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34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 1st of March 2007 RSS 0 Comments

Thanks to everyone who has added their thoughts on why they unsubscribe from a blog’s RSS feed. There have been 109 comments left on that post so far and some interesting recurring themes have emerged.

I’ve attempted to categorize them below. Obviously with 103 opinions (and most people giving multiple reasons all in their own words) I’ve had to make some judgement calls in classifying comments left. Some of the categories below have overlap but I think you’ll get a pretty good picture of what motivates people to unsubscribe from RSS feeds.

34 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from RSS feeds:

  • Too many posts (the post levels are too overwhelming) – 37
  • Infrequent Posting (or the blog is effectively dead) – 29
  • Partial Excerpts Feeds – 25
  • Blog Changes Focus (too much off topic posting) – 23
  • Too many posts that I see elsewhere (Redundant, Repeated or Recycled News) – 19
  • Uninteresting Content – 16
  • Irrelevant Content – 13
  • The Blogger’s Ego – Too much self promotion – 11
  • Low Quality Content – 11
  • Too many posts that are too long – 10
  • Negative blogging – 7
  • Feed Errors – Especially when a Feed Reloads the latest 10-20 posts every time – 7
  • Offensive Content/Personal attacks/Discrimination – 6
  • ‘infomercials’ (too much selling) – 6
  • Blog Titles that Don’t Tell what the post is about – 5
  • No or Poor Formatting in posts – 5
  • My own interests as a reader change – 5
  • No Longer Useful or Valuable – 4
  • Too many links in the text and not enough content – 4
  • Advertising – 3
  • Inconsistent writing (style and focus) – 2
  • Too Many Grammatical Errors – 2
  • Found other feeds that are better – 2
  • Too Narrow a focus – 1
  • Too much repetition in topic – 1
  • Pushiness of Blogger – 1
  • Blogger Doesn’t Respond to Comments – 1
  • No Images in the feed – 1
  • Lack of Confidence or Opinion – 1
  • Lack of a sense of who the blogger is – 1
  • Too much clutter/extras at the end of posts – 1
  • Talking Down to Readers – 1
  • Too many quotes – 1
  • Change of Primary blogger – 1

A few brief comments (I wouldn’t want to have a long post now….):

The Frequency of Posting is obviously a big factor with 35% of respondents saying that too many posts was reason for unsubscribing and 28% saying that infrequent posts was reason to delete a feed from their reader. Interestingly, the ‘infrequent posting’ vote was perhaps a little less than last time I asked a group of bloggers this question. I suspect that with advancements in Feed Readers that inactive feeds don’t bother as many people as they did previously (ie Google Reader has a mode where you simply don’t see a feed unless it’s updated).

The Partial Feeds Vote got off to a slow start but gained momentum as the comment thread grew. 24% of respondents said they unsubscribe from feeds that are partial or just title feeds.

Off Topic Posting and blogs changing direction/focus is an obvious annoyance to many (this one surprised me slightly) with 22% of people giving it as a reason.

Content – I found it interesting that the quality, relevance and nature of content came down the list. Things like the form and frequency of the feed dominated the discussion while the actual content itself came in as secondary importance. Perhaps this was skewed slightly by the way I asked the question and by the first responses (I suspect that some people were swayed by the issues that others already raised).

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. […] 2. Following problogger’s recent post on 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog (what’s one more link going to matter?), what would make you unsubscribe from this blog? […]

  2. […] “Why do people stop reading you? Because you post too much!”…and 33 other reasons why people unsubscribe to your blog. [via Amanda Congdon] Mark Cuban is freaking out about Youtube again…and again…and again. Why is he still angry? He seems to have more issues with Youtube than he does NBA officials. Valleywag weights in, too. Robert Scoble says Joost is rude. […]

  3. My rule of thumb: If you’re gonna post several posts in one day, make them short, tasty and targeted. Focus on one topic and come up with something that adds value. Seth Godin does this extremely well: Short sound bite posts with great insight.

