As much as we all love visitors to our site and watching our Google Analytics tick up, RSS subscribers, for most blogs, are more valuable.
Not only are they some of your more frequent visitors, thus helping with your aforementioned traffic, but they are also your best community members, leaving the most comments and adding the most to your site.
Where a non-subscriber may visit your site once, once a week or whenever they remember to check out your blog, those who get your RSS feed interact with your content much more regularly, usually soon after you post.
So how do you turn casual readers or even repeated readers into subscribers? There’s no magic bullet and you certainly can’t win over everyone, but there are things you can do to encourage them to take that extra step and become more involved in your site.
Here are just a few.
When trying to get your readers to subscribe to your site, it pays to look at your own RSS reader (if you have one) to see what sites you added and why. Once you understand what it was that made you click, it’s easier to figure out how to draw readers to your own feed.
Beyond that, here are a few things to consider as a part of any effort to attract new subscribers.
1. Consistent Content
Blogs that have a variety of content tend to do better in search engines but do poorly with subscribers. On the flip side, blogs with consistent content encourage people who are interested in that topic to subscribe.
Work within a niche and grow inside it. If people feel they know what to expect from your blog and the signal to noise ratio is favorable, they likely will add you to their RSS reader. If that isn’t possible, you can always add a recurring column to your site that readers can depend on and expect.
If you do that, you’ve giving them something that they might miss if they don’t follow your site more closely and that’s a powerful motivator in subscribing.
2. Full RSS Feeds
This one really doesn’t need too much explanation, but offering a full RSS feed is important as they are strongly preferred to partial feeds by subscribers. Even better, partial feeds do not dramatically increase the number of clikcthroughs the feed sees, meaning that readers are not likely to “avoid your site” by getting the full feeds.
There are risks associated with full feeds, one of the bigger ones being content theft. But as you can see in the article above, there are ways you can protect your content from spammers without truncating your feed content. Those methods are much less annoying to readers than having to click through to your site to read the full content.
That, in turn, gives readers a good reason to subscribe to your feed, making it much more valuable to them.
3. Clear RSS Icons
If you want RSS subscribers, you have to make them a priority on your site and that means modifying your site’s theme to include prominent and clear RSS icons.
Though you don’t want to go overboard, it should be clear at a glance where and how users can subscribe to your site. The easier you make it to subscribe, the more people who will do so.
Whatever you do though, do not rely on feed autodetection alone to get your users to subscribe, not only do many people not know how to use it, it also doesn’t work well with many of the most popular subscription methods.
4. Add an Email Option
Many people aren’t comfortable with RSS readers and don’t wish to use one just to read your site. However, nearly everyone has an email account (or seven) and most subscribe to some email newsletters.
If your site caters to a tech-savvy audience, this may not be very crucial, but if your readers are not the type to have a Google Reader account handy, it can be a major boost for your RSS subscriber stats. However, even on Plagiarism Today, which does cater primarily to other bloggers, about 10% of all subscriptions are via email. More than double the people get my feed via email than Newsgator.
Even if it isn’t the main way your readers get your feed, it can provide a great boost to your stats.
5. RSS-Only Content
Given how easy it is to edit your RSS feed, especially with WordPress plugins, it is trivial to add content to the feed that is not available to readers of your Web page. Whether it’s a link to a free eBook, a hidden Web page or a free article, if you add content that only your feed readers have access to, it provides an extra motivation to join, even if just for curiosity.
This method comes with two risks. First, it can alienate non-RSS readers and it can also turn your feed into a novelty where people subscribe just to get the content and then immediately leave.
If you decide to try this, make sure that there are enough reasons for your readers to stay subscribed to your feed independent of this additional content. In short, make sure it is a bonus, not the sales pitch.
6. Consider FeedBurner
FeedBurner, which is now owned by Google, can be very useful for attracting new subscribers. Not only does it allow you to do things such as show your subscriber count publicly, which encourages others to subscribe by showing them that others are reading, thus making them a part of a community, it also makes it is a trusted name and it improves your feed’s reliability by keeping your feed alive even when your site goes down.
However, there are reasons to be wary. You’re handing over one of your site’s most important assets to a third party and FeedBurner is not flawless. It limits what you can do with your feed, especially in terms of blocking unwanted subscribers, such as spammers, and can be difficult to leave.
That being said, it has a variety of promotion tools/features and can help you simplify your feed experience for your users. It’s not right for every site but it is worth looking at.
