I was recently asked how to grow a subscriber base on a blog.
Growing a blog subscriber base is HARD.
There is no getting around that fact.
Many blogs, including Chris Brogan’s popular site, took years to amass a large following.
There is very rarely an immediate interest in someones blog and because of this most people become quickly discouraged and abandon their blogging efforts.
This is a huge mistake and goes against one of the most important tenants of inbound marketing: Creating & publishing keyword rich content on a regular basis. This is critical for organic traffic growth and cannot be overlooked.
Below are some quick ways to seed the growth of your blog subscriber base to keep you motivated.
This one may seem obvious but many a blogs get this one wrong. If you don’t ask for something, the likelihood of it actually happening will be substantially lower.
Who to ask:
- Seed subscriber growth through your existing networks by asking friends, facebook “friends”, twitter followers, and the like to subscribe to your feedburner feed.
- Have a mailing list? (GOOD!) Ask them to subscribe to the blog.
If it’s excruciatingly painful for me to subscribe to your site, it probably isn’t going to happen.
Very clearly spell out to the visitor how they have subscribed to the blog and have that stand out in your sidebar above the fold so they actually see it.
Love them or hate them, popups work.
Enabling this functionality will bump subscribers. The numbers don’t lie.
You might have noticed the newsletter lightbox popup on this site, I can tell you from turning it off and back on again, I’ve seen a noticeable different into subscription rates.
If you want to boost subscribers it’s a no brainer.
The app allows you to place a content offer behind the feedburner email subscribe form. If the visitor subscribes to your blogs feed they can download the content offer.
Here is the flow:
Visitor sees Feedburner subscribe CTA -> They subscribe -> The content offer download is activated.
Simple and effective.
Want to create one of these for your site’s sidebar or for you to insert into the bottom of blog posts?
Once you have completed the above steps and it’s very clear why people should subscribe to your blog and very easy for them to do so, it’s time to venture outside of your site.
Connect with bigger industry specific blogs that have an existing audience and see if you can contribute posts there as well. (need help? see finding guest posting opportunities)
This will help you two-fold:
First, you will be getting valuable inbound links back into your site.
Second, you will be tapping into a much larger audience than that of your own site.
If you are blogging in the woods and no one can hear you, that is a problem.
By contributing content to larger sites, you can notify people that if they would like to read more great posts on topic XYZ, they can check out your blog at www.PleaseSubscribeToMyBlog.com.
When they come into your site, you should already have those capture mechanisms in place and you can grow your subscribers at a more rapid pace.