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How do You “Subscribe” to a Site?

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Before we begin, a very quick thought exercise: What do you think of when I say “Subscribe To This Blog”?

The reason I ask is simple. When I first started blogging heavily, “subscribing” to a site meant simply one thing, taking the RSS feed of a site and reading it in an RSS reader. It might have been a software RSS reader or a Web-based one, such as Google Reader, but the process was the same.

The only exception was a few sites, such as those using Feedburner, that offered email-based subscriptions, but those two were based on the RSS feed and automatically generated from it.

However, today, it means something very different. If you look at the top part of the side bar on this site, not to mention my own and countless others, you’ll see more subscription options including Facebook, Twitter and more.

“Subscribing” to a site is no longer just about the RSS feed but about connecting with it in the most convenient way possible and that is drastically changing the way visitors consume a site’s information.

Just Some of the Methods

Today, if I want to subscribe to a site, I don’t have to go to the RSS feed directly, instead, there are a myriad of ways I can do it including:

  1. Twitter: With more and more bloggers getting Twitter accounts and using it to tweet out their new posts, Twitter is an easy way for existing users to follow a site.
  2. Facebook: Though bloggers should be reconsidering their relationship with Facebook, Facebook provides “Like” pages and, with such a large user base, is a convenient way for others to read your site’s updates.
  3. FriendFeed: The social aggregation site is also useful for following a site as well as all of the blogger’s other sites.
  4. LinkedIn: Popular with businesses, Linkedin allows others to follow your site and receive updates.

While all of these means are very convenient for readers, it also creates a lack of exclusivity for the content. For example, while most people will at least glance at their entire RSS reader, very few read every single Tweet.

This clutter comes from two different sides. First, there is the fact that many other users are mixed into the same stream and the fact most people don’t just post blog content to these feeds. For example, FriendFeed includes content from all sites and accounts operated by the same person.

While this is not bad news per se, it does mean that subscribing to a site does not mean as much as it did once and people’s commitment to your site is likely not as great. In short, a subscription no longer means that your readers are getting your posts every time but are, instead, touching base as they see your updates as part of their regular activities.

The Flip Side of the Coin

However, even though being subscribed to on Facebook or Twitter means that we have to compete with the rest of the clutter on those services, including those we create and is created by others, At least we can be reasonably certain that users will regularly access those accounts in the near future.

Many users, myself included, only visit their RSS reader once every week or less often. This is because of “second inbox syndrome” where RSS reading feels like another chore and, due to overuse, has also become a cluttered mess.

On the other hand, social networks and social news sites are tied to our subscriber’s online lives in a much tighter way, making it much more likely that they will at least open up those accounts and cultivate them well.

As if to highlight this, Feedburner, on my feeds that I track, find that my reach is usually only 10-20% of my subscriber base. Some of this is because I have a large FriendFeed readership, which counts toward my subscriber base but doesn’t appear to count toward my reach, but it highlights the fact that, even with pure RSS feeds, having subscribers is no guarantee of readership.

In fact, these alternative subscription methods have a perk that can greatly expand your reach outside of your direct subscriber base. After all, anyone who is subscribed to your site via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn will find it very easy to share your work with their other contacts, helping you reach new people.

This “indirect readership” is perhaps the greatest part of these new subscription methods. Though Google Reader has integrated some social features into its service, it can’t compete with Facebook or Twitter on that front.

The Death of RSS

What is clear is to me is that RSS is becoming less and less important as a means of direct subscription. I already have more Twitter followers than RSS subscribers, almost twice as many, and when you factor in Facebook friends, those who “Like” my site, people who follow my FriendFeed and those who follow me on Linked In, I have probably three or four times as many “subscribers” off my feed as on it.

Though RSS will likely remain a crucial format for years to come, it will be more of a way to feed these other methods, not as a means of direct subscription.

Simply put, as competition between sites grows more intense and users want to follow all of the things they are interested in at one convenient place, it is going to be more important for bloggers and other webmasters to be where their readers are naturally and work with them.

This is the reason so many blogs, including this one and my personal blog, have de-emphasized RSS subscriptions in favor of including other methods, a trend that seems likely to continue.

However, this does beg one interesting question. With so many subscription options, which would you, as a blogger, prefer? Obviously any follow is better than none, but which would you rather have?

Personally, I find that email is the absolute best way for someone to subscribe to my site, it ensures almost every piece is read, and that Twitter, while great for social interaction, is likely the least effective in terms of followers to viewers ratio, but I am torn on which of the other means is best.

