Blog Usability: Feeds

I have written about the importance of RSS and/or Atom feeds to blogs. By providing feeds you will not really be increasing the on-site usability of your blog but its overall usability. Regular blog visitors often prefer checking the contents of their favorite blogs using feed aggregators (i.e. Google Reader). The reason for this is very simple: it is a whole lot more efficient to check an RSS aggregator for blog updates than check each blog you like one by one. This is especially important to people who read blogs not just for liesure but to keep themselves updated with certain trends. If you look at my Google Reader you will see at least 50 blogs under the categories Clients and SEO. Aside from this I have categories for my friends’ personal blogs, my family members’ personal blogs and random blogs I just enjoy reading. If I were to check each blog one by one even if just once a week I will surely be wasting my time going to blogs that doesn’t have any new post (which is a very common thing that happens with my friends’ blogs). Even with blogs that have new entries skimming through them via Google Reader saves me a lot of time because I can tune out posts I am not interested in and only read in full the ones that catch my interest. If you are worried that no one might want to visit your blog anymore and just always read everything through the reader (and thus lose revenue from ad clicks) then what you should do is make it a point to post entries that inspire conversation. By doing so you readers will be enticed to go to your blog to leave their own comments. Remember in the end this will lead to more regular readers for you because most people just really will not bother to single out your blog and read it that regularly without an aggregator.