So your blog is getting plenty of attention and your social media presence is growing (or maybe you’re just starting out), but do you struggle to secure loyal subscribers? Readers who show a casual interest are undoubtedly valuable, but a supportive fan base is incredibly important for the lasting success of your blog. Accumulating subscribers can not only increase your reputation, but an eager bunch of followers can motivate you to produce lots of juicy content.
So how is it done? What should you be doing to convince visitors that you deserve a home in their email inbox?
First things first, do what you do best and do lots of it. Blog away to your heart’s content and make sure you’re giving readers plenty of stuff they like to read. This might sound simple, but really knowing your target audience and giving them what they want is a sure fire way to make them stick around.
Secondly, you want to make sure it’s blatantly obvious that readers can subscribe to you if they like what they see. Directly asking people to sign up to a mailing list or RSS feed is a worthwhile and effective way of turning a passerby into a returning reader. You can do this with a permanent form at the side of each page, and blog hosting sites such as WordPress have settings to allow this.
When it comes to Tumblr, it’s a little more difficult to set up a mailing form or RSS button, but with the ‘follow’ option at the top of the page and the whole social aspect of the site, you can use these to your advantage. You can message the blogs you enjoy and find relevant to your own work – building relationships with other bloggers can lead to greater exposure. If things go well, you could eventually work together on posts, but simply sharing their content and making it known that you support each other adds a stamp of approval that a lot of readers like to see. If a blog tells their subscribers that you’re worth reading, it won’t be long before your subscription numbers start increasing.
If you already have a strong subscription rate, a good way to show off your reputation is through social proof, clear and visible to new readers discovering your blog. Let people know how popular your posts are, and adding a whole host of social sharing options can boosts awareness of what you’re producing. Some buttons even display the sharing frequency, so these are definitely worth using to show off popular pieces.
Overall, there are plenty of ways to increase subscribers, and a quick search of the web can come back with a landslide of tips and tricks to get you there. However, it’s worth mentioning that subscription numbers don’t tend to skyrocket overnight (unless you’re lucky enough to go viral!), so it’s really something you should nurture over time. For that reason, while you might like to focus on drawing in new eyes, try not to neglect the importance of turning occasional readers into trusted subscribers. They can become a stable audience for your blog and ultimately support you through consistent sharing of your content.