Okay, I have a gripe to share with you. This is something that’s been annoying me for a while, and I’ve been saving it for a day when I couldn’t think of anything else to blog about.
It’s standard wisdom that writers are supposed to have a website/blog. It’s part of that whole platform thing we’re supposed to be building. Some writers choose to have a static website that lists only their bio, their books, and any updates on new releases or appearances, etc. And that’s fine if that’s what you want to do.
But those who choose to have a blog–those are who I want to gripe at this morning.
So you decide to blog. You update your posts on some regular schedule, be it daily, weekly or whatever. Your content is interesting. You start to build a following…
And then you don’t bother having any way to subscribe to your freaking blog!
I’m sorry, but I’m a busy woman. I do not have time to come by your blog every day to see if you posted something new. That is why feed readers and email subscriptions were invented, so that your new content comes directly to me.
But over the last year as I’ve stumbled across new blogs I’d like to read, I keep finding blogs with no possible way to subscribe to them. My feed reader (Bloglines at the time) could not find the RSS or ATOM feed to subscribe to. There was no subscribe by email button. There’s the Networked Blogs widget through Facebook that’s an option too, but it’s still not the easiest for everyone.
As a writer trying to build a platform this is BAD. It’s annoying and off-putting to potential readers because we’re ALL busy and it’s your job to make it as easy as possible for us to get your content.
Take a look in my right sidebar up top at my blog. See that? You can click on those buttons and subscribe to the RSS feed (short for Really Simple Syndication) of either the post or the comments, and there’s a separate button for subscribing by email. There’s also the Networked Blogs feed for Facebook and even LiveJournal syndication. It’s all right underneath the newsletter sin up (another important feature I’ll discuss some other day). EASY TO FIND.
Too many blogs I’ve visited don’t have them. I have to admit, the worst offenders seem to be those writers using Blogger as a platform. I have no idea if Blogger has any kind of integrated feed or not. WordPress.com is kind enough to offer these things as pre-integrated widgets. If you’re on WordPress, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for you not to be using them. And Blogger folks, there’s no reason for you not to come up with a widget to do it too. Feedburner has plenty of options to do so. It should be up top, clearly visible to any visitor to your site.
So this is a call to action! If you do not already have RSS feeds and email subscription options on your blog, add them today.