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?
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…
… 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:
See the last symbol there on the right… The one that looks like this… ?
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:
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 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!