Whether you’re an individual or are running a business blog, the very next challenge you face after creation of quality content, is getting more people to visit your posts and subscribe to your newsletters.
The reason why most blog sites have low subscription rates is not because they aren’t churning out good quality content or are not consistent with their efforts – but because they forget to look into the other fundamental factors that contribute to the success (or downfall) of a blog. Subscribers being one of them.
Even though content marketing has become a part of every business’s strategy, there are way too many businesses that still undermine the value of loyal readers. The truth is, the larger your subscriber base, the wider you can expand your funnel top and the higher will be the number of people visiting your business website.
And no, this doesn’t mean you straight off head towards running a paid campaign to boost your subscriber base. Here are 13 simple ways to boost your blog subscriber rate by a whooping 80% :
1. Clearly display the subscription form
If you’re churning out quality content, driving traffic to the blog site is all about how well you market each piece of content. But once you bring readers to your website, how easy or difficult it is for them to make an interaction with you, has a direct affect on your subscription rate.
Display a clear call-to-action or one field email opt-in form on your website. Keep it above the fold and ensure that it isn’t placed in such a way that the user has to play hide and seek for it. If you want more subscribers, make your call-to-action stand out from the other elements of the page.
For example, Social Media Examiner displays its blog follow as well as social follow buttons in a constant sidebar that is present alongside all its blog posts.
Another example is that of HubSpot. It displays a CTA right at the top of their blogs for the reader to subscribe on. It goes a step ahead in making the reader’s experience better, by giving him the option to subscribe to only those topics that he’d like content on – observe the subscribe CTAs below the categories.
2. Share the value of the subscription
Today, the internet users no longer are comfortable dropping their contact information on every site they visit. So if a reader has come to your blog site for the first time, it is going to take you some convincing to encourage him to subscribe.
This is where you need to tell him the value that your blog will offer. Just like the call-to-action, you need to clearly spell out what the reader will gain out of the subscription and what he should expect after that.
For example, here’s what OkDork.com promises to its potential subscribers:
3. Incentivise the subscription
Continuing on the above note, sometimes it takes more than just ‘value’ to make a reader subscribe to the blog. One of the most effective ways to make a visitor engage with you is to incentivise the act.
Be it a special offer to your product, an ebook you recently worked on or read, a industry whitepaper that could be useful to him, etc – set up a landing page for the rewards that you giveaway to those who subscribe. Be sure to make the process as simple and quick as possible.
For example, FreshBooks offers instant access to one of their popular ebooks to those who subscribe to their blog. They display the value the subscriber gets and incentivise the action desired as well.
4. Promote your blog on high traffic web pages
Most businesses include a link to their blog either in the footer of their web pages or as a category on their home page. But that’s not promotion enough!
Promote your blog on all the web pages that receive high traffic due to paid campaigns or other marketing efforts that you’re executing. Pages like ‘about us’ and ‘press’ are commonly known to receive a decent amount of traffic, after the home page.
5. Add a CTA to each blog post
Another way to boost your subscription rate, is to ask the reader to subscribe while he is still interested in the content you’re offering him. Yes, ask him to subscribe while he is still reading or immediately after he has consumed your content piece.
Add call-to-actions either at the end of each blog post and sometimes halfway through them. But ensure that these call-to-actions don’t ruin the reading experience of the visitor and give only a subtle push to him.
A smart move would be to analyse the read ratio and scroll point of your blogs. This will let you know how far an average reader is consuming your content till. It is important to place the CTA till the point you observe he is most interested.
6. Include a subscription CTA in your emails
Email marketing is still the most direct way of reaching out and communicating with existing as well as potential customers. So while you’re running your email campaigns, leverage from them to grow your blog subscription.
Include a simple subscription CTA in the footer of your emails. It could either be a simple text call-to-action or a button that grabs the reader’s attention. But remember to A/B test your emails.
7. Optimize your content for search engines
An indirect way to boost your subscription rate is to drive more traffic to your blog. The only way to do so is to optimize your content with the right keywords. Identify the keywords you want to associate your business with, shortlist the ones you can target fairly easily and introduce them in your content strategy.
The more traffic you drive to your traffic for the relevant keywords, the more likely you are to get more quality subscribers.
8. Leverage social proof
If you have a well planned marketing strategy, you’re probably already making use of the various social channels to interact with your target audience on a daily basis or to establish your brand’s digital presence.
Then why not leverage from your social presence to grow your blog subscription? Create communities and ask your following to subscribe to your blog. Not just will these subscribers be your potential customers, but will also guarantee a way to keep your social engagement levels up.
9. Make your content easy to share
The one way to give your ‘quality content’ the exposure it deserves, is to make it easy to share. Include social buttons at the end, top or at the side of your blog posts. Remember to include share via mail option as well while creating this menu. The easier it is for the reader to share the content in his circles, the more likely he is to do so.
For example, we have included social sharing buttons at the end and in the sidebar of our blog posts. This lets the reader share our post at any given point that interests him the most.
10. Promote on your thank you pages
As a business that is trying to acquire more customers, you’re probably running multiple marketing campaigns. While you can’t promote two call-to-actions in one campaign, you surely can promote a subscription CTA on your thank you pages.
For example, when a visitor signs up for your product’s free trial, you could ask him to subscribe to your blog to stay up-to-date with your upcoming features, industry trends, etc on the web page where you thank him for signing up.
11. Include blog subscription CTA in your email signature
Another smart way to grow your blog subscriptions, is to include the CTA in your email signature. People are more likely to check the links provided in an email signature to understand who the sender is and what he does.
So while you’re communicating with the others in your field, they get to see your blog without you having to push it to them directly. You can use tools like WiseStamp to even create dynamic signatures that include an RSS feed.
12. Don’t interrupt their reading experience
The fastest way to lose a reader is to interrupt his reading experience by bombarding him with unwarranted for elements before he even consumes the information offered. Asking him to subscribe to your blog before he even moves past the first paragraph of your content piece, is like buying a product just because the package of it is in your favourite color.
The best time to target readers with a subscription message is when he is done reading your content piece. Using Exit Bee’s exit intent technology, you can create a campaign that targets readers who are leaving your web page with a personalized message that either asks them to share your blog post or subscribe to be notified of more. The campaign doesn’t interrupt the reading experience, making your objective behind the blog post seem more genuine than salesy.
For instance, Epixerio.gr increased its email subscriptions by a whooping 5,000%! (Read case study here)
And most importantly..
13. Be consistent
If you publish content only once in a blue moon, chances are that you’ll lose even the existing readers you have. People are constantly on the lookout for sources of quality information and not maintaining a consistency, speaks of unreliability.
According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report, the more frequently you publish content pieces, the more likely you are to generate subscribers and eventually customers from it.
What other techniques do you recommend for boosting a blog’s subscription rate?
Feel free to drop a comment in the box below! We’re always looking for nifty tips, tricks and hacks as well. 🙂