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Using RSS To Promote Your Website

You have the website, the product, and compelling content to attract readers to purchase your book, your CD, or whatever items you choose to sell. You may notice a surge in traffic as you build your site and employ various search engine optimization tactics, but are not wholly satisfied.

You know you can attract more visitors if you could just reach them. You have a weblog attached to your site, and you write wonderful articles which receive much praise. What else is there to do?

Have you considered syndicating your content and products to users with an RSS feed? Do you even know what RSS is?

Simply defined, RSS is an XML-based format. XML, for the novice, stands for Xtreme Markup Language, a special coding language that represents information for resources in the World Wide Web. Using the XML, one can permit the distribution, or syndication, of content to users who collect such data through specialized aggregators, or readers. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication, and once you get used to the idea it really can be simple.

By creating an RSS “feed” (think of a news ticker on a cable network, providing up-to-date information in real time), one can distribute product content, articles, pictures, and even embedded video, audio, and links. This information is used to entice users to click through to the host site.

RSS allows a person’s computer to fetch and understand the information, so that all of the lists that person is interested in can be tracked and personalized for them. RSS differs from a traditional website in that the information is usually presented elsewhere.

Say for example an Internet user has a personalize start page with My Yahoo! On this start page is information on various sports teams so the user can keep track of the playoffs. Yahoo allows the user to edit what information is displayed so only the information the user wants is visible. The user may aggregate information from various sports websites that offer RSS data, and place it on the Yahoo page.

When the user visits his start up page, he will see headlines from the many sports websites fed into the page. If there is a headline that appeals to the user, a click on the link will direct him to the site. Think of RSS feeds as puzzle pieces, brought together to create custom designs for Web users all over the world.

Sites that allow for the opportunity to generate updated, fresh content can benefit from offering an RSS feed. Whether you sell products or services, want to promote a new book or film, an RSS feed attached to your site can extend your site’s reach and increase traffic.

Having an RSS feed attached to a site also allows for the opportunity to submit to RSS specific search engines, thereby increasing awareness of the site. As you research RSS, you may find there are feeds for just about every subject of conversation, from sports to movies, multi-cultural issues to religion. Shopping sites use RSS to advertise sales, while travel site promote discount airfares for frequent flyers. There is no limit to what you can promote with RSS.

Creating an RSS Feed

Now that you have decided to promote yourself and your products with RSS, it is time to create a feed and attract the traffic you want. Creating a feed is different from creating website. Though there is content involved, you do not need to worry much about presentation and design, as different RSS readers tend to presently only the text and links associated with the feed content.

If you are unfamiliar with hand-coding XML, it would be best to create your RSS through either special software or through a third-party website that creates and hosts feeds. A quick Internet search on “RSS builders” and “RSS host sites” will lead you in the right direction.

If you have a weblog with a third-party host, you may note that this content is already being syndicated. If so, you may want to consider changing the focus of your blog to better sell your products, or create a second feed for better sale emphasis.

Once you have decided on the method of production, it’s time to produce!

Writing RSS content can be likened to ad copy. You want to use attention-getting headlines that will entice readers to click through to your site. As some RSS readers display only the headline rather than an abstract of the content, you want to be concise and compelling. “Save now on special purchase,” “Buy one, get one free!” Make the reader want to click to read more.

Depending upon the RSS aggregator, the reader will immediately click-through to your site, or be taken to your RSS content. Either way, it is important that all clicks eventually lead to the point of sale. Keep RSS posts short and direct. Tempt the reader to click through to your site to learn more about buying your book, CD, or product.

Link to the sale page rather than the home page so a reader won’t become frustrated with having to navigate your entire site. Hot link a photo of the item using the IMG tag to give your feed an attractive look. If you use an RSS software or third party site, you may be able to use such coding, be sure to check.

Promoting with an RSS Feed

As search engines become more adept at collecting information, they are devising new ways to get this data. Some engines, like Google, have special spiders that mine the Internet solely for RSS-based information. If you want your RSS feed to be found, whether you host it on your site as an RSS or XML file, or host through a third party website, you will need to have the URL of the feed on your front page so people can subscribe to it.

Clicking on the link will not open the feed like a website, but depending upon the browser being used to view the feed it may take the user to an option that allows him to save your feed’s information. A quick Internet search on RSS tutorials will give you a special code you can put on your site to alert spiders to your feed, too. Also, there do exist RSS search engine where you can submit your feed for inclusion.

The one advantage to having an RSS feed is that what content you provide remains available to users who find it during search. To improve the likelihood of traffic increases, add to your RSS feed regularly, advertising all news and specials related to your books, music, or services. Your ability to prove Internet savvy can attract a new audience to your site, and in turn improve your sales.

