5 Reasons I Unsubscribed to Your RSS Feed

5 Reasons I Unsubscribed to Your RSS Feed 1My feed reader is in perpetual motion (just like my girls- see right!).

I add and delete blogs regularly, keeping my number at just around 50.

I could add more – so many more. After all, there is no end to the brilliance, beauty, and eloquence that abounds in the blogosphere. But I must exercise restraint.

I typically subscribe to a feed if I have been reading a blog regularly for a few weeks or if I stumble upon a blog that WOWS me instantly.

Sometimes I subscribe and I become a “loyalist.” Like with Adventures in Babywearing.  I can’t imagine ever unsubscribing to her blog. Ever.

Other times, I get disenchanted.

Here’s what leads me from “cool” to…canceling my subscription:

5 Reasons I Unsubscribed to Your RSS Feed 2YOU NEVER POST.

I subscribe enthusiastically, but then you never post. Days go by. Then weeks. Eventually, I give up. I assume that you’ve moved on to bigger and brighter opportunities. I click “delete feed.” Good-bye!

5 Reasons I Unsubscribed to Your RSS Feed 3YOU POST TOO MUCH.

I spend an afternoon in the sweet spring sunshine, come back to check my RSS feed, and you’ve posted 10 times. An uncomfortable feeling starts to form in my stomach and around my neck. I have that horrible realization that I will NEVER be able to read them all. Gasp! Pant! Choke! It’s all too much. So I delete all of your posts (and breath a sigh of relief). Or – worst-case scenario – I delete your feed.

5 Reasons I Unsubscribed to Your RSS Feed 4YOU’RE A DEBBIE DOWNER.

I live for authenticity. I delight in candor, in humor, in being real about the ups and downs of this glorious existence. But…can you please remember the ups? If your blog is ALWAYS about how your family is sick, you are exhausted, and people are mean…I will unsubscribe. Give me a little sunshine.

5 Reasons I Unsubscribed to Your RSS Feed 5YOU OFFER A PARTIAL FEED.

Partial feeds are not at all reader-friendly. I can’t stand them. If I wanted just a headline, then I’d be following you on Twitter. Partial feeds may get you more “clicks,” but they won’t win you brownie points with readers. I almost always unsubscribe to blogs that don’t offer full feeds. MADE is the exception because I just love her blog to pieces.

5 Reasons I Unsubscribed to Your RSS Feed 6YOU ARE A ROBOT.

I love your blog. You are creative and brilliant and you crack me up. I leave comments on every post. I tweet out your posts. I tell all of my friends about you. And then…you never say anything. Not a “Hey Steph, thanks for commenting.” Or a reply on Twitter. Or a comment on my blog. Nothing. Silence.

I become a little let down. I know that you’re busy and that you have a gazillion followers, but – still – nobody likes a strictly one-sided relationship. So I – sadly – say good-bye and unsubscribe. I’ll probably peek in at your blog from time-to-time, but my dedication will fade.

There are other reasons I unsubscribe too. Perhaps our interests just aren’t similar anymore. Or I HAVE to pare down on my blog reading due to life circumstances. By and large, however, my reasons boil down to one of those 5.

So, what should you do to GET & KEEP subscribers? Well, start with doing the reverse of this post:

  1. Publish often enough that people don't forget about you (find a posting schedule that works for you + your audience).
  2. But don’t publish too much (multiple times a day, every day = exhausting for the reader).
  3. Be positive.
  4. Offer a full feed.
  5. Interact with your readers. Someway. Somehow.

YOUR TURN: How many blogs do you subscribe to (and what are your top 3 favorite blogs to read)? Have you ever unsubscribed/stopped reading a blog for the reasons listed above?

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54 comments on “5 Reasons I Unsubscribed to Your RSS Feed”

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  2. Great post! I agree with you on every point, especially those annoying click here to continue reading things.... My 3 favorites are Big Mama, Such The Spot and Boo Mama, but I have tons more that I read frequently.

    1. Guess what? Darcie {Such the Spot} is my neighbor and real-life friend. And she's just as cool in-person. Actually, even cooler... :)

  3. So true! And isnt it funny what a little email or tweet back does? Its just nice to know the person you read is a real human... :)

  4. Well I definitely fall into the "not posting in a long time" category unfortunately :(...I want to be BACK and am trying to make that work! I'm slowly catching up on blogland and I've loved reading your posts Stephanie!

