10 Ways To Dramatically Increase Your RSS Feed Subscribers

Every blogger would like to have more RSS Feed subscribers, wouldn’t you agree? If you are unfamiliar with what an RSS feed is, I’ll give you a quick description of what it is and how to get started.
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” or “Rich Site Summary” and it’s the primary way currently used to syndicate blog content. It’s like having a constantly moving feed of information that you have chosen to receive. When you sign up to receive information from various blogs, the reader that you choose will put it all together into one place and display it to you in an easy to follow way.
In order to receive a blog’s RSS feed, first you sign up for the reader of your choice (I recommend the Google reader). Then, as you visit blogs that you would like to be updated from regularly, simply click on the RSS feed icon, then choose the reader that you’ve selected, and click subscribe. It’s as simple as that!
If you prefer not to use a reader, most blogs allow you to also sign up via an email subscription. We will talk a little more about that below. People sign up for RSS feeds because it makes reading blogs so much easier and faster. You can learn more about RSS by going to RSS in Plain English. Everyone wants more feed subscribers and for new bloggers, it can be a challenge to figure out how to make that happen. I hope the tips below help you to increase your regular readers and have some fun along the way!
1. Write compelling, unique, kick ass content
I know it seems cliché to list this one first, but it really is true. Nobody will subscribe to your feed if they have no interest in coming back, it’s that simple. Give them a reason. Don’t write about the same old thing that everyone writes about. Be unique, be fresh and develop into a clever writer. If you need some pointers to help improve your writing, you will find this post helpful: Tips To Help Improve Your Writing Style. It’s not as hard as it may sound, it just takes practice!
2. Make your RSS button easy to find and at the top of the page

It is very important to make it obvious where to subscribe to your feed. People usually look for something orange near the top of the page, so keep it above the fold. If you can, use something pretty and designed, not just a text link. Here are two great places to go for free RSS icons: 
Free RSS Feed Icons, The Ultimate List and110+ Free RSS Icons To Show Off Your RSS Feed.
3. Consider promoting your feed in more than one place on your blog

Have you ever noticed that some sites allow their readers to subscribe in more than one place on their page? For example, go to http://techcrunch.com. Readers can subscribe at the top or the bottom of the page. This is brilliant! They have the standard orange RSS feed button that everyone looks for at the top of the page, and they also have a FeedBurner counter at the bottom. It doesn’t clutter the page or look obtrusive. No matter where their readers are looking for it, they will find it.

4. Submit your feed to the popular RSS Directories

This was popular a few years ago, but I haven’t heard many people talk about it lately. I’ve known of people that have experienced surprising results from doing this. Here is a list of the Top 55 Best Blog Directories and RSS Submission Sites. This list was just updated this month.

5. Allow your readers to get your RSS feed in email if they prefer

There are still a lot of people that are unfamiliar with RSS feeds. They may have a Google account but not know about Google reader and some of the other tools available. Many people still prefer to get this information in an email. I even like to get my top 5 favorite RSS feeds via email just because I get it immediately, even on my mobile.
You can enable your email subscription easily through FeedBurner. If you go to http://www.feedburner.com, it will redirect you to Google where you can sign in right there with your Google account. It’s super easy. Some people do not want to receive this info in email or in their Google reader. To cater to those people, you can easily make little chicklets for your blog to accommodate their favorite reader. Simply click on this RSS Button Maker.
6. Give readers an incentive for subscribing to your feed

Normally I’m not a big fan of giving incentives because if someone signs up for your feed just to get the incentive, and if they aren’t genuinely interested in your information, they won’t read the posts when they receive them anyway. Quality is so much better than quantity.
However, for those readers that intend to sign up and just haven’t done it yet, an incentive might get them to stop what they are doing and finally subscribe. Make sure you give away something with perceived value. For example, if you have a design blog, maybe you can give away some Photoshop brushes or free vectors.
In order to make this work easily, just install this RSS footer plugin and then add the link to whatever you are giving away in the RSS footer. You can also use an autoresponder to make this work easily for email subscribers. Of course, if you decide to do an incentive, you’ll have to promote it otherwise nobody will know about it.
7. Promote your feed in creative ways

Why not promote your feed in your email signature and on your business cards? Put your marketing hat on and think of all the ways you promote other aspects of your business. Why not promote your feed in those same ways?
8. Once you have a lot of subscribers, make that information public

Only you can decide on what that number needs to be, but once you reach it, make sure your readers can see it. This plays a little on the psychology. It is “social proof” that you’ve got it going on and when people see that, many times, they will follow suit and subscribe because they don’t want to miss out on what all those other people are seeing. FeedBurner provides the code to do this easily.

9. Simply ask!

There is nothing wrong with adding a sentence at the end of your post or dropping a tweet every now and then that invites people to subscribe to your feed. Ask and you shall receive, right? You will pick up a few subscribers here and there just from simply asking in a polite way.
I would like to invite you to subscribe to our RSS feed here, and if you prefer, you can even get those updates in your email here. We promise that we will continue to work hard to provide you with content that will inspire and enhance your blogging experience! #doitnow #youwontregretit
10. Become an effective online networker

Twitter is my favorite social media site and this point is a bit awkward for me because I don’t feel like I network on Twitter. My best friends are on Twitter, and my relationships are very real and special to me. I’m not networking there.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable “making friends” in social media, then you can call it networking. Either way, if you want to be effective, you have to build relationships, period. This article might give you some insight on how to do that: 10 Tips To Build Meaningful Relationships on Twittr. A great way to get your feet wet with this is to start leaving comments on other blogs. You can learn more about this here: 5 Reasons Why You Should Comment on Blog Posts.

{ 0 comments... read them below or add one }

Post a Comment