In short, there’s no magic formula for encouraging subscriptions to your site. You just need to remember these steps.
- Create Content That People Want to Subscribe To
- Promote Your Feed to Your Readers
- Remove Barriers to Subscription
If you can do that, your subscriber numbers will, almost inevitably, begin to tick up. However, the work does not end there, you still need to continue providing quality content and giving existing subscribers a reason to not delete you feed. In short, keep the signal level high, keep your posting reasonable (not too fast or slow) and keep up your promotion.
Growth is more than just adding new subscribers, it means keeping your old ones and, over the long term, that is actually the greater of the two challenges.
4 Ways to Respond to Blogging Critics
We all have ’em.
Or, if new to blogging, critics will pay you a visit eventually. Being seen online means being criticized sometimes. Part of your successful blogging tax.
Fools waste precious time and energy engaging critics in some way, shape or form. Avoid doing this. Paying, loyal, loving fans deserve your energy. Go to where you are loved.
Follow these 4 tips to respond to blogging critics effectively.
1: Ignore Critics Completely
If I come across a nasty 1 star review of my eBooks, I ignore the barb completely because miserable, angry, unhappy people cannot think clearly and tell the truth. Why trust a raging, mindless, idiotic bull? Ignore these people. Buy my critics eBook too to begin spotting these fools.
2: Listen for a Shred of Stinging Truth
OK guys; following this step feels uncomfortable but you need take the step to become a successful blogger. Listen closely to critic feedback. How does it feel to you? Upsetting? Embarrassing? Does a critic anger you or annoy you? Do you want to debate or debunk those morons? If any negative emotion feels triggered by receiving criticism you believe some or all of their critical feedback. I did tell you; this step/tip feels unpleasant. But how could you ever sell a bunch of eBooks and help people and make money if you genuinely do NOT believe in the value of your eBooks? How can you become a pro blogger if you believe you will always be amateur hour?
Critics trigger false beliefs you need face, feel and release to reach the next stage of your blogging growth. I never had powerful break throughs until a critic tossed some nasty barb my way, triggering some fear I needed to release to gain enough clarity and confidence to reach the next stage of my growth.
3: Psyche Homework
Critics see you as a mirror. What criticism seems doled out to you, on to you, is a critic speaking of themselves. We are connected; all of us. Critics never seem to see this and choose to speak of self via their criticism of you. Do your mindset homework. See how criticism serves as a projection of individual onto you? Relax. Prep yourself for future criticism. Consider writing blog posts discussing problems critics see in self if this topic applies to your blogging niche. Turn criticism into help and profits, too.
4: Never Gang Up
Ganging up on critics with your friends only shows your weakness. Critics fear. Critics are in pain. Imagine taking time to rile the troops and kick a wounded dog? This is what it’s like to get your tribe rounded up to gang up on and belittle critics. Plus, try getting featured on world famous blogs by building a bully image these days. I dare you.
Relax. Critics have issues. Ignore these folks outright. Leave them be, and you will be happier, healthier and wealthier, too. Never waste your time fighting critics; especially with friends. Do something uplifting and enriching with your time, energy and efforts.
Help people. Do not try to hurt, hurt people. Give your attention and energy to love, generosity, abundance and service to experience the greatest blogging success.
How to Self-Publish eBooks for Increased Blogging Profits
Have you bought my blogging eBook?
Well; this is one of my 100 plus eBooks:
I thought 10 eBooks in 4 months was cooking in 2014, as a newbie author. Boy, was I off. I eventually went on a blitz including publishing 1 eBook daily for 3 months in a row during one of my trips to Bali, in 2015. Anyway, I want to help you self-publish eBooks to boost your blogging profits because every blogger loves registering sweet profits, right?
Follow these tips.
1: Solve Common Problems
Solve common problems in your blogging niche. Earn profits by solving problems through eBooks people need solving. If they need the solution they buy the solution. Does it get any simpler?
2: Keep It Short and Sweet
Gone are days of 50,000 word eBooks being the norm or a bit more normal. Kindle short reads and other short, sweet numbers seem resonant with our ever-increasing microwave culture. Note how folks love watching videos and getting the latest updates via phone. People enjoy getting what they want quickly so if you solve a pressing problem fast people buy the eBook-solution.
I span 6000 to 15000 words per eBook; find your sweet spot.
3: Be Prolific
I think too many bloggers eat into their eBook profits due to holding back. Do not be stingy. Self-publish freely to increase your exposure and to better increase your blogging profits. I shipped 100 plus eBooks and promote a fair chunk daily. Being prolific helps me to help more readers; smart way for boosting your profits.
