How to Find Your Blog's RSS Feed URL
RSS Feed URL, What's That?
Perhaps one of the most dreaded questions a blogger will ever face is a request for his or her RSS feed URL. While many bloggers can whip off their blog's address with pride, trying to actually nail down their blog's feed URL is a different matter entirely.
Now, we all know by now that RSS stands for really simple syndication, but the "really simple" part somehow escapes us when we are petitioned to enter our blog's RSS feed URL into a form.
A typical scenario is that you might be trying to add your blog to a blogging directory and you hit a wall when petitioned for that damn feed URL. The awful part of all this is that if you don't play ball, your blog doesn't get listed in these directories. For bloggers who are trying to gain an audience, this really isn't the desired scenario. And no, trying to submit the form without the requested feed URL doesn't fly, even if you pound Submit or Save repeatedly. Some gremlin has been there ahead of you and has sussed this out already, and that little gremlin knows this is what you'll try to do.
Nope, you have hit a roadblock. If most of you are honest, at this juncture, you click the little x up in the corner to make the bad form go away, telling yourself you'll do it when you aren't so busy. Right.
What You'll See: An Annoying Form Requesting an RSS Feed URL
Name of Blog & Blog Url, Easy-Peasy
Now, even if you started out as a novice blogger, sooner or later, you would have stumbled upon your blog's URL—you know, that horizontal line of text that keeps reappearing up top each time you sign in to your blogging platform. You may even have gone well past typing the whole thing out and become adept at grabbing it by highlighting it and copy/pasting it, and you now feel like a bit of a wizard and on top of the game.
Even those as slow as slugs have winkled out that .com, .ca, and .org are site URLs. So that part of the form at least is easily navigable. But, it's that bottom line that is the Waterloo, and that cuts many bloggers right off at the knees.
How to Find Your Blogger Feed URL
For anyone who is trying to bump up blog readership, adding their blog's RSS feed URL is a necessary, all-be-it painful step (and you thought going to the dentist was bad!). A Feed URL can facilitate automatic updates of your posts, so, yes, it is a big deal and usually saves you from having to manually post these. Much depends on the particular site you are adding your blog to.
Now that you know why your blog feed is important, you may be ready to finally buckle down and learn how to find your feed URL.
The first thing you'll want to do is shrink down your current window with the form asking you for your feed URL, so you don't lose your work thus far, and then navigate over to Blogger. (For the sake of this tutorial we'll be using Blogger). If you have a WordPress blog, no worries. See the video at the bottom of this page.
Buttons That Should be Living in Your Blog's Sidebar
Hunting up the Orange Buttons
Once you are at Blogger, sign in and click on View Blog.
Find the Subscribe buttons that should be living over in your sidebar: one is entitled Posts, the other is Comments and each of these is prefaced by an orange button.
If the orange buttons haven't found a home in your sidebar, you have not yet installed them. You'll be sighing or grinding your teeth at this point. (Scroll down in this Hub for instructions about how to install them. Honest, it's just a few clicks).
Opening the Drop-Down Menu
It's As Easy As 1, 2, 3
Okay, once you see the Subscribe buttons in your sidebar area, follow these steps:
- Click on Posts.
- You'll see a drop-down menu and at the bottom, Atom. Click on that.
- A page will open. you will see your Feed URL up top. It should look something like http://------.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default or if you've burned a feed at Feedburner, http://feeds.feedburner.com/------/nROL. Below this you will see a listing of your posts. Neat, eh?
- Run your mouse over the URL to highlight it, copy it, and then paste it into the form.
- And, if you are a smarty pants, you will pop that URL into a page and send it to your desktop as a shortcut, so that you can find it with one click in the future.
While an Atom feed, I've been able to submit this, when asked for a feed URL and the directories have accepted it.
Still Can't Find it?
If you don't see what you are looking for from the instructions above, after right-clicking on Atom, select Open Link in New Tab or Open Link in New Window. Look up top of the page in the horizontal bar and you should see the feed URL.
Don't See the Orange Buttons?
Okay, I promised earlier that if you didn't find the orange buttons in your sidebar, it meant you hadn't installed them yet and I would walk you through that.
- Go to Design (at the top right of your blog's page) and click on it.
- Another page will open, now look to the left to where it says, Layout. Click on that.
- Another page will open and you will see Navbar, Header, Cross-Column, Cross-Column 2. Scroll down until you see Main and then look over in your sidebar section and you will see: "Add a Gadget." Click on that.
Another Page Opens
4. Scroll way down until you see "Subscription Links." Click on this and when the next page opens, make sure to hit Save. Your buttons will now appear in your sidebar. And through these buttons, you can find your RSS feed URL.
* Note: now, that you have installed these buttons, your blog visitors will be able to subscribe to your blog and receive your posts in their feed readers.
After you hit Add a Gadget and the page opens and as you scroll down, you will see an orange button and Feed next to it. Don't be fooled and think this is what you need to add. Don't do this. This is for when you want to add someone else's feed to your blog. Keep scrolling down until you see Subscription Links.
Good to Go
If you've followed these instructions, you should be good to go. Once you get onto it, finding your feed isn't that difficult. Now reward yourself with something nice for finally mastering this.
Do You Use Feeds?
Using Your Blog Feed Means Greater Post Exposure
You've now joined the ranks of accomplished geeks and techies who know a thing or two—and you didn't sprout another grey hair in the process.
Now that you've mastered the art of grabbing an RSS feed URL, you are on your way to increased blog readership because you can add your feed wherever it's requested.
Submitting a feed URL is a great method of syncing with different sites. Each time you publish a new post, it appears at these sites. You can see why directories need the feed URL. It is an automated process that allows for the inclusion of your latest posts and this is something that benefits all parties.
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© 2009 Athlyn Green