They’re NOT at Your Blog – Missionary Blog Tip #16

by Jim on 19 March 2010

in Blogging and Blog Tips

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying no one is reading your posts.  Lots of people are!  The point is, a lot of those people aren’t actually visiting your blog page.  They’re simply reading your blog through a news reader.

Reading Missionary blogs in Google Reader!
Reading missionary blogs in Google Reader

I know that 90% of the time, I’m reading your posts via your news (ie RSS, ATOM) feed.  So what does that mean to you?

Here are some common problems I notice that you might not be aware of:

  • One of the most common problems is that people reading your posts via a news feed are probably reading your text on a white background.  And lately I’ve noticed some of you writing text in interesting colours – like yellow – which is almost impossible to read on a white background.  Be careful about the colours you use in the text of your post.  (Note – this doesn’t necessarily apply if you have a theme that colours all your text.  But do check out your own blog in a news reader to see how it looks.)
  • Remember, when people rarely or never visit your site, they won’t see all the links and things you’ve put on your sidebar.  They won’t see your nifty background and special effects.  If there’s something you want them to be reminded of, link to it in the post.  (For example, if you want them to contact you, link to the contact page in the post itself.)
  • Some blogs like WordPress have excellent plugins that can add a lot to your actual RSS feed – such as links to related posts, a link back to your blog, copyright information, and so on.  You can make good use of that feed.  One example is RSS footer.
  • This may sound odd, but make sure your RSS feed has a proper title.  Some feeds have no name at all.  (I’m not talking about post titles – although those are important too!)
  • Consider running your feed through feedburner – it will give you a lot of options, an easy-to-remember feed URL, and even stats on who’s using your feed and how.

Now that you’ve made your feed so much more feed-friendly, promote it!  Let people know they can subscribe, tell your church they can have your posts automatically appear on their site, and, of course, if you’re a missionary blogger tell me about it so that I can put you in our aggregator (on the main page here)!  (And in the main feed here: feeds.feedburner.com/Missionary-Blogs)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jonathan March 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

Thanks, Jim! I was reading this in Google Reader just now thinking, “He gets it! And hopefully everyone else will now, too!” :~]

Muchos gracias.

2 RebeccaC April 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Thanks, Jim! I had never even thought about this — even though I do have that nifty little “subscribe in a reader” button on my site. Oh, I have so much to learn!!!! 🙂 je je je

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