A loyal blog reader is worth a dozen one-time visitors, if not more. A blog’s subscription numbers are a fair indication of the site’s strength. Below are five ways to convert occasional readers into loyal subscribers.
Regular, Engaging Content
You’ve heard this advice in one form or another, but it remains the most important aspect of any blog. Without well-written, compelling content, your blog will fail. Without regular updates, you won’t maintain reader interest, and you won’t develop the subscriber base you want.
With every article you write and every guest post you receive, ask yourself the same questions. Is it well written? Is it compelling? Does it relate to the blog’s topic? If you’re writing a blog focusing on drug rehab, for instance, don’t stray off-topic. An article on DUI fatalities relates to your topic; an article on drowsy driving does not.
Position Your Subscription Link Carefully
Readers should be able to find your subscribe link easily. Provide access to the subscription link in every page. The head of the page is prime real estate and draws readers’ eyes. For high-traffic articles, consider putting the link at the end of the article with a call to action.
The call to action should catch people’s attention. A simple “If you liked this article, please subscribe” is boring. Instead, try something along the lines of “Now that you’ve enjoyed this article, subscribe! You don’t want to miss this kind of information in the future.” The tone isn’t overly aggressive, but prompts the reader to take immediate action.
Simplify Subscription Pages
Ever registered for a blog or online store account, only to be put off by the sheer amount of personal information the sign-up form requests? Asking for too much information, too soon, will turn people away from your subscription page. Instead, all you need is an email address, and perhaps a name to personalize updates. If your company needs additional information, ask again after the subscriber grows comfortable with your updates.
At the same time, explain your readers’ subscription options. Most will probably opt for email notifications, or follow you on Twitter. Relatively few understand what an RSS feed is, or how useful Really Simple Syndication apps are for monitoring multiple blogs and news feeds. Give them a quick explanation of RSS, and suggest a good app.
Add an Incentive
Nothing encourages people to subscribe like a free gift. The gift need not be anything tangible; eBooks, subscription only content and members-only message forums all encourage people to subscribe to blogs. Promote the added value of subscribing. For instance, if you suggest subscribers are members of a select group, and readers will have added incentive to sign up.
Advertize Your Followers
Once you have a good base of subscribers, advertise the fact on your blog. Advertising 13 subscribers does you little good; in fact, it sounds rather pathetic. In contrast, prompting the fact you have 100, 500 or 1,000 subscribers indicates readers take your blog seriously and value your opinions.
Carl is a writer for several alcohol rehab centers who enjoys blogging about anything and everything that crosses his mind. He’s constantly striving to strengthen his writing skills and is continuously grateful that the Internet allows him to share his thoughts with the world.
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