is set up, the list of blog posts updates itself!
How do you find blogs to include?
Use Blog Directories to find pertinent blogs
The easiest way to find blogs to include is using blog directories. These are kind of like giant phone books of blogs that allow you to search by subject to find blogs you are interested in. You can then visit the blogs and decide if they are worth pulling into your site. Some of these blog directories also host blogs (like Blogger), but most do not. here are some of my favorites:
Use Google to find pertinent blogs
Search in Google by typing in “subject matter”+”blog” and you will find many blogs on your pertinent subject. Make sure to do several searches using different keywords since the blog could be indexed many ways.
Use your social media to find blogs
Many people in the industry have gotten into the habits of reading daily blogs. Use your social networking tools to seek out others who are interested in the same subject and ask them which blogs they like to read. use LinkedIn groups to pose the question, or send some tweets out on Twitter or ask your friends on Facebook.
Use Twitter subject search to find blog links
Using the subject search in the right hand column will search the content of people’s tweets. Many people use the hash tag to tag their tweets along certain subject line. This will not only lead to some interesting links, but you will probably find some great people to follow who will continue to post links to useful blogs.
Syndicating online is just like it is in other media. When Oprah first started in television, her show only aired on the local ABC station in Chicago. But when her show became syndicated, it was broadcast to all ABC stations around the country. Web syndication is a means of distributing content you have created to other places on the web. An RSS feed is the code used to share this content.
If you want to increase your online exposure, syndication is the way to go! A large component of the Internet is about sharing information. By sharing your content through a syndication feed, you are allowing others to benefit from your knowledge. In addition, you provide fresh content to other sites so they can do less work maintaining a current site.
What kind of content should I syndicate?
Anything you have that would be of interest to others. Syndication is not just for blogs, it could also be for press releases or other content within your website. It’s also not just for text either. You can also syndicate images and video. Focus on the area you have knowledge or can add value, and offer that information in an RSS feed. At Landau Design we created this blog to answer the questions all our clients ask, and we have syndicated this blog to help others who are creating or maintaining their web presence.
How do I get people to subscribe?
Make certain you have an easily visible link on your site that says “subscribe to our RSS feed.” Using the orange RSS icon is an excellent way to get your feed link noticed. In Joomla there is a syndication feature built into the system which allows for syndication of any content category. You can also subscribe your content to syndication directories, which allows users to search and select content to use on their site.
RSS is an acronym used to describe a method for aggregating and exporting site content. Also known as a web feed, RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It is a means of exporting information from a website and integrating it into another site. Specific code is integrated into the web page that allows the creators of the page to syndicate their content, and this in turn allows outside users to take the content and put it elsewhere on the web. Most pages will display the orange RSS icon (shown to the right) when that page has an RSS feed you can subscribe to.
Site owners use RSS feeds to pull outside content into their websites because it’s a means of keeping their site fresh without having to create the content themselves. Every time the source site is updated, the site a feed is pulled into is updated as well. A site receiving an RSS requires special code to integrate and display the content. In Joomla there are simple plugins we can use to quickly set up one or more RSS feeds.
Users pull RSS feeds into readers as a way of organizing all their blog reading into one place. Again, every time the source feed is updated, your reader marks the new article as unread, and you know there is something new to view.
Readers (also known as news aggregators) are an awesome way to bring together all the online content you read. Not only can you keep organized, but they make it a cinch to glance through your list and know who has made an update that you might want to read. They work by pulling all your RSS feeds from blogs and news into one window pane. Down one side they have a list of the blogs you’re subscribed to, and in the viewing pane they show the articles that have been posted. They highlight the blog titles whenever a person does an update, so in one glance you can see what new content to view.
I resisted a reader at first, but now in 15 minutes a day I can glance through 30+ blogs and read the articles that interest me. I chose the Google reader, but only because my blog is on Google and I already had an account.
Why do you need to read so many blogs? Because so many people are posting so much of what they’re thinking. Blogs are also an ideal way to learn about something new (SEO is my topic of choice these days). Many people write extensively on one topic, so you can learn a lot just by reading a few minutes daily. They’re also a great way to share information between friends. Many people write in a blog like a diary.
If you want to take in the benefits of blog information, then I would recommend a reader. You can use one online or through your computer. It will save you so much time! Here are some of the most popular readers: