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RSS Feed vs Newsletter

     RSS feeds have become quite popular. Should you replace your newsletter with an RSS feed?

Pros and Cons

     Even though the number of RSS readers are increasing, not everyone loves RSS. Here are some pros and cons.


  • People can see the content of different sites from one place -- i.e. their browser's window -- instead of visiting each site independently.
  • People can scan the headlines and only pursue the content they like.


  • People cannot archive the feeds. (It's up to the publishers to archive the content or not.)
  • Reading e-mail (newsletter) is plain and simple, but not everyone can use RSS feature in the software or subscribe to RSS. (Don't assume that every internet user is computer savvy.)
  • Some people feel they already have enough information, so they simply don't want more.

So, RSS doesn't out-perform newsletters in every aspect. Moreover, newsletters still attract people. (I've been offering an RSS feed for 2 years, but my newsletter's subscriber base is still growing.) So, the best solution is to offer both newsletter and RSS and let your visitors decide which they want to subscribe to.

Use RSS Right

     However, if you use RSS, use it right. There are a bunch of internet marketers promoting software that makes search engine spiders visit your site at an astonishing rate. Well, it seems their products work as they claim. So, you could use RSS to make search engine spiders visit your site more offten. However, frequent spider crawling doesn't improve search result rankings. So that, that product won't help human beings come to your site. Search engine spiders don't buy your products; people do. Make sure to create RSS feeds for human visitors and not for search engine spiders.

© October, 2007