RSS and Sharing for Dummies—and Lazies

Y’all know how I’ve preached that if you can’t say anything nice, then shut the hell up? Well, I’m about to break that rule. Kind of. Constructively, of course.

You’re lazy.

You didn’t now this about yourself, did you? But I do. And you’re not alone.

All Internet users are lazy.  It’s just a fact of life. I’m a lazy, too. Like me, I know you skim content. I know you rarely read every. Single. Word. I know you’d rather click a button to share a post than go out to bit.ly and get a shortened URL and share it that way. I know if a page doesn’t load fast enough, you just close it down. I know that if you can’t find what you’re looking for…and on the double…you give up and try something else.

Sound familiar? Uh huh. Don’t feel bad. It’s just the way we’re built. Many people were blessed with the virtue of patience, but that patience almost never extends to the Internet. So what’s my point? You have to make reading and sharing your blog content easy for all the lazies in the world!

As they say at Sexy Bookmarks, sharing is sexy!

So you have your Bloglovin’, Disqus, Twitter links, buttons, etc. But do your POSTS have a SHARE mechanism? Are you offering social bookmarking for your content? Oddly, in the last few weeks, I’ve wanted to share a post I’ve read through Twitter…only to discover that the blog I was on did not have this functionality. GAH!

No good, y’all. I know it’s a total oversight, but it is actually quite common. So do yourselves (and me) a favor, and make it supereasy for others to share your fabulous posts with the world. How to do this? In WordPress, I use Topsy and Sexy Bookmarks plugins. But there are a plethora of options, for all blogging platforms. Here are some resources:

RSS: Really Serious Stuff!

While we’re on the subject of sharing blog content, if there are any of you who have not RSS-enabled your blog, get on it pronto! RSS (which actually stands for Really Simple Syndication) enables readers to have your content pushed to the reader of their choice, whether it’s Bloglovin’, Google Reader, Blog Catalog, or something else.

Avid blog readers use aggregators—it’s that simple. Not enabling RSS forces your readers to get to your blog some other (more labor-intensive) way, and when all their other favorite blogs are coming to them in a reader and you are not, you will not get the same level of visitation, simply because you’re off the radar.

So go ahead. Enable RSS. It’s a cinch! Then tell your readers you did so they can follow you in Bloglovin’ or whatever.

PS: Are you addicted to blogging?

You might be. My latest post on IFB covers symptoms of blogging compulsion and addiction, plus tips for balancing blogging and your real life.

42 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this V! This weekend I will de-lazify and sort my Blogger shit out! Seriously great info chock full of tasty (sexy!) resources, certainly not the work of a lazy person!
    Have an amazing weekend!xx

  2. i love this….i really wish that all blogs came with sharing mechanisms AND something like the comluv feature that shows posters recent post…..that way we could get bloggers to stop being annoyed when other bloggers leave links AND bloggers get to show their last piece to a different set of readers who may want to click it. easy easy easy options for everyone 🙂

  3. Disqus can also be a sharing mechanism. If you click on “Like” for the post, it asks if you want to share it with Facebook or Twitter. Just two but better than nothing – but not as obvious as Topsy or Sexy Bookmarks.

  4. i’m super lazy. i’ll admit it. i mean, i do work 60 hours per week so i don’t have as much time to work on my blog as i’d like, but i could be learning this shit instead of surfing facebook in my spare time. thanks for the tips!

  5. Huh, I’ll have to figure out how to put the per-entry share links on Tumblr. They don’t make it super-easy. If I can figure out how to do it I’ll post it!

  6. Great post V! I had to double check, but yep, I have sharing enabled from my posts. RSS is also a go. I think this is the first time that you have posted something about blog improvement where I haven’t said “oh god, I have to fix that!” on my blog! LOL

    Thanks for putting this together. Off to read your IFB post now.

  7. I am completely confused now…Any advice on how to do all that pretty stuff on my blog????
    You are always so kind and caring and sharing you knoledge with all of us.
    Un abrazo my dear, dear friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    1. Sacramento, some of the links above give instructions on how to do these things in Blogger. Click on them and see if they help. I’m sure the Help section withing Blogger will also have some info.

