I’m still amazed by how many businesses have only partial RSS feeds from their blogs or websites. A partial RSS feed usually just has the title and a excerpt with the hopes that it’ll entice you to click to the website to read the rest of the post. We’re all busy people. I read my RSS feeds in Google Reader because it allows me to catchup on lots of different sites without having to spend the time visiting them all. What makes your content so different from TechCrunch or the New York Times that I should bother visiting your site to read it?
With the proliferation of various mobile devices – smartphones, the Kindle and others yet to be released, it’s important for people to get to your content as easily as possible. One of the easiest ways to create a mobile website is to use a service such as MoFuse or Unity Mobile and provide them with your RSS feed. If you only have a partial feed, people on the mobile devices will have to click to go to your website. Is your website optimized for mobile visitors? Why make people click from one place that’s made for their device to another that many not?
Unless you’re selling your content, why be so protective of it? If you set your content free and allow people to view it however they want, they’ll be more likely to read it, and more importantly, share it. It makes your content easier to view on many different devices and platforms. And it doesn’t annoy people who you want as your customers. Most businesses are selling something other than their content. By freeing your content you get your name and brand and reputation out to a much larger audience, which is much more productive than forcing people into a funnel. Even if you do happen to sell your content, or sell advertising on your blog, there are ways to advertise via RSS or other methods. By freeing your content, you are giving readers a reason to trust you. Which will make it much easier to sell them something later – an ebook, study, webinar, whatever.
Free your content. Connect with your readers. Allow them the freedom to share, read, comment and repurpose what you write. You’ll build trust and reputation and your message will spread much further.
(photo by Shahram Sharif @ Flickr CC)