Having a blog is great. No matter what the subject, style or format, online blogging provides you with a unique corner of the internet you can use to speak directly to your audience.
But how do you promote your blog and convince people to keep coming back? There’s so much content out there that it can be tough to compete.
It’s no secret in the blogging world that winning email subscribers is a great way of driving traffic to your blog and maintaining a high level of engagement. Social media promotion is flashier and more timely, but it can’t beat the steady reliability of email promotion — the directness of email is far more likely to reach its mark than something shot into the large and unforgiving stratosphere of popular opinion.
Unfortunately, the acquisition of email subscribers can be a challenging feat, so you’re not alone if you’re struggling to win people over.
Whether they’re missing the subscribe button on your page or not even making it that far, fear not — I’m going to set out 7 easy hacks to get more email subscribers to your blog and help you keep them after they’ve subscribed.
1. Improve your content standards
If you thought you’d dodged some content-based lecturing for once, well, you were wrong.
While you’ve probably heard a million times how important the content you’re producing is, it’s always worth hearing one more time. And to get even more specific, the content you upload to your blog should be relevant and interesting for your readership. Blog posts that are engaging, informative and entertaining will make readers far more likely to subscribe to your blog. It’s that simple.
When writing regular blog updates (in addition to juggling a million-and-one other things), keeping the content at a stellar standard can become tricky – and this can make it tempting to get lazy. But you can’t succumb to the pressure. Whether you stop producing as much content, let the quality slip, or even fail to show any enthusiasm in your work, your readers will pick up on the decline. And guess what happens then? They decide not to subscribe, or cancel their existing subscriptions.
Even though it can be really difficult to write excellent content, I still consider this an easy step because it’s completely under your control. It just comes down to effort and discipline.
Show everyone that you have what it takes, and you’ll reap the rewards.
2. Make it easy for your readers to act
Remember that the reader is at the very top of the priority pile. As a dedicated blogger, your job is to make everything as easy as possible for your audience, which of course includes subscribing to your blog.
Patience in our digital age is something rare indeed — even if someone decides they do want to subscribe to your blog, if they can’t find where exactly they can do it, it won’t be long before they give up and leave. Is your navigation up to par? If it isn’t, visitors may only stick around for seconds.
So, don’t lose easy wins: make it simple. Whether it’s a ‘subscribe by email’ button, or another snazzy CTA, make sure it is abundantly clear email subscription is something your reader can (and should!) do.
HubSpot increased email subscribers to their blog by 128% in just 3 months — magic you say? No. They simply added an opt-in box to one of their landing pages forms. Sometimes the simplest answers reap the best results.
3. Revitalise old posts
When you’re writing blog after blog, they can feel like fleeting moments in time, so it can be easy to forget that your older blogs will often actually be receiving the most views. Going back and editing old blog posts is a great way of driving even more traffic to them. Whether that’s an info update or a general copy edit, it’ll put your blog back on Google’s radar.
But why stop there? Use your blog data to find your most frequented blog posts and optimise those blogs for email subscribers.
Adding a line to your content, or an extra-special CTA, will naturally channel the extra traffic right to where you want it — your blog subscribers mailing list!
4. Incentivise subscription
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that people love to get things for free, so providing some special incentives for those who subscribe to your blog is a great way to grow your mailing list.
Whether this takes the form of running a competition based around your services or product, or involves offering exclusive content only available to email subscribers, these little extras will make hitting the ‘subscribe’ button seem all the more attractive.
Everyone likes to feel special, and providing your email subscribers with something more than the average passing visitor will draw them into both subscribing and staying subscribed. You can create digital downloads and use them as a free “lead magnet” (a freebie that you give away in exchange for someone signing up for your email list).
5. Retain more subscribers
Take nothing for granted, and remember that even your most hard-won email subscriber is only an ‘unsubscribe’ click away from dropping off your blog mailing list forever. If you’re running a blog for business, it’s worth noting that it costs five times as much to attract a new prospect as it does to hold onto an existing one.
So how can you show your current email subscribers you care? Well, one way — as odd as it may seem — is to make sure your unsubscribe page is top-notch. Having an unsubscribe page that offers alternatives to fully unsubscribing (such as an option to receive fewer emails) will limit the damage done.
That’s not the only way to hold onto your subscribers, though. Segmenting your audience so that they only receive email updates about the blogs most relevant to their interests is vital for great email marketing, as is ensuring that you continue to read up on current email best practices. Taking care of these simple things will greatly improve your subscriber retention.
6. Make sure you’re looking good
As previously mentioned, it can be all too easy to just think about the blog post you’re currently working on — and that’s fine if your old content is nicely polished, but you also need to get the rest of your blog looking great too.
But what does this mean? Well, for a start, it means having an ‘About’ page that actually sells your blog.
Avoid the generic stuff, and make sure you’re telling your audience what exactly makes your blog so great. This is a great space to essentially pitch to your reader. Much like offering good content, having an aesthetically-pleasing and easy-to-navigate site is something that will greatly support your efforts to turn readers into subscribers.
7. Network with relevant parties
Yes, it might sound a bit scary, but blogger outreach can be a beneficial move for both parties. With business blogs, make sure you don’t target your competitors (that would be a tricky thing to arrange), but instead, look at people who blog on related topics but aren’t likely to steal any of your thunder.
But you don’t need to stop at blogs. The internet is full of entrepreneurs fresh off picking up some pre-made businesses and aspiring to retail dominance with no idea of how they’re actually supposed to market their products. If you offer to review products or services for them, they’ll be more than willing to promote your blog in return, and you’ll earn traffic from their prospective customers.
Once you have some business relationships established, you can continue to exchange guest blogs and social media links, and possibly even openly collaborate on projects, bringing your audiences together to make them even bigger.
Achieve the right relevance, and you’ll add to your email subscribers in no time at all.
Using these 7 easy hacks is bound to see your blog email subscriber list reach new and dizzying heights. By keeping the reader at the heart of everything you do, being smart with your CTAs and keeping your blog in tip-top condition, you’ll ensure that your subscribers continue to eagerly anticipate your next updates.