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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. […] Want to read why people unsubscribe from blogs? Read Darren’s post on that subject. […]

  2. […] Voyez ici les résultats complets. Ce qui est intéressant c’est que si tout le monde sait que pour retenir l’attention de ses lecteurs, il faut poster souvent, on voit aussi que plus de 30% d’entre eux se lassent des blogueurs trop bavards. Parce qu’ils racontent n’importe quoi? Cela semble confirmé par le grand nombre de ceux qui se plaignent aussi des blogs manquant de “focus” (too much off topic posting). […]

  3. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog Darren Rowse analiza las 34 razones más frecuentes de por que la gente se desuscribe de un feed. (tags: rss weblogs) Categorías: Lecturas recomendadas Temas: Sin temas […]

  4. Greetings all – If you keep your heart true, and your opinions founded, a following you will build.
    Write from the heart no matter what the topic be it boring and mathematical, or wonderful and about life.
    You are writing I hope for the love of it, to share your opinions and words with the world, to initiate change and challenge people’s thoughts.

    It matters not if you are in IT and build sites, or a artist blogging about culture, the world is a huge a diverse place, rich in language and culture sites sounds a fountain of life.
    Blog well, be upstanding have a soapbox, but most of all be true to your self and to your readers.

    have a b l o g g i n g good day

  5. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog  Annotated […]

  6. […] 34 reasons why readers unsubscribe from your blog March, 2007 check the 3rd reason […]

  7. […] Posted by Doug McHone on 05 Mar 2007 at 01:00 am | Tagged as: Spiritual Growth I just read 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog (HT Jollyblogger) and thought it would be painful a good idea to examine my own blog in light of it. In the original post, 103 people responded to the matter of why they are most prone to unsubscribe from a blog. The results were tallied, and many people had more than one answer in their response. I’ll list a few and we’ll see how I am doing. I don’t ask for comments often, but just let them happen. This is a post where I am requesting some feedback. […]

  8. […] Darren Rowse lists 34 reasons why readers unsubscribe from your blog. Ouch. […]

  9. I came across your website a few months ago and have basically used it as the bible for blogging. I recently place my blog on typepad. This article and site are helping me overcome “blogyard”. So I would just like to say thank you.

  10. […] Every blogger and his dog have dissected 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog so I’m not going to go into too much detail here but one question that came to my mind was: […]

  11. I lost readers because I changed my domain name ;) though it’s been a few days and all. I guess I might go off topic here and there though. Haven’t really found my niche yet.

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

  13. […] You can be interesting and different but still write junk – and if you do that you’ll lose readers quicker than any other reason on this list. […]

  14. (And ProBlogger would benefit from a basic print style sheet, too. Yah, off-topic, but needs to be said.)

  15. […] Quando ele estava com 109 respostas nos comentários ele escreveu o post 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog, agrupando os motivos apontados pelos leitores. […]

  16. 34 raisons qui poussent à se désabonner d’un blog…

    Suite à un sondage auprès de ses lecteurs, Darren Rowse a identifié 34 raisons pouvant mener à se désabonner d’un flux RSS, classées par ordre décroissant d’importance :

    Fréquence de publication trop élevée
    Fréquence de publication …

  17. Shifting Gears…

    So, Problogger asked its readers why someone would be likely to stop reading their blogs/feeds. 23 people said, “Blog Changes Focus (too much off topic posting)” putting it at #4 on the list. I personally see blogging as an evolving medium. I mean, i…

  18. […] 注:  本文转自月光博客 。翻译人:William Long,译文地址:34个原因让读者退订你的博客,英文原文:34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog […]

  19. did no offer your target audince focus information and
    did not pay attention to their comment encourage readers to go away.
    The choose of topic, people love news and some times need another opinions.

