Eight Things All RSS/Atom Feed Publishers Should Remember

RSS feeds are inevitable for any publishers in the Internet. As you know, it is mainly for the consistent publishers, who have new content posted almost daily. Here are some tips to keep your RSS feeds healthy and perfect.

1. Using FeedBurner? Know the feed limit

If you are using FeedBurner or any other feed distribution service, then make sure you know your limits. For instance, FeedBurner cannot fetch more than 512 KB of content at a time. So, if you syndicate more than 512 KB of content, FeedBurner cannot handle it and will notify you. You can limit the number of articles syndicated to keep the feed going fine. It has no relation to the feed reader’s reader software. The past articles will appear without error in them.

In Blogger blogs, in order to keep the feed size under control, you can use a small tweak in your original feed URL of Blogger in FeedBurner. Under Edit Your Feed Details link, change your original feed URL to :

The addition, “max-results=5” makes sure the latest five articles are syndicated. You can put the desired number there, but make sure the combined size of those articles doesn’t exceed the limit.

2. Interact with your readers

You can find who are reading your feeds through FeedBurner’s email list in case of email subscriptions. Do not sell this email list to anybody. Make healthy relationship with your email readers and occasionally mail them for feedback. Also, subscribe to their feeds, if they publish.

3. Do not ask for feed subscription

Going to social networks and soliciting feed subscription is a wrong idea to get readers. Such readers will not be loyal and will inevitably go away in the end. You can do some subscription requests to occasionally boost your readership, and a fraction of these readers may become loyal readers as well. But the best way to grow subscription count is providing useful content.

4. Monetize your feeds

Now, you can monetize your feeds with the help of Adsense for feeds. Earlier, there were programs like Pheedo, Kanoodle, etc., that could monetize feeds. If you are not yet approved by Adsense for feeds, then you can monetize it with your affiliate links. Please check out CuteWriting feed, monetized with affiliate links.

5. Check your own feed

You should ideally subscribe to your own feed in various feed readers. This is to ensure your feed is reaching your readers in a timely manner and well.

6. Ping your feed fetcher

FeedBurner or whichever other feed fetching service you are using, make sure you ping it as soon as you have published your post. You can use pinging services like these: Ping-o-Matic, Blogflux Pinger, Pingoat, etc.

Usually, feeds are fetched very slowly and syndicated after hours from publication. By pinging your feed service, you can speed up the feed distribution.

7. Make it easy to subscribe

It is best to have your feed URL right inside the post. This will help readers subscribe easily. Also have a description of what RSS feed is.

8. FeedBurner tools you don’t want to miss

If you are using FeedBurner, there are some tools you don’t want to miss, accessible through FeedBurner dashboard. These tools make your feed syndication and distribution easy and professional, gratis.

Smart Feed: Make your feed smart through FeedBurner’s interface. This way, your subscriber can subscribe to your feed using any outdated feed reader service. The feed’s format will be modified for compatibility.

SmartCast: If you are using podcast instead of feed, then use this service, optimized for podcasting.

FeedFlare: This feature enables feed sharing easy through FeedBurner. Adds links to popular social network sites to enable easy sharing of the feed content.

Feed Image Burner: Use this service to distinguish your feed from other feeds. This helps make your feed unique with the help of an image. You can specify the image URL here and that will appear on your feed.

PingShot: This is a specialized FeedBurner publicizing service, which pings several popular social media sites once your feed is modified with new content.

NoIndex: Should you enable this or disable? You may leave this out without any modification. Google doesn’t index any FeedBurner feeds, and there will not be any penalty for duplicate content.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

3 Opinions:

  1. This waas a very interesting post. I use Feedburner, but I never thought of subscribing to my feed! The tool tips and the pinging sites are nice to know about too!
    I plan to link this post to my blog post tomorrow, but I wanted to thank you for it!

  2. Great tips. Feedburner is excellent, so make sure you use the plugin for your blog to redirect your feed.

  3. Informative Post here! I use both feedburner and feedblitz for subscription


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