TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Tips for Gaining Subscribers to Your Blog

TopRank Marketing Editor     Blog Marketing, Blogging Strategy, Online Marketing, RSS

Gaining Blog Subscribers
Are you ready to celebrate the successful launch of your new company blog? Technically speaking, the launch went off without a hitch. Your content is fresh, informative and even entertaining. And your blog’s design is well-branded and intriguing.

But before you pop open the bottle of champagne, consider one more piece of the puzzle: blog subscribers. You’ve made an RSS feed available, but no one seems to be subscribing.

In order for a blog to generate links and traffic over the long term, you must devise a strategy to acquire an active group of passionate and engaged readers. Use these 5 basic tips as a starting point for gaining blog subscribers:

1. Make it easy and obvious for readers to subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. You can achieve this by:

Allowing one-click subscriptions

• Offering email subscription for the large percentage of readers who may not be familiar with RSS

• Using auto-discovery tags so the RSS icon will appear on the side of the address bar of most browsers

• Displaying the RSS icon where readers will see it (above the fold, on every blog page and at the bottom of every post)

• Including text with the RSS icon for readers not familiar with RSS (for example, “Subscribe Now!”)

2. Take advantage of feed directories. With feed directories, you won’t see hundreds of new blog subscribers to your RSS feed immediately. But you will reach the portion of readers who use these directories to find and subscribe to new feeds. Find a list of submission URLs for RSS directories that you can submit your feed to.

3. Leverage all available resources. If you have an existing blog, newsletter, forum or social media following, you may have an easy time convincing that audience to subscribe to your new blog’s RSS feed. Plus, if they truly enjoy your content, they may recommend your RSS feed to others. If you don’t have a ready-made audience to rely on, identify a related blog to leverage. Work out an agreement where you’ll promote his or her blog on yours, and vice versa.

4. Think outside the box. Offer an interactive quiz or poll on your blog to entice and entertain readers, but require them to become blog subscribers in order to participate. Or, run a contest that requires a subscription, and create a badge for the winner to be placed on his or her site and link back to your blog. Have some fun and draw added attention to your RSS feed icon by incorporating an animated image.

5. Write often and write well. Don’t underestimate the power of quality content. Without relevant, timely and entertaining content, your readers have no incentive to subscribe to your blog RSS feed. Also, publish frequently and consistently—not just for search ranking purposes, but also so potential blog subscribers know your site is active.

What tactics do you think are most effective for gaining subscribers to your blog?

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  1. Great post, Michele. Points 1 and 5 resonate with me the most. There needs to be quality content worth subscribing to in the first place. And once you have that, you have to make it drop-dead easy for readers to subscribe!

    Bryan | @BryanPerson

  2. Steve, the link for the RSS directories is working now. Thanks for point that out! I hope you find the list useful.

  3. You’re quite right, Michelle. The easier it is for people to find you, follow you, subscribe to your content, the more likely they will do it. No one wants to jump through a million extra hoops to have access to your content.

  4. Avatar craigsanatomy says

    Don’t forget “write a lot of ‘Top 5’ or ‘Top 10’ lists!” Always a solid attention getter (hey – it got mine!)

  5. I just wanted to say thanks for the great tips. I don’t know much about using RSS feeds and this gave me great step-by-step advice on feed directories that I didn’t know before.

    I’m taking an online class to help me sort out the social media maze, which is how I stumbled upon your blog. I think this might be just as if not more helpful in my understanding of how to best utilize all the web 2.0 tools to promote my program. Thanks!

    On a secondary note, do you get paid for writing for this blog, and if so, how does one get into paid blog writing?

  6. Avatar The Trading Whiz says

    Posting quality content goes without saying, but I have found that instead of posting “every day” just because you feel like you have to add content is not the best way to build a list of raving subscribers. Your posts needs to be so good that they can’t wait for the next installment. Just look at Seth Godin’s blog – every post is almost worth printing out!
    The Trading Whiz

  7. Congrats on an excellent first post to TopRankBlog Michelle! Looking forward to your weekly tips. I’m sure they’ll be a hit with our readers 🙂

  8. You’re very right Michelle.
    In rare cases some readers doesn’t know what and how RSS function is, so better to educate reader about this tool first. Personally, I ignore this tool before, but the moment I learned how it works I start subscribing to various blogs. Offering freebies is indeed a good strategy to get the email of a visitor, give something useful in return of their subscription. ss

  9. Avatar Strategic Growth Advisors says

    Hey, Michelle. Thanks for the informative post. I agree with your premise that making your blog as “minimalist” as possible is the best way to go. In my own point of view, most readers tend to lose their interest when their blog subscription experience is muddled with too-complex instructions. Keep those posts coming!

  10. Avatar Jamie Favreau says

    Thanks for the great advice. I heard about ping backs when writing a blog post too.

  11. Avatar akhilseoserviceindia says

    I just want to say thanks for nice tips.

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