The RSS Wigdet Under Utilized

Widgets were built into the basic structure of WordPress about a bazzilion versions ago.   One of those widgets native to WordPress is the RSS Widget.   It is a very powerful tool for WordPress bloggers but I don’t see it being used very often.

We all know that fresh content is one of the things Google bots love.   Feed them regularly and they will return to eat more often.   But is isn’t always easy to keep fresh content ready for the hungry little bots and like birds if you don’t keep the food our they will find other places to eat.

Using RSS Widgets

One way to keep things changing is through the RSS widget.   Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.

Author Multiple Sites   RSS Feed

If you author more than one blog you could be feeding content back and forth between them in an RSS Widget.   It is easy to copy your feed into the widget and select the number of post you want in the feed.   This way every time you publish a new post you create new content for both blogs.

You can Feed Any Feed

If you can feed it you can put it in an RSS Widget.   Want to let the readers on your blog know what you are tweeting about on Twitter.   You don’t need a widget from another source.   You can put your twitter stream in an RSS widget and display it on your blog.

I’m not saying this is a good idea.   From some of what I’ve read in tweets you wouldn’t want that on your blog.   But it illustrates it can be done.

RSS Feed a Hashtag

Hashtags are used in Twitter to create a kind of thread.   You simply put a # in front of number, letter, combination there of and you have a hashtag   anyone starting a tweet with the same hashtag make it search able for that particular tag.

You could create a hashtag, create an RSS feed for that tag when searching for it on Twitter then past the feed URL into an RSS Widget on your WordPress blog.   This allows you to tweet specific information to your blog by including a hashtag.   Probably better than your entire Twitter stream being displayed.

Multiple Blogs, create a hashtag for each blog and you can tweet directly to the specific blog,   Micro blogging within your blog.   Creating fresh new content on the fly.

RSS Feeds are Good Food For Bots

These are just a few ways you can use the RSS Feed widget built into WordPress Widgets.   If you want to see some of these widgets in use check out For No REal Reason I’ve got several of them running on that site including a hashtag widget.

Comments

  1. Any ideas for getting more subscribers to an RSS feed?

  2. Brandon,

    I’ve never tried to get more subscribers to my blog. Especially my Real Estate blogs.

    Blog Subscriptions like magazine subscriptions are for topics you have an ongoing interest. Most people do not have an ongoing interest in real estate. They are interested while buying or selling and then they aren’t interested again till they are buying or selling.

    A photographer is always interested in photography. If you have a blog dedicated to a topic of ongoing interest then in makes sense to seek subscribers.

  3. Brandon,

    Ok, one tool is the What Would Seth Grodin Do Plugin. It pops up when visitors are new to your blog and ask if they want to subscribe. That’s one way. : )

  4. Dave,
    The RSS widget is very useful and like most, I don’t utilize it at all. I really like your suggestions, but have a question for you.

    Isn’t it best to have fresh, unique content to feed to the Google Bots?

    I was reading somewhere that they actually penalize you for having duplicate content.

    Any thoughts?

    Freddies last blog post..BOOK REVIEW: THINK AND GROW RICH

  5. Freddie,

    These are links to other post, which makes them new content on your blog. Every time you write a new post on either the title of the post is linked in the feed, not the post content. So every time they scan there is new content “New post titles and links in the sidebar” Not all new content has to be in the post itself, they scan the entire page.

    Second, on duplicate content. This has been discussed many times and the simple answer is You can duplicate content on your own blogs even the same posts occasionally. The duplicate content penalty comes into play when you have 100 blogs all being feed the same content. Ex. You buy a real estate website and they already have 1000 pages of content, it is all the same content they have placed on every single site they sell, that is duplicate content.

    You buy a bunch of domains and put the same 20 pages of content on each domain. That is duplicate content.

    The only issue with duplicate content is the first one indexed is the one in Google. Any other won’t be searchable because Google won’t index it if the same content is already in their index.

    Therefore, using an RSS feed widget to bring in new content of links to post with anchor text titles is good. It is good for you by keeping fresh content on your blog and it is good for you readers if they are interested in some of those titles that pop up in the RSS Feed.

    In a way you provide duplicate content without duplicating the content on both blogs.

  6. Dave,

    Good stuff! Thank you for the reply and the detailed explanation. That really helped me out a lot because I thought the RSS widget was grabbing the content from the post and not just the post titles.

    Yes, the linkable post titles would be considered new content on your site, which makes it perfect while giving readers some quality as well.

    Again, good stuff Dave, and thanks for being so speedy with the comment.

    Cheers!

    Freddies last blog post..BOOK REVIEW: THINK AND GROW RICH

  7. WOW…What a nice post. I found all the information on this post which i was looking for like ages. I am glad that i come across this site. Thanks for sharing lovely information 🙂

  8. Lilly,

    Glad you found what you were looking for here. This site is more about WordPress than it is Real Estate and you are always welcome here.

  9. Dave,

    Just found your site — great stuff! I totally agree on the usefulness of using RSS widgets on your blog. For real estate bloggers, there are lots of publications that offer feeds that you can put right on the front page of your site. That makes your site a \”one-stop shop\” for all kinds of real estate information.

    I found an AWESOME WordPress RSS widget that I highly recommend. Try the KB Advanced RSS Widget
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/kb-advanced-rss-widget/ I use it extensively on my blogs: http://whiteoaksblog.com and http://sf-peninsulablog.com.

    The widget is very flexible, and the coolest feature is that it allows you to replace the RSS icon with any image you want, thereby allowing you to customize your various RSS Feeds. Check it out — easy to install and use!

    Chuck