So youâ€™ve read the first three ways to increase your RSS subscribers, and you want more, as everyone should. When blogging, you get so carried away in having rich content and a unique design that you forget about the basics. Here are a few fundamentals that you may have overlooked:
1. Standard RSS icon
There are thousands of RSS icons, but does your blog have a standard RSS icon? In an earlier post, I said â€œknow your audienceâ€. Part of knowing your audience is keeping in mind that not all people recognize what your fancy RSS icon is. I faced this problem a few weeks back. I had a fancy blue icon that looked more like a background image and blended in with the theme. There is a reason why the standard RSS icon is bright orange. Also make sure it is not too small so that visitors donâ€™t just scan over your site and miss it.
Previous RSS icon:
Two weeks ago my blog made it to the front page of Stumble Upon (buzz.stumbleupon.com) twice. This brought me over 6000 new visitors in a two day period and a few hundred each day after that. This usually should result in a huge increase in my subscribers. Since the icon blended right in with the theme, visitors passed right by it.
Current RSS icon:
I changed over to the standard RSS icon and with only 500-800 visitors a day. My subscriptions went through the roof. I had the same content and my RSS icon was located in the same location, however I just used the standard orange icon instead of the fancy blue one. Due to this simple alteration, my subscribers went from 48 to 100 overnight (0.1% of the visitors subscribed before, now 6.5% of the visitors are subscribing).
2. Offer another way to subscribe
Remember that RSS subscriptions are new and a lot of people either donâ€™t know about RSS or prefer the old fashion email. Offer your visitors a way to subscribe through email, there are quite a few plugins that will let you do this. If you have WordPress, you can use Subscribe2. This way you get that extra bit of subscribers that would have otherwise passed you by. It will do better if you place this alternative by your RSS icon.
3. RSS icon in clear view
I have seen hundreds of blogs suffering from this problem. They have the standard RSS icon, but it is either cluttered with links and/or on the bottom of the blog. The key to increasing subscribers is to have your RSS icon easily accessible. Do not make the visitors think, thatâ€™s what your content is for. Have it in an open space somewhere towards the top of your blog. Make sure to keep it the same location for every page of your site.
Example: Pronet Advertising
The boys at Pronet Advertising have the perfect example of both having an alternate way to subscribe and the RSS icon in clear view. How many subscribers do they have? Around three thousand!
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