By Kelsey Johnson February 8, 2022
RSS feeds are a simple and widely available tool that can save you time, increase your visibility, and improve your productivity.
RSS feeds are often the easiest way to automate your marketing. If you are a podcaster, blogger or journalist then you probably have an RSS feed. If you do not use it, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Anyone can take advantage of RSS feeds – from business owners and managers to marketing managers and researchers.
We will cover exactly what RSS feeds are Also, here are 3 examples of how you can apply RSS feeds today to save time tomorrow (and improve the way you market).
An RSS feed is basically an XML text file, created by a publisher of a website, blog, or podcast. It includes a list of content updated in real time, with the most recently published content at the top.
Each new entry in an RSS feed can include things like titles, images, descriptions, links, and audio links – as well as other relevant information.
You can get the latest information from any RSS feed by subscribing to it. Want to see what your blog or podcast feed looks like? Plug it into an RSS reader like Fidley or Feeder (both have free plans).
Types of RSS feeds
Members of an RSS feed are probably superfans – they don’t want to miss a thing from that source If you already want to create a list of blogs, podcasts and news articles from sources of your choice – you can.
Here are some examples of the types of feeds you would like to subscribe to
Blog post RSS feed
An RSS feed for a blog post allows readers to stay up-to-date on the latest posts. Anyone can subscribe to everything on the blog, or just one section.
For example, here is the RSS feed of technical news organization FastCompany Work life Category (“fastcompany.com/work-life/rss”).
Oops … that XML file can look pretty intense to some people.
But don’t worry, all you need to do is plug in the URLfastcompany.com/work-life/rss”In a feed reader and it will show an accessible display of recent articles:
Plug in your own blog’s RSS feed, or your favorite content – and plug in a feed reader to see what it looks like!
Podcasters are probably the most common users of RSS feeds these days. Because, to start a podcast, you need to submit your RSS feed to publish your episodes on Apple Podcast, Spotify and other platforms.
RSS feeds work the same way for podcasts as they do for blogs – the feed is updated to the top with the latest episodes of the podcast. People interested in podcasts can subscribe to get the latest episodes
For example, here is the Podcast RSS feed for 99% invisibility (“https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/podcast-episode/feed/“):
If you have a podcast, don’t worry about creating an RSS feed for it Your publishing platform – Captivate, Anchor, Libsyn, etc. – will create one for you.
URL 99percentinvisible.org/episode/podcast-episode/feed/ Plug in a feed reader and it will show an accessible display of recent podcasts:
News can be irresistible or random when you try to use everything through social media or websites. But if you have some resources that you really like, you can use RSS feeds to keep them up to date.
For example, here is the RSS feed for the New York Times: https://rss.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/homepage.xml
Plug it into your feed reader, and you’ll see a list of the latest New York Times news articles:
It was more common to use RSS with readers to create a feed of your favorite content. But most people are happy to hear about news, blogs and podcasts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media.
But we have a secret. There are many more ways you can use RSS feeds to save time and improve your marketing Here are our three favorites.
1 Marketing task is quick and easy to complete. It only takes a few minutes to send 1 tweet, compose 1 email, post a video on Facebook, and so on. But those few minutes add up to the time
Posting about your new podcast, blog post or YouTube video on 5 social media platforms and sending it to an email can mean working hours or more per week.
That’s where automation comes in! You can actually “set and forget” automation using RSS feeds. They save you a lot of time every day in marketing.
Here are 3 places to start:
Automatically add your recent posts, podcasts, videos and products to your emails.
Do you send a welcome campaign? An abandoned cart email? Email review request?
Want to include recent blog posts without having to update your automation every time? RSS feed reply.
You can actually add an RSS feed to your email. Whenever an email is sent – immediately or within 6 months – it will include the latest content in your feed.
