When I think of RSS feeds, I’m suddenly taken back to the late 2000s to my Xanga and Livejournal.
RSS, or “RDF site summary” OR “really simple syndication,” was created in 1999 back when we were using Netscape and AOL.
But what was it created for?
RSS is a standardized content distribution method that helps you stay up to date with your favorite sites, whether that be blogs, websites, and/or social media channels. Instead of visiting each and every site individually or signing up for a newsletter with your email address, RSS feeds allow you total control over what you see and how you see it.
RSS feed readers consolidate information sources in one place and provide updates when a site adds new content. So, you can gather all of your favorite websites in one place and see a feed of their updates. That’s what makes RSS the perfect content curation machine.
How do you get started using RSS?
Find a Reader
There are plenty of options when it comes to feed readers. It really depends on what interface works best for you or what you prefer. My personal favorite that I’ve used for years is Feedly.
- RSS Feed Reader, a Google Chrome extension
- Netvibes, by Dassault Systemes
Readers make it extremely easy and accessible to have all of your sources consolidated in one place. You can mark read articles as “read”, follow suggested, related sources, and some readers let you share posts from your RSS feed to your social scheduling tool or social media channels.
How to Access RSS Feeds
To find an RSS feed on a website, look near the social media icon links, or near other links. You’ll look for this icon or something that says “RSS” or “XML.” If the site you want to subscribe to uses Feedburner to help with the subscription process, there will likely be the standard icon. You’ll use this RSS link to subscribe to the feed in an RSS reader. From there, you’ll copy the URL of the RSS feed and paste it into the designated spot on your Reader.
Decide What You Want to Curate
You can curate based on your industry, based on personal interests, or both. My feed is a mixture of marketing and design, as well as all of my personal interests, such as photography, fitness, hiking, and cars.
Since HIPB2B is a B2B marketing agency, I curate primarily for B2B content. Most topics consist of content marketing, digital marketing, email marketing, SEO, and company culture. Luckily, there are hundreds of regularly updated B2B sources. Some of mine include:
- Harvard Business Review
- Search Engine Land
Figure Out How to Use Your Curated Content
This is the easy part. Where do you want to share your content? Do you want to share it on your social media channels? Create a blog post with your favorite content? Create your own original content inspired by your curated content?
The most common purpose for content curation is to keep your social media channels regularly active, updated, and interesting. It’s also a great method of link building, both on your social media channels and on your blog and/or website.
You can use social scheduling tools, like Buffer and Hootsuite, to plan out your posts for the day, week, and month.
- Have you ever used an RSS feed?
- What’s your preferred method of content curation?