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#1 Mistake Most Blogs Do

This might sound strange coming from me, but the #1 mistake most blogs are doing is not publishing their content via e-mail, as a supplement to RSS.

Just think about it: while RSS is growing strong, it still only penetrates about 5-6% of the American online population. Furthermore, according to a recent BlogAds survey, "only 12 percent of the blog reading audience said it used RSS always or often".

If you're delivering your blog content only via RSS, you're missing out on about 80% or more of potential regular readership/followship.

What should you do?

Deliver your blog posts as they are written via RSS, but then also publish a regular (weekly or monthly) e-mail e-zine with your "top blog posts" for those that are still not in to RSS.

Don't do just one channel, do both.

[Update 2004-03-25]
Reflexive-Blog comments on the "mistake".

"OUCH ! This kind of conclusion saying I've been too far too fast seriously disappoints me. I'm a man of progress, I hate to go backward. I prefer forcing people to go next step and loosing some of them in the process."

1] There are millions of blogs already, but really few people have the time to watch more than a few daily. But if they come back just once a week, they can be quickly overwhelmed with the amount of new content. That's why it's crucial to provide a "best of", a helping hand to guide your readers to the "must-read" content you publish.

2] As for e-mail, no matter what any RSS supporter says (and I'm without doubt one of the strongest RSS supporters), e-mail is still the #1 end-user content delivery channel ... whether we like it or not. Using e-mail (as a supplement to RSS) to deliver our content is just good business practice, at least for now.

I've been talking with Chris a couple of days ago about the whole RSS v.s. E-mail thing for end-user content delivery, trying to get some Lockergnome stats from him, and he made a perfect point --- He'd preferr for his subscribers to use RSS instead of e-mail ... but that's not going to stop him from using or promoting either one.

I love RSS, but it just doesn't get you in every neck of the woods yet ...


well that's a silly view! Why bother with blog then? Blogs have some attributes&features; that email lacks. That's why they are evolving so fast. That's why they are interesting.

Posted by: MarkoH at March 26, 2005 12:25 AM

Why bother with a blog then?

Because it is the way to get new content out, express your opinion, be a thought leader, build a profile, start a conversation with your audience, reach the early adopters who do read blogs and may not know about you and increase your online visibility.

Why go backward and send your top posts out via e-mail?

Because if you have been building your e-mail list over the years, you have a great audience right there already. And they are NOT all early adopters. Look at the figures from the new poll on blog readers.

You can bet your last dollar on the fact that not all the people on your email list are reading your blog.

Help them get into the habit of reading your blog and subscribing to your RSS feeds by gently easing them into your top posts via your email newsletter format.

Posted by: Sally Falkow at March 26, 2005 4:24 PM

The conversation continues here:

(a new article concerning the above issues)

Posted by: Rok Hrastnik at March 28, 2005 11:27 AM

I completely agree. Whenever I have a few posts on my blogs I send out a mail and find that my traffic skyrockets.

A while ago I was planning to move my ezine to my blog and conducted a small poll to see what my subs preferred. Over 80% of them said no to the blog and yes to email.

Use both RSS and Email. The latter is definitely not going the way of the dinosaurs anytime soon - no matter how much publishers would like it to. Email is still the most effective mode of communication.

Posted by: Priya Shah at March 28, 2005 10:04 PM

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