Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Split Posts - Why?

I've seen more and more blogs lately with split posts - the kind where you have to click on a link to read the rest of the post. I guess I'm in a minority here, but this really bugs me. I want to sit and relax and read the posts, and to have to navigate to and from the main page is a pain. Can someone please tell my why this is considered a good thing to do? I've seen it encouraged - so I'm just wondering why.


This Post was written by Cyndi from Cookin' with Cyndi


Amber said...

This is a way that bloggers protect themselves from having their content stolen. However, I agree with you, and hate having to click through. I know that theoretically the content should be good enough for me to click, but more likely, I'll just tell myself I'll read it later and then never do.

Marija said...

I don't think it is about content theft. Content is stolen mostly from the feeds and those thieves who bother to come to a site, they don't mind the split posts.

What I think the thing is here is simply generating more clicks. More clicks -> more page views -> larger CPM.

So, to put this very simple if I for example have 100 feed readers/blog followers I suppose I'll get 100 page views from a new post. But, if I split my post into 2 pages that will make 200. What I don't get is that this will eventually lead to decreasing number of followers or page views. The same thing happened when some bloggers started pay per post campaigns and started writing to much and too often off topic.

No good.

So, my humble advice: if a person is concerned about content theft - use short feeds, if you're after more page views - write quality content and participate in blogging events as often as you can (that will increase your CEO rank and eventually lead to more traffic).

Paula Maack said...

Mine is a lifestyle blog covering food, travel, entertainment, etc., so I split the posts at a reasonable cut-off point so as not to bore anyone who may be interested in something besides my latest post (like diehard foodies who want to skim past the latest informative museum article, to get to the food porn).

Also, I like the way shorter posts look on the main page. I figure, if someone is interested in the post topic, they will click the link to continue reading, otherwise they can keep grazing without all the wading.

I guess it's a matter of preference, but that's mine.


~ Paula

deb said...

I added mine so I could have more content on the front page. I wanted to have five posts, and with the length of posts and the number of photos, it really dragged down load time. With split posts, load time is still super-quick, and if people aren't interested in what's on top, they don't have to go to an archive page to find something better. Or -- horrors! (I am joking) -- click away.

Nate-n-Annie said...

I'm with deb - I wanted to have five posts on the front page but not have to force people to wait for everything to load, then scroll and scroll just to read through them all. And I haven't seen a decrease in followers since implementing it.

Cyndi said...

These are all interesting and reasonable explanations. I appreciate the time you took to respond. Thanks!

cybele said...

I don't care for the "more" thing and tend to visit sites that utilize it less often. It is all about page loads for those who display more posts on their main page.

For sites that employ a "magazine" style and are update several times a day with a wide variety of content and have a dozen posts featured, it kind of makes sense.

The big key, if you decide to implement it, is to make me want to continue and give me enough before the jump (at least one photo). Because for the most part, you'd better catch me and engage me to get me to click through. So the last paragraph should be a good build (almost a cliffhanger).

You might want to try it just with the super long posts and then look at your stats to see what the behavior is.

Dawn's Recipes / Been There, Dawn That said...

I always hated having to click through also, but I started seeing a lot of content theft going around. So I decided to do what I can to protect my content. On my homepage, you don't have to click through to read an entire post. However, if you're using a newreader you'll only get an excerpt plus a photo. Since all my posts are recipes, the title and photo, plus a bit of intro, seem to be enough for a person to decide if they want the whole recipe. I haven't noticed my traffic decrease since I made the change, so apparently I haven't driven anyone away.

SaltShaker said...

I agree, it drives me nuts, and I rarely, unless something seems truly fascinating, click through. Most of the time, I simply remove blogs that do this from my blog reader unless they're, as Cybele put it, the magazine style blogs that get updated multiple times a day.

