Recently I’ve been working on clearing out my feed reader. I have gone from 215 subscriptions back to 143 – a huge drop. This is no easy task, but some bloggers have made it easy for me to make the decision – keep reading, or unsubscribe? Here’s some of the reasons why I have unsubscribed from some of the blogs.
1. Posts Too Long.
Writing one huge long post every week and posting rarely in between. There was one blog on my google reader, I kid you not, who would write posts averaging between 4,000 to 5,000 words once a week. Was it anything I could use? No. It was simply egotistical shyte where the blogger answered a whole bunch of questions other readers had asked – some of you may know the blog I mean..
Their last post in my reader was 5261 words, 28792 characters and just to give you an idea, I pasted it into word. It went for 15 pages. ONE POST!!!!!! And people say my posts are long, ya’all ain’t seen nothing yet! Just for comparison sake – this post is 2199 words long, 11276 characters and was four pages when I posted it into word.
I don’t mind a long post, if you have something useful and interesting to say. If you’re just pandering to your massive ego, I’m hitting unsubscribe.
2. Posts Too Pithy.
Every post they wrote was three lines or less. Every. Single. One. I enjoy pith as much as the next person, but there is such a thing as too much pith. Give me some substance!
3. Where Are You?
Some of the blogs deleted last week had not been updated at all in over 6 months. Hello, these bloggers had people who were reading you and they went and blew it. Maybe they got busy. Maybe they got a life. Maybe they got hit by a bus. I don’t know, and now I’ll never know, because they just left me hanging. I’ve unsubscribed. Readers of this blog will be happy to know, if something happened to me I have a plan all ready to deal with it. You’ll never be left wondering here.
4. They Went Quiet.
They used to post regularly and I was loving it, but now I realise I haven’t heard from them in a couple of months – and their last post didn’t say “I’m going on holidays” “I’m taking a break from blogging” “I have to do (insert important thing) so you may not hear from me so much over the next few (length of time)”. If it did, I’d be ok waiting. Seriously. We all have lives to live.
They have a term for this with nuclear submarines – going quiet. Unless you happen to be living in one, it’s not a good idea to do it with your blog. Readers will unsubscribe – like I just did. It is a good idea for bloggers to let their readers know if they are going to be away for a bit. It’s a nice thing to do for their loyal readers.
5. They Are A Wanna-be.
I linked to them for at least 6 months and I told them I was linking to them via a comment. They never linked back. They never dropped by my place and left a comment. In their links list all I see are “a-list” bloggers. All they talk about is what the “a-list” bloggers are saying or doing. If I wanted to know what the “a-list” bloggers were saying or doing, I’d be reading the a-list bloggers. I don’t read the a-list bloggers. I wanted to read *them*, not some poor soul wishing they could be on the “a-list” and sucking up to the “a-list” bloggers in every post.
I’ll give that link to another blogger who deserves it more. Just a hint they might be able to use – Spread your link love around and base it on content, not what supposed “list” the blog is on.
6. I’m Not Feeling It.
In order for me to read a blog, I have to sometimes know what the blogger is talking about. There is one blogger I deleted because they write these major in depth posts that read like a legal document. On a personal blog. There is never any personal posts, never any images and a lot of 50 cent words you only hear used in spelling bees.
If a blogger is writing like that on their personal blog, maybe they need to take a holiday. Relax. Not that I can’t handle in depth posts and legal wording but from time to time, chill out and have a laugh! Tell me something funny that happened. Lighten up.
7. I’m Overwhelmed.
Some people post too much. Two to three posts a day is one thing. Four every day, a blogger may be pushing it. 5-15 posts a day is way out of control. I want to know about the bloggers I read, but I don’t want to know every single detail that happens in their life! Learn to edit. Write things and put them aside for a wrap up post, one longer post instead of 6 short little ones.
Writing doesn’t have an expiration date. It is perfectly fine to write 5-15 posts in a day but a blogger can schedule them to post over the next couple of weeks. They will feel fantastic because you know their blog is posting the things they wrote, and readers will feel good because they get to read it in small, manageable daily chunks rather than one huge mind dump. ;) Don’t pummel your readers with posts!