What are your experiences on this front?

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Landing Page Optimization Tips for Better Conversion

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Properly designed and optimized landing pages often generate more leads than those that are poorly built. Overall layout and design of a landing page should support your compelling copy and also work great with other elements to persuade landing users to take an action you want. Whether you want to build a landing page for your next digital marketing campaign or simply want to optimize an existing one for better conversion, you can make use of the following landing page optimization tips to generate more leads.

Be Sure to Craft Convincing & Catchy Headlines

A perfect landing page always has a headline that describes an offer or product clearly. You can make a headline compelling and catchy too by adding some strong and convincing words in it. By doing so, you will successfully be able to persuade your audience to read the full copy. You can also test different headlines to find out which one works well for you.

Design Makes the Difference

A landing page sounds like a virtual shopping window for each your visitors, and if it is appealing enough to grab the attention, it will make your service, product or offer look great too for them. Simple yet creative and pleasing to eye design and a well-written copy are the most important elements of a winning landing page. These both should work together in order to encourage visitors to take action. After choosing a perfect design, you need to make sure that content is also placed in the right order to make sense. You can also visit https://landingi.com/blog/create-landing-pages-that-convert to create landing pages for better conversions.

Choose Typography Prudently

Typography can make a huge difference between an appealing and ugly landing page. That is the reason you should choose the typography for your landing pages carefully to make the content more logical to the visitors. A well formatted and easy to read copy keeps the visitors focused and also reduce the efforts required to read.

Compelling & Scannable Copy

Clean and crisp tone should be used to create a compelling copy for a landing page, in order to convey the value of your offer or product. Majority of the web users usually scan the web content to find exactly what they need to know. That’s why the copy create for a landing page should also be scannable for the visitors. Use of the different font sizes is a superb idea to differentiate between the more and less important contents of a landing page.

Optimize for Search Engines

Make your landing page appear in top search engine results by using different on-page SEO tactics. Optimizing your landing page for search engines is the best way to get a huge amount of organic visits. Creative use of target keywords in the content, personalized URL, meta tags, meta description and image alt tags are some best-known SEO practices to increase the visibility of your landing page in search engines.

An attention-grabbing CTA

You have to be careful while making and placing CTA (call to action) on your landing page because the design and location of the CTA matters a lot. The core purpose of a call to action is to get visitors excited about the offer by letting them know what they are going to get. Adding it on the page too early can irritate and even scare your visitors. So, find out the best time and location to add CTA ingeniously into the page.

A/B Test

A/B testing is the way to compare two different designs or pages in order to find out which one is more effective and fertile as well. After getting the test results, optimize each and every element of your landing page to make it work the best for you.

If you want to improve your blogging or affiliate marketing earnings and conversions, be sure to start implementing each of these methods above into your content creation and marketing strategies.

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How to Do Blogger Outreach Right

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Blogger outreach confuses most bloggers.

People reach out in desperation.

Or bloggers reach out trying to get something from influential bloggers.

I either block or ignore most blogger outreach emails because people want to use me for my blogging platform. Sure I am promised a rich link, a valuable post or some other enticement, but most bloggers using crappy outreach tactics:

  • are unknown
  • offer little value
  • want to use me and my blog for their gain
  • are not connected
  • are not influential
  • have no clout
  • have not paid their dues
  • have not helped people freely
  • have not earned the right to appear on my blog

Observe Bubbie Gunter. Follow him. He does outreach right.

He reaches out to me by helping me. He is generous. He focuses on me. What does this prove? He wanted to befriend me because he was interested in me, NOT in what I could do for him. Naturally, I happily promoted him, we became friends and one neat benefit is we keep helping each other. Bubbie also purchased some of my stuff; bonus points, my Young Blogging Padawans, if you want to stand out in my mind.

I get emails from bloggers all the time who want to appear on my blog but who complain about spending money for sponsored posts. Other bloggers complain about spending money for a freaking 4 dollar eBook. Other bloggers complain about spending money on my 350 dollar blogger course. How in God’s name do you expect to impress me if you complain about what I offer? Thousands of people complain. I ignore these thousands of people. A handful of generous, kind bloggers like Bubbie promote me and buy my stuff. Can you see why he gets a link on Blogging Tips?

I trust him because he did blogger outreach right. He helped me. He did not reach out, to manipulate me to help him. He did not reach out cold. He did not reach out as a stranger. He reached out generously, warmly and genuinely. He did blogger outreach right.

