#LetsDiscuss2020 – Tease Me to Please Me! – #DiscussionSunday #8.

#LetsDiscuss2020

While on furlough from work, I realized that through WordPress alone, I subscribe to over 900 blogs, and over 100 more through email and RSS feeds. That means I get easily 150 emails a day. Now, I don’t have any problem with that, but there is something I wish more bloggers would do, and that brought me to this topic of discussion:

Why don’t more bloggers use the “read more” option when they write their posts?

Discussion Sunday #letsdiscuss2020

Disclaimer:

This is post is for discussion only. I do not expect others to follow my lead, I just think it is something you might not know about and might want to think about doing. As always, if this idea doesn’t suit you, if you don’t care about people visiting your blog or how your emails look when subscribers get them, that’s perfectly okay; You Do You!

First of all…

Let’s get straight to the point, shall we?

Even if you don’t monetize your blog, if you are still reading this, let’s assume that you do want people to visit your blog.

To that end, I will also assume that you hope that people will subscribe to your blog, so that they get a notification whenever you post something new. Lastly, let me assume that your blog sends out emails to your subscribers, and that most of your subscribers asked to get these emails. If all of this is true… why would we want to buy the cow when we are getting our milk for free? In other words…

Why are you giving it all away in your email alerts?

While stuck at home, I’ve been very good about clicking on almost all of the links in the hundreds of emails I’m getting, but when I go back to work (on June 1), I’m simply not going to have time to do that (until I retire). So, in the future, when I get those hundreds of emails, there will have to be something about that post to entice me to click on the link.

Just to have some context, what I’m finding is that the bloggers who write long posts end up getting chopped off before the end in the emails I get. Others that have lots of big pictures and/or GIFs, that end up being absolutely HUGE when they appear in the emails, which overshadow the text or subject matter of the article (and make the message heavy, by the way. By the way, I’ve now decided to move the pictures of the covers of the books I’m reviewing down a bit, so that they won’t show up in the email alerts you get). Then there are the prolific bloggers who publish several posts a day. For them, I have to scroll and scroll to get to all the posts. Also, because I get a daily digest, my email server sometimes chops them off in the middle of the message, and I have to scroll to the bottom and then I find the “[Message Clipped] View Entire Message link, that opens a new window with the whole email. Well, who’s got time and patience for that? This means I’m probably missing a whole bunch of blog posts.

However, when I see this in an email message…

Read more

or this:

Screenshot_2020-05-10 Daily digest for Caitlin Althea, on May 10, 2020 - drchazan gmail com - Gmail

… that really piques my interest, especially when it shows up within the first screen of the email, where I don’t have to scroll much at all!

THIS is what I mean by teasing me! Give me just a taste, an amuse bouche, if you will, of what is to come. If you do, I’ll almost certainly want the chance to devour everything on your menu!

By the way…

I have noticed that among the bloggers that use this, a small handful of them put their break somewhere around the half-way point of their posts. That’s good, but I still think you’re giving too much away in your emails. I would humbly like to suggest that you put it as close to the end of the first paragraph as possible, since that will make your opening even more of a teaser. Again, just a suggestion.

How do you do this on WordPress?

Now, doing this is extremely easy. All you have to is put your cursor just after, say, the first paragraph or first few lines of your post (in this post, mine appears just above that second picture), and then when the cursor is where you want it, when look up at the toolbar, you’ll see this:

WP Toolbar

See the last symbol there on the right… The one that looks like this… WP read more tag?

When you hover your pointer over that, it says “Insert read more tag”. Just click on that once and you’ll see a dashed line with the word ‘MORE’ in the middle, wherever your cursor was on the post. Everything above that line will show up on the email, with that “Read more of this post” just below it. Don’t worry if it looks like it will split up your text strangely on your page, because when you preview your post, you won’t see the “read more” bit at all. I don’t think this will change how your front page shows up, since I think that depends on how you’ve set that up.

Bloggers on BlogSpot can do it too!

For my BlogSpot user readers, you’ve all seen this toolbar when you’re writing your post:

Blogspot toolbar

Well, the bit you want to click on is the one just to the right of smiley face that looks like a torn piece of paper, which, when you hover over it says “insert jump break”. By the way, depending on the template you use, it could be that when you use this, your front page will then have shorter bits of your posts, and you’ll see a Blogspot Read More link just below each blurb. The advantage to that is that people visiting your front page will have more blog posts to choose from to click on and visit.

I’m afraid I just don’t see any drawbacks to using this (of course, on other platforms, it might be more difficult to figure out), and I see lots of reasons why it would be good to use this.

So… what do you think?

Do you get lots of really long email alerts for book blog posts – either for multiple postings or for really long blog articles?

Does having the WHOLE post on the email keep you from clicking on the link to visit the blog, or encourage you to do so?

Do you use the “read more” option on your blog posts?

If not, and because it is so easy to add, do you think you will try to use it in your future posts?

This post is my 8th entry in the 2020 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!

2020-Discussion-Challenge

34 thoughts on “#LetsDiscuss2020 – Tease Me to Please Me! – #DiscussionSunday #8.

  1. It took us a while to include the read more because it took us a while to find how to add it to our posts! But ever since then we’ve been using after the first paragraph of every post. That was readers will visit our blog, where they’re more likely to like and comment and just interact in general.