8. The Content Went AWOL.
Some bloggers have got into paid posts so much that it is all they blog about anymore. I’m all about supporting a bloggers right to make money but if bloggers aren’t providing non-paid content as well, they will lose their readers, and consequently find it harder to get paid blogging jobs. My preference is that bloggers follow up a paid post with non paid content soon after posting the paid content, at least on the same day.
9. The Content Was Negative
Not one positive post in the whole time I’ve been reading? Some bloggers just want to whinge and they are not prepared to look at the positives in life? Sorry, that’s not for me. I prefer positive thought. Occasional snark is one thing, I can appreciate that. Being mad at the world 24/7/365? It’s depressing the heck out of me. Let me off this rollercoaster ride into negativity!
10. I’m Waiting.
One post a month? One post every two months? Seriously? Are their readers so unimportant to them? They have nothing to say? They can’t find a news article to speak about? They can’t post a photo and one line of text? I have to tell those bloggers, I think maybe they are too busy to have a blog. Seriously. I’m unable to deal with such long gaps between posts unless the content is *incredible*.
11. They Moved.
Without telling me more than once – and now I’ve lost that connection to them. Here’s a piece of advice for moving bloggers. Keep the old blog for at least a month. Once a week during that month, post a reminder that the blog has moved have moved on the old blog. That’s for feed readers of the blog, who may not have received the message that the blog is moving the first time. A reader may have hit “mark all as read” because there were 500 posts in one folder and they couldn’t face reading it.
Give your blog readers every possible chance to follow you when you move. They are not expecting you to move and are unprepared for it. Me personally I’d be posting “I’ve moved here” once a week on that old blog for six to eight weeks.
12. They Were Cliquey.
Some bloggers just want their friends reading. It might be best to make their blog private so readers don’t get attached to them. It can be hurtful to people when a blogger totally ignores some readers and comments, while responding to others.
13. Template Issues.
Every time I visited the blog, there was different template. And I visited the site a lot over the space of a few weeks, I said via comments how much I liked a couple of the templates but one day I got tired of the constant switching, things moving around.. it was just too much. Sorry. The content was ok but not good enough to overcome the massive template indecision.
14. They Told Me They Were Quitting.
I understand. I’ll miss them. In order to keep the blogroll alive, I’ve taken the link to that blog down but if they come back, I’ll put it back up before I finish reading the first post saying they are returning to blogging, I promise. I enjoyed their blogging and I hope they return.
But Wait A Minute?
Some of you may have read this list and thought “I do that” “Ouch, I’ve made that mistake” or even “I never realised how annoying that could be to my readers, I’ll never do it again!” If so, that is fantastic. It will make your blog even better – for me and for all your readers. Perhaps now is a good time to take a moment – to consider whether you are being considerate of your blog readers and mindful of what could make them unsubscribe from your feed.
If your name is still on my blogroll, it means one of two things.
1. You are linking to me, which I deeply appreciate, thanks! I’ll never de-link you while you link to me. If I did it by accident please let me know. This job has been evil and I have been working on it for over a week now and still have not tracked down everyone linking to me.
2. I love you so much I can’t let you go. Even though you don’t link to me. It would be nice if you did, but I enjoy your writing and I’m giving you that link because of it. If you don’t enjoy mine, you probably shouldn’t be linking to me.
My Future Policy – updated 26/1/15
If I like your blog, I add you to my feed reader. Once a month I do a new feeds post which you can find here.
After 6 months, I review the blogs I added and decide whether I am keeping them or unsubscribing. If I am keeping the blog, it will be listed on my blogroll.
This post is now accompanied by a post from Sephy with a lot of how-to info on RSS feeds. He’s great at taking the tech out of technical things so non technical people like me can understand them. Make sure to read it!. You may also want to have a look at these useful articles –
- Top 10 Sins of Blog Usability
- Thirteen Blog Clichés
- Simply said…How To Blog
- 7.5 Reasons I Abandoned You Today
- Top 7 blog mistakes to avoid
Over To You.
What are your thoughts? What is your policy on linking to blogs? Do you struggle with who you should give the link love to? Do you feel bad or rejected when people don’t link back to you? What about when people delete their link to you? Do you have blogs you’re hanging on to which you would love to delete? Comments are closed, so you can contact me here to let me know what you think.