1) Title Your RSS Feed With Scanning in Mind. Your subscriber is most likely going to stick your RSS feed into a list. It’s going to be left-justified for easy scanning. You want your title to be easy to read, aka don’t screw up the flow of an eye flying down the list trying to make sense of each line or they’ll move on. This most likely means using title capitalization and keeping it short and sweet. Get rid of the extra words. You don’t want an ellipses at the end of your title where it got cut off by their RSS app. That’s presenting your reader with a problem with no solution: they’ll move on.
2) Hook-Title Your Articles. You should be doing this anyway, but it’s especially important for RSS feeds. Sometimes a reader may only have the headline of your article to go off of. This is much more likely in an RSS subscription scenario. The title should always make them want to read more. Too many bloggers like to use cutesy-inside-joke headlines. This is bad for your RSS readers. Be clever for the body of the post. Be clear for the headlines. Here’s 8 killer headline formulas that work. (via Copyblogger)
- Who Else Wants [blank]?
- The Secret of [blank]
- Little Known Ways to [blank]
- Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
- Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
- Now You Can Have [something desirable] [great circumstance]
- [Do something] like [world-class example]
- What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]
3) Subscribe to Your Own RSS Feed (and others). If you don’t want to read your own RSS feed, why should anyone else? You’ve got to use your medium to understand it. This is known as “eating your own dog food” in entrepreneurial circles, and not doing so is considered a mark of death. How many times have you purchased a slickly-marketed product only to find out within about 30 seconds of use that the person selling it obviously never used it? Some manufacturers can get away with this, but not online. Returning your product, and never buying again, is as close as an “unsubscribe” button.