    I will say that I like when posts fit fully in the email, with no read more option, and without any pieces getting cut off. Sometimes I’ll read them when I have a spare second, and then only click on the post later when I have more time to comment. So really I’m fine with either, because I’m only going to read the post if it interests me, no matter what I can read from the email!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have just BLOWN MY MIND! I have been blogging for seven years, and I had no idea what that little toolbar option did. I saw that it said “Read More” but I already don’t show the full post on my homepage, and I had no idea this would add a Read More link in my emails. I’ll have to do this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always use a jump to keep my front page neat; it didn’t occur to me that it would help my email clicks as well!

    I’ve always put the cover image low in the post, I had a comment recently that I should put it at the top for more visual interest. Not sure what to do now! It’s nice to hear other people’s thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, you do you, that’s what’s most important. But you know… if you subscribe to your own blog, you can play around with placing the image, so when you get the email yourself you can see how it looks, and decide like that. I was putting the book cover before the jump, but I now see that the emails always take the full size of the file for the email, so even if I made it smaller for the post, sometimes a larger image will be just too huge on the email.

      Like

  4. Great tip! As others have mentioned, as a new blogger, I didn’t realize the whole post was going out by email so I wouldn’t get a coveted hit on my blog even though someone might have read my whole post. Once I realized it, I changed it! (Then I pretty much stopped blogging for a long time, but that’s another story.)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As a new blogger, I didn’t know about the Read More until you commented and told me about it on one of my blog posts recently. (And now I’m wondering if my annoying long post is what inspired this post.) I’ve started using it, but I wish it was something that could be automatic. I do still forget to add it sometimes. But honestly, it doesn’t bother me when a whole post in in an email. I always just click on the title at the top of the email and go to the blog anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not your emails specifically, no. Like I said, I get so many of them, I thought it might be a good idea to do this post. I also wish it was automatic and I also sometimes forget to do it, so you’re not alone!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I use only short version on my email and I send the traffic to my blog, if they want to. Glad to know am not the only one/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with you 100% about giving away the whole post in the email notification. I use Blogger and when I started using MailChimp for my email notifications instead of Feedburner, I needed to insert a jump break, just as you said above. I didn’t like the way this made my home page and blog post look so decided not to use it going forward.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Interesting. I think that anyone who gets my blog posts by email get a shortened version as I’m pretty sure I set it that way. But I haven’t used that ‘read more’ insert you mentioned so I’ll need to investigate that. I’ll check with my husband as he gets the email notification.

    I don’t actually get emails for any of the blogs I follow as I just use the reader in WordPress instead. Can’t be bothered getting loads of emails everyday 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would use the reader myself but because I follow so many blogs, I know I’ll miss all those posts that come out when I’m sleeping, that are posted half a world away from where I live!

      Like

  9. I choose to read through a feed reader and then I click through to any posts that I find interesting enough to comment on. Personally, I prefer to be able to read the whole post. Having said that I didn’t know how to do this so I did learn something today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to admit, I forgot about the Reader option. That said, with all the blogs I follow, using the Reader isn’t a good option for me because I might miss posts that are published when I’m sleeping or away from the computer.

      Like

      1. Oh, so it is different from the WP reader that just puts them up as they get published! I’ve never tried one of those. Any tips on how to set one up?

        Like

  10. I suspect the answer is that most people don’t have the technical skills to do this. I certainly never knew about the insert jump break before but will try it tomorrow. I had to use Wix for a grad school assignment last month and although I was annoyed with the professor for making me learn a new software when I had so much else going on, I really liked it once I got familiar with it and even considered moving to it from Blogspot because it seemed easier to manipulate. It has a setup for people to move their blogs from WordPress but not from Blogspot, however.

    Thanks for the thoughtful suggestions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I believe that the blogs I follow with WIX have a built in teaser for the emails to subscribers. As for moving from Blogspot, when I moved to WP, I exported my whole blog there, and then imported it to WP. I don’t know if WIX will let you import a whole blog like that.

      Like

  11. I remember the day it occurred to me that I was giving away all my content is an email without receiving a visit in return! Since then, I try to remember to include the “read more.” I’ve experimented with the location….. right now I’m putting it between the summary and my thoughts or in a TTT type post, I put it after #5. I did notice that when I started using it, my views increased. If the entire post is in an email, I don’t click through unless I want to like or comment. It’s a little bit of an extra step for followers but I hope they don’t mind and realize the value of click throughs! I’m one of the bloggers that needs to think more about writing a teaser and moving my read more closer to the top of my post. There’s never an end to the tweaking! Thanks for a great post and the reminder!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. It puts me off. If I click on something in Word Press reader, I just want it to be there, not to be redirected to another page. Each to their own! Also, I often find that the “read more” page is full of adverts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, I’m not sure that’s right. If you read blogs only through the WP reader, you’re already getting a teaser and the “read more” part doesn’t show up. When you click on the “Visit” button from there, you get to the full page. Though I do think that you might be right about the adverts showing up on the shortened emails, but that’s only for blogs that have monetized their sites, and I believe I have seen them as well on the emails that don’t use the read more option. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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