  8. Marvelous! Thank you for the many great resources, as usual. Blogger implemented a share widget for bookmarking sites, but for some reason it didn’t take on my blog. I wondered if it was maybe an issue with the theme I was using, but I never addressed it. Unfortunately a lot of people – myself included – will skip over that sort of thing just because they don’t use some of the sites so they don’t necessarily understand how big of a deal they are. I didn’t realize what a great tool StumbleUpon is until I started using it just this year.

  9. I’m a ‘half bit’ lazy and used to have ‘0’ patience but that was before I moved out to Greece!
    You missy, you’re a bloody legend lady for doing this post! I had to go check if my RSS was enabled or not – it was… but now i’m going to figure out the next bit about feed burners!

    Thank you lovely!!! Have a super weekend!
    x.o.x.o

  10. The addicted to blogging article really hit home. There is a fine line between enough blog time and too much in my house. I guess I’m not alone, which is strangely comforting. Great article V.

    1. Well, hello BIRTHDAY GIRL! I’ve had to make some concessions ’round my house too. Like resisting the urge to constantly check my iPhone. And well, y’all have seen the posting slow down. Gotta do what you gotta do! apparently, there are a LOT of men out there griping about their fanatic blogger women!

  11. oh man, i remember when i first figured out about sharing buttons and i was like… really?! i have to add this to my blog tooooo?!?!? and thus began the epic search for the ultimate share buttons. i wanted cute ones! and they were hard to find! hehehe. but now i’m gonna go to sexy sharing because i’m curious… if you use it, it must be good. i’ve been using add this so far and it’s ok. but customizing my icons was a huge pain.

  12. Great post! I am always annoyed when I read a post I like and I can’t share it. Another annoyance — having social media share buttons but not email share options. Sometimes I only want to send it to one friend. Definitely a missed opportunity.

  13. Thanks for the tips! I have since switched to Feedburner for my right-column subscription widget, rather than Blogger’s built-in pulldown window offering. Feedburner gives me that little orange RSS logo, it offers more reader choices, and its more clear in its intent: “Subscribe in a Reader” rather than just “Subscribe.”

    My stats have shown me a few people who’ve made the effort to grab my feed through Feedburner, Bloglovin’, etc. through their own understanding of the process — and I appreciate that. I’ve been a little Google Reader and Google Follower-centric.

    1. No worries doll. Good to hear you switched to Feedburner. It’s very good. I don’t use Google Reader or Feedburner…been using Bloglovin’ myself. May need to try Google reader and see what advantages it offers me.

  14. Thank you so much for this post I am definitely going to RSS enable my blog and get back to tweeting. I really do need to make my blog the best it can be and have it more accessible for my readers because even though I blog for my self I want it easier for my readers to share it if they love it. and I just added the ways to share the post,email,fb,twitter.

    1. I want to add to what i said before I reread the part about rss and I do have it enabled with bloglovin, google,twitter and my facebook page. And I do have a bit of a blogging/web browsing addiction so I have set up some boundaries so I don’t waste all of my time in front of the computer because there is so much more to life than the Internet.

  15. yes, yes, yes! Guilty as charged. I was one of those people who had not enabled any type of sharing functionality on my posts, but thanks to you I have solved that problem so thanks for the tip!

    …and you are totally right about the RSS. AT least 80% of my readers read via RSS. It is by far the most important means of subscription for my blog.

    Have a great week!

    1. HA! I’m so glad you updated your blog, honey. We’re all learning as we go. Sometimes we can easily overlook the most obvious things. Glad I can tweet you now!

  16. This was awesome V! It’s amazing how we bloggers can forget how lazy are readers are, especially when we’re blog readers ourselves! I know the free platform for WordPress makes it crazy easy to have share buttons at the end of a post!

    Oh, and I love the Internet addiction test piece by the way! It’s good to know I don’t need serious help for it! LOL

  17. Found this post on IFB links a la mode.Very useful and I had no thought about this before. Most people will not have a google account to follow me and enabling rss and sharing will benefit me and my readers!
    Thanks

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