It seems that secret RSS messages are all the rage these days. Publishing messages that only appear in your RSS feed can encourage casual web visitors to subscribe to your feed.
John Chow over at JohnChow.com is also running a contest. Knowing John I am sure this is one of his evil genius plans. By running the contest for RSS subscribers only he is encouraging you to become an RSS subscriber.
How does an RSS contest get you more subscribers
You have probably already seen the flaw in this plan. How can you get non RSS subscribers to subscribe with a contest that can only be seen by RSS subscribers? A long question but with a thankfully short answer - Linkbait. That's right once bloggers find out about this they will, like me, blog about it. People will tell their friends about it and therefore get some more loyal RSS subscribers.
At least I hope that was John's plan otherwise Iv'e just ruined another secret RSS competition.
Your RSS feed needn't be just a clone of your blog posts. You can add extra content in your RSS feeds that will only be visible to your loyal RSS readers and not your site visitors.
Hidden RSS content
The prevalence of RSS advertising is growing as more and more site visitors turn to RSS to get their next fix of your content. But additional RSS content does not just have to be limited to advertising. I mentioned the other day the growing use of RSS copyright messages.
John Robinson over at Sitefever has been using hidden RSS content to reward his loyal RSS subscribers. He is offering an exclusive RSS contest for them to enter. This is a good way of saying thank you to your loyal readers.
You can also use these secret RSS messages to encourage your site visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed. Marketing pilgrim used as similar technique which seems to have boosted their subscriber base to nearly 7,000.
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