One of the many goals that bloggers have is high subscriber count. Now I am not famous like Darren Rowse who can start a new blog out of the blue, and have 1300 subscribers in less than a week. So it took me more time to get to the number where I am, but I know that a lot of people have a hard time getting to this point in this short amount of time. So I thought I should share some of my techniques that I used over the past that has contributed to the number of subscribers that I have.
Set a Goal
Set yearly goals, or quarterly goals. Don’t make your goals seem unrealistic. Make it seem some what realistic. So My goal was by the end of the year of 2008, I want to have 2000+ subscribers. Which I think is possible. You need a goal in order to be motivated and inspired. And I believe motivation plays a big role in your writing style.
Write Quality Content
Have you noticed, everyone say that. Even people who just start their blog and have no idea what is going on in the industry. Self-proclaimed experts tell you to write quality content. But what the heck is quality content. In my eyes, Quality content is resourceful content. Content that helps your user. Content that attract your users. So every time you write a post think twice before you write it. Think how your users will find this article helpful. That is all I am going to say about quality content.
Care About Users
Caring about your users always help you get more subscribers. I get crazy amount of emails. I know that I might not be able to reply to all, but I try to reply to as many as I can. I try to help the users if they have questions on one of the tutorials that I posted. So how did I show that I care about my users?
- I reply to as many emails as I can – Now if you get insane amount of emails, it is hard to reply to all, but I try to reply to as many as I can.
- I reply to comments – People post comments on my posts, and often they refer to me by asking me a question, or something personal. I try to reply to all of those comments. So I am going to recommend you all to get (Brian’s Threaded Comments).
- I reward my Top Commentators – Simply install a top commentator plugins, it shows your readers that you care about them and their comments.
- Welcome Email – When a user comments on your site, you send them a welcome email. Make it sound personal. A lot of people who join this blog and comment for the first time, get that email and they ask me how did I do that. It is a free plugin called Comment Relish.
- Link Love – Reward them for being a reader by checking out their sites and linking to them.
Have you ever noticed below when you comment there is a check box that says Subscribe to comments. Well if it is a really hot topic a lot of people subscribe to the comments. What happens exactly is that once someone else comments, they get an email, and people come back to to your site. The more often they come back, the more chances is that they subscribe to your site. A plugin that you need is right here called Subscribe to Comments
Holding contests on your site is a big traffic attractor, but if you require your users to subscribe to your site to enter is a big plus. Because people would do that to enter the contest, and there you have it. One more subscriber. I have one on going contest Pimp My Blog, and more to come soon I have noticed contest to work like a charm.
Placement of RSS/Email Subscription
The theory is the easier you make it for your users, the more likely it is that they will subscribe. The more visible you make it for your users, the more likely they are to subscribe. In my opinion the best place to put your rss button is in the top right hand corner. Most bloggers would agree with me on that one. Taking it one step forward, you can allow email subscription. Most people just add a text link which is making it hard for your user. Give them an input field where they can simply type the email and click to subscribe. If you don’t know how to here is a tutorial for you. Another place you can add the email subscriber option is right below your posts. Yan did a study on his blog and he increased 60 subscribers in 7 days. Check out his study.
Social Media and Advertising
Last week I wrote about How Social Media made me from a nobody to a somebody. I think everyone should at least try one of the social media networks. I will say lets start with Digg (Ultimate Guide to use Digg). There are a lot more that I have discussed in my post about 13 ways I used to promote my blog to success.
Tough section as I call it. I think when you are commenting on other blogs, you are not only adding value to their blog, but by doing so you are stealing their users. That is why I always recommend people to comment on bigger blogs. Even better comment on all size blogs. Because the more the users see you, the more they are likely to head over to your site. I did this a lot at one time when I was a top commentator at both Shoemoney, and John Chow along with tons of others. Now I am at a good stable number, that I am focusing on my content more. But I will assure you that everyone have to start at that point to get exposure unless you can afford thousands of dollars to spend and buy advertisement everywhere. Same thing I say about Guest Blog Posts, I wrote all together two guest blog posts. One was at John Chow’s blog and other one was at The University Kid. The total together brought me a little less than 300 subscribers. So lets say John have over 33k subscribers at the time that I wrote the post. So I only got about 0.9% of John’s Subscribers, but hey little bit helps.
I have a few plans that I want to start once Balkhis is one year old that will be the end of Jan 2009. Hopefully by then we will see another face lift of Balkhis with a combination of news letter and more which makes Balkhis a bigger platform for bloggers.