  20. […] Mais, si comme on le voit sur cette image, le nombre de subscriptions connaît une croissance exponentielle, il arrive aussi que les lecteurs de flux se désabonnent. Darren Rowse a identifié 34 raisons pour lesquelles les gens se désinscrivent d’un blog. La première chose à retenir, c’est l’importance qu’ont la forme (par rapport au fond) et l’aspect quantitatif (par rapport au qualitatif). En effet, les 2 premiers critères de désabonnement sont : trop de billets et… pas assez de billets. Il semble donc que le bloggueur doive trouver un rythme adéquat, peut-être pas plus de 5 billets (pertinents bien entendu) par jour comme le suggère Netvibeur (dans les commentaires du billet de Sébastien) ; je rajouterais l’importance de la fréquence, pour éviter les pics et les abîmes. Pour rester dans la forme, la 3ème raison de désabonnement, ce sont les flux partiels (il faut cliquer que un lien pour lire le billet en entier) ; c’est effectivement une question qui revient de temps à autre dans la blogosphère, sans que les résultats permettent de tirer des conclusions très nettes (par exemple : Emob). D’un point de vue qualitatif, les abonnés aiment lire, mais pas trop ;ils veulent des contenus nouveaux et proches de leurs attentes, donc attention aux changements de thèmes, à la reprise systématique d’info sur d’autres blogs ou site, etc. Mais ils veulent aussi qu’on leur témoigne de la considération, en répondant aux commentaires, en ne faisant pas trop de pub (et d’auto-promotion) et, pour le bloggueur, en se vantant pas trop. Tags Vedocci: Amazon, Feedburner, RSSTags Technorati: Amazon, Feedburner, RSS […]

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

  22. […] Finally, in Darren Rowse’s recent survey of why people unsubscribe from a blog, a consistent post frequency wasn’t even on the list. […]

  23. […] There could be countless reasons why people unsubscribe from you blog — that means remove your RSS link from their feed reader — but recently Darren on Problogger listed 34 reasons why readers unsubscribe from your blog. I’m not going to list all the reasons but there are a few that caught my fancy and I’d like to share my thoughts on them. […]

  24. very nice information. i cite the number 1 as the main reason for unsubscribing as there are way too many sites around who are posting the same information (but with other words) hundreds of times during months. It is more spamming then blogging, then.

  25. […] For nyligt lavede Darren Rowse fra ProBlogger.com en undersøgelse blandt sine læsere: Hvorfor framelder du dig en blog? […]

  26. […] Interesting read over at problogger on 34 reasons why readers unsubscribe from your blog: […]

  27. MR Now With Sexier Donation Buttons, Full RSS Feeds…

    We just got done reading the results of a very unscientific survey examining why people unsubscribe from blog RSS feeds. The top three results, with the number of people who gave that response to the right: * Too many posts……

  28. […] From what little personal experience I have with using an RSS reader (I only used one for about a month then went back to good ol’ bookmarks) one of the easiest ways to get me to unsubscribe was to fill up my window with posts from the same blog. I’m backed up by some of the reader’s of Problogger. Darren asked his readers “What makes you unsubscribe from an RSS feed?” and a whopping 37 (the most responses) said too many posts. Do you need anymore proof than that? […]

  29. […] Darren at ProBlogger leveraged his 20,000 RSS readers and polled them to find out why people unsubscribe from blog RSS feeds. They came up with a list of 34 reasons. The top three reasons people unsubscribe from RSS feeds is because there are too many posts, there are too few posts or because the blog uses partial feeds. Partial feeds are when the RSS feed only shows a snippet of post and you have to click through to the blog to read the entire thing. […]

  30. […] Darren Rowse from ProBlogger posted a great list of 34 reasons why people unsubscribe from your blog. Darren asked his readers their thoughts on why they unsubscribe from blogs, over 109 people commented and Darren classified all the responses and posted the data. […]

  31. I think that the Rss reader used by the visitors can be responsible sometimes.

  32. […] March 20th, 2007 My biggest offense is infrequent posting. For this I have a remedy. Post more frequently.  34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog […]

  33. […] Segundo Darren Rowse, um dos motivos de se perder leitores é o excesso de publicações, a falta de atualizações, também é citada, mas como o foco deste artigo é para quem quer obter retorno financeiro com o blog, isto está fora de cogitação. […]

  34. […] du blog ProBlogger, a mené il’y a quelques temps un petit sondage sur la question “Pourquoi les lecteurs se désinscrivent de votre blog?”. Il a recueilli une centaine d’opinions qui sont résumées dans le graphiqueci-dessous : var ampie_path = “/data/script/ampie_why_unsubscribe_rss/” var ampie_settingsFile = “/data/script/ampie_why_unsubscribe_rss/ampie_settings.txt”; var ampie_dataFile = “/data/script/ampie_why_unsubscribe_rss/ampie_data.txt”; var ampie_flashWidth = “460”; var ampie_flashHeight = “370”; var ampie_backgroundColor = “#FFFFFF”; […]

