Blog Lesson: RSS and Other Feeds
Most blogging tools or services including the ability to automatically create RSS or Atom feeds of your blog entries. These "feeds" are XML-based representations of your recent blog entries. While the feeds themselves may seem a little cryptic, they are highly structured, which enables external applications and services to fetch and display your blog entries. For example, someone might use a web service such as BlogLines to monitor and read blog entries from many blogs in one place. One of the obvious benefits of this, is that subscribers of your feeds are more likely to return to your blog in the future. because they subscribe to your feed, the feed reader application or service will essentially remind them about your blog, notifying them when you post new entries.
So it is important to note that by publishing RSS or Atom feeds, you are likely to generate more repeat visitors. While this is always a good thing, if you are like me, you are very interested in attracting new first-time visitors to your site. In an indirect way, publishing feeds can help you achieve this:
Other bloggers will subscribe to your feed if they find your blog interesting. In future, they may link to one of your blog entries.
The first part of this lesson is to understand that bloggers, more than most people, are active users of feed reader tools and services. Many bloggers will subscribe to feeds from many blogs that interest them, and check the feeds daily for new, interesting entries. The second part of this lesson relates to one of the previous Blog Lessons: bloggers love to link to other blogs. Knowing that bloggers like to link to other blogs, your feed will remind them about your blog, increasing the chances that they will read future entries, thus increasing the chance that they will link to one of your entries in the future. And if they do link, this will bring in new first-time visitors via that link (not to mention the SEO value of that link).