Every dedicated blogger wants to drive more traffic to their site. It’s only natural. But in the rush to attract more readers it can be easy to overlook the need to build a strong base of subscribers. The regular reader is more likely to share valuable content with others, and blogs with large subscriber bases have a better potential for reaching new readers. Bloggers work hard to create new and interesting content, but that can all go to waste if the blog’s regular audience fails to grow. Luckily, there are some easy to implement tips that can help bloggers increase their number of subscribers, and by doing so increase their visibility in a crowded blogoshpere.
Content and Comments
It’s first principles really, but the content of any blog is its most valuable asset. Well written, engaging content is what draws an audience and keeps them returning for more. Solid content is also much more likely to be shared with other readers than hastily put together pieces that offer little informational value. Most successful bloggers already have this one covered, but they may be neglecting a few important points. Beyond just creating well written and informative blog posts, it is vital to do so to a schedule. Keeping to a regular schedule, optimally one or more posts a week, helps to maintain reader interest which will help to build a strong subscriber base. It is also important to monitor reader comments, and to reply whenever appropriate. A blog post with active comments is more likely to attract new subscribers, as readers will want to follow the conversation.
Make It Easy to Subscribe
Subscriber links need to be positioned where they are most likely to catch the reader’s attention. The head of a page is the first thing a reader sees, and is the optimal place to put a subscription link. A call to action at the end of every blog post also helps to alert the reader to the benefits of subscribing. Nothing too pushy, but a simple “Don’t miss out on upcoming articles, become a subscriber today” will remind the reader of the subscription service.
It is also vital to make subscribing as quick and easy as possible. Too many blogs require subscribers to submit much more information than is necessary. All that is needed is a name and an email contact. Asking for more personal information is likely to discourage potential subscribers.
Bloggers should also clearly explain the various available subscriber options. Most readers will opt for email notification, even if the blog has an RSS option. This is because many bloggers assume their audience is as tech savvy as themselves. If the blog offers an RSS option, take the time to explain how an RSS reader works, and suggest a couple of available apps.
Offer Incentives for Subscribers
The subscriber incentive has been an effective marketing technique for physical media for more than a hundred years, and it is just as powerful for web based publications. It adds value to becoming a subscriber. Subscriber incentives can be anything from discount codes for products or services to weekly newsletters or exclusive access to the blog’s forum. The key to a successful subscriber incentive is to keep it relevant to the blog, and to target it at the blog’s reader demographic.
Advertise the Number of Subscribers
Showing the number of subscribers a blog has will only really work for an established blog with a solid and growing subscriber base. It may seem like boasting, but advertising the number of subscribers a blog has lends it online credibility and a sense of authority. If a business blog has a subscriber base of 500 readers, it tells new visitors that this is a site that offers valuable and dependable information. First time readers interested in the blog’s topic will be more likely to subscribe if they feel the site has a long track record of offering up to date and authoritative content.
Building a subscriber base for a blog is an ongoing process. Like farmers, the successful blogger must continually tend to their fields. These few tips should set new bloggers, as well as established bloggers, well on the way to reaping a successful harvest of new blog subscribers.