|Reading A Blog Entry on Feedly|
Recently several of my online compadres have been bemoaning a decline in visitors (or 'hits') on their blogs.
While some of this can be blamed on an across-the-board decline in people reading blogs (because people are stupid!), I believe a lot can also be attributed to an increasing number of people devouring blog content via RSS readers (such as Feedly) - as shown in the picture above.
For instance, while I might read an article in Feedly unless I actually 'click through' to the site in question - say, to leave a comment - then that won't register as a 'hit' on that site.
However, there are is a very straight-forward way to encourage people using readers to 'click through' - namely don't allow the reader to show your full page.
A lot of news sites do this; the reader will show the first paragraph or so but for the rest of the article you need to actually visit the website.
HeroPress does this.
And it's really easy to set up for your blog as well (if you're using Google/Blogger, I have no idea about other playforms, although I suspect it won't be a too dissimilar process).
Go your Dashboard (as shown above), and click Settings. Then click Other (see below) and over in the list of options on the right-hand side - under Site Feed - select the drop-down menu by Allow Blog Feed and chose how you'd like your blog to appear in readers.
The options include: Full (which shows everything) and Short (which is what I use as that only gives away a smidgen of your post in the RSS feed).
There are other options, which you can play around with once you're confident, but selecting Short is probably the best option if you're looking to entice people to read posts on your blog.
Don't forget, when you've finished, to click the all-important orange SAVE SETTINGS button in the top, right-hand corner of the Dashboard.
Obviously, I can't guarantee that this will result in a sudden upsurge in 'hits', but it can't hurt. I'm not in the slightest bit tech savvy, but even I managed to navigate the Blogger Dashboard to achieve this neat little trick.
There's probably more things you can do to draw attention to your blog without giving away all your goodies for 'free' (ie without earning a 'hit'), even though I have yet to find them, but that's a start.