Create a Blog Feed for a Single Category in WordPress

Let's get into some technical bloggy goodness today.

I've been asked a few times privately how I can have a separate RSS feed for the freelance writing jobs here at All Freelance Writing. More specifically, how the gigs not only have their own feed, but can also be removed from the primary blog feed. It's surprisingly simple to do, and I hope others will find it useful. (Note: This is for self-hosted WordPress blogs--I don't know if it works for WordPress.com blogs.)

How to Remove a Category from Your RSS Feed

First let's figure out how to remove a feed (here the jobs feed) from your main RSS feed.

Your main RSS feed with WordPress will vary a bit depending on the theme you're using. For this blog, it is https://allfreelancewriting.com/feed/

To remove a category, you would go to your WordPress admin area and visit the category list. Mouse over (but don't click) the name of the category you want to exclude from your main feed. Look at the URL in your status bar as you do this (the bar at the bottom of your browser). You'll see id=xx at the end of that URL. That xx is your category number. In my case, the category number of the jobs section is 263.

All I have to do now is create a modified URL based on the original feed URL. It will look like this: https://allfreelancewriting.com/feed/?cat=-263

You can then use that new URL anywhere you please - such as in place of the original URL in your theme files or in your feedburner account (which is what I do, and the original URL redirects to the feedburner one).

Now what if you want to eliminate more than one category? That's actually what I do here - I remove the job listings, the writer's markets, and the parent "freelance writing jobs" categories from the main feed, as they have their own. Here's what it looks like with all three removed: https://allfreelancewriting.com/feed/?cat=-263

How to Create an RSS Feed for a WordPress Category

Now that the job listings are removed from the original RSS feed, I want to setup a separate feed just for that category (in this case using the parent freelance writing jobs category so it includes both job postings and writer's markets). Here's what that would look like:

See how easy that part is? Neat, huh? All you had to do was get your category URL and add /feed/ to the end of it. Now I won't guarantee that there's some theme out there with wonky feed settings where this won't work, but I tested it on several of my WordPress blogs, and it worked every time.

Reasons to Separate Feeds

There are several reasons you might want to consider separating your feeds (or even a single feed).

For example, here on All Freelance Writing, there used to be two blogs. The jobs were on another blog entirely. When they were combined, I needed a way to let people keep their job feed (getting writing jobs daily via email), but without forcing them to subscribe to all of the other blog content. This was a simple solution that made the blog merge possible.

Another example would be for "special" categories. For example, I'll be creating a new category and related RSS feed when we have our next 14 day e-book writing challenge here later this year. Regular readers won't have to see those daily posts in their feed, and people following the challenge will be able to subscribe to stay on track.

You could do something similar with an online course. You could even make it available by e-mail only (not visible on the main blog / homepage by removing the category in your templates there - not too complicated, but that can be for another time). So in other words, you promote the course, get people to register, and then they can follow along with you after "registering" by subscribing.

You could also use this strategy if you wanted to setup a category for each author of a multi-author blog (which can be hidden from the main category list on the blog, but still accessible via direct link). You could create individual feeds easily (so they could use it elsewhere to promote their recent content), or you could publish feeds in smaller groups (imagine a content network on a blog platform - you could have a feed for the "Home and Garden" bloggers collectively and another for the "Business and Finance" bloggers for example).

There are plenty of reasons to want to eliminate categories from your RSS feeds as well. For instance, you may have a category that has an unusually high number of posts (maybe you post quick blurbs and a link to industry news). It might overwhelm subscribers if they have 10 of those updates per day, and some longer content-rich posts mixed in. Removing the news posts gives them just the meat of your blog content.

Being able to manipulate your RSS feed(s) quickly and easily can be beneficial for a number of reasons. I hope these tips help a few folks looking to gain a bit of added control over how their content is presented and how it's offered to subscribers.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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5 thoughts on “Create a Blog Feed for a Single Category in WordPress”

  1. hi jennifer, this is a great instruction set, and here is little extra, for those with the default permalinks settings. (if this set didn’t work for some readers that is probably why 😉

    for me, to access a rss feed of a certain category was simply

    all we needed was to set the feed type, and this can be done for other rss types like atom.

    cheers

    note how i needed

    Reply

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