Stop Holding Out On Us!

Recently I’m finding that some bloggers are only sending excerpts of their blogs when you subscribe via email.  The thinking behind this is that if what you read intrigues you, then you’ll come to the blog’s site to read the rest of the article.  And if people actually come to your blog’s website, then you can give them your sales pitch in the sidebar.

Now while I understand why people do this, I have to admit that it feels a bit disingenuous to me.  If I cared enough about your content to want to subscribe, why are you forcing me to jump through another hoop to get what I want?  I find this irritating, and I’ll be honest, I rarely click on blogs that only send me excerpts.

Ask yourself…is your blog about providing value to your audience, and establishing yourself as a thought leader, or is it about selling stuff?

I get that you need to sell stuff in order to be able to continue to provide value.  But can’t you do that through the occasional mention of your products or training when it’s relevant to a post (and provide a link there), or in your newsletter?  When every single post excerpt is a sales pitch (because you want me to come to your site so you can sell me stuff), I find that approach to be more about you, and less about the value you provide to me.

I know others see this differently.  But that’s my two cents.  Skip the excerpt, and provide all the value in the medium people have requested.  If you provide enough value, people will buy from you.  You don’t have to force them to come for your sales pitch.

What are your thoughts?

12 Responses to Stop Holding Out On Us!
  1. NooraK
    January 25, 2011 | 9:32 am

    The only valid reason I’ve ever heard was a blogger who was having issues with her content being stolen or misused through RSS feed. I don’t remember the details, or how it was fixed, but she has since returned to giving full posts in her feed. I did understand the reason at that time, though.

  2. Laurie
    April 2, 2010 | 4:21 pm

    I agree with you! I subscribe to several blogs, and only one teases me and provides a link. In the beginning, I’d click. Now I don’t even open the e-mail. I really need to just unsubscribe.

    I also find that she occasionally uses “language” in her blogs, which I find unprofessional – but that’s another topic!

    Thanks so much, Jen, for your always-relevant topics. I usually read your blog from my e-mail, and often click to read the comments, and see links to other posts. This is my first time leaving a comment, though!

    • Jennifer Fong
      April 2, 2010 | 6:55 pm

      So glad you took the time to comment, Laurie! Glad to have you in my blog family! 🙂

  3. Carolyn Gordon
    March 31, 2010 | 2:10 pm

    I’m with you, but I do think there is a non-advertising-based reason for some bloggers to only offer excerpts through feeds. It isn’t always possible to gather statistics unless readers actually visit the blog. So if it’s really important for a blogger to see the numbers on which posts interest the most people, I can see them requiring the visit.

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 31, 2010 | 2:31 pm

      But doesn’t Feedburner give you info on how many looked at particular posts, through the “Reach” number? Wouldn’t that do the same thing?

  4. Paul Young
    March 31, 2010 | 11:38 am

    I don’t mind if it is a digest of entries. For example, if I get one email a week and it lists five blog postings, it seem appropriate to add snippets and a link to each, to keep the size to something reasonable.

    If however, it is only one posting, I too am sore annoyed by the tease. Much rather just subscribe to the RSS feed.

    Paul

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 31, 2010 | 3:27 pm

      I have only one blog I subscribe to that does the weekly digest, and I have to tell you honestly that I have never read one post from it. I simply do not have the time to consume that much content all at once. While I also use a reader, there are certain things I like to see in my inbox every morning, to start my day. Chris Brogan’s blog, for example, is one of them. I get to my reader when I can. But certain things I like to make a point of seeing daily.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Kris Cain
    March 31, 2010 | 11:00 am

    I just had a discussion about this on my blog. I was really torn on whether to do full or partial. I have decided to do full for sure for a few reasons. That reminds me… I have another post to write. 🙂

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 31, 2010 | 3:25 pm

      I checked out your post too, Kris, and it brought to mind another thing…mobile. I know that I use my Blackberry a lot to check messages first thing in the morning, and when I’m on the road. And it stinks to have to wait for the slow browser to open a post…wastes time. I think you made the right decision…but then you already knew that. 🙂

  6. Frank
    March 31, 2010 | 9:30 am

    I totally agree – and I’d rope in a blog’s feed, as well. SearchEngineLand has great content, but is a stubborn holdout on giving me the full post without visiting their site.

    Like you said, there are good and valid reasons for sites to use a teaser to get their readers to their actual site – and maybe if I’m not committed enough to click, I probably won’t be committed enough to buy. On the other hand, your content is how you started and maintain the relationship – to say nothing of demonstrating value and expertise – for a lot of potential buyers. But if all I ever get are teasers (and no punch line, unless I click), I don’t really ever get to see the value you have to offer.

    Great post, Jen.

  7. Jeannine Campbell, CMC
    March 31, 2010 | 8:59 am

    Another great two cents from Jennifer Fong! I think it has more value than that actually!
    I heartily agree! Direct selling is more about the relationship FIRST than the pitch. Putting the cart before the horse will leave you at a dead stop eventually!
    Thanks for your wonderful articles, Jennifer. I look forward to them and have learned SO much through your work.

    You ROCK!
    J

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