4: Help People for Free….A Lot
Do you see how many guest posts I publish daily? Quite a few, folks. I publish guesties to help you and to increase both my presence and eBook sales. Profits flow to leveraging bloggers. If self-published authors guest post heaps, all the better for increasing your blogging and eBook sales. Keep helping people via blog posts, videos and podcasts too. Do not be shy. Increase your skills, exposure and eBook profits by generously helping people for free through content creation.
5: Show Off 5 Star Reviews
I recently began showing off my 5 star reviews for my eBooks, via my blog and social media. People sometimes buy based on word of mouth marketing. Observe the review below in response to the eBook above.
Seeing positive reviews makes it easier for a reader to buy your eBooks and pad your profits. Show off 5 star reviews. Go to where you get love to get more love and to increase your eBook profits.
6: Keep It Simple
Short and sweet eBooks sell.
Simple eBooks sell even more frequently.
I always simplified my eBooks as much as humanly possible to both reach maximum readers and to increase my eBook profits. Why do people buy solution-eBooks? Authors who offer simple, easy to follow reads find few issues selling a nice volume of eBooks. Keep eBooks simple. Imagine yourself writing for a small child. Be clear and simple. Resonate with readers. Sell more eBooks.
7: Persist in Promotion
I did not begin selling eBooks until I promoted the heck out of these reads. Often this involved mentioning 1 eBook per every blog post and guest post I published for months at a time. Such is the effort of a self-promoter who drives increasing eBook profits.
Tap into this prospering blogging income stream.
Being writing and selling helpful eBooks today.
How Did You Pick Your Blogging Niche?
Did you pick your blogging niche mainly to make money? Or do you blog mainly to follow your passion? Be straight with yourself. Being honest makes the difference between happiness and misery, and, the difference between success and failure.
10 years ago I chose my blogging niche mainly to make money. I had little interest enjoying the ride and helping people. I did have a wee bit fun, freeing driver, but that intent shifted fairly quickly. I figured it’d be easy to make money blogging because top pros showed it’d be easy. Pros I followed back then, at least.
But I quickly learned being a pro blogger was no joke.
I picked the wrong niche because profits mainly drove me. Big mistake.
In my eBook: How to Pick the Right Blogging Niche
I explain how to pick the proper niche for you. Most bloggers struggle because they do not pick a niche for themselves and for their enjoyment; these folks chase money, so the niche is for money, not self. Money never arrives fast because money arrives after you practice writing, improve your skills and build your network. Why do you keep blogging if you make no money and money is your prime driver? You don’t keep blogging. Or you fail terribly, until you blog your passion versus mainly blogging for profits.
Choose Passion Over Profits
Choose your blogging passion for your driver; make the work, the reward. Profits feel like extra, which needs to be the case because you will not make money for a while. Remember; you need to practice for a long time to develop the skills, content and connections to command money for your premium offerings. Nobody makes money right away because no new blogger has a complete blogging skill set. Perhaps you have industry knowledge but you have no clue how to create content and build connections. Practice, time and trust factor deeply into the blog monetizing equation.
Pick your niche based on what you love doing. Do you dislike covering your current niche? Trash the blog. Do yourself a favor. Avoid the nightmare of spending years struggling, doing something you do not enjoy doing. You may as well work a job. Quit blogging, get a 9-5 job offline and at least get a steady paycheck and some comfort, if you are going to be miserable.
How Did You Pick Your Niche?
Most bloggers lie to themselves on niche selection because most bloggers claim to follow their passion on some level but in the next breath, these bloggers struggle for years. Guess what? If you struggle for a long time, you are chasing profits, not following your passion. Passionate bloggers put in the time, practice writing, build meaningful connections and publish helpful content. Check all those marks for 6-12 hours daily and you will begin making some solid coin over years.
Do you genuinely love your niche? If not, trash it. Start quickly and intelligently from an abundant, generous, powerful energy. Blogging From Paradise took off fairly quickly because I trashed on old blog and my old niche and followed my passion. Nothing held me back. Nothing pulled me back. Nothing held me down like an anchor.
Trashing a losing venture and blogging money obsession beats holding onto a losing venture and wasting your blogging time for years. Nobody succeeds from a happy, abundant energy trying to squeeze cash out of a blog because you cannot get big bucks unless you render big time service. Bloggers who follow their fun and make profits feel like bonuses are the exact folks who render the greatest service online.
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