Posted by Murray Sye
on Sun, Nov 9, 2014 @ 12:20 PM
Show me a sign.
All this hard work is supposed to pay off, but you continue to struggle. No matter what you do, you can't seem to catch the attention of your readers.
Does this sound familiar? Every blogger wants to see the number of subscribers to his or her blog grow. After all increasing subscribers is an important task for bloggers. But how do you nudge them into taking action? To subscribe to your blog. To keep them coming back for all that good stuff that you have to offer?
Well not to worry, in today's post we're going to provide you with 10 different ways you can use to convert casual blog visitors into loyal subscribers.
1) Blog sidebar opt-in forms
Don't make it difficult for visitors to your blog to figure out how to opt in to your blog. Display a clear call-to-action module to subscribe to your blog, along with an RSS subscription button and a simple, one-field email opt-in form near the top of your blog – above the fold. Don't make your visitors search through all the bells and whistles in your blog's sidebar to subscribe. Put it right in their face, and make it stand out. Just like the one you see on our sidebar.
2) Homepage opt-in form
Do you have your blog listed in the navigation on your homepage or your blog page? Do you have a footer with places to follow your company on social media? In the sub-navigation under your blog or in the footer near your company's contact information are great places to put a form to subscribe to the company blog. These are very common places to look for subscription options and they do not get in the way of the homepage's main real estate areas that might be used for product-related news or information.
3) About page opt-in
Include a link to subscribe to your blog on other high-traffic pages of your website such as your 'About Us' page and Press Room. These pages are likely to attract a lot of new visitors to your website, so use the opportunity to funnel them into your blog so they can learn more about you and read all of the awesome blog content you offer.
4) Dedicated blog subscribe landing page
In addition to the subscribe module right there on your blog, create a dedicated landing page that you can direct people to via other channels such as social media, other pages on your website, PPC, or email. You know – right below the banner CTA," you can say "Visit myblog.com/subscribe to be the first to receive our latest blog content!" Or, "become part of the Inner Circle, as in the sample below."
5) Call-to-action (CTA)
A great way to convince people to subscribe to your blog is while they're actually reading the content. Within your blog posts you can drop little text-based or image-based CTAs to encourage readers to support your blog with an email address if they like what they're currently reading. Calls-to-action are great for nudging people in the right direction without being too pushy. The sample below has been pulled from the bottom of a post at HubSpot.
6) Optimized confirmation page
Do subscribers need to confirm their email address when they opt-in to receive your blog posts in their inboxes? If so, make sure your confirmation page and emails are extra optimized to capture those necessary double opt-ins. Try adding urgency in your confirmation emails or on your confirmation page on your blog so subscribers will want to double opt-in while it's fresh in their minds.
7) Pop-up or slide-in form
Dan Zarella, HubSpot's social media scientist, found that pop-up subscribe forms didn't reduce his site's bounce rate. In fact, this technique did quite the opposite and increase conversions by more than 100%. If you're looking for a pop-up option that's slightly less in-your-face, you could try adding a slide-in subscribe from that pops up after a reader has already gone through a certain percentage of the content.
8) Pitch your newsletter and share on social media
Are you leveraging evangelists (both internal within your company and external) to gain more subscribers? Are you regularly scheduling messages on social asking for your followers to also subscribe? Have you ever tried using blog content for outreach or PR? These are all great ways to amplify your blog and gain unexpected subscribers. And, don't forget to add social share buttons to your posts.
9) Subscribe checkbox on landing page forms
This one small trick can provide a significant increase in blog subscribers. By simply adding a checkbox field to all your landing page forms so people could subscribe to your blog with just one click. (show sample). If your blogging software is integrated with the rest of your marketing software, this trick is very easy to implement. At the simplest level, you need to have control over the fields on your landing page forms as well as the ability to export a list of people who opt in to your blog through these forms so you can add them to your blog subscriber list.
10) A/B Test headlines, calls-to-action, and button copy
As you're implementing all these subscribe features on your blog, homepage, in email, etc., make sure you're constantly testing which messaging works best for your target personas. The copy you use has to be reliabe, actionable and must motivate and incentivize a casual reader to continue receiving content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
So now it's back to you. If you want to increase your blog subscribers try implementing a few of the ones we've listed for you here today. I'll bet you'll see a difference in no time. If you've had success implementing additional tactics, please pass them along, we'd love to hear from you.
And... ahem... don't forget to subscribe to our blog, if you haven't already.
Written by Murray SyeMurray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.