Is your feed count decreasing while your great content is getting better? It is not unusual to see blogs with great content having low number of feed readers. Though you might get a spike in feed counts when your site hits Digg or Slashdot, retaining these readers is the key to success. So why do feed readers unsubscribe?
Here are some very valid reasons and I will just express my thoughts about a few of these points.
- Too many posts – I had subscribed to some top feeds like CNET which had great content, but it was very difficult to keep the unread articles count down. Since I read using the river of news style in Google reader, I had no choice but to unsubscribe. A solution is to subscribe to category feeds, concise feeds, daily digests or weekly round up feeds such sites offer. Get their best content without overwhelming yourself.
- Infrequent Posting – A very common reason. Such blogs are the first to get unsubscribed when you go spring cleaning. Why read 100 feeds, 50 of which never update. A exception to this rules is official blogs of your favorite services, which often post occasional announcements only.
- Partial Excerpts Feeds – There is no end to this discussion. If your content is good, even partial feeds work. Its just an extra click!
- Off topic posts – Stick to your niche. Nothing offends dedicated readers more when a tech blogs starts talking about how you made coffee today.
- Recycled News – Everyone is talking the same thing. Just visit Techmeme, or Megite and you know that original bloggers are scarce. We all republish official announcements too often. We all see what is popular and make it more popular. Are we simply multiplicating the same content?
- Uninteresting Content -No hope for you. You must have done something great to get them subscribed the first time.
- Over self promotion – Offer readers something useful. If you are blogging wonderful stuff – it will promote itself and you too.
- Too long posts – People don’t have time to read. You have to keep them motivated enough to read the whole 5000 word article. People are impulsive and impatient. Monitors cause eyestrain, tell them a reason to stay before they get a headache.
- Negative blogging – We want to stay happy and optimistic. Give me something useful to read and I will come back.
- Feed Errors – Its a feed reader problem. Switch to Google Reader.
- Over selling ads – How many ads can you sell on a partial feed. Keep a balance between content and earnings.
- Misleading titles – Keywords are not only good for conveying your thought, but for SEO too. Guess this title 198.2
- Grammatical Errors – Carelessness is not tolerated. Proofread. Proofread again.
- Primary blogger changes – Every blogger has a unique style which keep people coming back. If I sell this blog, would you unsubscribe? Think about it…