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.
41 thoughts on “14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Blogs.”
Excellent articles the past few days. I try to keep my links to only those blogs I do read on a daily basis but aren’t in my feeder, ie: friends or blogs I love. I am contemplating setting up a section in my About with other links from my reader and ones I don’t subscribe to but peruse once in awhile.
I must be doing something right, because you haven’t unsubscribed from me yet and I’m averaging five posts/articles a day.
I’ve removed some blogs from my reader for some of the same reasons. A personal peeve of mine is when I add a new blog to my reader and realise the feed isn’t in full. So unless this blog is astronomically interesting, it’s out of my reader.
Also, regarding linking. When I first started blogging, I used to link to anyone who wanted to do link exchanges even if there was nothing worthwhile on their blogs. I like to think I’m more discerning now and generally only link to blogs I truly enjoy and want to share with others. I don’t ask for a link back so I’m really happy when they decide to do so of their own volition.
I’m glad RT reviewed this blog. Another addition to my reader. :)
Now I’m all paranoid that I’m doing some of those! lol.
Well I’m on your US Blogs list so that’s something and just know that if I haven’t added your link to my LWH blogroll yet I just haven’t had a chance.
I got to your blog from the blog review by RT. Good post…
Would you like a link exchange with my blog as well? And based on your criteria, would you link to my blog?
Great post! I’ve also been trying to winnow down the list lately and have used some of the same thought processes.
lis’s comment is also another reason I’ll drop a blog from the reader. If it isn’t a full feed, I’m probably not going to last long.
I think I have one (out of just under 100) that isn’t a full feed and I just enjoy it too much to let it go.
i have no idea if i do any of these things. i suppose i do. i didn’t check to see if i was deleted. i do know this: i read blogs i like. period. you and several others are people and blogs i like and find interesting and kind (kind is VERY important). so i read you and will continue to do so. i sometimes can’t comment enough, and i apologize.
I think a lot of people get unduly offended when someone they like and respect removes a link from their site. Rather than look into the question of “why” it might have happened.
Personally, I link to sites I read and like, but if the spark vanishes, so does the link.
Here’s a curly one for you though Snoskred – if a blogger you know has died, when is it appropriate to de-link them? (I’m facing that question right now)
I think I’ve come to realize that there has to be some connection and some reciprocity in communication. Recently,I did a post about this very topic. It’s hard to delink someone.. because we kind of get attached to the people we read regularly.. but when they simply disappear, I don’t want to hang on to them. It feels “icky” when it’s that unequal.
This doesn’t mean I’m political.. it just means that I like to have two-way communication.
I have four words for you – Full feeds in feed readers!! I’m more likely not to read what you write (not you Snoskred because you offer full feeds) if you don’t offer full feeds. I will still visit a blog if I want to leave a comment, but I don’t leave comments on every post I read so I don’t always need to visit the blog.
This does affect stats, but my RSS subscriptions have gone slowly but surely up this year, and I’m sure it’s, in part, to the fact I offer full feeds.
Can I say it again? Full feeds people, full feeds.
I checked to see if I’m still linked to, and I wasn’t there, so I got all sad. But then – THEN – I read the next bit (see I’m too eager, I didn’t finish reading the post!) and you said if you’re on the Aussie blog list, you might not have listed it twice. So technically you still might not read me, but I can hope you do, hehe.
When I got to the “template” thing, I panicked a little – but I have a reason – I was trying to find a new one! It’s all done now, so hopefully that wasn’t me. :P
I agree with a lot of what you said – in fact, I just cleaned out my linky love and bloglines list yesterday. I deleted some blogs for some of the same reasons as you.
As for the linky love, I’ll generally link back to anyone who links to me – but if I visit their blog and I’d rather chew off my arm than read it, I might not. I don’t give linky love just for the sake of it – and if it means they’ll stop linking to me, then so be it – if that happens then they obviously didn’t like my blog well enough to stick with it.
Sorry this is so long!
Good post. :)
Misti – I think the more link love a blogger can give out, the better. ;) So I’m all for the section you are contemplating.