  5. Great points, I agree with them all. I was subscribing to far too many blogs to keep up with, and finally went through and pared it down to about half the number. All of the reasons you listed came into play as I was weeding through...but it was still so incredibly hard!

    I love Once Upon a Miracle, Trains, Tutus and Tea Time, Mylestones, Foursons, Adventures in Babywearing, and you!

  6. I am guilty of letting our personal blog go weeks without a post. I do keep up our money saving blog but I do post several times a day, whenever I find good deals.

    My favorite blog is http://imalazymom.blogspot.com/
    She is so funny, posts everyday to every other day. The whole concept of the blog is awesome.

  7. Hi everyone - I just want to say THANK YOU so very much for your comments. You all added some excellent points.

    I recently read a post by Erin of "It's Your Movie" that made me amend my post: http://bit.ly/aebJDO.

    I took out the part about blogging daily as a result of what she wrote. I agree with her (and with many of you) that there's no "one way" to blog. Also - it's very true that sometimes it's just not feasible to blog every day and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to feel pressure to do so. Ultimately, every blogger must decide what works for them.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

  8. I'm not a blogger (no time - I would fall into Category #1!) but I did want to comment on your #3. No one likes a Debbie Downer, but I also don't like false positivity. I think there's definitely a way to create a happy medium. One of the biggest reasons I started reading blogs was because I was having a tough time in the beginning of motherhood, and reading parenting blogs helped me realize that yes, everyone goes through tough times but they still come out on the other end. When you're having a tough time, the last thing you want to read about is somone's perfect life, where nothing ever goes wrong!

    My top 3 are: Adventures in Babywearing (my introduction into the blogging world!), this one, and I Should Be Folding Laundry.

  9. Thank you so much for the advice...I never know how much is too much or too little...I have no idea how to do a full feed (and I probably should check on this while I'm thinking of it). And is it better to comment directly on the post? I never know that answer either.....

    : )

  10. These are all excellent points, and I found myself nodding an agreement with all of them, Stephanie!

    I especially want to say that it is disappointing when bloggers NEVER acknowledge a frequent reader/commenter. By no means is it necessary to send someone a note every time they leave a comment (that would be exhausting!), but at least acknowledge them from time to time. I have sadly walked away from reading 3 or 4 blogs that I greatly enjoyed (and commented on frequently) because the response I got back from all my comments was only silence. We are busy women, and we don't need constant validation, but after a while, getting absolutely no response starts to feel like you are being ignored, just like in real life situations!

    And...I subscribe to too many blogs, and about once every 3 weeks, I make a goal to eliminate 5 of them from my feed. Even with doing that, I probably have close to 200. yikes. There's so much good stuff out there!

  11. Google Reader has the option of creating folders. A couple of months ago I created a folder called "Probation." When I read a blog that I think, "How long have I actually gotten something I liked from here?" I add it to the Probation folder.

    The first week of the month I throw blogs in there. I keep reading them as usual. If I come across something that "redeems" the blog to me, I remove it from Probation and stay subscribed. At the end of the month, anything left on Probation gets unsubscribed. And the whole process repeats during the next month. I'm loving it!

  12. If I feel personally connected to the blogger behind the blog then I'll stay subscribed no matter what. Otherwise, 2, 3, and 5 definitely cause me to say bye bye.

  13. I hate partial feeds, too. I understand the reason for having them, but I very rarely click through to a site with a partial feed because well, if I wanted to go to dozens of different sites, I'd just do that instead of going to my reader. Most times, I just end up unsubbing or not even subscribing in the first place often times. No thanks.

  14. You have such a talent for making things that seem complicated, so simple. Great post, and I totally agree! And YOUR blog (and actually Steph's too lol) are the ones that I could never unsubscribe too!

  15. Great advice that I totally agree with, especially the "not interacting" point. I get disinterested when those whom I give my time to don't get involved with my blog efforts. I understand that some people are more shy, but, seriously, why did they start the blog in the first place if they didn't intend on communicating with their readers?

  16. Great advice, Stephanie. I subscribe to about 50 blogs on my Google Reader and I have to say yours, Zen Habits and Chris Brogan are among my top faves. I prune the list regularly, too. Otherwise it's overwhelming!

  17. 2nd comment. I forgot I have one more to add. Too many grammatical errors. It's called spell check and if you're going to put your words out there for the world to read you should use it. Obviously we all have the occasional typo or a forgotten apostrophe but when I'm thinking more about the English offenses you are committing rather than what you're writing about, I'll pass you by.