Here’s how it works on AWeber:
1. Create a new draft message or open an existing message
2. Drag and drop the RSS content to your email:
3. Then, add an RSS feed to the sidebar or simply add the URL of your YouTube account or your blog.
You will be shown one or more feed options:
4. From here, you can edit how you want your feed to look
Choose the number, layout, color, category and what you want to show the feed items – images, descriptions, authors, dates, etc.
5. Once your feed the way you want, send your email!
Bonus: Promote your new Etsy Store product
Did you know that your Etsy Store also has an RSS feed? You can find it by plugging your store username into this URL:
I fixed it with an example shop that makes watches. See how I plugged the feed URL into a draft message on AWeber:
This can be a weekly or monthly email that reaches all your subscribers, subscribers and fans. That way, most people who buy your product will know what’s new. But you can avoid copying and pasting products into your emails!
Automate social posting using RSS feeds and Zapier
You can set up an automated process that publishes your new blog post, podcast episode, or YouTube video.
1. There are various tools that you can use to set up this automation
We will use Zapier (it’s free).
Sign in to your Zapier account and click create a new Zap. Search RSS by Zapier under “Trigger”
2. Set the new trigger event to “New item in feed”. Then add your RSS feed URL and check the trigger. Click Continue.
3. Find the social media platform you want to post to under “Action”.
Here I chose Twitter:
4. Select “Create a Tweet”, sign in to your Twitter account, and then set up the message you want to send using dynamic elements from the RSS feed.
For example, whenever Market Your Genius Podcast publishes a new tweet, I’ll create a message that says “New Episode! Episode name, episode link, #marketing.
Here’s what it looks like in Japier:
Save and check out your new Zap! Here’s how it looks on my Twitter feed:
5. At this point, make sure you turn on your Zap and then you’re done.
From here, each new podcast episode (or blog post or YouTube video) will be automatically published to your Twitter account.
Set it up for all the social media channels you use.
After adding new content to your RSS feed, it will be posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and more. It can even be posted on Medium and Reddit! (Note: You need to set up a separate automation for each social media account.)
Once this is set up you must notice the time of your return week.
Keep up with industry trends from your favorite experts
Let me make a dilemma:
If you’re like me, at least 5 channels are sending you information. In my case it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, email newsletters, Instagram stories, Facebook groups… the list goes on.
But, keeping up with the news to create content – social or email – can be incredibly effective. And knowing the trends is often a professional requirement.
So when you need to do art research to help you write your next newsletter or social post, why not use an RSS feed reader like Fidley. It can help you stay focused and get information from sources provided specifically for your profession.
Here’s how to start your research in just a few minutes:
- Identify some of the business sources that publish breaking news in your industry. Find their RSS feed. Here are some examples:
CNN’s RSS feed (exclusively for travel): http://rss.cnn.com/rss/cnn_travel.rss
Law Site Blog RSS Feed (For Legal Technology News): https://www.lawsitesblog.com/2010/feed
TechCrunch Blog RSS Feed (especially when it has the “Tesla” tag): https://techcrunch.com/tag/tesla/feed/
- Create 1 or more sections on your favorite free feed reader. Add all your collected RSS feeds to the appropriate section.
- Set aside a daily or weekly time to sign in to your feed reader and scan the latest content from your source.
- Make notes on the articles you want to read, the topics you want to cover in your newsletter, and the trends you want to see
There are 3 reasons for RSS feeds with readers rather than social media for research:
- Algorithm bypass. Don’t let a social media tool tell you what it thinks is the most popular or interesting. You can see everything written by already trusted sources
- Avoid confusion. Find out what’s going on in your industry without getting distracted by useless trends or glossy ads.
- Only one source. Your blogs and podcasts can be published on many platforms – but they are not always published. Get the content you want in one place.
Become an RSS Feed Specialist. Try these tips for using your own RSS feeds (s) and others to take your newsletter and social media marketing from standard to excellent. Plus, save yourself some time!
Want to try using RSS feeds in your newsletters or sales emails? You can, using AWeber’s drag-and-drop email maker. Set up a free account today.