    Ultimately, I share Scoble’s point of view. It’s just too much of a hassle to try to shape yourself to meet all your reader expectations. You need to focus on keeping it real while writing about things you are passionate about.

    Say someone avoids all 34 reasons. It’s still not an absolute guarantee that someone won’t unsubscribe from your blog.

    We need to be less paranoid and uptight about readers deleting your blog feed.

    People evolve and move on. No biggie, really.

  4. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog: Darren hatte die Frage gestellt, Wieso löschen Leser ihr RSS-Abo vom eigenen Blog? Die Antworten kamen durch die Kommentare, die er dann aufbereitet hat. Viele Antworten waren klar, aber die beiden Hauptgründe sind zu viele, bzw. zu wenige Beiträge. Die Antwort könnte also sein, gerade so viele Beiträge zu schreiben, um die Leser zum Wiederkommen zu bewegen, sie aber gleichzeitig nicht zu erschlagen. Ein Beweis dieser These sind die täglichen Updates von Plugins und Themes auf weblogtoolscollection.com, die am besten in einem Beitrag pro Tag zusammengefasst werden. Andere Faktoren sind Beiträge mit Inhalten nicht relevant für das Blog, nur Auszüge im Feed, und natürlich guter Inhalt. Ich mag Scoble’s Kommentar zu diesem Beitrag. Es wurde schon einiges gesagt zu “do what you love, put stuff up you’d love to read and the rest will fall into place” (Mach was du willst, bring Sachen, die du auch gerne lesen würdest, der Rest wird schon funktionieren) (No Ratings Yet)  Loading … […]

  5. […] Endlich mal ein Anstoß ein wenig aufzuräumen. Ich habe im Moment sowieso das Gefühl, dass mir die zugegebenermaßen selbstgeschaffene Informationsflut ein wenig zu viel wird und ich dem ganzen Input nicht mehr die Aufmerksamkeit widme, die er eigentlich verdient hätte. […]

  6. […] Passend zum gerade veröffentlichten Business Blog Traffiq Ranking auf diesem Blog habe ich ein Posting vom Problogger in den USA gefunden, der seine Leser nach den häufigsten Gründen befragt hat, warum sie ein Blog-Feed nicht mehr abonnieren. Die Basis waren 109 Kommentare innerhalb des Postings des Probloggers, in dem er seine Leser um Feedback gebeten hat. Mehrfachnennungen waren möglich. […]

  7. […] His results are intriguing; there are more reasons than you may think for readership loss! I certainly learned quite a few things that I’m sure would go far in terms of ‘pleasing your audience’ .  If that’s what you’re there to do in the first place, that is […]

  8. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog 可以看看 主题blog需要注意些什么.. (tags: blogging howto principles unsubscribe) […]

  9. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog (tags: rss web20 blog feeds money tips list) […]

  10. […] Оригинал на англ. языке. На 1 месте — слишком много статей (информации, постов). Хорошего должно быть мало. Но уже на 2 месте — слишком мало постов, блог умирает или вот-вот умрет. 4 место — блог изменил направленность, много информации не по теме, оффтопик. 5 место — болезнь многих русскоязычных блогеров — “баян”, или это я уже где-то видел. Нет индивидуальности контента (наполнения) …. 8 место — эго блогера, много саморекламы 10 место — дилнные статьи. […]

  11. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog […]

  12. […] HERE’S something that captured my attention: 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog. A quick look at the list indicates two things: content and form. Good content lands you eyeballs. But form makes content easier to read. My personal blog has gone through transformation. But I eventually decided to stick to its current form and style. It’s milky-white and it’s very minimalist. I took this form from an advice of J. Angelo Racoma who also believes in KISS. […]

  13. Wann Feeds fliegen…

    Beim ProBlogger gab es eine Diskussion aus der 34 Gründe gesammelt wurden einen Feed aus dem Newsreader zu schmeissen. Auf Platz 1: Zu viele Posts. Hä? Beruhigt mich ja irgendwie, dass ich nicht alleine bin mit meiner Verwunderung über d…

  14. “Blogger Doesn’t Respond to Comments”

    Massive turn off for me.

