If RSS Subscriptions Are Gold, Why Treat Them Like Dirt?

A professional blog might have one of many goals, or several. We might want our readers to find us, read us and click out via adsense, or an affiliate link. we might simply want them to read us, and take our ideas onboard. But one thing we all want, every single one of us, is for our readers to subscribe to our feed. Feed subscriptions are gold, and it just amazes me how many bloggers out there give that universal fact such little consideration.

I’m talking about where we place our rss links.

On the right, you can see a map that was produced as part of the EyeTrack 3 study written up by Steve Outing last year. It shows you how people’s eyes move over a web page, particularly, a news page, which in our case, as bloggers, is pretty damn relevant.

So, if that’s how people view a page, and a subscription to our blogs feed is truly gold, why the hell do we insist on burying our feed links down at the bottom of the page? Or worse, not showing them at all! For me, this is blog template design at it’s absolute worst, i mean, it’s common sense 101 for gods sake.

Dont Bury Your Feed!

I think in the case of blogs, the feed button, or link, is the most important navigational element on the page. Truly. If we get someone interested enough in what we’re writing to actually subscribe to our blog, shouldn’t we make it easy, not hard for them to do so?

I have very poor vision, so on many sites i actually end up doing a view source and copying and pasting directly from the source code rather than spend half a sodding hour hunting down the feed link, which is an outrageous amount of trouble to go to in order to subsribe. And no, not everyone uses an rss reader that integrates with their browsers auto-discovery of RSS — So just don’t even go down that route ok?

Come on people, your feed is gold, stop treating it like dirt!