RSS

  • Summary RSS feeds: Do you click through? (Poll)

    How do you keep on track of all your favourite blogs? Email? RSS feed? Chances are, most blog fans will be reading them in something like Google Reader, which gathers together all the updates from your subscribed blogs. It’s quicker, easier and simpler to read that way. It should look something like the image above.

    If you’re a blogger, you can choose how your blogs displays in someone’s reader. Some people prefer to show the entire post, while others prefer a short teaser, to entice the reader into visiting the blog for the full content.

    Personally I read blogs through Flipboard (which you can see an example of on the left, with a lovely post from Temporary Secretary), which allows me to read a full post, comment and share without leaving the app. But when I solely used Google Reader, post summaries were a little annoying. I rarely clicked through, unless the content was particularly interesting or I wanted to leave a comment.

    But I see the benefits of only using a summary too. It can encourage more people to visit your site, meaning page views should rise along with comments.

    I’d love to know what you think though, in the poll below.

     

    [poll id=”2″]

    I’d also love to hear from those who use summary RSS feeds. Do you find you get a good click through rate? Is it better than when you display the full RSS feed?

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  • How do you measure a blog’s success?

    This morning, I woke up to a Twitter DM from the lovely beauty blogger Tsunimee enquiring about how valid Google Friends Connect is as a measurement of your blog readers. A lot of beauty bloggers seem to use it as a guide to how popular their blog is, and to an extent it does prove to visitors how many regular readers you have.

    The thing is, there are so many ways for someone to subscribe to a blog that it’s difficult to rely on one tool to showcase how popular your blog is. Visitors to your blog could:

    • Sign up to your RSS feed, or through your Feedburner feed
    • Sign up to a newsletter if you have one
    • Add you on BlogLovin’
    • Add themselves to your Google Friends Connect
    • Follow you on Twitter
    • Follow you on Facebook
    • Follow you on LinkedIn
    • Follow you on Google+

    You get the picture…

    Some people may use several of these methods, while others may choose just one or two. As long as they’re reading your content, does it really matter how many options you give them to subscribe?

    The alternative way to measure your blog success is by looking at your blog stats.

    Ah, blog stats…

    The thing is, most of them give you completely different figures. Compare your Blogger stats with your Google Analytics and the results can be vastly different. Add Get Clicky into the mix and it all gets very confusing. To add to this, it’s not unknown for some bloggers to stretch the truth a little about their stats, which can create false competition between other bloggers.

    So perhaps the key is to focus on quality and not quantity. If you’re creating content that others are happily sharing on their social networks, commenting on and blogging about themselves, then you’re probably doing the right thing. If the stats you have are rising as a result, you’re definitely doing the right thing.

    Tsunimee asked if there was one tool for measuring a blog’s success, or one tool she could embed to show other bloggers (and PRs) how she’s doing. Personally, I’d suggest not worrying too much about it. I have a Google Friends Connect gadget on the right (which you can get here) so people can join if they want, but I don’t use it as a measurement as I know many others use RSS. Additionally, as Tsunimee pointed out, Google Friends Connect can be limited to those who use Gmail/Blogger.

    How do you measure the success of your blog? Traffic? Google Connect Friends? Comment? Social Sharing? Let me know in the comments!

    (Keep an eye out for a post in the future with some methods for increasing traffic)