What the Heck is RSS and How Will it Help Me?

┐by: Rosalind Gardner

RSS, RSS, RSS... you hear the constant chant, but who really knows what the heck RSS means?

Although it originated in 1997, most folks still don't know how RSS works, and want to know 'What is RSS?' and 'How will it help me?'

I had only a very cursory understanding of RSS until last week, yet when trusted colleagues start telling me that it's an effective way to get traffic to your site, it was time to learn more.

So what is RSS?

RSS stands for 'Real Simple Sydication' and is a way for you to publish (or 'feed') 'what's new' information about your site. A single item will typically include a headline, a snippet of content and a link to your site.

Using an RSS feed reader, anyone who has subscribed to your feed, will be notified when you publish new items to your feed.

There are many RSS feed readers, also known as 'aggregators', to choose from. I started off with 'FeedReader', which is a freeware application for Windows.

Get it at:


After trying out a few other readers, I've now settled on 'FeedDemon' which was written by Nick Bradbury, the creator of TopStyle and HomeSite.

You can get FeedDemon which comes with a 20-day free-trial period at:


RSS is published in XML format. All that means is that the extension used is '.xml', without the quotes. So, for example, my new feed is located at:


If you go to that page, without using a reader, you'll see mostly gobbledy-gook. Look closer and you'll see that the coding starts to make some sense.

Here's an example of how a single news 'item' appears on an XML page:

How to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnight

Not only can you lose a guy in 10 days, you could lose

14,000+ of your subscribers OVERNIGHT. Learn how to avoid making this costly mistake.


List Building

Thu, 16 Dec 2004 09:09:07 -0800

When you use a feed reader, such as those mentioned above, you'll see the feed in its proper, easy-to-read format.

To create the XML page, I used 'Feed for All', an RSS feed creation tool. The 'Feed for All' software also comes with a free trial and is available at: http://feedforall.com/

Here's how the item above appears in an RSS reader.

How to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnight

Not only can you lose a guy in 10 days, you could lose 14,000+ of your subscribers OVERNIGHT. Learn how to avoid making this costly mistake.

The title, 'How to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnight', is linked to http://netprofitstoday.com/_npc/2004-12-14.html#mistake which readers can click to read the full article.

So far, so good, but how do you get your feed published so people can read it?

There are a huge number of RSS directory sites. At the top of the heap in a Google search, I found Robin Good's 'RSSTop55 - Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites' See it at:


So, in a nutshell, get a reader, and an RSS creation tool. Create your feed and submit it to the directories.

Traffic to your sites will increase and so will your revenues. Real simple (syndication).

This is a cursory overview of how RSS works. I confess that I did a considerable amount of reading to come to that understanding.

Here are the 2 resources I found most useful:

Paul Short's ebook is a comprehensive work on everything you wanted to know about RSS and blogging, and probably more.


Although it won't give you a 'how-to-RSS' explanation, I also found Dr. Mani's 41 ideas on how to profit using RSS feeds quite valuable.


┐ Copyright Rosalind Gardner, All Rights Reserved.

About The Author

Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the best-selling "Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online". To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and affiliate marketing, go to: http://NetProfitsToday.com.

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