You blog because you’re driven by something. You have an interest in a particular topic and you want to broadcast it. Based upon this interest, or level of expertise, you create meaningful content on a regular basis and devote countless hours into making your blog the best it can be. However, if there’s no one reading the content you create, you might be missing the mark. Worried? Don’t be, instead, check out these 19 ways to increase your blog subscribers.
1. Hold a Give-Away Exclusive for Subscribers
By creating an exclusive give-away, a small barrier to entry rises: subscriptions. This forms a quick decision in potential new sign-ups; “Is it worth it to spend 3 seconds entering my email to have a shot at winning this cool thing?” Chances are, it is. The prize itself will be a decisive factor in both the number of subscribers this earns, and the quality of sign ups. For example, if you’re targeting “bikers” giving away an iPad might net more subscribers but lower quality. However, if you offer a 5-star bike lock, you might not get as many subscribers but they’ll be more relevant to your blog.
2. Make the Sign-Up Process Easy
We like to make things complicated, so being simple is often harder.
If readers have to scour your blog to find out how to subscribe, they probably will not take the time to do so. As a blogger, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your sign-up form is prevalently located on every page of your blog and that subscribing takes as little time as possible. By eliminating barriers, you’ll increase the number of subscribers in no time.
3. Write Consistently and Relevantly
No one wants to follow a blogger that’s all over the place. Yes, your interests might span a great number of subjects. No, this doesn’t mean you should cover them all. As referenced in above, you want your readers to share a single common interest. This is what sets you apart from other bloggers. Take the time to focus on a specific topic and create relevant content consistently. Subscribers and potential subscribers that share this interest will want to come back — and sign up.
4. Optimize Your Blog
Chances are most of your readers are on the go. 89% of time spent online is spent on mobile devices. This means that if you have slow load times, your site doesn’t easily display on mobile devices or if a sign up form cannot be easily accessed from a mobile device, you’ll miss out on some easy subscriptions. Optimize your site for mobile devices right away.
5. Increase Your Odds of Being Found
If someone is searching for information on a specific subject and can easily find your blog, they’re more likely to subscribe. To do this, learn the basics of SEO for bloggers, try Google Adwords’ keyword planner and do what you can to ensure your content is found. The higher your rank, the more likely a potential reader will subscribe.
6. Use a Pop-Up
This doesn’t mean that a pop-up ad is a new way to attract subscribers. However, when a “Subscribe” box pops up as a central focus while a reader is reading the content that you’ve created, they’re more likely to want to subscribe. If they’re already reading great content, why not subscribe for more? Many plug-ins exist that make it easy to create a pop-up subscription box, try one out today.
7. Be Selective with Words
“Get Email Updates” and “Download Now” might seem like the same thing following an “Enter Your Email” box in a lead form, but, to a reader they might make a big difference. In a recent Buffer App study, one participant found that “Download Now” received three times more signups than the “Get Email Updates” wording. Sometimes a few changes can make a big difference. Consider trying out different wording options on your lead forms until you find what works for you.
8. Demonstrate Value
If a reader doesn’t see value in the content you’re creating, he or she has no reason to subscribe. Sometimes strong value isn’t enough — sometimes you’ve got to make it clear. Consider creating a standard “call to action” at the conclusion of each post that encourages readers to subscribe. Sometimes a clear question can go a long way.
9. Offer an Incentive
An incentive doesn’t have to be the same as a contest or giveaway. You probably have something that you can offer exclusively to any reader interested in subscribing. Most commonly, ebooks, white papers, tips for achieving a certain goal, a recipe or a guide — depending on what’s relevant to your community of readers — can be used to encourage subscribers to sign up.
For example, while browsing around on Havahart for squirrel repellent for my garden, I noticed this:
I signed up immediately because 10% is a pretty nice discount when you spend over seventy bucks. Later, I received this reminder:
Not only does this make me feel like a valued customer, but there are additional benefits I was unaware of such as free shipping and return policies.
