Syndicating your own website content is a great way to provide information to your readers with little or no effort. Using RSS, your updated content is delivered to individuals who have subscribed to your feed automatically. In this article, I'll briefly explain RSS and show you how to syndicate your own website content - even if you know very 1. Go to your "Start Menu" in the lower left-hand corner of your computer screen. Clíck on "All Programs" and navigate to Accessories. There you'll find an option called "Notepad". Notepad is a simple text editor that you will use to develop your RSS scrípt.
2. Write the RSS scrípt which contains information about your website or content page and information about the content you'll be syndicating. To do so, copy the following into Notepad. Replace the bold content with your own site's information.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" ?>
Feed URL: http://www.marketingscoop.com/
This RSS feed should be viewed using an RSS Reader or RSS
Aggregator. Firefox users clíck the Subscribe to feed icon.
<description>Marketing articles covering a variety of marketing topics</description>
<title>How to market your small business</title>
<description>If you own a small business, you probably don't have a lot to spend on marketing. These simple techniques will help you generate more referrals than you can handle.</description>
Feed URL: http://www.marketingscoop.com/
That's it. As noted above, be sure to use the Title of your website and article, links, and descriptions. When your
done, save your file by selecting File, Save as, from the top bar in the Notepad window. Warning: name your file with
a .xml extension but save as text.
Be sure not to use any ampersands or quotes in your code as this may cause an error. XML requires ampersands to be replaced in the code with "&" and quotes with "" whatever is included in your quotes. The best advice I can give is just don't include quotes or ampersands and you won't have any coding issues.
3. Save, Upload, and Validate your .xml code. After saving your RSS file via notepad, the next step is to upload your .xml file to your web server. This file should be placed in the same directory as your homepage or the directory of the page you've selected to syndicate.
Now that we've created and uploaded your RSS feed, we must validate it. By doing so, we know that the feed is active and will work when individuals subscribe. To validate your feed, visit http://validator.w3.org/feed/ and enter your feed URL. The URL of your feed is simply the URL of the .xml file you just uploaded to your server. So, if your file was saved to your website's main directory and was called "rssfeed", then simply enter your website's URL, followed by /rssfeeds.xml. Once validated, your RSS feed is ready to be syndicated.
4. Place your RSS code on your website. The best way to do this is to copy the RSS button and include a link to the RSS feed you just created. You can grab the RSS or XML image by simply visiting a website like MarketingScoop.com and right mouse clicking the image. Save the image (give it a name like RSS.gif) and copy it onto your server. The code should look like this:
<img border="0" src="images/rss.gif" alt="rss feed for my website" width="36" height="14"></a>
Be sure to replace the information above with your own feed link and image link.
5. Subscribe to your own feed. After you've uploaded all of your pages to your live site or testing server, open Internet Explorer and clíck on your own RSS button. You should be taken to a dialogue box that asks if you'd like to subscribe to your feed. Subscribe and confirm that the feed has been added to your líst of RSS feeds (it should appear in a dialogue box on the left hand side of the page).
Note: If you're using Firefox, you will only receive a text page when clicking on your RSS button. Those using the firefox browsers can clíck on a small icon that resides on their browser nav bar to add your feed. Additionally the text file contains your feed URL which can also be used.
6. Ping aggregators to let them know that you've created an RSS feed. In order to let the world wide web know that your feed is up and running, you must give them a Ping. This is very easy to do - just go to http://pingomatic.com and choose the appropriate sites to inform. Select blog related sites if you're a blog and non-blog related sites for other content. Complete the information and Ping.
Another site you should Ping is Yahoo! Simply visit the Yahoo! RSS submit page and add your feed URL. This will let the big boys know that your syndicating.
A final note. Whenever you want to syndicate new content, you will need to update your .xml file with a link to the content and a revised description. Once you've done so, upload the file to your server, replacing the existing .xml file and the code will do the rest.
About The Author: Michael Fleischner is an internet marketing expert with more than 12 years marketing experience. He has appeared on The Today Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. For more free marketing articles like this one, visit www.marketingscoop.com.