Why Readers Unsubscribe from RSS Feeds

Darren at Problogger surveyed his readership, about why they unsubscribe from RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. From 104 comments, he found a number of recurring themes. He has come up with a list of 34 reasons why bloggers unsubscribe. This is timely for me, as I am just starting to think about how to attract readers to actually subscribe in the first place.

How to Lose 50% of Your RSS Subscription Base in One Fell Swoop

I am new to RSS and had the princely number of 2 subscriptions. Actually, I was quite flattered that 2 people would want my blog in their inbox. But then disaster struck! One of my readers unsubscribed. In one quick flick of the button, I just lost 50% of my subscription base. 😉

Why did they unsubscribe? Was my scintillating writing not delivering? Was I posting too frequently? Not frequently enough? Was the information off topic? Or maybe, this blog was just not a good fit for that particular reader. Perhaps they just didn’t have time. Who knows? But Darren’s insights have give me new hope.

34 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from RSS feeds

I’ve listed the top 10 here. See the full list, post and reader comments at Problogger.

  • 1. Too many posts (the post levels are too overwhelming) – 37
  • 2. Infrequent Posting (or the blog is effectively dead) – 29
  • 3. Partial Excerpts Feeds – 25
  • 4. Blog Changes Focus (too much off topic posting) – 23
  • 5. Too many posts that I see elsewhere (Redundant, Repeated or Recycled News) – 19
  • 6. Uninteresting Content – 16
  • 7. Irrelevant Content – 13
  • 8. The Blogger’s Ego – Too much self promotion – 11
  • 9. Low Quality Content – 11
  • 10. Too many posts that are too long – 10

Where To From Here? – How to Choose the Best RSS Reader

Engtech takes this one step further and offers some insights and solutions. His take on the too many posts/infrequent posts dilemma points to the need for “a consistent posting rhythm”. He also explains that the type of RSS reader you choose impacts on the type of interaction the reader has with RSS feeds, and gives examples. It even has some easy to follow diagrams, so non tech people have a chance to follow it as well. Thanks Engtech.

Subscribe to the Grow Your Writing Business RSS Feed

If you’d like to go ahead and subscribe to the Grow Your Writing Business RSS feed, you now know you have the power to instantly double my subscription base, with the mere click of a button 😉 The RSS link is in the right column, under my photo.