Somebody asked me on Twitter last week (sorry, can’t recall your name) what I think is most valuable to have more of, Twitter followers or blog readers. If that comparison sounds familiar to you, it’s because many have asked the same question recently, but I figured I’d give my take on it.
No matter how you get your audience, as long as people are reading what you have to say and paying attention is all that matters. If you have 20,000 Twitter followers and a few thousands RSS subscribers, you may think you’re doing okay, but this is where some bloggers don’t see the full picture. Of those 20,000 followers, how many do you think actually read what you have to tweet about? Probably not even half of those people don’t log on everyday, or probably don’t see your message at all in the list of other tweets.
RSS subscribers on the other hand are more valuable. They have actually taken the time to subscribe to your blog because they like it and want to keep up-to-date. You could argue that maybe they don’t check their RSS reader daily, but if they receive your feed via e-mail, they certainly won’t miss it. Same goes for their reader, as your content will always be there and not be pushed down by content from other blogs.
I’ve seen some arguments for Twitter, which have stated that you can get your message out quicker to more eyes in a faster amount of time. This is true, but unless you’re running some sort of news organization with time sensitive material, posting the content to your blog and then having RSS subscribers read it at their leisure is definitely more valuable.
Blog readers also tend to be more loyal and stick with you for longer than Twitter followers might. I’ve seen my follower number drop by 10-15 people in one day, and then go back up by 20 the next day. It’s very unpredictable on how your audience will form over the long run.
According to a recent poll on TwiTip.com, 78% of those surveyed said they would prefer more blog readers over Twitter followers. The number was higher (84%) if you take into account the numbers from ProBlogger.net as well. See results below.
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