Ultimate Guide to building your RSS Subscriber List
As a blogger – building your RSS and Email Subscribers is an important aspect of blog promotion and getting repeat visitors to your site. Having a big list of RSS subscribers can bring constant repeat traffic, and also additional revenue opportunities as a blog owner. On this blog my second largest source referring traffic is actually my email subscription.
The internet is fairly transparent, we want to see how many Facebook fans a website has, number of Twitter followers, how many people are subscribed to their Email list and so on. Having a small following portrays your brand as such. Ultimately you want your messages and posts being distributed to a large base of quality subscribers.
As a blog owner there are also several ways to display advertising through your RSS feed (either Adsense, CPM banners, Affiliate Links etc), and of course sponsored posts can generate good revenue.
So how can we build our RSS Subscriber List?
1. RSS Icon Positioning
– 2 in the header (RSS and Email)
– 1 at the top of the sidebar (Email)
– 1 link below every article (Email)
– 2 in the footer (RSS and Email)
A good practice to have is promote your feed at the top of your page, in the middle and at the bottom.
2. Integrate your RSS subscription on every page
Make sure on every page of your website users are able to find your RSS feed and subscribe. It’s even worth creating a page on your website with every possible subscription service you offer, eg RSS, Email, Facebook, Twitter etc. Get serious about subscribing.
3. Describe your feed relative to your audience
If you audience may not be familiar with what a RSS feed is, don’t label it that way. Instead say something like ‘Sign-up to receive daily updates from us’.
4. Promote your Email Subscription
Your email subscription works off your RSS feed. Fact is much more of the internet population would be happy to receive an Email subscription than use a RSS reader.
Having a quality email subscriber list can bring repeat traffic and additional revenue opportunities to your blog.
A good place to show Email signup links are at the top right hand side of your sidebar, and also directly under every article. When a user finishes reading your article having a signup link there is a good call-to-action. The WordPress plugin, What Would Seth Godin Do is a handy plugin for placing a singup link below each article. You can find the plugin here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/what-would-seth-godin-do/
5. Offer Sign-up only material
Create eNooks and reports on your site that is only accessible if yours users subscribe to your RSS feed. This is a popular trend on the internet today and still works if you can offer valuable, unique content.
6. Intrusive Pop-up email Subscription
I say ‘intrusive’ in a nice way 🙂 Many websites now have an email form that pops up asking you to subscribe when you visit the site. The user then has 2 options:
– either signup
– close the signup pop-up or go back
If you have a large website with a loyal following, then incorporating a pop-up email subscription on your homepage may not hurt or discourage your repeat visitors, and it will get new visitors to subscribe.
Some website owners have reported this method has drastically increased their subscription conversions, but be careful and monitor the results. If you suddenly notice your bounce rate increases it would probably be best to remove it.
7. Redirect your native website RSS feed into Feedburner
There is no doubt Feedburner.com is the best RSS/ Email Subscription service. It’s free and offers real customisation to any website RSS feed.
If you are using WordPress, then plugins like Feedsmith can redirect all your RSS feeds to Feedburner. Google have detailed more info about the Feedsmith plugin here: http://www.google.com/support/feedburner/bin/answer.py?answer=78483
8. Leverage Social Media
If you have a large Twitter following or lots of Facebook fans, pitch to your followers to subscribe to your feed. Consider doing 1 status update weekly asking people to subscribe to your feed (or whatever you feel is appropriate) and check if this is increasing your subscriber count. Sometimes you need to be a little persistent with your social network followers to get the message through.
9. Create something unique and consistent with your blog
Consider posting one new tip or piece of advice every day on your blog about your niche. It doesn’t have to be a long winded article but this will draw in people to check your blog daily – or subscribe to your RSS/ Email feed.
10. Submit your feed to RSS Directories
There are many RSS directories you can submit to, such as:
These may not bring you lots of immediately sign-ups, however overtime you should get a more consistent trickly of new subscribers.
And lastly – Please make sure you signup to my RSS Email Feed, link below 🙂