Ninety Percent of your readers might be using an RSS reader or email to browse your content, and whilst your subscriber base is growing, your page views are remaining fairly static unless you receive a burst of traffic from Digg or another social bookmarking site.
Even if Robert Scoble includes one of your posts in his shared feed, the majority of people who will read that content will be in a feed reader rather than on your site.
So how do you attract more people to your site, or to subscribe to your feed?
I actually started writing this post yesterday, and decided to “sleep on it” and add some more content. It seems Darren had the same idea for a post so I have deleted this section and you can read his list instead. As my blog has always been more technical in nature, I am going to go into one specific feature from the list which is what I started off with yesterday.
Related Posts in Feeds With Ultimate Tag Warrior
I know lots of my readers are now using Ultimate Tag Warrior, so they will find this very handy.
I have previously posted the code needed to insert UTW related posts somewhere on your blog. It was quite a short piece of code, but sometimes UTW can seem daunting.
Adding related posts to your RSS feed is also very useful, because the majority of your regular readers will be subscribing to your feed, and reading your content in a browser.
There are various “related entries for feeds” plugins available, but they normally depend on simple page analysis to determine a relationship, or use the Yahoo API which for me always returns fairly poor relationships. With extensive use of tagging you can define relationships yourself, thus articles really are specifically related, and not possibly related.
I have seen various hacks to add UTW Related Posts to feeds, but they involved playing with core WordPress files. Whilst I am happy to hack themes, I avoid anything to do with the core files, at least on this blog. WordPress is frequently being updated – 2.1.1 and 2.09 are just around the corner and thus hacking the core files should be left to those comfortable using SVN and working with “bleeding edge” code.
Today I noticed a new plugin for adding Ultimate Tag Warrior Related Posts to your RSS feed. For me this has a number of advantages.
- New Subscribers – I am often asked to point out recommended reading to new subscribers so they can “catch up” on what has been said before.
- Click-throughs – more chance a reader, even a long-time reader will click through and read an older article.
- SE Spiders – they will have more paths to follow from your feed
- Syndication – another chance of a lot more links – sometimes it is “legitimate”, for instance
WebProNews asked permission to syndicate my content and I have approached a few more sites to do the same. Other services and sites aggregate content, and sometimes don’t provide good links back to the source, but often overlook additional links in the content. You can always block trackbacks if they are not playing fair. I normally gain a benefit from it however they handle my content.
I have now found a simple solution, a plugin to add UTW Related Posts to your feed. It is quite a simple plugin, but ultimately I like simple solutions rather than hacking something myself.
It creates a nice neat tidy list in your feed:-
Despite Darren’s misgivings about cluttering up your feed, I can highly recommend it. I have been using it for only a couple of days and I have already seen an increase in clicks through to older content and I am sure it will also help with backlinks from sites syndicating my content.
I should also re-emphasise that this blog is experimental – it is not perfectly optimised from the start and this allows me to measure how small improvements increase performance.