One of the observations I’ve made during the Blog Challenge is that many people were confused and confounded by the RSS feed.
First, let’s review WHY the RSS feed is important. It’s used by both individuals and search engines.
Individuals use the RSS feed to subscribe to the list of your blog articles. If they use an RSS reader (or their email program) it automatically updates each time you post an article. It’s an easy way for them to keep up with what you’re writing.
Search engines use the RSS feed to update their records as well. That’s how they are notified that you have a new blog post.
So if your RSS feed is not working properly, you are not getting the traffic you deserve! That’s why it’s so important that you have an RSS feed that works.
One of the aspects of your profile at Meet Our Members (if you were a Blog Challenge participant) was your RSS feed. More than half of the participants do not have an RSS feed that works. There are multiple reasons for this:
1. Some chose not to add the RSS feed to their profile.
2. Some made a typo when putting it in. As much as possible we changed these as we discovered them.
3. Others put in the wrong format. While a standard WordPress blog uses blog.com/feed as the default, some people had a hard time getting that to work. Again, there were multiple reasons for this:
- Some people use feedburner for their feeds. That is fine – you just need to use the feedburner URL for the RSS feed. Again, we tried to correct as many of those as possible.
- A LOT of people have redirected to their blog, either purposely or accientally. The RSS feeds for redirected URLs are problematic.
- A LOT of people use blogspot or other non-wordpress blogs. While these are okay to start, I strongly urge you to move to WordPress on your own hosted account as quickly as possible. RSS feeds from these other types of blogs do not function as well – and you’re losing traffic as a result.
So what action should you take if your RSS feed is not showing in your profile at Meet Our Members?
1. Add your RSS feed to your profile, if it’s not already there.
2. If your RSS feed is not working, ask your webmaster for help in fixing or finding it. If you don’t have a webmaster, post a $5 job on vWorker.com to have someone figure it out for you.
Recognize that if your feed does not show in Meet Our Members, it is not being seen by other entities as well. We are using an industry-standard tool for showing the RSS feed, so if we can’t see it, no one else can either.