How to Create an RSS Feed in 10 Simple Steps

Posted in Drupal, Joomla, RSS, Tutorials, WordPress

Ever wanted to increase the number of people who are visiting your website, and do this on autopilot? If the answer is affirmative, you will be pleased to find out that the method which allows you to do that is quite simple: publish some content, create an RSS feed out of it, and then submit it to the top RSS directories.

And if you’re wondering how to find those high-quality directories that are willing to accept your feed, you will discover a list which includes the best sites at the top of this page, in the website menu.

So how do you create an RSS feed? Many popular CMSs make your job easier, by creating and pre-populating a feed with the titles of your latest blog articles. Here are a few examples.

WordPress: http://www.yourwebsiteaddress.com/feed/

Joomla: Content -> Article Manager -> Options -> Integration -> Show feed link -> Get the RSS feed URL

Drupal: Use the http://drupal.org/project/feedapi module.

But what should you do when your website isn’t built using one of the popular CMSs above? Well, you can always use an RSS creation application. Not only that, but there are also web services that will crawl your website and update your RSS feed on a regular basis.

Once you have decided to use either an application or an RSS creation service, it is time to set up your feed. Each app is different, of course, but generally speaking, these are the steps that need to be taken:

  1. Create a title for your newsfeed. Make sure to name it just like your website.
  2. Use your website URL for the address. This way, when people click your feed, they will be directed to the homepage, where they will (hopefully) have the chance to discover several links that point to your most viewed articles.
  3. Give your feed a meaningful description. Try to make it as enticing as possible, because it should serve as a call to action, making people click the link and arrive at your website.
  4. Once they’ve arrived, make sure to provide an awesome user experience. You want them to have access to your best content pieces, and you should try to keep them on the site for as long as possible.
  5. Some services allow you to add an image to the feed. If you’ve got a website icon, simply paste its URL in the corresponding field.
  6. Now that your feed has been created, it’s time to add content to it. Some services will only need your website URL, and then they will grab the articles on their own, populating the needed fields automatically.
  7. Often times, you can also add author information and even some of the comments that your articles have received.
  8. When you’re happy with the result of your work, choose File -> Export to create an XML file. It’s one of the most popular formats, so it will make it easy for people to subscribe, in case that they are interested in your RSS feed.

  1. Publish your feed. Upload the XML file on your server, get its URL, and then add it to your home page.
  2. It’s time to submit your RSS feed to the best directories out there. You can run a Google search for “RSS feed directories” to discover them, or you can use the list in the website menu above. Here’s a direct link to it.

If you are the author of a podcast, you can also submit your feed to iTunes, allowing Apple’s huge fan base to subscribe to it. Each iTunes feed is manually checked, so be sure to put up your best content. Good luck!

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