What is a feed?

A web feed is a data format used for serving users’ frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it. Making a collection of web feeds accessible in one spot is known as aggregation.

[Read more about web feed from Wikipedia]

Set aside the long story, web feed provides your reader an alternative way to read your blog. Instead of visiting your blog periodically, they can subscribe to your blog feed and read it with feeds reader or emails whenever you update your blog.

Most of the blogging platforms provide blog feeds by default these days. There are a few web feed formats, the 2 most popular are Atom and RSS. Wordpress are using RSS and Blogger (if not mistaken) are still using Atom.

How important are feeds?

This will depend on what your blog is about. Web feed is getting popular everyday, but some groups of people tend to use it more often than the others.

Net savvy and frequent surfers are more likely to use feed aggregator to read through 100 of blogs everyday. If you are writing topics like internet, web applications, webmaster related, tech and gadget, and some professional issues, it’s more will likely that your readers will be using feed readers instead of visiting your blog.

If you are writing a personal blog, your feed setting is likely to play a much smaller part of your blog. Still there’s absolutely no harm to set up your blog feed properly, and it will bring you a bit of extra traffic here and there.

Ok, so where you I start?

As said earlier, blog scripts nowadays have their feed provided by default. What I will recommend is to add some extra value to your feed, by using FeedBurner.

There are a few advantages of using FeedBurner to manage your blog feed..

You can track your feed stats like how many readers are subscribing to your feed, and what aggregator are they using.

It gives you better option to publicize your feed, by making it easier to subscribe.

It helps you to make money from your feed.

It’s pretty easy to ‘burn’ your feed with feedburner. Follow their instructions and read some guides about how to optimize your feed with feedburner. Be sure to read the about Publicize Your Feed.

One of the benefit of Feedburner is allowing email subscription, interested in subscribing to mine?

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