This is a guest post by Dan Sumner, author of the Bloggers Roadmap. Dan has been working online since 2006 and specializes in online marketing, product development and yep, you guest it blogging. Enjoy!!
If you read all of this post I guarantee you will increase your blog subscribers! A bold statement to be sure, but one I stand by 100%, no BS theory, just stuff that works!
Ok, let us get right into this with the stuff that works. I assume you have a blog online, if you don’t then take a look here, but before you do please finish this article as it will help you during your blog creation.
Generating subscribers to your blog is essential, not only for building business but for your own sanity! There is nothing more disheartening than seeing no traffic and no interaction on that personal space you so dearly care about. So let’s change that and start with – 8 tips to build subscribers!
These tips are applicable to anyone at any level and most of them are free or very low cost.
1. Opt-in – First of all when it comes to gathering subscribers to your blog, you need a process in place to gather those readers with. By process I mean an opt-in form. This type of opt-in form can be seen here on John’s blog, my blog and many others like it. So your first step is to get an opt-in and position these opt-in’s to maximise exposure.
Maximum exposure from an opt-in can be achieved by positioning your opt-in on one or all of 5 positions:
a. Sidebar – The most popular place to opt-in. Keep the opt-in high on the sidebar and above the page fold.
b. Below the post – After the post is a great place to have an opt-in, providing you give great readable content so the reader gets that far :-D. This opt-in can however be overlooked by those who would rather comment, so don’t rely on just this opt-in.
c. Pop-ups – Popups can be very annoying, but also very effective. Probably the most effective of all popups is to have a good looking pop-up with a great call to action. Some opt-in software such as aweber can be set to show only new people the opt-in, this helps to prevent old and already subscribed readers from seeing the popup every time.
d. Feature Box – A feature box is not available on all blogs, but this is one of the best places to put an opt-in. Just below the title (same as John’s blog) is prime real estate to place your opt-in and call to action. This gets seen almost immediately when a visitor lands on the site.
e. About me page – Surprisingly, having an about page on your blog gets visited a lot. People are naturally curious to see who is writing and what they do. On your about me page, place a description, images and also your opt-in. It is very important to connect with people and by creating an about page, you can do just that.
2. Facebook – Facebook has 3 avenues which you can effectively distribute content to others:
b. Fan Pages
c. Personal Timeline
a. Groups – By joining groups of like minded people, you will find the space to share your information with the people in those groups. By providing good information on related content and inserting your blog post hyperlink to the group post, you can link direct to your post. This is gold if the group you are in enjoys your content.
The same goes for your own groups. If you own a group of related content to your our blog, then you have a gateway to share your online content with the people who are interested in what you have to say. Sharing your content with your own group will allow your readers to interact with you on another platform i.e. Your own blog.
b. Fan pages – Fan pages are a little different to groups where the content of the page is more about the owner of the page. The principals are the same as a group however. Just remember to ask permission of the page owner to share your content on their timeline.
c. Timeline – Simple, share your content on your own timeline. If you have a single Facebook account, you can group your friends together into internal groups so you can share content with these specific groups. Syndicating your groups like this allows you to share valuable content on your timeline with people who want to read it. Once more, the link back will provide an access to your blog and allow you to build subscribers from your opt-in’s.
3. Blog Hopping – Yes, you may have heard of this before and may have tried it, but did you stick with it? Blog hopping can be very time consuming, but it works. Take your time and spend it commenting on around 5 blogs per day to generate links back to your own blog. I guarantee, if you engage the readers and authors on the blogs you visit, you will see results.
a. Always leave value when commenting. This is essential to gain interest from fellow bloggers and the blog author.
b. Share content on social networks. By using the share links on the blogs you visit, especially if they have them setup right, you attract the attention of the blog owner. Reciprocation is not always returned but quite often is. If your posts are shared by others, this creates a viral effect and generates traffic back to your posts. Let your opt-in do the rest!
4. Guest posting – Simple but very effective! By providing value on other people’s blogs you can set yourself as an authority in your niche. The guest blog will always give you a link back to your own blog, which will generate traffic and new readers.
a. Provide massive value when writing guest posts
b. Always have a great posts on your own blog for people to connect with
c. Be on hand to return comments to every commenter on the post with a valued and respectful message. This allows interaction as well as relationship building with new readers. Remember, just because you landed a guest post doesn’t mean your traffic will explode. You need to work with your new readers. Earn their respect!
5. Product development – A little trickier than the sharing methods above due to the fact you need to create a product before you actually can share it, but the end benefits are huge.
a. Free Guides – By creating a free guide you can share this in many places and also allow it to be shared. This then creates a viral effect which, yes you guessed it links back to your blog. You can give these away on many platforms including social media, ad swaps, giveaways, Kindle amazon, eBay (paid for) to name a few.
b. Paid for products – Something I remain constant about is creating a link back to my blog from every product I create. No matter what happens to that product when it is sold or after it has run it’s course, my blog link is always there and my blog is always constant. Having a blog link in your products provides extra value for the product buyer and also provides a place to become part of your own community. Always give value to retain customers.
6. Paid traffic – I’m sure I could hear the groan when you read that! Ok, forget Google, and look toward Faceboook and Just Retweet.
a. Facebook – Did you know your can target your ads to pretty much anyone and any location. The demographics are awesome, so don’t discount a Facebook ad offering free information. This will guarantee you some new readers and customers. Just remember to provide value.
b. Just Retweet – Ok, Just Retweet (JR) has a paid and a free option, but the free option is very time consuming, so I suggest spending $10 on some targeted tweet traffic. JR allows you to buy tweets from real people, from which the real people earn points so they can in-turn spend their points on retweets.
By placing your link and short description on JR for people to retweet, the people who retweet your post gain points and you gain visitors from twitter. Good enough posts can go viral! I have had in excess of 150 tweets and the same in subscribers from just $10. JR is worth looking into for some of your more informative posts.
7. Tribes – Admittedly, not something I have spent a ton of time involved with but works very well. Sites like triberr.com allow you to join a tribe of bloggers who actively share each others content over the blogosphere. Joining a tribe allows you to become part of a blogging community, to share your content and also learn a thing or two about blogging on the way. Remember adding value and sharing each others content is the key here.
8. Content sharing – Ok, lets say you have written a very good article on something in your chosen niche. You have exhausted all your avenues of social media sharing and are looking for the next place to gain more exposure? Have you considered asking people on similar blogs to share your content? Some bloggers or websites will gladly share your content with their readers. They may even ask you to write a small article and then link back to your article, but this small task is nothing to what you will get back from it.
Remember, we live in a content hungry age and people/businesses are more than willing to share important information with their readers if it makes the reader happy. Don’t be afraid to ask people to link to one of your articles in their own articles if it’s related. Sharing is fun!
What are you waiting for? Get to it!
I hope you enjoyed these 8 tips today and do take something away with you and put them to work. You will see improvements to traffic by doing so I guarantee it.
If you have any questions related to this post, please let me know in the comments section below or if you have any additional value to add, please let me know I would love to hear what you have to say.
If you liked this post and would like to read more from Dan, you can check out his blog here at DanSumner.com. Dan writes about online marketing, focus methods and business tips.