  18. I follow way too many, but don't always get to read them all. And many times I intend to respond to a comment....but then get distracted.
    I always respond in my head though, does that count? :)

    I love your pictures--so cute!

  19. I totally agree with all of these points. I also don't like it when there are REALLY lengthy posts and hardly any pictures (I am a visual person, which is probably when I am drawn to taking pictures). I really get bogged down and end up unsubscribing.

    I have to admit that there are times when I haven't gotten back to someone who has left a comment on my blog. I am working on that one. I know I love it when I hear from someone who's blog I have left a comment on especially if I have asked a question.

  20. I have to admit I'm not much of a blog reader anymore. I only keep up with about five now and only those five because I've always totally adored their blogs. I don't feel the pressure to read and comment like I used to and it's so nice now... just to read because I really want to.

    Janelle

  21. Well, I have yet to explore the world of the RSS reader thingy. And probably won't since yours is the only blog I read faithfully. Between checking the boards I moderate on and Facebook....I don't know if I could fit in more. I guess I could but it would have to be as spectacular as you and your blog are. :-)

  22. This is an awesome list! And, without really thinking about it, are all the reasons I've unsubscribed from blogs. My biggest pet peeve tho is the multiple postings. Those, to me, are review blogs and they're just doing it for the clicks.

    As for me, I follow all your rules. Just sayin', you know! :)

    Stopped by because Becca retweeted your post!

  23. Hi. My first time visiting your blog; your points are great. Maybe this isn't the best time to ask: would you check out my blog as well? (heck, you could always unsubscribe to someone else! kidding, of course)

  24. I'm in the middle of re-purging my reader and finding that I've remained loyal to a number of blogs I never, ever read anymore. If I typically read the title of the top post and then hit "mark all as read," it's time to unsub.

  25. I definitely agree about the partial feed. I don't want to have to click over just to see if I want to read it. I follow a whole lot more than you, but you make some great points.

  26. The 2nd one is a real struggle for me, as a frugal blogger. Sometimes the deals are plentiful but I hesitate to share them all because we already published a couple times that day.

    I think my solution will be to divide my feeds - one for our money saving articles that are just once per day and one for deals & coupons that could get a little crazy.

  27. a few weeks ago I did a big feed reorg. and it felt so good! I now really feel I got a good pulse on what I like to read. You make excellent points.

  28. I love the honesty of this post. I agree with all of your points, except it is hard to post daily. I was a die-hard blogger a few years ago, but then life got a little hectic and I backed down. I just started up again (more for my own reasons), but I realize that I kinda want more comments. They DO make you feel better, even if your stats show people are reading.

    I too, have always read Steph's blog, mostly because I keep up with her on Twitter. But now that I'm slowly getting back to blogging, I know I will be re-evaluating my feeds and blog roll. They need to be updated and bulked up!

  29. I follow about 15-20 blogs. I also delete blogs that have too many 'guest posts'--I hate it when you can't even get a feel for the voice of the blogger, bc half their posts are written by other people.

    I love SmallNotebook, WednesdayChef, and lately RemodelingThisLife. I used to love Orangette, but she rarely posts anymore.

  30. I. Love. This. Post.

    I completely agree with all of your reasons, and yet I have yet to "unfollow" any blogs. I think I need to just take a deep breath and do it. Of all of your reasons, the one that drives me the most crazy is too many posts per day. I subscribe to one (that I won't name) that commonly has 10 or so. PER. DAY. Crazy!

    Ok... deep breath... my top three:
    Yours (uh, duh)
    Our Crazy Boys (and not just because she named mine!)
    Bantering Blonde (just met her at BBC and love her)
    Forgacs Family Fun (Cuz she's my sister and her kid is C.U.T.E.)

    Oh, is that more than 3? I could go on and on actually... this is too hard!

  31. I subscribe to too many blogs, about 500 or so. If I like a post I might subscribe to your feed just so I remember to check out the next post. It's kind of nice, sort of similar to a DVR, only I feel beholden to clear it every night before I go to sleep and I don't like skipping posts, especially on friends' blogs. This is problematic if, say, I have a particularly busy day or if I've gone out of town for a few days. It makes me slightly nauseous when it says I have 1000+ posts to read through.

    I recently switched my feed back to a full feed and have gotten good response.