10. Share Your Number of Subscribers
Sometimes group mentality can go a long way. If a subscriber sees that a thousand others have already signed up for the content you have to offer, he or she is more likely to follow suit. This technique is only recommended for bloggers with a larger following. Seeing that only three others have subscribed probably won’t be a large draw.
Additionally, using tools like Hellobar allow us to create subscriber opt-in right in our header:
11. Create an Air of Authority That Represents Your Brand
For many industries, establishing an air of authority is a challenge. Brands that have a long history and easy recognition in the ‘physical’ world might have trouble manifesting their branding on digital platforms. Here’s an example of doing this effectively; to match a brands longstanding recognition and authority. Cleveland Brothers Caterpillar, easily known by their black, yellow, and white CAT, do an excellent job of creating a two-step funnel:
Which leads to…
This gives visitors the satisfaction knowing we’re getting specialized, authoritative information from an industry leader.
12. Increase Sharing Potential
By leveraging social media — as mentioned in number 11 — you can use your followers to help promote your blog. However, this doesn’t happen automatically; you must first create content that is sharable. Images that are humorous, motivational and clear are more likely to be shared than text-based posts and updates. Incorporate images into your blogging efforts and share frequently across your social networks. The more your posts are shared, the more subscribers you’ll be able to reach.
Additionally, don’t neglect including a blog feed to let users know you have a blog in the first place! They might only see your website from the business end – not the “thought leader” perspective. Take a leaf out of APG Exhibit’s blog and include the blog rss in the footer section:
13. Use Email
Yes, email still matters. While it’s not directly related to your blog, you still probably respond to many emails and send multiple emails a day. Promote your blog in your signature line with a link to your lead form. Something like “subscribe today” with a link could draw additional subscribers.
14. Stay Away from Partial Feeds
If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you’ve probably become aware of the “full” verses “partial” feed debate. This refers to the amount of text you share with your subscribers. Full feeds share full articles in email marketing campaigns whereas partial feeds share just a snippet, requiring readers to visit the blog to get the full article. While a partial feed may be better for traffic, full feeds are better for keeping subscribers happy.
15. Take Advantage of Commenters
Readers who take the time to comment on a post are already engaged. They care enough about what you’ve written to become a part of the discussion. Why not harness that interest? Include a “subscribe” check box for those individuals already commenting on your content. This takes care of two steps at once.
16. Use a Thank You Page to Subscribe
If someone takes the time to comment on your content, to enter a contest or to interact in any other way, send them to a Thank You page. On that page, include a subscribe option. By showing gratitude to readers who’ve already interacted in one way, you’ll be able to take advantage of the “good feeling” your thank you cultivated, hopefully leading to new subscriptions.
17. Consider an Exit Pop-Up
Pop-ups while reading can go a long way. But sometimes messages can be lost or frustration can occur if a reader is interrupted while reading. Why not use an exit pop-up? When a reader leaves your page, using a pop-up to thank them for reading and to ask them to subscribe can ensure no messaging is lost. It’s a last ditch effort, but it could increase subscribers.
18. Include Testimonials and Positive Comments
When your blog is filled with positive testimonials and comments that support your overall mission, others will want to join in. It’s just like the positive impact of group-mentality mentioned in number 10. When a reader sees positivity stemming from other readers — testimonials, positive feedback and more — he or she might be more likely to want to be a part of it.
19. Keep Your Focus on Content
Sometimes it’s that simple: sometimes it just comes back down to content. As a blogger, regardless of the tactics you employ to increase your number of subscribers, it all comes down to the value you provide. When your blog is filled with actionable, useful information, readers will want to come back and subscriptions will grow.
Pay attention to the tips and tricks mentioned above, but don’t forget or undervalue the importance of creating solid content on a regular basis. What you say and what you write matter. Take the time to work on your subscriber base, but always bring it back to the content for best results.