Understanding RSS Feeds Means Better Blogging

Newbie bloggers tend to frequently ask two questions: 1) “How do people get my blog posts?” … and 2) “How can I add new subscribers to my blog?”

New technology takes time to understand. Here are my answers to these common questions to help you understand how blogging works and how to make the most of the powerful platform.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS). The core of all blogs is something called RSS- Really Simple Syndication. You may have heard of syndicated writers, like Ann Landers or Dear Abbey, who write one column that appears in many newspapers all over the world. Maybe you know that Oprah was had a highly syndicated TV show that was broadcast to numerous stations all over the world. RSS produces what is called a feed, it contains your blog posts. This feed “sends out” new blog posts that can be read by many people through a choice of different feed readers. When a blogger writes a new article, it’s delivered to the people who subscribe. It’s called really simple syndication – because RSS technology allows your posts to be broadcast in a feed to the people who want to read them.

Readers. The blog feed is delivered to numerous readers which is very good news because you can choose to use a Reader that fits the way you already use the Internet. If you’re a die-hard AOL user, they have a Reader. Sold on Yahoo!? They have a Reader. Are you a Googler like me? No problem, use If you want to keep all the blogs you read close to your email, then use MS Outlook and have your feeds delivered to a box called RSS Feeds.

About SPAM. Subscribing to blogs is tied to the new generation of “permission marketing”… you won’t be subscribed without your permission nor will you receive unwanted blog posts. Bloggers can’t put subscribers on an address list. The blog feed will only go to those who have requested it That means you won’t get any spam from a blog.

SEO. Google Real time changes the search engine game. Google has started to pick up blog RSS feeds and other social media content in “real time” and it will be displayed in the search results. Unlike an e-newsletter, blog posts are displayed online and remain online. As articles are posted in the feed, they reach subscribers and also build online content to be found by the search engines like Google.

Sharing. A feed will be seen by more people than an e-newsletter that only travels as far as the subscriber’s inbox. Since a feed can be read by different readers, its ideal for sharing between systems: if someone likes a post they can share the feed with their social networks through accounts like Digg, Facebook, Twitter, and more. What you put on a blog can end up on thousands of websites and reach a greater number of people as people share your content.

Have you seen the link on the Design to Spec blog for subscribing via email? Why not sign up now to receive our blog posts delivered to your email mailbox? Despite the fact that regular blog feeds are not delivered by email, clever developers at have created a way to capture a blog feed and deliver it by email to people who don’t use feed readers.

Vanessa Wood

I'm Vanessa Wood. I was an early adopter of WordPress and continue to build beautiful WordPress websites in CT. I'm working directly with clients and through marketing agencies to create new highly customized, business WordPress websites. I knit while I'm on hold and listen to punk rock.

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