  32. I think I disagree strongly with #3. I will unsubscribe if things aren't real (cue Real World music here). If someone is sad or unhappy, even if it's a lot of the time, I will still read if the quality of writing is there. If someone is upbeat and happy and it's a false front, then I will stop reading. I want to be challenged when I read - challenged emotionally and intellectually. When it's not challenging anymore or providing me with new information, then I will unsubscribe (and the partial feeds - totally agree there!).

    But that's what I like about your blog. I disagree with a lot of what you say a lot of the time (as an atheistic avowed television addict with no children), but you make me think a lot. I read this post hours ago and I'm still thinking about it and felt compelled to come back to comment. And, even when I disagree with you, I feel like you do a great job of acknowledging that people might disagree with you and that is okay with you. You have opinions, but you're tactful when you state them, and I like that a lot.

  33. Partial feeds make me so sad. I've stopped reading some great blogs because of it.

    I agree with your reasons. And while I don't expect a blogger to become my BFF just because I read and comment, I do like to feel some sort of relationship.

    I keep about 100 blogs in my reader. About 1/2 are mommy blogs. The other half are cooking or other creative blogs - those I don't tend to comment on, I just like the ideas and eye candy.

  34. Great points! I agree with them all, and think I might have to pare down my reader a bit more after reading that.

    I was just talking with someone last night about how often to post, and I just can't do every day... it stresses me out!

    My top three blogs? The people I look for in my reader first? Besides you??

    From Inmates to Playdates (because she's hysterical), Our Daily Big Top (LOVE her), and Vicarious Chelsea (because she's new, and full of ideas, and I love her Thankful through Thursday posts).

    Do you know how hard that was?!

  35. I've been a very bad blogger lately :) But I think I'm getting back into my groove. One of the things that I've debated doing was starting to use a reader. I subscribe to a couple of blogs via email and that is so nice... because I simply open and read the post, but as for commenting... yeah, I hardly ever go do that on those two blogs and I don't like that.

    I've used an iGoogle page up until now for keeping up with blogs, but I'm thinking it's time to start a reader feed instead. So thanks for these tips on how you keep yours manageable...

    Now, my favorite blogs? That's hard - you, Adventures in Babywearing, Slurping Life, Simply Outdoors, The Hunter's Wife and a whole bunch more... :)

  36. Great post Stephanie! I agree with you on these points...especially the not posting enough and the debbie downer. I have been slacking a little bit on posting daily...it seems to go in waves. I have quite a few posts in my head...I just need to get them out! I also need to check and see if I offer a full feed...hmmm?

    I follow your blog regularly of course. How could one not after they read you just once?? :) NieNie Dialogues is a regular. I also have a few friends I check daily.

  37. oh goodness- i have 365 in my reader. BUT, I have them broken down in folders. "Friends, Family, Photography, Recipes, Religious, Reviews, Comment on Mine and Strangers etc." I pay the most attention to those that have commented on mine, Friends and Family. The others I either skim through or sometimes - when the load gets heavy I admit I mark as read without looking at them.

    I agree with 3, 4, and 5 the most. I'll leave someone in my reader if they don't post very often bc it isn't hurting anything to have them in there - just in case they post again one day. If they post too often, they'll most likely get the "mark all as read" option every now and then.

    Favorites - obviously yours (btw I love your changed format). Better in Bulk, Life with Kaishon, Mommy drinks because you cry, Seven Clown Circus (love her writing), who says 8 is enough (she's doing an awesome fundraiser right now for Pediatric Cancer), and Mama's Losin it.

    I think our email exchange over my brother's round the world trip and blog sold me on your blog for life - because I know you care about your readers.

  38. Oh my goodness, I <3 that picture of your girls. Isn't it amazing what good friends they can become?

    AS for feeds, I hover around 40-50 myself. My top three that I check before anyone else? Easy. There is YOU, 5 minutes for mom, and Today's creative.

    I have dropped feeds for reasons you listed and also other reasons. The last one is a big one for me, I know I'm a little blogger, but if I am constantly taking time to respond to something you have posted, its nice to get some feedback (on your blog, on mine, in email, etc)

  39. This is a very interesting post :) As a newbie to the blog world, I must say that I hope everyone who subscribes to somebody's blog because they see something there will give them a chance to grow if they are new. I am learning about setting up a blog and it has limitations because it's connected to my shop and not through blogger, wordpress, etc...but I am TRYING to learn...as fast as I can! So this posts helps me A LOT! Thank you!

