March 10, 2010

Advertising in RSS Feeds


Hostway Team

By Monique Martin

Traditional advertising isn’t going away any time soon. But, if you want to keep up with the Joneses, you have to think outside the old box and look for ways to harness new media to advertise your business. Email didn’t start out as an advertising tool, but it quickly became one of the most popular. Where there are eyes, there’s advertising potential. RSS feeds are no exception. Whether you want to advertise on someone else’s feed or monetize your own, there are several options available. Here are just a few of the most popular “Feedvertizers."

Google AdSense and Feedburner

In 2007, Google purchased Feedburner, a Web feed management service. The marriage means feed owners can easily integrate Google’s AdSense into their RSS feeds.

  • You need to “burn” your current RSS feed to submit them to Feedburner. It’s fast and painless.
  • Once you’ve got your feeds on Feedburner, adding advertising to them is simple. Click on “Monetize” and then sign in to your AdSense account. If you don’t have one, it’s free to sign-up. If you already have a Gmail or AdWords account, you can use that account to speed up the process.
  • Look for the AdSense for feeds link in the Account Setup > Get Ads section and start earning.


Pheedo allows you to both put ads in your feed and to place your ads in other feeds.

  • Advertising: Pheedo offers various banner size ads that can be inserted into relevant RSS feeds. For instance, if you sell laptop cases, your ad will show in between laptop related articles in a feed. You can use graphic banners, text ads or a combination. Prices range from $5 to $20 per CPM.
  • Publishing: Pheedo also offers a way for you to earn by placing ads in your own feed. Revenue varies based on a number of factors including the popularity of your feed, the subject matter, and the number of updates. Pheedo is compatible with Feedburner feeds.

Text Link Ads

Like Pheedo, Text Link Ads offers ways to earn and to advertise with text link ads embedded in RSS feeds.

  • Text Link Ads are priced at a flat rate per month, no impression or click counts. What that flat rate is depends on traffic, theme and link popularity.
  • If you choose to place ads in your feed, you receive a 50/50 split of net revenue. You have the ability to approve or deny ads from appearing in your feed.

As with all forms of advertising, balance is the key. You have to find the right ratio of information/entertainment to advertising. Moving beyond that tipping point will mean fewer customers. RSS feeds can be valuable advertising and revenue generating tools, but use them wisely.

About the Author

Monique Martin served as chief operating officer for a successful online insurance marketing firm for five years.

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