Imagine if the Post Office didn’t exist. How would you get your mail?
You’d have to be in regular contact with all the people, businesses and organizations that you like getting mail from. And when they have something for you, you’d then have go to them to get it (yeah, I’d skip the places that just have bills and junk mail too!).
Sounds like a very inefficient, time-consuming, and ridiculous system for getting your mail. Right?
But this is exactly the way that most people keep track of their favorite blogs and websites. As a result, they waste loads of precious time constantly checking for new posts, news, articles, videos and more.
There’s a better way. It’s called the RSS feed.
RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. It’s basically a tool that lets you subscribe to your favorite feeds (ie. blogs, websites, etc.) and automatically get any new content they publish sent directly to you. It’s kind of like your own online Post Office delivery system (with the welcome exception that you have total control over who you receive information from – no bills, no junk mail, no letters from “long lost” relatives when you win the lottery).
To manage your feeds, you’ll need an RSS reader. The most popular one is Google Reader. As with most of Google’s tools, Reader is free and easy to use. You can find it at www.google.com/reader
We’ve been discussing the importance of research to your online marketing endeavors. A big part of that is staying current on the latest trends and news in your industry. Google Reader is yet another great research tool and a great time saver which allows you to that in a very efficient way.
In the next post, I’ll share a video that will show you a how to combine the power of Google Alerts (which we talked about in our last post) and Google Reader. Plus, the video will also share a little known trick that could potentially save you an hour or more a day even if you’re already using Google Reader!