Are you wishing you had more blog subscribers? If that’s your goal, you have to improve your opt-in rates.
However before we go any further let me just say that whatever you hope to achieve with your blog, it all starts with churning out great content; without that there isn’t much hope for boosting subscribers or anything else.
But I’m going to assume you’ve got great content and simply need to give more focus to getting your readers to your opt in box.
So let’s dive right in.
If you already have an opt-in form on your blog but it’s not turning your visitors into subscribers, you may have two things going wrong.
Either the form is not in the right place, it’s not attracting attention, or maybe both.
“I’m guessing that you’re already using a good email autoresponder like Aweber which I prefer because it not only hosts all your email lists, it has lots of cool email opt-in forms to choose from that are easy to add to any blog.
If you haven’t already you’ll need to set up an autoresponder account, if you’re shopping around for an email autoresponder service be cautious, some accounts have restrictions on the type of email you can send out, so read the fine print first.”
The 7 Tips that I use for Getting more Blog Subscribers
Tip 1. Your Opt-in Form
Your first step is to get yourself a high converting opt-in form. Of course what converts for me may not convert for you so you may have to test that with different forms but there are a few basic strategies that all opt-in forms should follow.
– Form Placement. Your opt-in form should be directly beneath your blog or website header, preferably on the right hand side just above your sidebar. Keep the form above the fold, in other words your visitor shouldn’t have to scroll down the page to find it. If you have two sidebars then test which side is best.
– Make your form stand out. Use colors and graphics that draw in the eye. Don’t have a form that blends with your site. It should have an attraction quality all its own. Try testing that by objectively looking at your page yourself. If you can’t be objective ask others to look at it and give you feedback.
– Make it Friendly & Inviting. Now that you have all eyes on your form, is it inviting? Take a look at what Adrienne Smith has done with her opt-in box. Can’t miss that! It’s friendly and inviting and moves a reader to act.
– Keep it Simple. Unless you’re involved with mass mailings or in depth marketing studies, you don’t need any more than a subscribers name and email address. Some bloggers only ask for an email. That works too but I prefer to customize my emails so asking for a first name helps you do that.
Tip 2. Give visitors a reason to subscribe
Visitors aren’t simply going to hand over their email address if they don’t see a benefit. In other words why should they subscribe? What’s in it for them? What can they hope to gain from giving you their email? Giving your subscriber something free that they would love to get their hands on is a great way to get them to act. Create a free special report, video or tutorial in exchange for their email. Another incentive is draw them in is to share a special industry secret. Ileane of basic blog tips uses this idea very well. Her opt-in offers to share her secret for getting 10,000 visitors a day to her blog. I’d love to know that wouldn’t you?
Tip 3. Give visitors multiple opportunities to sign up
Additional places for your optin form would be either above or below every post on your blog. As a pop-up or in your footer. These options don’t work for everyone so these are things you’ll want to test.
If you’re using WordPress, try the WWSGD plugin and customize it. This plugin will display a message to new or first-time visitors inviting them to subscribe to your RSS Feed by default. I use the plugin above to encourage subscribers to my RSS feed.But you can add code in there to display your opt-in form with an invitation to subscribe.
Tip 4. Create a Squeeze Page
Along with having an opt-in box on every page of your blog, also create a squeeze page. A squeeze page is a landing page specially designed to get a reader to opt-in. Anyone landing on your squeeze page will either sign up or they won’t, there are no other options but that. Incidentally, squeeze pages have a much better conversion rate than simple opt-in forms.
So for example when writing articles, guest posts, making comments etc, you can send visitors directly to your squeeze page to sign up for your newsletter as opposed to your home page where there are distractions that may keep them from signing up.
If you don’t already have a squeeze page, here’s help for how to create a squeeze page that compels email subscribers.
Tip 5. Do a few Guest Blogging Gigs
Guest blogging or writing guest posts for other blogs in your niche is a solid strategy for gaining wide spread exposure, not only for your own blog but for building up your subscriber list.
Just remember that when you create your guest post use the link to your squeeze page in your byline, don’t use a link to your home page. As I mentioned above, your home page can distract visitors and if you’re trying to accumulate more subscribers you want to send them to a landing page that encourages a sign up and nothing else.
Tip 6. Add Your Opt-in Form to Your Facebook Page
Add your email opt-in to Facebook. I just recently did this and have already started getting new subscribers to my blog. It was actually pretty easy to do using the Aweber tutorials; however any good email service will provide instructions for adding your opt-in box to your Facebook account.
Tip 7. Make your Blog Content Easy to Share
Last but not least, add social icons to your blog and place them at the top of your content like I have them above. This makes it easy for visitors to share your content and it goes a long way for expanding your reach.
I’ve experimented with several social plugins for this I like the WordPress Tweet, Like, Google +1 and Share Plugin the best. I prefer it because it’s got the simplest most professional look and you can add custom buttons if you like.
To Sum Up…
It just makes sense that if you’re going to get more subscribers you’re going to have to give them incentive. The best way to do that is to draw their eyes in, make it inviting, offer them an incentive and remind them often to sign up by placing opportunities in front of them often.
How’s it going with your opt-ins? Any tips you’d like to add?
Photo: Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net