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Full blog feed or partial feed – what is your readers’ preference?

So I have a little question with today’s post.

When you subscribe to a blog via e-mail or RSS feed, do you prefer to have the whole post (regardless of how long it is) right there in the e-mail, or to have a “Read more of this post…” link you have to click to see the rest?

I ask because I notice in my own subscriptions that some bloggers do it one way while others do it another way.

FULL FEED

PARTIAL FEED

I am personally MUCH more inclined to read the full post in my e-mail than I am to click through to a post on the Web from an e-mail link. Even though clicking that link is an automated process, it means a few extra steps. First, I have to wait for it to load (yes, I can be that impatient) and then when I’m done reading, I’ve got to close the tab/window. Not to mention that if I’ve been making time for e-mail, now I’m back in the browser and look … there’s a new comment on my Facebook page, so let me go see what that’s all about. Really, I don’t need any more help wasting time.

The only upside I can see to a blogger using a partial feed for their e-mail subscribers is that with a strong headline and a big hook in the intro content, people may click through to the blog to read the rest, which can lead to increased page views from otherwise one-dimensional subscribers.

According to Best Blogging Tips Online, two other benefits of a truncated feed are the appeal to folks with short attention spans and those reading on mobile devices, for whom a really long post can just be too much in an e-mail. Hmmm… I can’t say I’m really convinced. Best Blogging also notes that unless you’re a great teaser writer, you’re going to have to “offer a great pull to convince people that the full blog is worth clicking through to.”

Of course, as I think on it now, I am definitely more likely to share a post after I’ve followed a link to the Web, because I’m already there and the link is so easy to copy. If I’m reading the whole post in e-mail or RSS feed, now I’ve got to make that extra effort to click the link, go to the website, and then copy the link. An extra step of a different color. Hmmm… I may be coming around on this one – or at least seeing both methods as having benefits.

I don’t think this is really a case of right or wrong – more just a preference. But with the idea of keeping your readers in mind, it might be worthwhile to poll them to find out their preferences so you can increase their enjoyment – and sharing – of your blog.

To that end, we’d love to hear your feedback on this issue!

Laura & Marcie

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The Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Please visit Marcie’s blog for loads of great low- to no-cost marketing ideas for self-publishing authors.

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