  40. Thanks for sharing this pot with us!

    I was always afraid to unsubscribe to anybody, because I was afraid to hurting their feeling, but i agree with the 5 point that you wrote over here as good reason to do it!

    I might also add, that I hate blog that you read a very good post then you subscribe to them thinking that would would like to read some more and then all your read is giveaway or reviews, don't get me wrong I like reviews and giveaway in moderation, but if your blog will only be about this, please let us know in advance!

    I admit I have subscribe to way to much and I think it's about time to do some spring cleaning in my feeder! Thanks for encouraging me to do so :-)

    Have a great day
    Renee

  41. I try to keep the number of blog I follow around 30 -- more than that and I get overwhelmed. And yes, my reader is always in motion as well. Especially with the family-related ones. As LOs age things that used to be relevant (like a baby food making blog) simply aren't any more.

    I think the best one in your list is no. 5. I can tell you I've raved about your blog numerous times becuase you do take the time to acknowledge your readers.

    My top 3 right now are: Get Rich Slowly, Ph.D in Parenting, and hmm... that's tough, MM is definitely up there :)

  42. I could not tell you how much I appreciate this post! I follow far too many feeds, although I do have folder in my reader for my "favorites" (there are about 20 in there) and my "pretty goods" (there are about 50 in there). Then, there is a folder that has 1000+ entries in it at all times, even when I find time to weed through some of them and leave some comment love. I was thinking about going through them and deleting hte ones that I obviously do not relate to and never, ever read. But, then I figure I don't want to offend someone by unsubscribing to them. I HATE getting that email that someone unusbscribed and I often take it personally. I figure, I'll just leave them in my reader and if I get to them, great, if not, no biggie.

    But, then where is the loyality? I don't want someone to follow me just for the sake of following! I want READERS. Loyal readers. So, maybe, like you, I have to do things on my end that I want readers to do on theirs.

    THANK YOU for posting this!!

  43. Great points. I've definitely stopped reading because of #3. Also because of a gradual shift in tone - one blog that I really loved started cussing every other sentence. It didn't take long for me to get tired of that.

    I only post once per "day" but (ahem) sometimes I end up with a backlog that I made visible all at once. I'm trying to do this less. And trying to reply to comments more too. Right now this is harder than it should be - I have to open a database, find the email address, open my email client, copy the message and then respond. I bet if I fixed this I'd reply more (I should do that!)

    Favourites? Hmm - but I have so many... Just a couple of ones I check regularly and that haven't already been mentioned: Postcards from a Mothership (local blogger with fantastic photography), Becoming Sarah, Gretchen @ LifeNut, Kelly @ Love Well, Michelle @ In the Life of a child.

  44. These are great points! I definitely agree. I try to weed my reader frequently and fall victim to being a loyalist to too many! But, I do often feel like there's many people I follow on Twitter and can keep up with there, and will use that vs having too many in my reader.

    Steph

  45. Hah, Vanessa, if you haven't set it to partial it's probably full! ;)

    I agree Steph. There are a couple blogs I love, but I'm on the fence about unsubscribing just because they post so.dang.often! Or I read when I can and otherwise mark all as read! ;)
    I knew my reader was creeping up there, but you made me check... 140! gasp! Granted, about 45 of these are friends and family who don't necessarily post all that often! And I'm not so great about unsubscribing when people don't post... every once in awhile I realize "gosh, I haven't seen anything from so and so in forever" and I go check and either they've just quit posting, changed their feed, or occasionally the blog is gone altogether!

    My favorites are:
    Sandier Pastures - my friend Grace in Dubai

    Moosh in Indy - yes, I admit, I'm a groupy! But she reached out to me when I was depressed and I also just love to read her!

    And then it's a toss up between Praying for Parker and Three Ring Circus. Both have ill/handicapped children, but are so real and honest in the middle of it. Love 'em!

  46. That picture! Your two girls are just perfect!

    I agree with your reasons. Specially the last "You are a robot", so true, comments or little thank you's make you feel really special.

    I have to admit to #1 myself. I would love to be able to post daily but somehow my day's fill with so much other stuff and I feel guilty if I sit down to blog before family or housework, specially working full time also.

    I have thought of writing more blog entries on my day's off and then just hitting publish, but it's something that I really have to plan and work at.

    I always love your posts filled with so much good info.You are definitely one of my favorites!

  47. Good advice Stephanie. Can you help me out with how to offer a full feed? I'm pretty new to that area of my blog and I don't even know if I have that set up on my blog?? Thanks! :)

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