I get extremely frustrated every time I find or land on a blog that I want to subscribe to and don’t see an option to sign-up via email. Personally, I have tried RSS and unless I set a daily reminder to check it, I don’t so email works for me. I can read blogs via email on my iPhone, I can flag the ones I want to read or respond to and come back later and I can sort everything by blog. I know I can do all this on RSS although I am not sure about the flagging one, but I don’t like it.

After asking a few bloggers why I cannot subscribe via email, their response was that the option was there and I probably didn’t see it. Guess what?

The email subscribe is hidden under this button:

While a majority of bloggers use Google’s Feedburner, when you click this button, you can subscribe to a blog in all sorts of ways including via email (although this is the least obvious). Why not make it easy for people like me that want to subscribe via email? It may sound silly, but just make it obvious!

While running my former company’s blog we had used Feedburner (eventually migrated to Feedblitz for so many reasons) and I know that you can separate email subscribes from RSS subscribes to enable the use of 2 distinct icons on your site. Why don’t bloggers do this? For those starting out, the RSS button is so un-intuitive, one would never think to click on it to subscribe via email. Is it that hard to add another icon? If your theme is holding you back, get a new theme!

I recently wrote a post on Content and the Five Senses of Consumptions and Learning and discussed why we have different formats for content. The same is true in our approach to how we deliver and receive it.

  • Don’t assume we all have access to, or even like, content to be delivered RSS.
  • Don’t assume we will know that email subscribe option is hidden in under the RSS icon.
  • Don’t assume that we will love your content so much that we will bookmark you site and return every day for new posts.
  • Don’t assume we will seek out alternative methods to connect with you to keep up to date on your posts.

Don’t assume. Make it obvious and keep it simple. And please, give me the option to subscribe via email!