Last week I decided to find some quality Australian blogs to subscribe to. I used a newly compiled list of Australian Marketing Blogs that Julian Cole put together as the basis for my search.
I was excited by the quality of some of the blogs on that list – but it struck me as I surfed through the list that there were three frustrations that I had with quite a few of the blogs on the list (definitely not all of them, but enough for me to notice).
None of these problems are issues that just Australian bloggers or Marketing bloggers face – I see them every day around the web (although I did find it ironic that a list of ‘Marketing’ blogs would have some of these problems).
1. Hidden Subscription Options
I was on a mission to subscribe to great blogs – but one disappointing thing that I noticed was that quite a few of the bloggers didn’t make this easy for me simply because they ‘hid’ their subscription methods way down the page (and a couple didn’t even show them at all). Most browsers these days give those who use them the ability to subscribe by clicking the RSS icon in their address bar – but many web users don’t know that they can do this (or are using old browsers).
If one of your goals as a blogger is to grow your readership then one great way to capture first time readers is to get them to subscribe (whether that be to an RSS feed, an RSS to Email service or a newsletter. If you hide or obscure these options you’re not likely to get the conversions.
My own approach with getting subscribers is to place these subscription options prominently in a sidebar and then under posts on single post pages (usually below the fold). This means that whether a new reader is above or below the fold they are invited to subscribe.
Further Reading – 11 Ways to Get New RSS Subscribers for your Blog
2. No Way to Contact the Blogger
There were a number of blogs on the list that I was really impressed with – so much so that I wanted to contact the blogger and congratulate them on their blogs. The only problem was that on a couple of occasions I found it difficult to find any way to contact the blogger other than to leave a public comment.
I understand some bloggers desires to have privacy or to cut down the admin of their blogs by keeping themselves difficult to contact but in doing so you not only filter the loonies approaches but also legitimate opportunities, potential partnerships etc
Contact options don’t necessarily have to be giving out your email address – you could have a contact form, give Twitter details, have an IM option or give other social networking profiles (the key is to give ones that you actually check).
Further Reading – Why Your Blog’s Readers Should be Able to Contact You
3. No About Page
This one is probably more my personal preference and less essential than the first two points – but when I find a blog that I’m interested in one of the first things that I like to do to help me decide whether to subscribe to it is to search for more information about the blog and who writes it.
Some kind of an ‘About Page’ is a great way to satisfy and draw in curious potential readers (like me) and to deepen the connection with them.
Your About page is a wonderful opportunity to make a connection with new people to your blog, to sell yourself and give reasons why people should read you.
You can of course do this in other ways (an intro in your sidebar perhaps) but a page dedicated to sharing your information in this way can really work well.