  35. […] 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. […]

  36. […] Like the English national football coach, Bill McLaren we here at http://www.thetriforce.com are meticulous in our approach to success. But unlike Malcolm, we measure our success in users, not goals. One example of our meticulousness is the way in which we invented a sex hoax, and the way in which I got blown up by terrorists. That’s two examples actually. That’s how meticulousness we are. Our latest piece of meticulousness is this, which Simon found on the internet while being meticulousness the other day. […]

  37. […] Post more than once daily – I’ve noticed that a lot of readers visit various times throughout the day. To keep them entertained, put up 2-3 posts through the length of the day (space them out evenly). Even if you don’t have much to say, you can always put up a link of a funny video you saw or write a summary of a good article you read or talk about a strange product you stumbled upon. But don’t go overboard… most people unsubscribe from RSS feeds because of too many posts. […]

  38. The Need for Feeds…

    One of my earliest blogging mistakes was underestimating the importance of RSS feeds, both for readers and for my own sanity. I’d never used a feed reader, and I didn’t know anyone who had.

    Having never subscribed to a feed myself, I did nothing to…

  39. […] Well, not in the grand scheme of things but it is one of the most annoying things that blog publishers can do. I honestly can’t see a reason for it. If I’ve subscribed to a blog then i’ve probably visited your site so why do you force me to go back everytime you publish? It “breaks” the concept of RSS/Atom feeds for me. A few months ago I subscribed to Grandad’s Head Rambles but, due to the fact he uses partial feeds, I’ve found myself less inclined to even read the partial updates in Bloglines. I’ve unsubscribed from blogs because of this before and apparently I’m not the only one. […]

  40. […] 100 aphorisms summarizing Calvin’s Institutes Some classic insults 34 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from your Blog (a quick scan confirms my suspicion that I have been guilty of the majority of these at some time or other) The Internet weighs 2 ounces ***Some British teachers drop teaching the Holocaust and the Crsuades to avoid offending Muslims and other schools are challenged to change their teaching on the Arab-Israeli conflict by some theologically confused Christians [HT: Tim Challies] ***A skeptical ex-scientist describes the funding process for peer-reviewed research. ***Some more useful links from lifehacker: […]

  41. My friend is pushy when it comes to her blog. It makes me laugh. Then she says people aren’t visiting. Now we know why.

  42. […] had experienced the same thing. Sure enough, over at Problogger, I found a good post highlighting 34 reasons why readers unsubscribe from your blog. Guess what the number one reason […]

  43. […] The top five reasons why people unsubscribe from blog feeds out of 34 identified by ProBlogger: […]

  44. […] that posting too much will lose you readers? Stark mentions a post on problogger called ‘34 reasons why readers unsubscribe from your blog‘. The number 1 reason was : Too many posts (the post levels are too overwhelming). I was […]

  45. […] 我的部落格最近用 RSS 訂閱的用戶增加的很快。其中,也不時會發現有退訂的情形。一直在思索網友為甚麼會訂閱,又為何會退訂。在網上找到了這篇文章。退訂部落格的 34 個原因。這是有 22000 訂閱戶的,美國知名 Darren Rowse 在他的部落格上經過調查後整理出來的調查報告。整理出來給大家參考。 […]

  46. This is a great and valuable info! I will keep it in my mind, as RSS subscribers are maybe even more important that unique visitors, as they are loyal readers.
    BTW, you have a good pace posting, as I am subscribed to your RSS.

  47. […] the article mentioned above, Sharon mentions surveys that were taken by Darren Rowse and Guy Kawasaki that seem to indicate that too many posts will cause readers to unsubscribe from […]

  48. […] 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog […]

  49. […] so many posts that I was really getting sick and tired of trying to keep up with them all.  Problogger wrote in March about the top reasons that people unsubscribe from blog feeds, and “too many […]

  50. […] recent surveys, most notably the one conducted by Darren Rowse of Problogger.net, the main reason for unsubscribing from a blog’s feed were “too many” […]

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