    When it’s a popular ‘blog like this, it’s not so bad because you know the guy is busy with stuff.

    But when the smaller guys like me don’t bother replying, or worse still, just remove your comment, then I’m out of there…

  15. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog – ProBlogger […]

  16. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog The Frequency of Posting is obviously a big factor with 35% of respondents saying that too many posts was reason for unsubscribing and 28% saying that infrequent posts was reason to delete a feed from their reader. […]

  17. […] Darren Rowse has done a survey on why readers unsubscribe from your blog. This got me curious about what makes a good blog. I did a search on Google for “what makes a good blog“. The first result that came up is a post almost over a year old, what makes a good blog by JA Konrath. This got me thinking about doing a bit of comparing between the present and a year ago. […]

  18. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog (tags: blogging howto list blog) […]

  19. […] 34 Reasons people stop reading your blog. Yes, I have to work on the “Too many posts that are too long” (among others!). […]

  20. […] The ProBlogger blog just did a survey of their readers to see what reasons people had for unsubscribing from blogs, which you can see here. Note that the third highest reason is incomplete or partial feeds. If you are a web cartoonist who is not offering your comics in your feeds, you are really shooting yourself in the foot… if you aren’t making it easy for your users to view the content in the way they want to view it, they more than likely will not bother to see your content at all. […]

  21. I think we need to realize that blogging isn’t what it was when most of YOU started. The competition is much more fierce now and to just dismiss this list because you already have thousands (or millions) of subscribers is a bit dangerous especially when one of the reasons people unsubscribe is because of the ego of the blogger…

  22. 34 razones por las que los lectores pueden borrar su subscripción de tu blog…

    Artículo de Darren Rowse donde da algunas razones por las que los lectores podrían borrar su subscripción a tu blog. Para un blogger experto no creo que le digan nada nuevo, pero yo creo que muchos deberían tomar nota, porque incluso blogs con mile…

  23. […] I apologize if my feed here gets squirrely on you as I work this out. Coincidentally, I saw this post yesterday that pointed out the number 1 reason people unsubscribe from a particular feed is information overload. I’m definitely becoming an overload offender here. Sorry. […]

  24. […] 2. 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe: A great quote in this one that says that bloggers must “do what you love, put stuff up you’d love to read, and the rest will fall into place.” Couldn’t agree more — “write what you know.” […]

  25. […] I really don’t fret this much here on my personal blog, but Robert Scoble linked a post at Problogger why readers end up unsubscribing to your blog feed. I clipped the top 12, but the top 2 are what prompted my post on it. If you care to keep your readers, It appears from this research that you have to find the middle ground of post quantity. Post too much, they run… Post too little, they run… This seems like a no win situation. 34 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from RSS feeds: […]

  26. As mentioned in our previous post I took part in a podcast yesterday with the other finalists in the Best Business Blog category for the Irish Blog Awards 2007 (www.awards.ie). The podcast is now available for download from our website. We are planning to make this a regular series of podcasting articles and welcome any ideas or suggestions regarding topics that you would like us to cover. Let us know via the comments field what you think about the podcast or if you have any feedback on business blogging from your own experiences.

    Remember to check out the other excellent business blogs;

    Allagi Blog
    Ask Direct
    Biz Growth News
    Ice Cream Ireland

    Also you should look at the following “34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubcribe From Your Blog” on tips on what not to do.

  27. […] Also you should look at the following 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubcribe From Your Blog on tips on what not to do. […]

  28. […] This is a quick post about an entry I stumbled up on at problogger that refers to 34 resons why readers unsubscribe from your blog. Number one on the list are too many posts followed by infrequent postings. Make sure to check out the comments on this posting if you visit this posting. […]

  29. Very interesting topic. I recently unsubscribed to tvsquad.com’s feed because they kept putting 24 spoilers in their news stories. Three times this year I was burned by them so I posted a comment and told them I was leaving. I know it won’t make a difference (customer service on mainstream blogs means nothing IMHO) but I just wanted to post again about that.

