What are blog subscribers?
Blog subscribers are the people (and sometimes other search engine bots and websites) who choose to get notified of future posts on your blog. Subscription services range from RSS Feed readers(Really Simple Syndication) to Email notifications(updates are delivered to your inbox!), Facebook Wall updates and Twitter updates. RSS Feed subscribers can view the updates using an online service like Google Reader or a desktop based program like FeedReader (for Windows) or Google Desktop. When you post a new article, the blog feed is updated with the latest item, and the blog’s subscribers get notified of it.
Why do you need blog subscribers?
In the absence of blog subscribers, your only major source of blog visitor traffic would be search engines. Now, if you post an article which is not yet popular enough to get many search engine visitors, it would most likely go unnoticed! Having subscribers ensures that at least some people come across your post and that they would share it with others. If you post an article about a topic which already has thousands of posts on other blogs, it might take a while at least to get ranked high on the SERPs.
If you are thinking about running a free giveaway contest, blog subscribers will provide the contest the initial push, since they will be notified of it immediately. Basically, your blog’s subscribers are a constant source of traffic, motivation and income independent of how well you rank on search engines.
What makes people subscribe to your blog?
For me the most important factor in deciding whether to subscribe to a blog is the quality of information available on it. Even if the blog is about humor or is a photoblog, I will never subscribe to it unless I find the posts informative, educational or entertaining. Even a single good post sometimes makes me subscribe to a blog, in the hope that the author(s) will deliver the same quality in the weeks to come. Would you subscribe to a blog running cheap jokes on the same lines or posting photographs of low resolution or without any interesting effects?
After quality comes regularity. Some people prefer blogs which update every single day, while others prefer weekly newsletters. It is really your own choice, and any blog which has unique and useful information to offer will get subscribers irrespective of how frequent the posts are.
Another important factor is the niche or topic of your blog. A blog about a football or baseball team is likely to get more subscribers than one about your daily life experiences (unless of course you are already a well-known celebrity!). Similarly a blog about a college course is more likely to get subscribed to than one about your Vegas trip!
Apart from the quality of information, the quality of presentation too decides how likely people are to subscribe to your blog via Email or RSS. Incorrect grammar, spelling and punctuation are most likely to turn away probable regular readers. Who wonts to read you’re post’s anyways? (Well that was intentional!)
How to get MORE blog subscribers?
Some blog owners offer free ebooks and reports for getting more subscribers, while others rely solely on the quality of their posts. There is no harm in encouraging casual readers to become regular by offering incentives!
Here are a few ideas – compilations of blog posts about a particular popular topic, participation in free theme/plugin/software-license giveaways and access to paid membership sites.
Please share with us your experiences in getting (or trying to get) more blog subscribers.
I’m a Generalist Researcher working on a Theory of Reality, Horticulturist, Blogger, Natural Systems Analyst and Amateur Architect