Contrary to popular belief, feeds are still roaming the face of the internet… or at least the underworld of it. Content syndication may be being consumed by applications and websites more than people using a feed reader… but the opportunity to ensure your content is distributed and looks great across devices is still a plus for content strategies.
Note: If you're lost – here's an article on what an RSS feed is.
I was shocked when I viewed our old Feedburner account to see that there were still 9,000+ users who were viewing our content via our feed every day… wow! And when I started to look at other sites, they had 50,000+ readers on some of the blogs. Here are a few things we've done to raise our RSS feed from the dead using WordPress.
- Make sure you have post thumbnails enabled on your site and add the necessary tagging so that your articles have a featured image. This is possible with WordPress by using the SB RSS Feed Plus plugin for WordPress or you can write your own function.
- Implement FeedPress so that you can track and measure your feed consumption and click-through rate, can customize your feed URL, and push your feed to your social channels.
- Add a copyright blurb or call to action at the base of your feed with a WordPress SEO plugin. We catch people stealing and republishing our feed all the time and they're dumb enough to keep our copyright on it when they publish it.
- Add your feed address to your menu and put it somewhere on your site using the international symbol for RSS feeds.
- Add the necessary header tags to your theme between the head tags so applications and browsers find your feed address, here's the code for our feed address:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Martech Zone Feed" href="http://feed.martech.zone" />
Kill Feedburner and bring FeedPress to Life:
We ditched Feedburner and implemented FeedPress on our site. It's a full-featured feed analytics platform with some great additional features like the ability to CNAME your feed so you're not dependent on that old feedburner URL. So, I have the subdomain https://feed.martech.zone set for our feed!
Here's how to convert your site to FeedPress:
FeedPress has a ton of other options to customize and optimize your feed:
- Social Media Publishing – FeedPress also has an incredible social media integration where you can automatically publish all newly published content across all of your social media accounts.
- Feed Tracking – advanced and accurate reporting on how many subscribers you have, where, and how those subscribers are consuming your feed.
- Email Newsletter – Free for 1000 subscribers or fewer. Enable their newsletter feature and grab their signup form code to include it on your own site.
- Push Notifications – Active push notifications via PubSubHubbub to notify feed subscribers of your new content.
- Content Customization – Add a title and logo, truncate your content, modify the read more text, adjust the number of articles.
- Secure Certificate – Enforcement of SSL to maximize delivery.
- Google Analytics Integration – Automated UTM tracking when feed readers click through to your site.
- Alternate Formats – Your feed can be consumed in XML, JSON, or HTML.
- WordPress Plugin – If you're on WordPress, they offer a plugin to make things even easier!
Note: I've included an affiliate URL for FeedPress – and recommend the pro platform!