  30. […] Productive Strategies also offers a full RSS feed which is very good. According to problogger partial RSS feeds are the number 3 reason for readers to unsubscribe from your blog. […]

  31. […] Un conocido blogger profesional australiano public� ayer 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog, las 34 razones principales por las que los lectores se desuscriben de la fuente RSS de su weblog. […]

  32. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog […]

  33. […] Art�culo PRO: 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog […]

  34. […] I did a little writing of my own about blogging this week when I asked if there was an optimal post length for blogs, which includes a discussion of the 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog. I certainly wasn’t alone writing about blogging. […]

  35. […] Problogger wrote a series on Why Guest Blogger Are Great For A Blog, How To Find A Guest Blogger For Your Blog, How To Get Guest Blogging Job, and How To Be A Good Guest Blogger. He also showed you 34 reasons why readers unsubscribe to a blog. […]

  36. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog A list of reasons readers bail on your blog’s feed. (tags: blogging rss blog Blogs tips HOWTO unsubscribe) […]

  37. […] According to a recent posting on Problogger here are the main reasons why people unsubscribe from RSS feeds (see below). […]

  38. […] I was wrong. As Darrew Rowse points out recently, too many posts are the number one reason people unsubscribe from your blog. […]

  39. […] Darren Rowse at problogger posed the question, “Why do you unsubscribe from blog feeds”. He got a lot of responses as is usual, and grouped them all into “34 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe From Your blog“. […]

  40. […] [RSS] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog (problogger.net, 189 saves) […]

  41. Interesting of note is your own post on post frequency noting that “There is a strong correlation between the aging and post frequency of blogs and their authority and Technorati ranking.” Specifically, that the highest ranking blogs also have a higher frequency of posts.

    Ironically, I increased my posting frequency because of that article you wrote!! But my subscriber numbers have also increased. I never post more than 2-3 times a day, and never more than one long post in a day.

    Now I’m curious as to what really is at work here!

  42. This was an interesting read! I wouldn’t have guessed some, and others I would have guessed would have been voted on more.

  43. […] Via Problogger, leo un interesante artículo en el que mediante 103 opiones, recogen 34 razones por las que la gente elimina feeds de los lectores. […]

  44. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog (tags: blogging blogs RSS tips Howto Unsubscribe Blog) […]

  45. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog (tags: blog tips)   […]

  46. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe From Your Blog by Darren Rowse… This is the results of a poll Darren did on the subject. You might find the results vary from your own reasoning but it’s interesting to find out why YOUR readers might Unsubscribe from your feed. […]

  47. I’m surprised so many people are surprised by #1. I’m not. If I subscribe to a blog I am only allocating them so much time per day. If they post too much, just reviewing their posts requires me to take time away from other things.

    There is NOTHING so important that that a blogger has to publish multiple times per day. They should instead filter out the crap and write better posts! Each reader’s subjective “average post rating” will increase for the blog if they do.

    If a blog publishes more often than once per day, I *seriously* consider eliminating it from my reading schedule (this blog has come *real* close serveral times, but I’m still subscribed…)

    BTW, I don’t read LifeHacker because she blogs too much.

  48. […] Strasznie zaskoczy�a mnie wiadomo�� depesza, kt�rego czytam i ceni� ze wpisy techniczne z baz danych. Sam w ko�cu pisz� technicznego bloga, przek�adaj�c go czasem jakimi� prywatnymi wstawkami, (kt�re, swoj� drog� pono� mog� prowadzi� do utraty czytelnik�w – ale c�, I don’t care (that much)), wi�c powstaje u mnie automatycznie autorefleksja – pocoto. […]

  49. […] Heh, reason 1-2 are complete opposite, remember it’s hard to please everyone at the same time 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog […]

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