Thursday, 12 May 2011

RSS Advertising for Your Blog

The problem with the Internet is that there is just so

much information floating around that it can be a

full-time job just to sift through the good ones and

ignore the so-so ones. It's like TiVo on the Web - you

only get to access the stuff you really like and avoid

the ones that make you cringe, all without the

interruption of unwanted material. But what's this?

RSS advertising for blogs and websites? Is this the

end of an era or just simply part of the Internet's

evolution?



Why RSS matters Advertising on RSS is ruffling a few

feathers mainly because it's a concept that seems to

go against the very nature of RSS. For the

uninitiated, RSS consists of different Web-feed

formats that are utilized for publishing or posting

content online. RSS works mainly for content that

frequently undergo updates, such as news, podcasts and

of course, blogs.



The purpose of the RSS is to allow regular visitors of

a site to access relevant updates by simply

subscribing to its RSS feed. It's convenient,

particularly because it eliminates the necessity to

access a site and sort through the contents.



Will RSS advertising work on your blog? The fact that

people continue to subscribe to RSS feed is proof that

it does work nicely. In fact, you'll probably notice

that more people subscribe to a site or blog that

offers RSS feeds than those who don't. As proof, try

to compare CNN.com with the New York Times' website.



But when it comes to the subject of advertising, all

isn’t exactly well. Some people believe that having

adverts on RSS sort of defeats its original purpose -

that of allowing subscribers access to pure content.

There is talk about using an RSS advertising block,

one that effectively allows users to get rid of ads

that are contained in an RSS feed. So what's next? A

full-fledged war between advertisers and ad blockers?



To use RSS advertising with your blog effectively, the

trick is to write compelling summaries of content

found in your site and use that for the feed. A feed

containing full text, for example, might fail to

generate interest in the ads since the usual purpose

of the subscriber is mainly to read the content.



Using a feed as a full ad can backfire, since people

generally dislike being bombarded by ads. Some

bloggers who use RSS advertising, for example, use a

full feed as an ad every 10th to 12th post. Their

readers still get the meaty feeds that they like but

also get exposed to ads the blogger is promoting.



If this is the way you think RSS advertising can work

for your blog, try experimenting with different

strategies, such as combining good content with

related ads. That way your readers don’t have to think

that the post is nothing but a way to make them

perform an action or spend for something.



Blocking the hand that feeds Before anyone does

anything drastic, let us consider how important

advertising is to blogs, websites and yes, even RSS

feeds. Thanks to revenue generated from advertising,

sites (and everything else that supports them from

software makers to hosting services) continue to

exist. Advertising provides support for sites that

offer us content, including those found in RSS feeds.

Without advertising, many sites and providers might

find it difficult to defray cost related to producing

content.



So where will RSS advertising's place be in your blog?

Continue to use it. You owe it not only to your

advertisers and sponsors who have been helping you

meet the cost of maintaining your site but also to

your readers who, without your ads, might not be able

to access your content.

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