Are You Making These Blog Subscription Mistakes?

Filed as Features, Guides on September 7, 2007 9:40 am

All bloggers want more subscribers, agreed?

Many of us would love to just wave a magic want and have a six-figure feed count. Unfortunately while there are tried and true methods for increasing your readership, they don’t tend to work over night.

Having said that there are a great many bloggers who are actually holding their own subscriber count back. Effectively sabotaging their own audience. Read on to see if you are making the same mistakes with your own feeds …

  1. Not allowing Email – The exact percentage varies but on my own blog at least 40% of my subscribers sign up with email. That’s right, you could be cutting out around half of your potential audience. Still think allowing visitors to subscribe via email is a waste of time?
  2. Hiding your feeds – If a visitor has to search around for your feed they will more likely just give up. In fact, many visitors will not even realize you can subscribe to your blog. Put feeds where they can be found.
  3. Not promoting plain RSS – Sometimes a blogger will provide specific buttons for all sorts of feed readers thinking they are being helpful, not realizing that for a great many of us the standard RSS button is what we look for and need in order to subscribe. Even users of other services will look for the RSS button to know where the feed options are hiding.
  4. No benefit - “Get your RSS here” might work for a savvy minority but other visitors will need encouragement. Some times you have to sell your visitor on subscribing. Why should they subscribe? What is in it for them? Explain what they will get and why that is important.
  5. Bad timing – If your subscription options are only in your sidebar then you are missing the visitor when they are most likely to be motivated to sign up. Put your subscription options right under your posts; if they are ever going to be warm towards your blog it will be after just having read a killer article.

Just fixing these five mistakes could make all the difference between no subscribers and a growing audience.

Got your own tips? Share in the comments! :)

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  1. By Tom Clarke posted on September 7, 2007 at 11:41 am
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    Some really nice tips here. We’re looking to grow our subscription count and while we’re on the right track in general, the email and feed location advice seem really sensible. Thanks.

    Reply

  2. By Ming posted on September 7, 2007 at 11:55 am
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    I got one more, deliver on what you promise subscribers:) i learnt the hard way.

    Reply

  3. By The Internet Cash Flow Guy posted on September 7, 2007 at 12:49 pm
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    I never realizes the impact of not having the email option to my feed – it is amazing how little things can make such a difference.

    Jeremy

    Reply

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  5. By Webomatica posted on September 7, 2007 at 5:24 pm
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    Interesting thought to put another RSS button right beneath the post. I’ll have to try that.

    Reply

  6. By Jonathan Bailey posted on September 7, 2007 at 7:26 pm
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    I’m going to have to try the feed below the posts and see if that adds some oomph to subscriptions.

    I did away with all of my chicklets and switched to plain RSS, my subscriptions went up.

    Also, don’t forget to turn on autodiscovery! That’s a big one for some Firefox, Opera and Safari users that use their browser as their RSS reader.

    Reply

  7. By Oyun posted on September 8, 2007 at 12:34 pm
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    I got one more, deliver on what you promise subscribers

    Reply

  8. By Salman Siddiqui posted on September 8, 2007 at 2:15 pm
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    very true points…

    all these surely help you get your RSS readers run up…

    one mistake which I am doing is leaving an RSS link above my post not under. I think I will shift that to below the posts!!!

    Reply

  9. By Meg posted on September 9, 2007 at 4:18 am
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    Nothing disappoints me more than subscribing to a new blog only to find partial feeds. It’s the quickest way to lose me.

    Great tips, Chris.

    Reply

  10. By Chris Garrett posted on September 9, 2007 at 11:06 am
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    Thanks for the comments folks. I agree delivering on your promises is a big factor, and in many niches full feeds are essential though I would say in more mainstream and low-tech niches it might not impact quite as much.

    Reply

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  12. By firma posted on September 21, 2007 at 8:55 am
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    Interesting thought to put another RSS button right beneath the post. I’ll have to try that.

    Reply

  13. By firmalar rehberi posted on September 21, 2007 at 8:55 am
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    I got one more, deliver on what you promise subscribers:) i learnt the hard way.

    Reply

  14. By haberler posted on October 26, 2007 at 11:18 am
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    […] Are You Making These Blog Subscription Mistakes? : The Blog Herald (tags: blogs) […] ????

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  16. By resim posted on December 10, 2007 at 3:33 am
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    me never realizes the impact of not having the email option to my feed – it is amazing how little things can make such a difference

    Reply

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