What’s a Feed?
Feeds are a way of sharing content. When you make material from your web site, like articles and blogs, available for publishing on other sites, you have to provide them with a code that lets them post those things. There are different kinds of code — XML, RSS, Atom, etc. — but essentially, they’re all just different ways of accessing a feed.
According to Internet expert Sydney Johnston, “The great thing about a feed is everybody wins.” The article writer gains exposure, the reader learns about something valuable or interesting, and the online seller gets an endless source of pertinent content for their web site.
What Can a Feed Do for My Online Business?
Feeds are useful in a number of different ways:
• They Eliminate Spam Filters.
They’re 100% opt-in, so readers can subscribe and unsubscribe at will. Feeds are delivered directly to your subscribers, so you don’t have to contend with filters knocking you out of your customers’ inboxes.
• They Provide Free Content.
One of the best ways to differentiate your site is with quality content. Supply readers with interesting material; educate them on topics relating to the product you’re selling. If you sell preschool toys, you may not want to study child development and write numerous articles on the subject — so find someone else who’s already done that and make their feed available to your customers. The constantly updating, applicable subject matter gives your visitors a reason to come back again and again.
• They Can Improve Your Search Engine Rankings.
In the past, search engines were unable to read feeds, but software is now available to translate them into live links the engines can see (check out http://CyberWS.com). Search engines love fresh, dynamic content, so feeds are ideal. They provide relevant information that updates automatically. Not only do your customers get the facts they’re looking for, but the search engines like your site and give it better positioning.
• For Affiliate Marketers, They’re an Alternative to Banners.
You not only give your customer valuable knowledge, but if they click through and purchase something, you get credit. And unlike with banners, you don’t look like you’re putting up junk ads or spam.
• They Can Increase Your Traffic.
Anything you write, you should make available as a feed. When other sites pick it up, it’s free advertising for you. All their traffic is able to click through the feed to your site, so you gain new potential customers you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Feeds on any subject are easy to find. There’s a whole collection of search engines created just for feeds, like http://Plazoo.com and http://Feedster.com. Says Johnston, “The future of the Internet for entrepreneurs is feeds. If people don’t master them, they’re going to get left behind. Period.”