The content theft stuff is complete nonsense - if someone is going to steal content, they'll simply steal it from the clicked through version, it's not hard to do. Your best bet for protection, as was suggested here many moons ago, is add a syndication footer that doesn't show on your site, but whenever someone uses your feed, it adds a copyright notice automatically - sure they can remove it manually, but automated systems simply don't see it and it shows up on the feed.

Zoe said...

I publish posts in full, and then go through every now and then and shrink down the older posts to a couple of pars and a photo. I do it to encourage browsing further by having a bigger variety of content on the main page.

David said...

When I started using Flickr to host my pics (and I started adding more photos to the site), that's when I switched to partial feeds, as I noticed my site was really slowing down. If your posts are photo-heavy, you have a lot of widgets, or if you have more than 3 entries on your home page, I'm sure if you asked, more people would rather click a link once than have to wait 30 seconds for the whole page to download.

I think if you write something that people find worth clicking for, people will come back to your site again, which is a better strategy than just trying to increase your CPM's, in my opinion.

(If you're going to go through with "click through" posts, I especially agree with Cybele about giving people a reason to click.)

Charlotte said...

Personally, it just seemed to me that when I wrote an unusually long post, it seemed like a lot of scrolling to see the second post.

sagarmatha, adelaide said...

I think it has both plus and minus points. One does not have to go to the links unless you really want a detailed reading/studies.

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

I switched to split posts because I like, as a reader, to go to a blog and see what has been going on since the last time I visited it. It bothers me more to scroll down long pages then to click to read more of a specific post.

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

I like a blog front page to show me a bunch of things that may be interesting to me; I can then click on the article I want to read it. This works extremely well on the majority of blogs in my opinion.

I do the same; my main page shows the first paragraph and the photograph from my latest 5(or so) posts. If the user is interested, they can then click to read the rest.

If I displayed the whole post on the main page it would look like a mess, in my opinion, and discourage people from browsing the site.

Kavey said...

For me it's a combination of two reasons:

Wanting to avoid content theft (I'm a very new blogger and yet already had one experience of content being "scraped" as I've heard it described). I also set my RSS feed to partial feed for same reason.

And also wanting to show a number of posts on my home page without forcing people who aren't interested in any individual posts to have to scroll waaaay down to find the next thing of interest. Some of my posts do tend to run pretty long and as I post a mix of restaurant reviews, recipe feedback, my thoughts on foodie events I've attended and general food musings, I know that some posts will simply not be of interest to some readers.

Increasing click rates didn't occur to me as there's no benefit to this? I don't earn anything according to clicks on my site, only from clicks on the Adsense links in the Adsense panel! So why would it be about wanting more clicks? Confused on that one!!!

jh said...

I agree that it is all about creating a blog that is not unwieldy. I have done it both ways on mine and it is nice to be able to have a split post because the physical form of the blog tends to look better--more pictures visible, more articles, easier access...just a thought.

Boda Weight Loss Blog

Trig said...

As with several other commenters, I use expanded posts so I can keep more material visible on the home page without it becoming too large. But I always publish the current post in full.

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

I would rather wait for the download than have to click back and forth to read each post.
The least clumsy way to split posts is to split off just the recipe, so folks who only want to read the prose can scroll through and read all the posts, and those who need recipes can do the clicking.

Michael said...

I do this with my site because I'd like to have the traffic actually show up on my analytics. Also, there's a better chance of somebody clicking an ad. It's shallow, but it tends to work. (About 1/4 of my page views come from RSS readers.)

Danielle said...

I have split posts and I didn't know any of the stuff about content theft or CPM. I personally cannot stand having to scroll through every word of every blog post running down someone's homepage to get to a recipe I want. My blog posts all contain a recipe and with the split post you can see a nice clean list (with thumbnail) of my last 14 posts. If any of the recipes appeal to you you can click read more and access a nice clean page (No sidebars or ads) that can easily be printed out if you would like a hard copy. No sinister motives here just good clean design. Just my two cents for what they're worth.