5 Tips for Gaining Subscribers to Your Blog

September 15, 2009

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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