Poll: RSS excerpts vs. full posts

Ian Lurie

I’m seriously considering switching my RSS feed to use excerpts instead of full posts.
I hate excerpting – I really do. But I need to try some things to improve the meager ad revenue I get (about $250/month, now).
Given the choice between pissing off every Conversation Marketing reader or making another $150/month, though, I’ll opt for keeping the readers happy. So, please answer the poll below:

You can help me be as spineless about excerpts as my city government is about replacing the Viaduct.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. I can’t believe 45% (at the time of this comment) are saying they probably won’t read as often. This seems unbelievable to me, if not outrageous! (I’m not really outraged, but maybe a little dumbfounded) Do 45% of your readers even read your blog through a full feed? I suspect that some of your readers, as intelligent as they are, possibly misunderstood the question, or don’t understand RSS. Perhaps they think you are proposing to publish only excerpts on your blog – and then pay to read the full post, or some other nonsense like that.
    As for me, I always click through the RSS headline to read the post on your blog. There’s something more satisfying in reading it in it’s home environment. And if this helps your ad revenue, I’m all for it.

  2. I think that it’s a matter of fact. If you go to excerpts your RSS readership will fall. I suggest doing some A/B testing. test out the excerpt and full and see which one generates more income. You may have fewer readers, but you might make more from ads. The only way to find out is to test, but you do risk losing some of your current readers in the process.

  3. Hi Ian,
    I chose “you go boy”, even though reading that phrase made me feel weird. Anything to help you make a few extra bucks 🙂
    I just have conversationmarketing fed straight to my igoogle home page. When I see an update I click on it and read.
    So, this doesn’t really apply to me anyway.
    I am curious, how will excerpting improve the ad revenue? That is probably a stupid question, but I don’t understand…

  4. @Travis excerpting means more people clicking thru to my site, and therefore more pageviews. Then I can sell more ads or charge more for existing ones.

  5. Ahh, of course…
    They click thru because they can only read a portion of the article in their reader.
    Well, if it is any consolation, I spend an inordinate amount of time on your site.
    Thanks again for everything!

  6. I think my RSS reader only gives me excerpts anyways. I always click through to the site. I say do what makes you more money. I don’t think it will effect your readers that much, as most blogs do excerpts anyway. Either way I always read your posts because you make me laugh, and I like the way you write.

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