I love reading about other peoples blogs. Be it travel, tech, food or something else, its like my own form of drug and one I’ll never be able to give up. In saying that, you have to make it easy for me to follow you and keep up with everything as I’m normally very time poor. You can’t expect me to visit your blog everyday to check for updates about posts and comments.
After you’ve done the hard part and got as a reader why loose me over something that is easily fixed? So here are two of my biggest blog turns offs that will stop me reading your blog.
- Your RSS/Email updates doesn’t display your full blog post
- I can’t subscribe to your comments
How and Why to Publish your RSS Feed in Full
I’ve read many reasons as to why people won’t display their full blog post in their RSS feed or email updates. An example is that if I only give you a teaser of information it will entice/force you to click through to my blog, and another I don’t want people stealing my post from my feed and publishing it somewhere else.
The reality is, people will steal your content weather its in your blog feed or not and unless you write some amazing content 3-4 lines of text isn’t enough to entice people in. As I read a lot I tend to skim read and if the post is interesting I click through if not I move on. If I have over 200 posts to read and I come across your teaser of text in my RSS feed I completely skip it, I don’t want to be forced into looking at your blog.
So how do you make your full blog feed show up for us RSS readers? Login to the backend of your blog and click on Settings then Reading down the left hand side menu. (Note this is valid for both free and self-hosted wordpress blogs)
Here you can choose between showing your article in one of two ways:
- Full Text
What you want to select is Full Text and then hit the big old save button at the bottom. From now on all blog posts will show your full post and not a tiny sample of it. Also on that page you can adjust how many actual posts will appear in your RSS feed at any one time. Personally I like to display the last 10 posts as it allows for new readers to get some of the older content to read over.
Subscribe To Comments
Everyone loves getting comments on their blog posts. Its a sign people are reading your blog and are genuinely interested enough in what you have to say that they have taken time to respond. Maybe its just to say great post or even better ask you a question in return.
I like to think of comments on my posts as an extension of the blog post, a way to further discuss what you wrote about and connect with readers that may have visited the same place or have a recommendation for you to see something else while you are still there.
If a reader has left you a comment they will no doubt expect a reply from you, I know I do. What I don’t like is having to come back to your blog to get my reply, can’t you just email it to me?
And so this is where you can install a Subscribe To Comments plugin on your blog allowing your readers to have your post replies emailed. This saves the problem of always checking your blog for a response and its a simply update to keep your readers in the loop. But which plugin do you install? Last time I checked the choice was a rather long one.
The following are just a couple of plugins I have used and am happy to help out with getting installed:
- Subscribe To Double-Opt-In Comments
- Subscribe To Comments Reloaded
- Disqus Comment System – More advanced Setup
Free wordpress hosted blogs have comment subscription services built in so you guys are all good to go. For us self-hosted folk you can find either of these plugins by going to Plugins and then Add New in the left hand side menu. Enter in the name of the plugin you are after and search for it against wordpress’s directory.
When it returns the results click the Install Now link and once it has downloaded you can Activate it.
Both of the above mentioned plugins allow for a similar subscription model to the free wordpress blogs comment system. Where by readers will be emailed a confirmation request to ensure they want to subscribe. This is a built-in safety system to help reduce spam being sent from your blog and also to stop random people subscribing you to their blog without your consent.
It might not seem like much but both the above features are must have’s for me to want to follow your blog. With new travel blogs starting up almost daily, you want to do everything you can to ensure readers continue to come back to read what you have to say.
Now I’d like to know your thoughts on the above. Do you have a different comment subscription plugin installed you think should be included? and what other things are must have’s for you to continue to read someone’s blog?