To Summarize your RSS Feed Or To Not Summarize

To Summarize your RSS Feed Or To Not Summarize

Should you summarize your RSS feed?

There is a great debate in the blogging world and that is “Should I summarize my blog rss feed or should I share the entire post?”

First let’s discuss what an rss feed is how it works:

  1. RSS; originally RDF Site Summary; often dubbed Really Simple Syndication, uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio, video. …

So now that we have the official wiki definition let’s try a bit more simple of an explanation of why you care. If someone subscribes to your blog they are saying that they want to know when you release another blog post. If they fill out the subscribe information and “opt in” they will receive an email of your latest blog post.

At this point it is up to you as to what they receive. They can receive a summary of up to however many characters that you choose or you can allow for them to see the entire blog post in their email.

There are pros and cons to both ideas. The pros to a summary is that you provide them with just enough information so that they know what the blog post is about and then click on a link to read more. This is important if you are wanting people to spend time on your website.

Reasons why you may want someone to spend time on your website:

#1 You sell ads on your site and need people to see them. People can not click on ads that they do not see.
#2 Your goal is to have them read your blog post and then learn more about what you offer.
#3 You want to get more comments. People are less likely to read a blog post in full in their email and then click over to leave a comment.

Reasons why you may want to provide the blog post in full:

#1 Your purpose for blogging is purely brand awareness above all things.
#2 You just want to stay top of mind.
#3 Your goal is just to share valuable ideas and nothing else.

I do not believe that there is a right or wrong way to handle your rss subscriptions. The decision is purely yours and my only advice to you is to think it through in advance. If you are sharing your full post currently and realize that it would be in your best interest to start sharing a summary, you may get a few unhappy readers. However, if they are loyal readers they will click the link to read more and be happy for the content in the end.

Do you subscribe to many blogs and if so which ones? I am always looking for great content to learn from and read. Do you share a summary or your full post?

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

About the Author

Renee is wild for WordPress and on fire to empower small business owners with the inspiration, tools and strategies for a healthy blog. SMU CAPE instructor, developer, podcaster. Follow @Iteachblogging on Twitter. Get her FREE SEO Guide Here:

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