About the Author

Kathryn Lively is The Write SEO, writing for CINIVA Systems Virginia Beach website design.

Have you tried or have you ever sold Avon?

I just got signed up today as an Avon sales representative and I’m kind of feeling like a lost puppy. I know I can call my mentor with any questions I have but I feel like I don’t want to bug her too much.
I’ve been watching some of the training videos online on the Avon’s website called Beauty of Knowledge, and I am not finding the videos very informative or clear cut for a person just starting out.
I do have my webpage set up, and did tell her ( My Mentor ) that I was planning on advertising on Facebook, Myspace, MyYearBook, Craigslist, And the like, she also mentioned that Twitter would be a good place to advertise.

Well, my question really is, have you ever sold Avon? How easy is it? How did you get most of your knowledge about sales and how to go about selling? Did you like it? What did you not like about it?
Are you still in business?
Here is a link to my page as well

http://lthunstrom.avonrepresentative.com/
Thank you to anyone who can give me some guidance, and info!

WELCOME TO AVON!

I’m an Avon Independent Sales & Leadership Rep. I’ve currently been selling for 3 years and love it. Don’t feel bad about calling your Upline, that’s what she’s there for. She wants for you to be successful just as much as you do. Just find out the best times to get in touch with her or put together an email with your list of questions.

Avon is not hard to sell at all – you just have to find ways to get your name out that you’re selling. Your brochure is your store. So ordering 1 pack of 10 brochures isn’t going to get you very far. Buy as many as you can afford. You order them in packs of 10, so QTY of 1 = 10 brochures. You’ll want to remember that when submitting your order. If you put in 30 cause you want 30 brochures you’ll end up with 300. FYI – if you order in qty of 60 (120, 180, etc) they come in a nice small box.

An easy way to start getting customers is to get What’s New bags (door hanger bags) and hang brochures on doors. Maybe include a little note introducing yourself. After you have your brochures labeled and bagged it takes about 30 – 45 minutes to hang 100 brochures at an apartment complex. If you are pressed for time or have kids, which can make it hard to go from house to house, put the brochures in the What’s New bags and roll them like a newspaper and drive through a neighborhood (don’t forget your own) and toss them from the window. Takes about 20 – 30 min for 100 brochures.

Don’t forget to have your list of contacts started. Make sure EVERYONE you know knows you sell. All your friends, family, co-workers, cell phone contacts, email contacts. Even if they don’t buy now they probably will at some point. Just keep getting them the brochures.

I have also asked businesses about bringing in brochures or putting them out for other customers. Independently owned convenience stores are good ones. Laundry mats, dry cleaners, mail stores, restaurants.

Don’t be embarrased to give brochures to cashiers when you check out or leave one for your waitress or give them to the girls in the drive thru.

Direct Selling isn’t hard but if people don’t know you sell or you don’t continuously get your name out or redeliver brochures to customers who’ve ordered before you won’t do very well. Don’t worry about not knowing a lot right now. You’ll learn it. If someone has a question about a product, let them know you’re just starting out but you’ll look up the information and be happy to get back with them. They’ll understand.

You do want to get to know the products and wear them but you don’t have to go crazy at first (unless you can already afford it). If not, buy samples to try the skin care, make-up and lip sticks. When you order brochures, samples & demos don’t order more than you made in profit from the previous campaign. This way you are only spending business money and not personal money. When you do buy for yourself, treat yourself as any other customer and invoice yourself and pay out of your personal account.

Don’t buy extra products unless you know you can sell it. If you do order and can’t get it sold be sure to return it to Avon and get credit.

Open up a separate (doesn’t have to be a business account) checking account just for your business or get a pre-pay Visa from Walmart, the ones you can use to deposit money. Keep your business money and personal money separate.

Always pay your bill before you pay yourself.

A few reasons people do not stay:
1. They don’t do the work – be it fear or lack of effort
2. They don’t understand, don’t ask questions & don’t try to learn.
3. They spend the money collected from the sales on other things instead of paying their bill. When it comes time to pay their Avon bill they can’t afford to pay all of it or any of it and have a hard time getting caught back up.

The BoK videos will help and you can go back and watch them again if you want. Sometimes they make more sense the second time. Also, check out all the documents available under the Tools & Resources section of BoK.

There is a lot of information throughout youravon.com so whenever you have time sit down and start clicking.

Most of all – stay motivated! Write down your realistic goals (short term & long term). Make plans on how you will achieve each goal and then execute your plan. Read your goals every day. Keep them where you can see them. Make a vision board with pictures so you can keep in mine WHY you’re in business for yourself.

Sorry this is so long winded but I hope it helps.

If you have questions you’re more than welcome to email me. Just click my name on the left. My contact info is in my profile.

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