Sunday poll – popular or rich?

Another Sunday poll. This time I am curious about whether you actually visit the blogs you read, or just read posts through RSS. I read through RSS because it’s easier at work. Yes, I read blog posts at work, sue me. I do feel that I’m missing a lot by not directly visiting the sites. Some of my favorites have a lot going for them that you don’t see in the RSS feed – The Digerati Life is full of pictures and graphs; The Simple Dollar always has a busy comment section on every post from an active community; Get Rich Slowly has several non-blog areas that are well worth looking at; and on and on. At almost every site, if you read RSS only, you are missing:

  • Comments
  • Blogrolls, other sidebar-type information
  • A more pleasant graphic experience that tells me a little bit about the person
  • A chance to support the blogger if they are running ads – that’s a big one

So here is the question – if you could be in one of these two situations, which would you prefer?

1. Your blog has 19,000 RSS subscribers, making it one of the largest blogs out there. It has developed a huge following, but they just read and don’t comment. When people do visit the site they never click the ads; advertising revenue is a very low amount and doesn’t cover much more than the coffee you need to keep you awake early in the morning while you crank out posts.

OR

2. Your blog has very few subscribers and hardly ever gets posts or repeat visitors, but your click-through rates on advertising are phenomenal and you make a significant amount of money (not retire-and-blog-full-time money, but enough that you can pay for your mortgage with blogging, for example). The information is useful, but more of a one-off type of information; maybe your blog is “hot stock tip of the week” or “credit card offers.” It is quality information, but not the kind people keep coming back for.

What do you think?

10 comments

  • Rich. Seriously, comments are everything so I don’t like either scenario.

  • I don’t either scenario is all that likely (although I know it happens). I’m with Plonkee – comments are one the main reason I have my own blog.

    Mike

  • Also – I do the RSS thing but I often go the actual site for the same reasons you mentioned (comments, extras etc).

    Mike

  • I visit the blogs in my RSS reader when I want to comment. I’d say I visit about 1/4th of them a day.

    if I didn’t use my RSS reader I would look at a lot less blogs so I actually visit more I think than I did before I started using it. And I definitely am exposed to more.

    As for the scenario I don’t like either but at this point in my life I sadly pick rich. Blame it on the fact I’ve been doing retirement calculations all morning 🙂

  • Well, yeah, I agree with plonkee and Four Pillars – comments are the biggest form of short-term validation. I know I made an extreme example there, but I guess I was just wondering if I should concern myself more with building subscribers or maximizing advertisers. My gut tells me building subscribers and readers will be (a) more fulfilling to me and (b) more profitable in the long run than peppering my site with ads.

    @Paidtwice: funny you mention that – that’s exactly what got me thinking about the money aspect, too – trying to calculate what I need to wring out of this blog in revenue to even vaguely think of retiring from full-time consulting…

  • I agree with FourPillars and PaidTwice…I want comments. While I would love for my blog to make massive amounts of money, I don’t have it for that reason. I like to use my blog as a sounding board. I write about how I feel, what I want to spend my money, what I did spend my money on, and pretty much anything else that comes to mind. I like to interact with people more than have a lot of people read what I write. I don’t think my blog is any great work of art, and I don’t proof read any of my posts (I know I should). I just enjoy the progress of other pf bloggers and look forward to their comments about my progress (and set-backs).

  • I put some blogs on Google Reader but I have to say, I rarely use it. I much prefer visiting the websites, checking the comments, looking at the little graphs and meters in the sidebar, etc.

    As for the poll, I’ll take the money! I get plenty of enjoyment from reading comments on other blogs. Then again, there must be a way to monetize 19000 RSS readers.

  • Interaction is the most fun and rewarding, but I also like to see numbers – there is a certain validation in watching your number of subscribers climb, and there is an absolute validation in watching your bank account grow from advertisements. I guess in the best world I would choose right in the middle.

    But seriously, I enjoy the idea of a community amongst the bloggers and the idea that the information I provide can help people. These are very rewarding to me. I guess both have their rewards. 🙂

  • I’ll take #1. There are always ways to monetize people’s attention.

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