What’s a Feed?
Feeds are a way of sharing content. When you make material from your website available for publishing on other sites, you provide them with a feed. Basically, it’s a code that lets them post your articles and blogs. 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 of interest to them, and the online seller gets an endless source of pertinent content.
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 contend with filters knocking you out of their inboxes.
• They Provide Free Content. One of the best ways to differentiate your site is to supply readers with interesting material—educate them on topics relating to the product you’re selling. If you sell preschool toys, chances are you don’t 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 keep coming back.
• 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 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 position.
• 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 just for feeds, like Plazoo.com and 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.”