I read so many blogs, that it’s hard to keep track of them, so I use an RSS reader. Since it’s been getting more and more common, I decided to do a bit of research and see why bloggers do this. Today, I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t truncate your RSS feed.
These are the most common reasons why people post only excerpts:
1. Drive more traffic to your site
I’ve recently read one of those ‘how to grow your blog’ posts and one of the things they were suggesting was to truncate your feed. It’s true that those who use RSS readers don’t appear in your stats, and it’s especially important for those who have advertisements on their sites. You should know though that sponsors care more about reach and engagement than your numbers. That is, they are more interested in how you spread your information and how many people listen to you.
Also, it’s very important to keep in mind that those who add you to their readers, are people who want to build a relationship with you. They are those who want to read all your posts, and it’s important to them to receive them every day.
If I only see a title and a couple of sentences, I will probably skip the post or even unsubscribe. I’m sure there are a lot of people like me. But if the post is interesting, then I’ll probably go to your blog and read the comments.
2. Deter content scrapers
Scrapers steal content and post it on their own websites. Usually, these websites are full of ads so they make money off your content. I’ve heard a lot of bloggers say that they shorten their feeds to prevent this, but the truth is that anyone can steal anything from your blog.
You can protect your content by watermarking your photos or inserting a copyright message at the bottom of your posts. If you are on WordPress you can install a plugin to do this. The WordPress SEO plugin adds a message at the bottom of my feed stating that the post was published first on my blog.
3. Readers are less likely to share your content
This might be true, but I believe people are most likely to share if you allow them to use their selected readers. And most importantly, RSS readers have share buttons. These share buttons actually share a link to your post, not to your reader. Even if you pin the image using the reader, it will link back to your blog.
4. Less comments
I could agree with this, though not completely. Maybe I’m an optimist, but I think that if you have a great post, your readers will go to your blog and leave a comment.
5. People can’t see your sponsors’ buttons
If you are blogging for your business or have ads on your blog, you will most likely want readers to come to your blog. I also want that, but I will make sure my readers know what I do, and every now and then I will write about my business or new products.
There are also ways you can make your sponsors’ images visible to your readers. With a little HTML, you can add them at the bottom of your feed. They might be annoying, but at least they are there.
Should you truncate your RSS feed?
You’ve probably guessed by now that my answer is NO. As a blogger and business owner, my aim is to make my content accessible and easy to share. I want people to read my blog, and it isn’t that important if they come to my blog, use a reader, or are subscribed by email. Whatever you choose, make sure you consider your options carefully, and after you pick one, stick with it.
How about you? Do you shorten your RSS feed?