We’ve all come across those blogs that as soon as we land on them we want to subscribe. A lot of the time its because the blog has content too good not to pass up and the blog owner has made it super simple to subscribe as well. When I subscribe to a blog, there are some key things that resonate with me that converts me from a visitor to a subscriber.
If you’re looking to increase your pay views, sharing, engagement, and build community having these areas be at 100% is the perfect start to get you there. Today, I’m going to share with you the key areas of your blog that can make it super subscribe-worthy.
1. Have a Responsive & Clean Design
Site design is queen! At first sight visitors are going to notice your design, regardless of how great you content is. When your site design matches the awesomeness of your content, there is little to question as far as subscribing for a visitor. I’ve come across many sites that have great content, but a design that is displeasing to the eye. While it may sound superficial, we live in a visually dependent world and there are little ways to get around that.
In terms of responsive design, many of your visitors are going to be visiting your site on mobile devices. Its essential that your site’s design be able to adjust to the different screen sizes that visitors may be viewing it on. You want to prevent visitors from having to zoom in and out while navigating your site.
I view at least 80% of the sites I visit on my phone or iPad, and a site not being responsive is one of the main things that makes me click off of it. The thought of subscribing to that particular site doesn’t even cross my mind, because I’m already having to do too much work not being able to see the content without zooming. Additionally, you can get dinged by Google for not having a responsive design, in that your site won’t show up very high in search results.
2. Create Epic Content
So we know that site design is queen, but content is always king! As gorgeous as your design may be, if your content lacks substance, authenticity, or plain out isn’t good, you’re not giving visitors a reason to subscribe to it.
Content can be lackluster for many different reasons, but a few of the major ones are:
- Content that doesn’t come through on the promise of the headline
- Unresearched or under-researched content, that is inaccurate
- Content that is too brief; posts under 500-words tend to fall into this category. – caveat: announcement posts are typically held to this criteria, but visitors need to know off the back that the post is an announcement.
- Content that doesn’t have a main point or solution to it.
3. Include Clear & Crisp Images
The more lovely your site’s images are, the more they add your site’s design. On the contrary, if you don’t have clear, crisp, high resolution images they can not only take away from your design, but your content as well.
Your images also matter hugely when you’re posting to image heavy social media platforms like Pinterest. Pinterest is my number one traffic referrer and I’m certain that the reason it is, is because I have engaging images that catch the eyes of Pinterest users. There is little room for text on Pinterest, so image quality is the bread and butter of your content getting clicked, pinned, and otherwise shared.
Related reading: Optimizing Your Blog for Pinterest
4. Post Consistently & On a Schedule
When visitors land on your blog, whether a single post or your blog archives they look to see when you posted and how frequently you post. If the last time you posted on your site was six months ago, don’t expect visitors to jump at the opportunity to subscribe to your content. They may feel as if they will be subscribing to nothing, since the content hasn’t been updated in so long.
Visitors and readers like to know they are going to have content delivered to them on at least a weekly basis. However, how often you post is completely up to you, and you are the one that actually sets the tone for how consistent you post. If you can’t post on a weekly basis, its a good idea to let visitors know this, so they know when you expect content from you.
Maybe you only post every other week, but there are other blog-related tasks you could be doing in between the weeks; like send out a weekly newsletter, do a podcast, run a twitter chat, and put on a webinars in between your posts. Make sure your audience knows this, so that they can otherwise engage you on other platforms than your site. These other tasks will still drive traffic to your site and allow you to consistently engage and interact with you community, so that they don’t forget you.
Related reading: How to Blog When You Don’t Feel Like It
5. Include Call-to-Actions
Call-to-actions serve more than just one purpose of asking your readers to do something. They also encourage them to engage your content and share it. Call-to-actions let your readers know that you want to hear from them and that their feedback is important.
Another awesome benefit of call-to-actions is that they keep you readers in the loop, since many times bloggers use them to announce an upgrade or added benefit of what they may be offering. Call-to-actions also add to your content’s organization, in that they help to break it up. This makes your content more pleasing to the eye, because readers aren’t just seeing a sea of words on a white (or whatever color) your background is. Call-to-actions give them something to not only interact with, but to look at and be stimulated by.
Related reading: Creating Actionable Content & Why Yours Should Be
6. Offer Content Upgrades
Giving visitors something extra lets them know that you’re going the extra mile for them. Content upgrades do exactly this, and that’s why its so important to include them. Its like when you’re shopping and you get a free gift with purchase. That little added perk makes you feel that much better about whatever you just purchased and like you are really getting your money’s worth.
Readers feel the same way when you offer them a content upgrade. They are in essence buying your content with their time, so when you offer them something extra they feel like they’ve used their time more wisely. Content upgrades don’t have to be a lot of extra work, they can be something simple that is supplementary to the post and easy to create.
A few ideas for content upgrades include:
- PDF of the main highlights of the post
- Bonus tips
- Case studies and tutorials
- Guides and eBooks
- Worksheets and workbooks
- Exclusive Audio and Videos (podcasts, webinars)
- Graphics (wallpapers, images, photographs)
- Challenges and Series
Related reading: Building An Authentic Brand Challenge
7. Share On Social Media Frequently
Having a strong social media presence gets your content out for people to see and share. I’ve seen a direct correlation between how active I am on social media and my content being shared and engaged. This means that new eyes are landing on my site and once here they are sticking around for the long run.
My formula for posting to social media is simple, I tweet throughout the day, pin my post images to several different boards, and share on Facebook and Google + about twice daily. I also share and repin relevant content from other sources, because it increases my engagement as a whole within and outside of my niche.
I use both Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule my social media posts, as well as tweeting and pinning in real time. Being able to schedule posts frees up my time to actually interact with my followers on social media, as well as research and create new content. If you’re not yet using some form of automation to help get your content out there, I recommend these two to start off with.
8. Have An Easily Visible Email Newsletter Box, Bloglovin’ Subscribe Icon, & Feedly Button
Last, but definitely not least is the way to make your blog super subscribe-worthy, have an email newsletter sign up box and/or subscribe to RSS feed reader button easily visible. The easier you make it for visitors to follow your blog, the higher the odds of them actually do so.
Email sign up boxes should be any and everywhere that someone’s eyes could land when they visit your site. After posts widget areas are great places for email sign up boxes and subscribe buttons. I include them directly in my posts many times and also utilize my after-post widget with an email sign up box. The rationale is once someone is done reading your post, they will be encouraged to subscribe to your content if it was useful or helpful to them.
There are many other methods you can implement to encourage visitors to subscribe to your blog. Whether you implement one or all, you’re opening the door and making it convenient for visitors to keep up with your content. It really all comes down to some form of an invitation to let people know that you want them use your information and return for more of it. Keeping this in mind when you’re designing your site (or having it designed), drafting posts, and interacting on social media will set you up for success with building your community and increasing your readership numbers.
What are some of your tried and true methods for encouraging visitors to subscribe to your blog? – How have you converted “lookers” into “buyers”?