One of the benefits of having a blog as part of your website or just having a blog is that your audience can sign up for a feed. For anyone who has not come across this yet, a feed, or web feed, is a way to subscribe and bring content to one convenient place through an aggregator. So people who like your site can use an aggregator like My Yahoo to bring posts from your site to their customized page along with anything else they like to read. Suddenly, your content is on a site they check often instead of hoping they will remember to stop by. This is a great way to ensure that you are constantly at the top of their minds and gives you another way to reach your audience.
In order to get people to sign up for a feed to your blog, make sure it is easy for them. Let your audience know about this option and consider having a link or page explaining about feeds for visitors who don’t know they can get your content this way. Fortunately, Squarespace automatically sets up an RSS feed for your blog, making it that much easier for both you and your visitors. For more information on your feed, stop by the Squarespace FAQ.
One drawback to syndication is that now there are people who are reading your content but may not be coming to your site. This can mean valuable customers are missing from your regular site traffic numbers. There are a couple ways to solve this problem. One way is to only allow an excerpt from your post to be sent to subscribers, which lets them know there is new content and gives them a taste of what you have to say and then offers a link for them to come to your site and read the whole thing. This can draw more people to your actual site but may result in less readership since not everyone will want to click through. Another option is let the subscribers get the whole post but keep track of them through the My RSS Subscriber Count feature. Since subscribers want updates on your blog, they are often your target audience and are very valuable readers to connect with and track. Collecting this data is a great opportunity that will give you insight into how your readers get your content and help you find new and creative ways to reach out to them. However you choose to manage your RSS feed, this is a vital component to your blog, expanding your base audience and bringing your voice to their home pages.