This post forms part of my series looking at a list of blogger debates posted at the ProBlogger website.
Today I attempted to answer the question Should I use Full or Partial RSS Feeds?
What is the difference between a full and partial feed?
So the chances are you don’t know the difference between a full and a partial feed, if you do then feel free to skip past this section, although you will miss out on some of this site’s best jokes.
- Full Feed: As the name suggests this contains the entire content of your post. Every word, phrase, picture etc is sent out in your feed and delivered to your subscribers.
- Partial Feed: And yes, you have guessed it, the partial feed only contains a sub section of the posted article. Normally this will be the first few hundred words, but enough to get your reader interested.
So what’s the debate here?
The big question revolves around getting your visitors to interact with your site and how you can make money from them. If you give only a small sample of your feed then the idea is that you will hook the reader in and then get them onto your site. In fact you really need to gear your snippet up to selling the post and converting that user to a click through .
By giving the user the full feed you are saving them hassle of having to visit your site, the reader can view your post, scan over it and digest the interesting bits. Remember that most internet browsers will be in skim mode so again you are having to work hard to get their attention.
So should I have partial or full feeds then?
Go for full feeds. Here at Blogercise we are interested in building a long term site that will continue to grow week after week, year after year. And to do that you need to concentrate on user experience. Which feed type has the better user experience? Full feeds.
This is because as a reader I want to go to my RSS feed application and have a quick look through for interesting stories. The first thing I look for is a topic that will catch my attention. I talk about choosing a good title elsewhere on the site, but a good way to learn is simply pay attention to the titles that draw you in. If you find yourself reading a story always have a look back and think ‘how did I come to be reading this?’ – you might be surprised about what this teaches you with respect to online marketing!
As a feed reader, I then want to read the post. I don’t want to have to click through, wait for my browser to fire up and then secondly for the page to load up and then scroll down past ads to find the story. Personally if this is required I will probably just unsubscribe there and then. You’r content isn’t so interesting that I’m going to work for it.
By showing the full content in the feed I can get to what I want quickly and this is what the Internet is all about. The content needs to be on topic, and relevant to what I was expecting to hold my interest.
Getting more from your readers
Ultimately, if you are blogging for money, you need to funnel your visitors towards your goal. Full feeds need not be a blocker to this.
- Feed ads: Adverts in RSS feeds are quite common these days, of course you don’t want them to get in the way of your readers but if you get the balance right you can be pushing ads out to 1000s of loyal regualr readers every day.
- Affiliate Links: There is nothing stopping your affiliate links coming through into your RSS feeds. If your goal is to get readers to click through these links then pushing them right out to your feed readers is a good plan.
- Link Link Link: People like links. Throughout your post you can link back to your site, so when the time is right they will be coming back to your blog and hopefully interacting with multiple pages, ads and affiliate links.
Build for the future
Sure, getting thousands of visitors in every day via google is a great way to go and I would always recommend chasing search traffic for highly qualified terms that will get in the right kind of person. However once they are on your site why not try to convert them to a long term loyal reader, get them to sign up to your RSS feed and then push your content out to them each day. The more contact they have with you the more often they will come back to you and not a competitor when the need arises.
Photo Credit: IDS.Photos