Over the last couple of days I’ve been writing about growing the numbers of people subscribing to your blog.
Lets do a quick recap:
- Two days ago I revealed a ‘secret’ of building subscriber numbers as being to build anticipation on your blog.
- Yesterday I shared how you can build anticipation on your blog by strategically highlighting your best content.
Today I want to share 5 other techniques that I’ve used to build anticipation on my blogs.
1. Write a Series
One of the most obvious methods of convincing someone to come back to your blog tomorrow is to write posts that build upon one another as a series. Not giving everything you’ve got in one post gives readers the need to come back tomorrow to get the full picture. The key to growing subscriber numbers with a series is to make it clear that there are more posts coming together – you might also want to try highlighting your actual feed to give them a way to subscribe.
If you want to explore how to do this check out my post with 10 steps writing a successful series on your blog
2. Plan Your Next Posts
Many bloggers blog very impulsively. They sit down to blog with no idea of what they’ll be focusing upon on a given day – let alone what they’ll be covering next week. Taking a little time out to plan your next few days (or weeks – or even months) can be a very beneficial exercise on many levels – one of which is that you can share your plans with readers and show them what they’ll get if they subscribe. The other benefit is a lot more subtle – if you know where you’re headed with your blog in the future you’ll write in a way that builds momentum – something that I think readers pick up on and are energized by.
Running a competition on your blog can have many potential benefits – but one (if you run it correctly) is to see an increase in your subscriber count. I learned the power of this last year in running my $54,000 birthday bash where I saw a sizable jump in subscriber numbers. The key with using competitions in this way is to create anticipation by pre-launching the competition and having it run over numerous days and giving readers ways to ‘enter’ over time. My birthday bash did this by running a series of mini competitions over a week, thus creating a need to be on top of when new posts went up on the blog. For more on running blog competitions check out How to Run a Successful Competition on Your Blog.
4. Invitations on ‘Hot Posts’
One of the main ways that I’ve grown my subscriber numbers is simply to include very general invitations to subscribe on ‘hot posts’ on my blogs. This simply involves doing a little analysis of which posts are getting the most traffic and watching for sudden spikes in traffic to key posts. When I find these ‘hot posts’ I simply add a text link that says something like ‘get more tips like this one by subscribing’ or ‘enjoy this post – get more like it by subscribing…’ These invitations in hot posts snap first time visitors out of the ‘now’ and put thrust the possibility of similar ‘future’ goodies from your blog.
Want to see an example? One post that gets significant traffic on ProBlogger is How to Write an About Me page on a blog. You’ll see at the top of the post a section like this:
That section is key for subscribers. Yes I could run it on every page on the blog – but by highlighting the hottest posts I only have to do it on a handful of pages that convert best.
Similarly – if your blog gets a spike of traffic to a particular post from a social media site or a bigger blog you can easily add a similar invitation to subscribe. This means having to be on top of what’s getting traffic on your blog at any given moment – but it pays off.
5. Use ‘Future Oriented’ and ‘Permanent’ Language
The web is a very transitional and temporary space. Sites come and go (and readers come and go to them). However using language that tells your readers that you’ll be around tomorrow (and beyond) can effectively help them consider that your blog could actually be a place that they could return to rather than a place that they visit once.
I’ve experimented with this at DPS a bit lately – talking about upcoming posts, future features, asking readers to submit questions which I’ll base future posts upon etc. I believe that this type of language shows your readers that you’re in it for the long haul and gives them some incentive to keep tracking with you.
I have also been quite conscious in using the word ‘community’. This word is what I describe as a ‘permanent’ word as it siganls that a site is more than just a one off sharing information but that it’s a place that people can ‘belong’. When I talk about the site and have found that quite a few people have subscribed because they didn’t just want information – but a place where they could learn with others.
A word of warning
You can overuse the technique of Building Anticipation on a blog. Do some of the above too often an you run the risk of annoying readers – particularly regular readers who have already subscribed. I’ve been known to unsubscribe from a blog or two that leave virtually every post hanging on a key point or dividing what could easily be covered in a single post into long and unnecessarily drawn out series of posts. By all means use a series of posts – but I’d advise making sure that each post in the series has something worthwhile in it that makes it of value whether read in the context of the full series or not.
On that note – I think I’ll end this mini series and hand over the sharing of tips for building anticipation over to you the community of ProBlogger. How do you build anticipation on your blog?