Why I send my entire post to my RSS subscribers

rss-mailchimp

When I was a kid my mom, probably like yours, always told me that if I couldn't say something nice or positive, I should just stay quiet. It's funny how I remember her advice but never take it.

So today I want to share with you a relatively small tip (in the big scheme of things). But first, let me give you a bit of context.

Wait! What's an RSS Feed?

An RSS feed is basically another way that your web content is published and made available. Don't worry about the technical part of it. It's a way mobile apps, feed readers, and other computers can get your published posts.

One way people use it is to connect it to MailChimp – like I have – and use them to send out my daily post to people so that it's in their inbox at 7 am (PST) every morning. I love that because there's very little I have to do to make that work every day. It's automatic.

(Hint: if you want to see how I do it, I posted a video of that over on YouTube)

That's a definition, not context!

Ok, you got me there. Let me explain how this came up. I was having a meal with my good friend Brian Krogsgard while we're out here in Cape Town, South Africa. He mentioned that he didn't do anything with his RSS feed on his awesome site (Post Status) and I told him a bit about MailChimp.

But then we got into talking briefly (between his hoppy beer and my cider) about whether you should put just the excerpt or the whole article in the RSS feed. Meaning – should we just put a teaser and force people to click the link to come back to the site (which pushes pageviews up), or whether we should give the reader the entire article to read in one sitting.

Thankfully we both agreed!

Send the Entire Post!

If you subscribe to my blog then you know what I do already. I send the whole post. The whole thing. No partial post. No teaser or excerpt. The whole thing.

And that means if you read it in your inbox or on your smart phone, you don't need to visit my site. And I'm ok with that – because I care more about your reading experience than I care about my pageviews. See, by sending you an excerpt, I would be suggesting to you that your inconvenience was because I wanted more site visits.

My goal, when I write these posts, is to help you. To educate or at least cause you to think. To encourage you to do all that I know you can do. But never, my friend, to annoy the [email protected] out of you. Never.

And that's how I feel when I wake up at 6 am, grab my phone (while still in bed) and read the first paragraph of a great article, which then I have to click on, which opens my mobile browser, which has too many tabs open, which limits what I can do (or kills one of my open tabs). And then I'm annoyed. Pissed. And I forget what I was reading.

This is the exact opposite of the experience I want for you. So instead, I send you the whole post.

Here's the code you need to do it

In MailChimp, the code you need to drop into the area where you put your full post content is different than their default. So make sure you copy and paste this in.

*|RSSITEM:CONTENT_FULL|*

That's it. Drop that little bit of code in your design, and you will send out the full text of your post, rather than just an excerpt.

And trust me, everyone will be happier. They'll wake up happier. Read happier. And remember you fondly because you didn't start their day off wrong!

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