RT – You are one of the bloggers I love so much, you could do all 14 of the above things and I’d still be reading ;)
Lis – I only have one blog on my list that is a partial feed, that I notice. There’s a couple which become a partial feed once they are not the most recent post – must be some kind of wordpress plugin. Thanks for following the link from RT, and welcome to my blog, I’ll drop by yours when I have a spare minute.. ;)
Jo – You were added to the sidebar as a part of the US blogs list, and as such haven’t been removed from the other one. :) I understand about the not having a chance thing, and I’m not on the US blogs list, cos I am in Australia ;)
Hari – Absolutely! It’s a crazy couple of days for me with the other half having days off and us organizing a move, so the earliest I might be able to do it is Friday.
Handy – I don’t envy you the job, it is one I am thrilled to have completed after a week of solid effort. ;) That’s one reason why I think the future plan will work better for me. ;) One big list is just unwieldy to manage.
Christine – you’re still there, and I wouldn’t delete you. ;) You’re in my fave ladies folders for good. ;) I will have to talk about how I have my reader organised one day.
Aurelius – Lucky so far nobody has sent me any nasty emails! ;) but maybe that is something only the scammers do. If someone died, I probably would leave the link there for at least 3 months out of respect, but there comes a time when you have to keep the blogroll alive I think. Six months maximum.
Chani – Your post was partly the inspiration for this too. I understand how you feel about the icky-ness. At the same time a link from me is the least I can do for a blog I adore and I know not everyone has the same amount of time or takes blogging as seriously as I do. ;)
Jaycee – I have noticed a strong increase in mine too. I think a lot of people don’t offer it because they don’t know about the stats you can get with feedburner.
Katie – just like Jo, you were never in that list, you’ve always been in the Aussie Blogs List so you haven’t been de-linked to. :) I read all the blogs on the Aussie Blogs list via the RSS feed, I usually do it daily but the last couple of days I have been running behind. More on why will be posted shortly. ;) And don’t apologise for a long comment, I love that! ;)
Thanks for the comments everyone! ;) I appreciate your thoughts.
Jaycee – I totally agree with you! I used to run a partial feed, because there were services out there taking feeds and, long story short, make money off of my content. However, I read a bunch of articles on why you should run a full feed and switched back.
Supposedly, one of the side effects of running a partial feed is more visitors, but I really didn’t notice a difference between numbers before or after I switched feed types.
Now, I definitely prefer to have a full item in my reader – otherwise I’ll just let the new posts accumulate, thinking that I’m going to take the time to view them, or just mark it all as read.
Thanks Snoskred, I was looking forward to this post when I read it was coming up in your weekly wrap up…..I unsubscribe for all these reasons too – but Id add whinging (tho it goes with negative doesnt it) that sends me to the unsub button in my reader pretty darn quick too!
I may or may not do some of these things, but truly, it’s the posting often thing that I can’t handle. Most likely, if I like someone, for instance, like you, who posts more than once a day, I will comment on only one. I cannot read 3 posts from one author because of time constraints, and because my brain is soggy. In most cases I think that writing suffers when posting gets prolific. Being saturated with posts in my Google reader makes me feel overwhelmed.
Excellent Post as usual Snoskred :) I really enjoyed it and I too was wondering if you took me off :) its been quite some time since you visited my blog….
I hope I am not guilty of doing all 14!! One that I have been trying to ‘fix’ is the partial feed! I still remember your comment when I switched to the partial feed that you liked the ‘tease’, but since then I have read almost every other blogger talking about the full feed and I have been trying to switch but somehow it won’t work! Just today I have the funniest thing happen, some of the posts are displaying partial some others full feed… go figure!
but in any case, I’d love to hear from you…
It’s investment, for me.
I have such limited time. I cannot imagine as many blogs as that. I have about 80. I don’t mean to be elitist, simply selective. I have to be regularly invested before faving. It’s the time, you understand. And getting worse. I’m as cognizant about clearing from faves, too.
I will say…I must REALLY like you if I go through the hoops these verification comments require.
I think more need to discuss the netiquette.
It will come as no surprise to you that about half of this was greek to me. What’s an A-list blogger? And, I have no idea if my blog appears in feed readers or how. I’m pretty clueless, which is part of why I read you — you tend to clue me in.
Sephy – Yeah we talked about changing the feeds a long time back after I read an article somewhere and both of us changed back. I’m glad we did. ;)
Lavender – I was reading this one blogger who got into a massive catfight with another blogger, and within two posts I unsubscribed because all she was doing was whinging about how she was right and perfect etc and the other blogger was not. And I thought whoa, what if she ever got mad at me!
