RSS feed count means nothing

rss-feed.jpgEvery blog about blogging blogger seem to think that RSS count is the golden ticket to blogging riches. I have around 250 subscribers. But i know for a fact that only a small percentage come to this blog via the feed. I think this is true of most make money blog. For that matter, this is probably true of all blogs.

Let’s look at how RSS subscriptions are gained. Most people hold contests or competitions to up their RSS count. I know i did and i know johnchow did. And if johnchow did it, you know that a thousand other make money blogger follow in his hallowed footsteps. So those clone blogs also bought subscribers with crappy contest prizes. I remember there was a mini outrage cause some random blogger wanted to sell RSS subscriptions. A few bloggers were in an uproar. It was pretty funny. I really enjoy when bloggers get all riled up. Relax dorks! Most of the subscribers to your blog have been bought. If a reader subscribes cause he or she want to win a prize, then that’s not a real subscribers. They won’t even check that email. They probably subscribed with a spam email.

When you do things online, you have to be careful who you give your email address out to. For example, if i was to surf on a porn site and i need to punch in an email, i use a particular email account. I use the account that i don’t care about. It’s usually a free yahoo or gmail account. It’s so easy to set up a new email account. So i register and confirm, and then i never check that email ever again. I also have a few email accounts that i use for RSS subscriptions. I enter some RSS contests and subscribe via email. It’s obvious to say that i’ll rarely check that email box. Meaning, i’ll never read that feed. What do you expect? I was bribed into subscribing, so i don’t really care for the info on your feed. If i wanted to actually read it, you wouldn’t need to bribe me would you?

What i’m trying to say is, that it really doesn’t matter how many subscribers you have. That count can be manipulated so easily. I didn’t realize it in the beginning, but i quickly got wind of it. RSS count is meaningless. It’s worth nothing. It’s there to show off your blog. It’s all for show. It shows noobies that the blog is worth reading. Hell, it has 14k subscribers so it must be right? Wrong. Johnchow has that many subscribers. I rest my case.

What will RSS count do for you and your blog? Not much. You won’t get more traffic. You won’t make more money. It’s just a label. It could trick noobies into thinking your blog is worth reading. But in the long run, you’ll see how meaningless it is. So, don’t believe the hype. Don’t get jealous of A blog’s RSS count. Don’t even waste your money on RSS contests. If you want it that badly, just game it. Do you realize how easy this is? I’ll do it right now. It’ll take a little time, but i’ll increase my RSS count by 100. Right now, my feed is showing 241. By Tuesday, you’ll see my count at around 341.

8 thoughts on “RSS feed count means nothing

  1. Jared Stenzel

    341? Good luck. You forgot to mention feed will boost your private ad prices. If you have 100 you won’t be able to sell those spaces as easily and for as much as if you had 1000 rss subscribers.

  2. Jordan McClements

    Also – I think the main plus of having a lot of RSS subscribers form a monetization point of view – is that you can treat it a bit like an email list.

    e.g. If you build up a loyal following, then launch a targeted product (affiliate or not) that you can charge for – you should get more than a few sales?

  3. Walk Through Money Online Journal

    Its very true and deserve to be called DORKS !!! lols… I hate receiving mails that I dont have any interest reading at all, so I dont want anyone to feel the same way whenever they receive an email about my posts.. I will be glad if someone will subscribe to my RSS feed mainly to be updated and not for anything else.

  4. Forest Parks

    I was thinking about running a contest for subscribers but after reading this I think you have a point.

    I am more interested in compiling an email list and creating a newsletter for exclusive content. Just gotta try and find what angle I will take.

  5. the noob Post author

    jared- so very true. i know it’s a great marketing tool. it’s a bargaining chip for when u sell ads, but honestly, it’s not legit. it doesn’t show proof of readership or the blogs pull. i know that i don’t trust RSS feed counts. it’s too easy to game. in a few days, you’ll see my sub count go up by a hundred. watch. :)

    jordan- good point about the email list. but u know what, i avoid it. i know that i could probably make a few bucks, but i fell like i’m spamming. i never want to spam my readers. especially the ones who subscribed to my feed. not very cool. i get a spam emails from random blogs i subscribed to and it’s so annoying. i go and unsubscribe ASAP

    walk through- hell yeah, they’re dorks. but then again, so am i. and so are you :)

    forest- well, im not saying rss contests are a bad idea per say. used it as an example, but don’t spend too much money on it. if you run out of things to post, u could go with a rss contest :)

  6. Tommy

    Very true Noob. Any list (irregardless as to RSS or email) is fairly worthless in my mind, especially if you’ve cajoled getting someone to sign up. It means nothing. OQL’s approaching her first birthday (April I think) and I’ve had one email subscriber unsubscribe (and that person was a you sign up for mine and I’ll sign up for yours deal). That’s not to say that the rest are reading, but I think getting folks to sign up on their own accord is much better than bribing them….You’ll keep them if it’s their idea whereas you probably won’t if it’s yours.


  7. Ben Barden

    I see your point, and I do agree that asking people to subscribe so they can win a prize doesn’t give you a reader. Writing good content is the way to get good readers.

    As for the Feedburner counter… I don’t remember ever asking people to subscribe for contests or stuff like that. So is the subscriber count still a useful statistic – even if only for me? I quite like watching it go up when I’m not pushing people to subscribe, but that’s just me 😀

  8. the noob Post author

    tommy- yeah. rss count is like every other ranking system. it’s meaningless, but good to have. cause it helps you make money.

    ben- i know it’s dumb. and i know it’s not a good measure, but i like seeing my rss count go up as well. watch mine go up by 100 in the next couple of days. 😉

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