Contradicting common belief, RSS feed subscribers are no more likely to click to a blog site using partial text feeds than to a blog site offering full text feeds. This from Rick Klau, Feedburner’s VP of Publishing Services.

VentureBeat explains this contradicts the widely held assumption held by blog publishers.

If publishers offer a partial feed — that is, a feed carrying only one paragraph or so of every article, with links at the bottom of each article pointing back to the site — the assumption has been this will drive readers to click back to the site in to read the rest of the article. And if readers click back to the site, they’ll see more advertising, and the site will be able to make money.

Until now, publishers offering full feeds, or the full text of every post with no link back to the site, have been assumed to be leaving ad revenue on the table: Readers never go to the site.

It doesn’t matter for blogging lawyers whether RSS subscribers reading their blog posts on a newsreader click to the lawyers blog or not. The goal is to have influencers (bloggers and journalists) reading your content and citing you and the content in their writings. Do that and you have third parties performing marketing and PR for you.

Most of the discussion of full text vs partial text arises out of the publishing industry which needs to generate ad revenue. The thinking, until Feedburner’s offerings to generate ad sales from RSS feeds, was that you needed to get click-throughs from the feeds to the the blog site. Good lawyers are not selling ad space on their blogs.

Update:

Muhammad Saleem at Pronet Advertising: Why You Should Use Full Feeds? With protection against scrapers available, along with the ability to easily monetize your feed, and knowing that people are much more likely to subscribe to full feeds rather than partial feeds, what’s keeping you from making the entirety of your content available through RSS feeds? Mike Arrington is doing it, and so are Richard MacManus and Pete Cashmore. What’s holding you back?

Related posts:
More reason for full text vs. partial text feeds
Full-text RSS feeds preferable to excerpt feeds