Are you confused about what an RSS feed is and how to follow a blog by the RSS feed? Don’t be. The main thing you need to know is that an RSS feed is just one way to follow a blog.
If you’re not sure what an RSS feed is or how it works, there are other alternatives.
Here are a few ways I follow blogs:
- Twitter – by following a blogger on Twitter.
- People who comment on my blog – by checking out what my readers and blog community have been writing about.
- Email – by subscribing to a blog for email updates.
- Inner voice reminder – the unsung hero when it comes to following blogs.
What’s an RSS Feed?
So you don’t know what an RSS Feed is?
No worries, neither did I until quite recently, but don’t let that put you off. I specialize in turning geek-speak into normal jargon-free words that everyone can understand. Some of the probloggers understand what an RSS Feed is and explain it in detail here but this is my humble understanding of what an RSS Feed is.
Hopefully this is all you’ll ever need to know about RSS:
You can sign up to a blog’s RSS feed to find out when that blog is updated
That’s it really. An RSS Feed is just a handy way of finding out when a blog has been updated and what the new blog posts are about.
How do you follow a blog via the RSS feed?
To subscribe click on the RSS subscribe button for a blog. It’s orange with three waves coming out of it.
Usually you’ll find it on the blog page and sometimes it also appears in the website address bar at the top of the page. It doesn’t matter where you click it.
Then, to see when a blog has been updated you need to choose a feed reader – some of the most well known feed readers are Bloglines, My Yahoo and Google Reader which I use.
Every time you go to Google Reader, My Yahoo or whatever reader you choose you’ll see a list of the blogs whose feeds you’ve subscribed to and the headline of their latest blog posts.
You can then visit the blog to read the post if you choose to or just read it in the feed reader. If you want to leave a comment or share it you’ll need to visit the blog.
Once you’ve subscribed to a few blogs you can organize them by categories such as travel, lifestyle and social media tips.
If you’re advanced and enjoying using an RSS reader you can follow Kikolani’s tips for organising your feed reader. If you have an iPad check out The Blog Stylist’s post about managing RSS feeds across multiple devices here.
Still confused by RSS?
Don’t be scared, just try it out and play around with subscribing to blogs by their RSS feed and using an RSS reader.
Try it now: subscribe to Successful Blogging by RSS here.
If it’s not working for you don’t worry. Choose another option that does work for you like email, Twitter or checking out the latest blog posts by people who’ve commented on your blog recently.
If you want to be sure you never miss a blog post subscribing by email is the best way. Subscribe to Successful Blogging by email here.
The good, old-fashioned inner voice reminder works well too.
You know you’re really engaged and enjoying a blog if, every week or so, a little voice in your head reminds you that you haven’t checked it recently and you’ve missed it.
So don’t feel confused by all the options for following a blog. Follow your heart and trust your instincts when it comes to blog reading and blogging.
Technology can be confusing but you don’t need to be confused by it.
How do you follow or subscribe to your favorite blogs?