|RSS Feed Icons|
This week I did something that I needed to do, I deleted all of my Google Reader Subscriptions (feeds) and decided to start over.
Okay Shaw, “What are you doing this time?”
I had over 500 feeds in gReader and that was simply way too many! I didn’t really feel like going through them all individually and when you add in that there were a lot of subscriptions that were either inactive or that I didn’t really read anymore – it just seemed to me to make more sense to start over.
So the other night I did.
When I did this and as began to add blogs back that I wanted to read, sounded interesting or that I had read before and enjoyed – an interesting pattern began to develop.
For just about half of the blogs that I was interested in subscribing to, it wasn’t easy to figure out how to subscribe to that blog!
There were no RSS feed subscription icons or links in the sidebar or at the top of the blog. I had to either cut and paste the subscription into my gReader or try to use the RSS subscription tool in Chrome which causes my browser to crash. To say that I got frustrated would be an understatement.
It got to the point where if a blog didn’t make it easy to subscribe I didn’t.
RSS Feed Icon
The above RSS Icons are a bit fancier than the basic one here, but somewhere above the fold on your blog, there should be a RSS subscribe icon or a link for readers to be able to easily subscribe to your blog/feed.
Other Types of Feeds
Many blogs only had the Blogger Friends or the Networked Blogs sidebar widgets, which I choose not to use most of the time. I cannot back up my feeds using these methods if I want to move my reader to something other than gReader or if something happens I can just re-load my feeds), so unless I have a specific reason for using that widget – I usually don’t.
RSS is not Dead
In spite of what some people say RSS is not dead and is still used by a lot of us out here. We are another source of readers for your blog and shouldn’t be ignored.
Subscribe to Your Blog’s Feed
My suggestion, recommendation, and/or plea is that you go to your blog and actually subscribe to your own blog now. If it was easy for you, it probably will be easy for your readers.
However, if you have a difficult time subscribing to your own feed, think about how hard it is for your readers and do something about it.
The advice I have always seen is that you should put the subscription button or information above the fold and if you are a little more aggressive, at the bottom of each post. Where you put your subscription information is up to you, but if you don’t make it easy for me or others, we won’t subscribe to your blog.
Don’t rely on the Reader
You shouldn’t rely on me or other readers to make it easy to subscribe to your blog, it is the blog’s owner’s responsibility to make it easy for the reader to subscribe to their blog or feed.
Some people still like to get your blog subscriptions in their email, if that is the case, please make it easy for us to subscribe that way as well. I still use this method for certain blogs that I really want to keep up with, so while I might be a bit old school, I know that I am not alone. Is it quick and easy to subscribe by email to your blog?
A Bit of a Rant
Sorry if this sounded a bit like a rant, but many of you have blogs that I want in my Google Reader and unfortunately you didn’t make it easy for me to do so.
The reality is that
perhaps your blog was one of these blogs and I am missing reading the important things that you have to say in your blog now, only because you didn’t make it easy enough for me to subscribe to your blog.
I know that I am going to go back in and re-do my sidebar widgets to make it easier for people to subscribe to my blog after this week.
Go take a look at your blog, you might be surprised.