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Get Repeat Readers To Your Hubpages By Using An RSS Feed
Please note that this article refers to using RSS feeds from HubPages to promote your content to other people, not using RSS feeds in HubPage articles (which is / will be deprecated)
Please note: I do not believe that getting an RSS feed from Hubpages is possible now, as the RSS link now redirects to a writer's profile page. I will leave this hub in place in case the feature is re-enabled at some point in future.
You're a great HubPages writer; you consistently create excellent articles that combine insightful comment with great information, rich multimedia and a unique approach; how can you build up a repeat, loyal readership and get people to come back to your hubs again and again?
Although there are plenty of ways to market your website or hubpages, one of the lesser known ones in the HubPages community is through using an RSS Feed, or 'Really Simple Syndication.' As the name suggests, RSS is designed to be easy to use and easy to setup.
This guide explains what RSS is, how it works, how you can setup and use it in HubPages and what to do with it next.
What is Really Simple Syndication (RSS)?
Here's a brief description of RSS technology:
- RSS creates 'feeds' from online content
- RSS continually looks at an information source (e.g. a blog or your hubs)
- When it sees a new post, it adds it to the feed
- People can 'subscribe' to these feeds and get regular updates
- They can then read your post or a summary of it in a special program called a feed reader or aggregator
- They may well then click through to your website or hubpage to read further information
- This all happens in the background, invisibly, with no work required from you apart from setting up the feed in the first place
RSS technology is one of the main ways that bloggers share their content with interested readers.
How do people subscribe to RSS feeds?
There are several easy ways that people can subscribe to these RSS feeds:
- Through a dedicated online application like Google Reader or Netvibes
- By using browser addons like Feedly or Simple RSS Reader
- Standalone software applications like FeedDemon or Outlook
- Through Live Bookmarks (Firefox)
What are the advantages of RSS?
Having automatic notifications of new content is very useful because it means that people don't have to visit sites again and again every few days to check if something new has been posted or shared. Instead, the post comes directly to you - simple!
As we're all so overwhelmed with information, these instant notifications mean that your readers can save posts and hubs to read until we've got the time and the inclination to do so.
Using an RSS feed to share your HubPage Articles
Setting up an RSS feed that shares your latest hubs from your HubPages is a simple process:
- Find out your RSS feed address
- Create some text hyperlinking to your RSS feed address
- Publicise your RSS feed on your articles and hubs
- Test the RSS feed
We'll cover each of these in detail below.
1. Finding out your RSS feed address
- Your RSS feed address is simply your profile address directly followed by the text: /hubs/latest?rss
- So, for example, the RSS feed for my hubs is: http://paulmaplesden.hubpages.com/hubs/latest?rss
- You can test this by going to your profile, copying the following text: /hubs/latest?rss , pasting it at the end of the URL in your browser address bar and pressing enter
- Depending on your browser, you'll either get an XML RSS document (Chrome) or a list of your latest hubs (Firefox and Internet Explorer)
- Once you know what your latest RSS hub feed address is, you can move onto the next step
2. Create some text and hyperlink it to your RSS feed address
- Now, you'll need to think of some text that you're going to put at the end of your hubs to let people know that they can subscribe to your hubs
- You'll want to have text that's an appropriate 'call to action' to get people to subscribe
- I use the following: 'Want to get automatic updates when I post new articles? Subscribe to my HubPages feed via RSS.'
- Then, simply hyperlink the text to your RSS feed address from step 1 in a text or link capsule
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Have you or are you planning to share your hubs via an RSS feed?
3. Publicise your RSS feed in your hubs
- Of course, now you need to let people know that they can subscribe to you
- I insert the text at the bottom of each of my hubs and it gets me readers on a regular basis (you can see this below)
- Make a note to yourself to insert it at the bottom of each of your hubs prior to publication
4. Test the RSS feed
- To make sure that everything is working, you can click on the feed and subscribe to it in a live bookmark on Firefox, or subscribe to the feed in Google Reader
- You should see a list of all your latest hubs pop up, and by clicking on them you'll be able to read a summary or go to your hub directly
- That's it, you're done!
Some points to note
- The RSS feed will display the summary that you have set for your hub to the person viewing the feed, so you'll need to make sure that you have summary text in all of your hubs (you should be doing this anyway as it's good for search engines, but this makes it doubly important)
- If you're interested in statistics for your RSS feed (e.g. how many readers, subscribers, clicks etc.) then you can use a third party service like FeedBlitz or Feedburner - However, use of these is outside the scope of this article
- You can also submit your RSS feed to places like Technorati (you will need to create a post with a Technorati token in it to authorise yourself) as Technorati is one of the other ways that people discover content
- There are also many other RSS directories on the web where you can submit your RSS feed for more readers
I hope that you've found this article useful and wish you all the best with promoting your hubs.
If you've found an interesting way to share your RSS feed or have any other tips on how to use the technology, please let us know in the comments.