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Ask the Reader: Partial or Full Post in RSS Feed?

Ask the Reader: Partial or Full Post in RSS Feed?

By Pat Flynn on

Recently, a number of people have been asking me for my opinion about how much of a post one should show in their RSS feed. On Feedburner (which I know has been on the fritz lately as far as numbers are concerned), you can choose to have either your entire post shown, or just a piece of it with a link to read more back on the site.

(To change your setting in Feedburner, login and click on the “Optimize” tab, and then click on “Summary Burner” at the bottom)

I have always shown the full post, but a number of people have made a good argument for only showing the beginning portion or a teaser.

On one hand, people subscribe to RSS feeds to conveniently read material off-site. So why would we want to make things inconvenient by having them come back to the blog to finish the post?

On the other hand, it’s evident that by showing the full RSS feed, we’re not maximizing the amount of traffic on our sites because the subscribers have all of the content they need off-site. Plus, don’t we want our readers to engage in the comment section and possibly click on other things on our site to stay on it as long as possible?

It’s a toss up, and I’m really interested in what you think.

Are you for a Full Post, or a Partial Post in the RSS feed? Which do you prefer, and why? Is there a “happy medium” you’d like to share?

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