The Age Old Debate – Excerpts of Full Posts in RSS Feeds

    August 3, 2005

Marketing Sherpa has a good post with 7 tips on podcasthing, RSS and blogging that might be of interest to readers.

Here’s one on RSS that I subscribe to:

#1. Don’t give it all away

Whether you’re promoting in a third-party RSS feed or using a feed yourself to get content from your site to users, the rules should be the same: entice them just enough to lure them to your site.

If your entire goal is to get people simply to read your feed, then fill it up with as much copy as you want, Lawrence says. But if you’re interested in actually driving traffic to your site, give just enough content to draw them further in.’

Of course this is NOT a tip that all bloggers subscribe to and I can just see the comments this post will probably get now – many bloggers feel that RSS should give full posts rather than just excerpts.

I guess it depends upon your goal. As the quote above indicates – if you’re just interested in having as many people read your content as possible and don’t mind if they never come to your blog and don’t mind if your content appears in full on other people’s sites then full posts in feeds will be for you. But if you’re interested in building a community and discussion around your posts and want to limit how much of your content appears else where then excerpts may be a good bet for you.

It’s an age old debate – perhaps its time for another round of opinion in comments below.

7 tips on podcasthing, RSS and blogging

Reader Comments

Darren Rowse is the founder of, a blog about the many ways of adding an income stream to blogs.

Darren owns and writes a variety of blogs including Digital Photography Blog and Camera Phone
. He is also a co-founder of the Breaking News Blog Collective.