Garrett on ways to lose RSS subscribers

Really this list could be applied to Blog readers as a whole, not just to RSS readers.

Lets take a look at the 10 ways…

Hardly post and when you do it is to apologise for not posting

Really, I very rarely clean out my RSS lists, so if you drop off on the posting for a while and all of a sudden pick it back up, chances are that I’ll read what you got.  Of course the second part holds true.  If you haven’t posted for two weeks and you do, please don’t make the entire post an apology for not posting.  An apology post is exactly the same as a non post. Except that you’ve just reminded me how long it’s been since you posted and I’m likely to drop you off of my list because of it.

Re-post boingboing or some other popular blog, or copy and paste press releases

If you are going to repost one of these, please add something to the article.  Make a commentary.  Tell us how it makes you feel.  Why is the article right/wrong?  Something, just don’t verbatim quote the article and say “wow look at this”.  At least don’t do it more than once or twice a month.

Only ever write when in a bad mood, drunk or have nothing to say

Everybody does this once in a while, just don’t do it all the time. I’ve done it once or twice, and generally it just makes for bad mojo.  Pretty sure it got me blacklisted at tech.memeorandum even.

Constant unrelenting negativity

Nobody really wants to read your whining.   Again, being negative about something once in a while is ok.  Just don’t do it all the damn time.

Bang on about the same old gripe day after day

This is much like the above point.  Just don’t do it all the damn time.

Talk down to your audience like they are idiots

I personally haven’t experienced this much in the blogosphere. I can see how it could lose a few readers though.

Be incomprehensible

So, don’t write like Dave Winer. ;)  Just kidding Dave.  Explain anything that is remotely cryptic.  Inside jokes, mathematical algorithms, etc…

Be elitist

Lets get one thing straight.  The blogosphere is all about equal talking levels.  Nobody here is any better or any more important than another.  All our voices start out the same level.  It’s what you say and how well you say it that gives you the advantage.

Be needy

Don’t name drop in every post.  Dave Winer, Robert Scoble and the rest really don’t care.  Unless you have something really, really, really interesting to say that is.

Constant irrelevance

If your blog is a niche blog about car washing nuns, keep the post topics to car washing nuns.  Talking about sewing nuns is off topic and should be looked upon as something you only do once in a while.  Doing it constantly will lose you all the readers who look to you for news and articles on car washing nuns.  Of course you could always change your blog to be a niche blog on sewing nuns.  Also, a blog like this one that your reading right now doesn’t have a set topic.  I write about a lot of things.  Most of it is tech, but it is my personal blog so I don’t try and keep a set topic.  Check out A penny saved if you want an example of a niche blog with a niche topic.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. Good tips. These happen all too frequent. 🙂