Picture break; check out my current street in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Blogger Outreach Is Helping and Hugging Not Asking for Hand Outs

Most bloggers reach out to bloggers, asking for a hand out. Hey, can you help me out? Hey, I need a link on your blog. Hey, I need a link to my business but even though I love your blog SO much, your rate does not fit into my budget. Lame.

A few bloggers reach out to help me and hug me. Warm and generous, these wise bloggers retweet my post, buy an eBook and email me to connect deeper. Help and a hug. Meanwhile, all other bloggers find my spam folder or simply give up after I ignore their 3 follow up emails.

Strangers fade away. Friends thrive.

Strangers vanish. Friends prosper.

Self-serving, greedy or desperate bloggers fail. Generous, connected bloggers succeed.

Watch my recent live video from Thailand:

Alonzo Pichardo, Jan Verhoeff and Monna Ellithorpe watched my video and chatted with me. No agendas. Not trying to GET anything. Doing what friends do. I take care of my friends. I love giving my friends oodles of links on my blog and via my guest posts. I love helping them. Organic, pure, powerful blogger outreach in action. Help people, make friends, have fun, prosper.

The alternative; try blog on your own, as a stranger. Reach out cold. Get pissed off when you only deal with strangers pitching you, said strangers not respecting you because they do not know you.

You can be on the outside looking in. Or you can do blogger outreach right and be connected.

Your choice.

Before we go, you can grab my blogger outreach eBook here:

13 Tips to Make Your Blogger Outreach Campaign Sizzle

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1 Uncomfortable But Necessary Step to Making More Money through Your Blog

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10 years ago I relied on 1 prospering stream.

Today I rely on no income streams.

I figured out; helping people for free and being detached about 5 to 10 to 15 income streams helped me make more money through my blog.

Making this journey from attachment to one stream, to detachment from many streams, felt incredibly uncomfortable. I felt terrified to gradually release different income streams on the journey too. I loved freelance writing. Made some nice coin through the income channel. But intuitively, I knew I had to let it go to move toward eBooks, courses and a 100% passive income model because going passive helps me focus exclusively on creating content and earning money around the clock as I traveled the globe.

Heck yeah I enjoyed trading time for money many years ago because doing so felt comfortable and familiar. Heck yeah I feared trusting that my passive income would grow if I added many passive streams to my blogging portfolio and if I focused on creating content.

But here I am. Living in Thailand for months.

The Step

Eventually, to make more money through your blog, you need to add a passive or semi-passive income model and get incredibly busy helping people for free, because few folks on earth charge $50,000 or more per hour. I have no idea about Tony Robbin’s hourly coaching rates. But I know he ain’t charging only $1000 per hour. He is the most famous coach on earth. He coaches former presidents and the best athletes on earth. Outside of being the most famous or most skilled human on earth in your niche, you WILL hit an earnings ceiling trading time for money solely via an active income model.

But if you add 1, 2 then 10 passive income elements to your blog, earnings potential has no ceiling. Someone can buy my blogging course in the next hour. $350. 10 people can buy my eBooks, priced at about 4 smackers. Someone may advertise on my blog. Another blogger buys 3 of my audio books. All buys occur while I write this post or perhaps fall within a window where I write 3 posts for my blog.

Passive income can increase exponentially through as many channels as you open, at any time, from all over the globe.

Photo break; me by the roof top pool here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Owners do not trade time for money. Owners invest money and energy, and build a fortune passively. Why? Owners know passive income potential has no limits, with exponential growth over time. Every one of the top 1,000 wealthiest people on earth worked for FREE for many years to set up passive income that made them the wealthiest people on earth. Although some of these icons may make coin through sky high hourly consulting rates, the billions of their net worth flowed in passively, due to their free service, free help and generous value shared.

Leave the employee mindset of trading time for money behind.

Embrace the owner mindset of opening 1, 2 or 15 passive income streams. Give 99% of your time and energy to creating helpful content and building bonds with top bloggers like Kulwant Nagi. He teaches you how to make money blogging through passive income models and is a fabulous dude too. Follow him.

Feel free to keep an active income model open. Coaching, freelance writing or consulting can be lucrative streams, for sure. But every hour you spend trading time for money, I am creating free content that expands my reach and helps me earn money through 15 passive income streams.

I learned from the great Bob Proctor that multiple sources of passive income can help you live a life of freedom. Years ago, Bob had already opened and earned through 220 passive income streams. No; that is not a typo.

Are you trading time for money, solely?

You better open passive streams and get busy helping people for free.

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