A reader this week submitted the following question:
“What is your take on blog posts that show only the first few paragraphs on the main site and then require clicking on “more” or “continue” or some similar link in order to see the entire post? I know I rarely click to read the rest of the post, and I can’t be the only lazy one out there. So what’s the advantage of this, other than allowing more posts & titles on the front page? Is it an ad thing? Is it worth it for bloggers to do it? If not, why do they? I’ve long been curious about this, and am wondering if I’m missing out on some huge and obvious benefit to such a tactic.
The use of the ‘more’ or ‘continue’ links (also often called the ‘extended entry’ feature) on blogs has been one that bloggers have utilized for years as a way of showing only an excerpt of an article on the front page of a blog.
I personally use it on most of my blogs but know that in doing so there are a small percentage of readers who find it a frustrating feature. Like the reader asking the question they don’t seem to like having to click a link to read the full article and many see it as a tactic to increase page views and ad revenue.
The reason I use the extended entry feature is not to increase my earnings but rather to keep some order to the front page of my blogs.
I like readers who come to my blog to be able to quickly be able to see titles to the last two or three entries that I’ve made. I publish a lot of longer posts on many of my blogs and to have them appear in full on the front page of my blogs would mean that there would be a lot of scrolling down needed to view the last few entries.
I actually find blogs that post full entries on their front pages frustrating to read and tend to loose interest after scrolling for 10-20 seconds.
Of course not all bloggers use this feature for the reasons that I do. Some do use it simply to increase page impressions and ad revenue. This can be quite annoying. You click the ‘more’ link thinking that you’ll get significantly more content on the topic that’s being written about and instead get nothing (or very little).
I guess my advice in determining whether to use the extended entry feature of your blog is to ask whether the content that you’re publishing warrants it’s use – is it useful to your readers or not? If you have a long post I would suggest using the feature but if your post is short and you’re just after extra impressions you run the risk of annoying your reader.
PS: I would add that I find that fewer and fewer of my readers actually see the ‘more’ links on my blogs as increasingly they are arriving at my posts via RSS feeds. This means that they are driven straight to the individual posts and see the full entry on the one page. It’s only those who land on my front page via Search Engines or bookmarks that tend to see them.