If you keep up with my blog via email or via a blog reader, you have probably noticed that last week, my full posts no longer appeared in these platforms. I know that so many of you prefer to read my blog using these platforms and I absolutely hate having to truncate (shorten) my RSS feed. Unfortunately, I had no choice and I wanted to explain why I made this decision. If you are a blogger with a full RSS feed, you need to know about some of the issues with RSS and Pinterest that you may not realize exist.
Recently, I just happened to stumble across a disturbing amount of my blog images on Pinterest that were not linked or attributed to my blog. Instead, these images were linked to various online blog reader websites. Blog reader websites pick up a website RSS feed (posts) and they place it on their website as a way for people to organize and read all of their favorite blogs in one place. I have been ok with the concept up until now.
If you use a Pinterest “Bookmarklet” on your tool bar to pin an image from a blog reader site, the image and link to the blog post is credited to that site.
If you’re not familiar with a Pinterest “Bookmarklet”, it looks like this:
It’s the tool that Pinterest offers for download that helps us to freely pin from websites:
Many people (like me) prefer to use the bookmarklet button on our tool bar to pin images from blogs and websites, rather than using a “Pin It” button that may or may not appear on a image.
So here is the issue; when an image is pinned with the bookmarklet from a blog reader site, the image now appears on Pinterest:
the pin is credited and linked to the blog reader site:
So, when a Pinterest user comes across and clicks on these pins, they are taken to my FULL blog post/feed in that particular blog reader site that it was pinned from. So, the Pinterest user will never click on my blog after coming across my image on Pinterest because my whole post/tutorial is right there in the blog reader! Ugh!!
It gets worse! After they are done reading my post (in the reader), they will then be presented with a beautifully organized list of all of my older (full) posts like this:
So you see, with this scenario, there is no never a need to click on my blog (if they could ever figure out where the link is to my actually blog ). Oh, and they will probably pin something using the bookmarklet… See the cycle here?
More than 65%-70% of my blog readership comes directly from Pinterest and it’s by far the most popular way that new followers find me and subscribe. If people run across my images on Pinterest that are linked to a blog reader site, there is a pretty good chance that they may never click on my blog to actually read it or subscribe to my blog.
(In all fairness, a couple blog reader sites have attached the “Pin It” button that does link back to the blogger but still, none of them that I tried (I tried many), link to my blog with when the Pinterest bookmarklet is used).
The worst part of this whole thing is that several (not all) blog reader websites require a Pinterest user who clicks on MY image to sign up and subscribe to their website before seeing MY content! In other words, sites are using blogger’s content/images as a way to force people to subscribe to their website before being “allowed” to follow the link! Wow!! Ok, so now I can understand why so many of these blog reader websites are reporting record numbers of subscribers lately! One particular blog reader site has their own Pinterest account and is pinning images from blog feeds from their reader website. Hmmm…
I do want to say that there are a few reader sites like Blog Lovin that only show the first paragraph, one image and then a link to the blog (even if your RSS if set up for full feed). This is an ideal set up for bloggers and I applaud Blog Lovin for setting up their website this way, supporting bloggers and setting it up where their readers have to click the link to read our blogs.
With off the chart record levels of subscribers being reported the last few months by blog reader sites, it is clear that this is the trend for many in how they read blogs.
I know that these blog readers are a huge convenience for so many of you and hopefully down the line this issue will be addressed but if someone else is getting credited as the original source and linked in Pinterest, you can now see how it hurts the blogger. I am also extremely uncomfortable with some (not all) of these blog reader websites using my content and images as a way to increase their subscribers via Pinterest. Maybe it’s just me..
So with that said, I am truncating (shortening) my RSS feed so that it will only show the first paragraph, the first image and then will have a link to my full post on my blog. I’m sorry that I have to do this. Until all blog reader sites address this issue, it will remain this way for my posts. If you use a bookmarklet, you can help bloggers out by pinning from the blog and not the reader.
If you are a blogger with a full RSS feed and Pinterest is a significant source of readership for you, I encourage you to look into this further and determine how you feel about it. I don’t know what the answer is for blog reader sites who are interested in attributing all pins to the blogger and how to get this resolved. I think it’s an issue to take up with Pinterest.
I have written a novel here and I’m sorry. If you want to check out Blog Lovin as an option, you can keep up with my blog here. Thanks to those of you who I hope will stick with me and will now click the little link to read my blog. It means so much to me and it’s why I blog…