The problem with the Internet is that there is just so much information floating around that it can be a full-time job just to sift through the good ones and ignore the so-so ones. It’s like TiVo on the Web – you only get to access the stuff you really like and avoid the ones that make you cringe, all without the interruption of unwanted material. But what’s this? RSS advertising for blogs and websites? Is this the end of an era or just simply part of the Internet’s evolution?

Why RSS matters Advertising on RSS is ruffling a few feathers mainly because it’s a concept that seems to go against the very nature of RSS. For the uninitiated, RSS consists of different Web-feed formats that are utilized for publishing or posting content online. RSS works mainly for content that frequently undergo updates, such as news, podcasts and of course, blogs.

The purpose of the RSS is to allow regular visitors of a site to access relevant updates by simply subscribing to its RSS feed. It’s convenient, particularly because it eliminates the necessity to access a site and sort through the contents.

Will RSS advertising work on your blog? The fact that people continue to subscribe to RSS feed is proof that it does work nicely. In fact, you”ll probably notice that more people subscribe to a site or blog that offers RSS feeds than those who don’t. As proof, try to compare CNN.com with the New York Times” website.

But when it comes to the subject of advertising, all isn’t exactly well. Some people believe that having adverts on RSS sort of defeats its original purpose – that of allowing subscribers access to pure content. There is talk about using an RSS advertising block, one that effectively allows users to get rid of ads that are contained in an RSS feed. So what’s next? A full-fledged war between advertisers and ad blockers?

To use RSS advertising with your blog effectively, the trick is to write compelling summaries of content found in your site and use that for the feed. A feed containing full text, for example, might fail to generate interest in the ads since the usual purpose of the subscriber is mainly to read the content.

Using a feed as a full ad can backfire, since people generally dislike being bombarded by ads. Some bloggers who use RSS advertising, for example, use a full feed as an ad every 10th to 12th post. Their readers still get the meaty feeds that they like but also get exposed to ads the blogger is promoting.

If this is the way you think RSS advertising can work for your blog, try experimenting with different strategies, such as combining good content with related ads. That way your readers don’t have to think that the post is nothing but a way to make them perform an action or spend for something.

Blocking the hand that feeds Before anyone does anything drastic, let us consider how important advertising is to blogs, websites and yes, even RSS feeds. Thanks to revenue generated from advertising, sites (and everything else that supports them from software makers to hosting services) continue to exist. Advertising provides support for sites that offer us content, including those found in RSS feeds. Without advertising, many sites and providers might find it difficult to defray cost related to producing content.

So where will RSS advertising’s place be in your blog? Continue to use it. You owe it not only to your advertisers and sponsors who have been helping you meet the cost of maintaining your site but also to your readers who, without your ads, might not be able to access your content.

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