It takes a lot for someone to subscribe to your blog. Most people don’t want to be bothered with checking their RSS reader every day or having another email clogging up their inbox. So when you do get those RSS subscribers you know they really like your blog, and as long as you keep providing that same killer content they’re going to be loyal followers.
One of the best things you can do to attract more subscribers is look at the blogs you subscribe to. What prompted you to subscribe? In most cases you were probably referred to that blog by someone in your network or by a link from another blogger.
When another blogger links to your content that means a lot to the reader. It’s a personal recommendation from a blogger they respect. Not only are they more inclined to follow that link, they’re also more likely to subscribe. So get out there and network with other bloggers.
Always provide killer content
Regardless of how you came to subscribe to those blogs, the only reason you did so is because they have the content you’re looking for and they’ve managed to grab your attention. Again, take a look at those blogs. If they’re showing a huge number of subscribers you can bet they’re also providing killer content.
Now, by “killer content” I don’t mean every blog post has to win a Pulitzer Prize, nor does every blog post have to be a 5,000 word epic. It’s what’s in your posts that counts and how you present the information. These days more and more bloggers are getting creative with video and infographics. Punch up your content and you’ll punch up your RSS subscriptions, too.
Run series posts
Everybody wants to hear “the rest of the story.” Blog readers have a love/hate relationship with series posts. They love them because they’re so informative. But they hate them because they never remember to come back for the last post or two, so they miss the wrap-up. Start a series and remind your readers, at the end of every post, to subscribe in their RSS reader and they’ll never miss an episode.
Use an eye-catching RSS button
I’ve visited more than one blog that I really wanted to subscribe to but I just couldn’t find the RSS button. Sometimes it turns out to be a little 16 pixel button in the footer and sometimes it’s not there at all.
If you don’t have an RSS button – set one up now with FeedBlitz.com. If you do – then make it so big they can’t miss it. And if your blog has an orange background then use a different color RSS button to make it stand out.
Display your button at the end of each blog post
A lot of your readers have no idea what an RSS button is or what it can do. Put a message at the end of each blog post telling your readers to subscribe to your RSS feed so they can get an instant update in their RSS reader or email every time you post. Let them know what the benefit is and you’ll get more subscribers.
Offer email subscriptions
I’m testing FeedBlitz.com on one of my blogs right now and I’m really digging some of the special features. They provide tons of analytics, for one thing, and who doesn’t love stats? But FeedBlitz.com also allows you to set up a traditional RSS feed and an email feed, and this is the feature I like most.
A lot of your readers prefer email updates as opposed to having to check a feed reader every day. Plus, FeedBlitz.com allows you to do email blasts to your email subscribers. On top of that, you can have an unlimited number of email subscribers and FeedBlitz doesn’t charge you a fee.
Offer them a bonus
I’m also testing a couple of WordPress plugins that allow me to add content to the feed footer. To promote RSS subscriptions I tell my readers they’ll get access to special offers and exclusive content that’s only available to subscribers and I include it in the feed footer.