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Exchanging RSS feeds to increase subscribers

Before the days of RSS there were ezines, these were like RSS feeds except they were sent via email. One way ezine publishers increased their subscriber base was to swap ads in each others publications. You can do the same thing with RSS feeds.

I was reminded about this from reading a post in Googletutor and how Chris was exchanging ads with like minded RSS feed owners. The idea is that you place a link recommending another RSS feed at the end of each feed item. This makes readers aware of new feeds they may be interested in. In return the person you exchanged links with recommends your RSS feeds.

How to exchange RSS ads

You will need to be able to edit your RSS feed. If you are using WordPress 2 or newer then you can use the Feedvertising plugin from Text link ads. Feedvertising allows you to display you own ads rather than ads from TLA.

If you are not using WordPress 2 or would prefer an alternate way to display ads at the end of each post then you should search for plugins for your particular blogging or content management system. You can do this by going to the homepage of whichever platform you use and look for a link to plugins.

Who to exchange RSS ads with

You will get the best response by contacting feed owner who you already know or whose feeds you already read. It would be best to exchange with complementary sites rather than direct competitors. Look for feeds where you think the readers would be interested in your topic.

Once you have come up with some potential partners you will need to look at their subscriber numbers and frequency of posting. Ideally you would want to exchange ads on feeds with similar numbers of subscribers to make the exchange fair. If you wanted to exchange with a feed with a larger readership you could offer to display their ad X times more than they display yours.

RSS feed ad rotation

TLA's feedvertising allows you to rotate ads. If you had 3 different ads they could be displayed in rotation with each ad being displayed 1 third of the time. This means if you had 900 subscribers and you wanted to exchange an ad in a feed with only 300 subscribers, you could have your ad displayed all the time on their feed and their ad 1 third pf the time on your feed.

How should the ad look

You only need to display a small one line message. For example, our friends over at have a feed about this and that, you can subscribe here. You can change the word subscribe to the feed URL of the site you are advertising.

Do not be tempted to place lots of ads in the footer of each RSS post otherwise you may end up annoying your subscribers. Having just one offer per feed post reduces clutter and reduces the risk of offending your readership.

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