Gaining RSS Subscribers: Follow These 30 Steps
1. Use a big, bold RSS button – Most visitors won’t take the time to look for your button and some don’t even know what it is. Make it big and bold so they can’t miss it.
2. Place your RSS button above the fold – Move those ads down and your RSS button up. In the long run, your RSS button will more than pay for that spot.
3. Use a text link, too – Include a high-visibility text link directly beneath your icon for those readers who don’t recognize the symbol.
4. Write a blog post to explain what RSS is – You are going to have many readers who don’t know what RSS is or why they should subscribe. Tell them about it in a blog post.
5. Offer the option to subscribe via email – For subscribers who don’t know what a feed reader is or don’t want to be bothered with checking one every day.
6. Include a call to action at the bottom of each post – Simple, but effective: Tell you readers to subscribe. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle nudge.
7. Make it quick and painless – Link your icon directly to your feed provider. Don’t make your reader jump through hoops to subscribe.
8. Always provide high-quality content – If you always have high-quality content your readers will be more willing to subscribe.
9. Publish frequently and consistently – If your readers know you publish frequently and consistently they’ll want to subscribe so they don’t miss anything.
10. Stay focused on your target audience – Always provide value for your target audience.
11. Be unique and relevant – If they can get the same information from 10 other blogs, why should they subscribe?
12. Use your RSS feed link in blog comments and forum signatures – You don’t have to link to it every time, but sacrifice some of those links to your homepage – you already have plenty.
13. Offer exclusive content to subscribers – Use a plug in to provide exclusive content on your feed for your subscribers – and let your readers know they’re missing out if they’re not subscribed.
14. Link to your RSS feed from guest blog posts – This is a great way to introduce new visitors to your content.
15. Add a call to action at the end of every post that you link to from your guest blog posts.
16. Create a landing page, just like you would to capture subscribers for your email marketing list.
17. Send traffic to your landing page with PPC ads.
18. Use reader testimonials to promote subscriptions – The next time someone thanks you for the exclusive content in your RSS feed, copy and paste it directly under your RSS icon.
19. Use social proof – Install a subscriber counter so your new visitors can see all the subscribers you have. They’ll want to join the crowd.
20. Let your readers know it’s free – Many people assume the word “Subscribe” means there’s a fee involved, like a magazine subscription. Put their fears to rest and tell them it’s free.
21. Use a pop-up on your homepage to capture first-time visitors.
22. Email first-time commentors and invite them to subscribe.
23. Offer a comments feed and a categories feed – If they subscribe to one, chances are they’ll subscribe to your full feed, too.
24. Start a long series of posts and people will subscribe so they don’t miss a post.
25. Run a contest and offer a prize to the 1,000th subscriber, or the 10,000th, or every new subscriber.
26. Launch an Aweber email newsletter and you’ll be able to use the “Blog Broadcast” feature to turn newsletter subscribers into RSS subscribers, too.
27. Provide a full feed, not a partial – Don’t worry. They’ll still visit your blog. And what matters most is that they’re reading your content.
28. Promote your feed from relevant blogs – either your own blogs, if you have them, or blogs within your blogging network.
29. Use your feed link in your online profiles – Again, send them to your feed link instead of your homepage.
30. Make sure your feed is working – Maybe you’re not getting new subscribers because the link is broken. Or maybe you did something wrong when you registered and they’re subscribing, but you just don’t see it. Check everything out. If necessary, contact the feed provider you’re using and ask them to help you set everything up.
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