Liv – I try to keep it to just two posts per day. That’s my aim – the thought of the day post, which is just a quick short post, and one other post. I always post the thought of the day within an hour or so of getting up, and then I put the other one online a little later.
The times I deviate from that are usually when I have a sponsored post in the middle, because I always want to follow that up with my own content soon afterwards.
I have thought about taking the thought of the day off to its own blog, but I really like having it here, especially since I put the images in and I’m not sure people would follow it to another blog..
Three will be the max posts in one day here. I certainly wouldn’t expect anyone to comment on all of them! ;) I will try to spread them out a little more, leaving more time in between, if I can – would that help?
I have been reading you, but I’m not able to comment as often as usual lately, with this get organised kick I’m on. And it will be worse while we’re moving. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to commenting like a demon within 4 weeks. ;) hehe
Julie – I am seriously thinking about turning them off and seeing if I am over-run with spam. I might try it for a week. Consider it sorted. ;)
I do think netiquette might be a good hump day hmmm topic for future weeks. ;)
Emily – It does appear in feed readers, cos I am getting your feed that way. You should take a look at Sephy’s post because he breaks down the technical stuff beautifully and you will have a better understanding of how it works.
Not to worry, I remember not knowing how it works myself. ;)
Thanks for the comments everyone! ;) Glad you enjoyed this article..
It is a really hard decision – whether to add someone or not… I usually add people if I like their site and then see how I go… if the spark goes… I do too so to speak… I find it hard to remove someone – even if they have been slackers and not posted for a while – if I know them personally.
As for bloggers who have died… I used to read Zinnia Cyclamen – a humanist funeral celebrant and she has a special section called Gone but not forgotton…
I read over 100 feeds a day, but I only link to personal blogs on my site. I think the a-listers certainly get their share of links, so I try to give the smaller guys a chance.
Really, I do want to read, but I’m tired. I just want you to know that I care, and I’m reading, but my life is a shit storm right now, and I’m exhausted! xoxo
Cellobella – I can’t always tell straight away if I’m going to love a blog, which is one reason things got so out of control – I would add people just to see whether that sparky thing happened. Now, I think the new idea is going to be a lot easier for me.
Jon – What an amazing blog you have there! I’m adding you to the new blogs I read list. ;)
Liv – I get what you’re saying. I’m devoting a lot of time to the blog and blogging, but many people are doing it more of a hobby.
Yet, I can’t feel bad about the amount I’m posting, because one of the blogs I deleted was posting 9+ times a day.
If things are getting to be too much, my suggestion to my readers would be just to read my Sunday wrap up posts. That way you can keep up with what is going on here with me – without having to read every post I make. ;) I know there are people doing that, and I respect it.
This is my main blog at the moment but soon I am starting a new project and I think it will get a little bit quieter here, at least.
Thanks for the comments all! ;)
wow, thanks for sharing this. I found some mistakes of mine when I was new on the net, and yes it feels painful before whenever someone wanted to link exchange then finding out you weren’t linked back. thanks for this wonderful information, It might really wake up some bloggers out there, because seriously all of what you said here is true, and I so agree to each and every one of them. I admit I made mistakes in the past and I learned what readers want because of lists like these. I learn to just link sites I love and not ask anything in return unless they want to link me then my heart is skipping away happily! is it ok if I link to this post of yours? I wanted to share this piece of information to all bloggers who drop by my blog.
take care and God bless
Very informative post! Thank you..
VERY late in chiming in, but thanks very much for linking to my blog mistakes article! Much appreciated.
What a great and timeless post!
I’ve managed to always use full feeds but I suspect I slipped up when I moved a PR4 blogger blog to WordPress with a completely different domain and blog title.
Even though I posted I was moving I should have done more. You’ve inspired me to offer something else through my old blog (which is still there but redirecting).
Even though I’m coming into this rather late, you make some great points here and I do believe I’ll link to you in my blog.
I’ve enjoyed several of your articles since I’ve been here and you’re a writer after my own heart — you know how to spell and that “a lot” is two words :)
I’ll be coming back for more.
GREAT post! Thanks for writing it.
I have spent some time reading about 10-12 of your posts. Good stuff.
I’ll be adding you to my blog roll in next 48 hours.