- Posted by Johanna on January 20, 2013 at 11:53 am
- Category: LinkBlogging
At the beginning of the year, Heidi MacDonald was very open about the status of her site The Beat, posting about how what readers say they want to see may not be what drives traffic (and thus income, since she monetizes with ads).
She asks for ad clicks (which technically violates the terms of at least one popular ad network, but it’s a good reminder), link shares to her content, and help with links to interesting stories she can write about. I admire her for having that discussion in public, and what she’s asking helps out any site you enjoy. Later, in the comments, she says:
It is not at a a level where The Beat is the only thing I do for a living however, and that is a problem.
One thing that didn’t come up in her discussions was how she’s changed the Beat’s RSS feed from full-content to just a small taste, presumably to drive more views to the site, where the visit will count towards ad impressions. For me, that’s changed how I read her site. I follow the RSS feed avidly, but now, I only click over about a third of the time. It’s easier to skip articles I’m not interested in, or that reprint press releases that will show up elsewhere. Before I read all the RSS articles, and if I was interested in the topic, I’d click through anyway to read the comments.
(In case readers are curious about how I run this site, I’ve never felt luckier to have a well-paying day job that means I don’t have to consider such decisions. The ads and sales commissions (through Amazon links) that bring in income here are nice (and useful from a tax perspective), but I can cover what I wish or skip a day or two blogging as I need to. My site is more like a pet to me — something whose attention I find rewarding, that I have loved dearly for many years, and that needs to be fed regularly and cleaned up after (in the comments).)
Since Heidi isn’t commenting on the RSS feed change, I thought I’d ask, just out of curiosity: Has how much you read the Beat changed?