If you’re reading this, most of you are probably familiar with the idea of using RSS feeds for keeping up with the latest updates from your favorite news sources or blogs. Sure, it makes reading articles more convenient and productive, but what you might not know is there are other types of content you can get from your feeds.
With that in mind, I’ve pulled together a short list of RSS-powered content you might not have thought about adding to your reader.
1) Add Your Favorite Podcasts
Julien Genestoux of Superfeedr wrote a great post recently about how podcasts are actually powered by RSS. He pointed out that while most people know about podcasts, a lot of them aren’t aware they’re actually RSS feeds with media elements.
Most people subscribe to and download podcasts using a service like iTunes or another podcast client. However, you can also subscribe to them using an RSS reader. All you need is the podcast’s RSS feed and you’ll be able to listen to it right there in your reader.
Looking for new podcasts?
Here are some places you can look for new ideas:
- 100 Best Radio Podcasts of 2014 compiled by Digital Trends
- Podcast Related Hunts from Product Hunt
- A Ridiculously Long List Of Best Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To Right Now
- NPR’s Podcast Directory
- 5 Podcast Directories You Can Visit To Subscribe & Download Free Podcasts
2) Get Calendar Events and Updates
Did you know you can subscribe to a calendar? I didn’t until I started discussing ideas for this post with the rest of my team.
You can add a feed of your calendar to an RSS reader to receive a list of your upcoming meetings or events. This can also work for sites that generate public feeds of their event calendars and allows you stay up-to-date when new events are added without having to constantly visit websites.
Here’s how to get a feed from Google Calendar:
- Go to Google Calendar.
- Click on the dropdown arrow next to the calendar you’d like to manage and select Calendar settings.
- Next to Calendar Address click the XML option.
- Copy and paste the link into your feed reader.
Tip: You can also sign up for a free Feedburner account if you’d like to optimize your feed or clean up the URL.
3) Receive New Offers and Deals
If you’re always on the look out for your next awesome buy, a lot of online shops offer RSS feeds for their daily deals, latest items, or new sales.
For example, if you go to Today’s Deals on Amazon, you can find the feed by clicking Never miss another deal and selecting Subscribe via RSS.
Here are a few more ideas for sites that offer RSS feeds:
- Craigslist has RSS feeds for just about anything: new jobs, housing, for sale items etc. Just click the RSS icon in the bottom right corner to generate your feed.
- NewEgg includes up-to-date headlines, the latest sales and deals, and promotions.
- Etsy offers feeds for Shops, Favorites, and Treasury feeds.
4) Send Your Google Alerts as RSS Feeds
Google Alerts are a great way to find new and interesting content without all the leg work. This service generates search engine results based on the terms you provide and then, delivers you an email digest about the results.
Alerts are normally sent to your email by default, but if you’re using an RSS reader, you can also choose to have them delivered to a feed instead. It’s a great option for anyone who’s trying to control the amount of emails that end up in their inbox or looking for new content sources.
Here’s how to set up RSS delivery in Google Alerts:
- Prepare the keywords you’d like to use for your content search.
- Go to Google Alerts and enter your search terms in the Create an alert about box.
- Click Show options to customize how often you receive alerts, the sources you want to search, and the way you’d like to receive your alerts.
- In your Deliver to options, select RSS feed.
- Click Create Alert.
Here’s an example of what one of my alerts looks like:
To get your feed, simply click the RSS icon next to your alert and then, add the feed to your RSS reader!
Tip: Create a category or folder just for Google Alerts to make it the results easier to go through.