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3 Alternatives to Promoting Your Blogs Homepage That Convert First Time Readers to Loyal Ones

When you have an opportunity to promote your blog what part of your blog do you promote?

In 99% of the promotion that I see bloggers doing they promote their blog’s homepage URL. This is a reasonably good way to go – but perhaps there are a few other ways to approach promoting you blog that could potentially be more effective at converting new readers.

You see a blog’s front page is not always a great place to send people for a number of reasons:

  1. it can be overwhelming – a blog’s front page usually has multiple articles on it. A reader hitting that page cold could be a little overwhelmed by the choice of what to read.
  2. content is not always relevant – a blog’s front page is generally always changing. Most bloggers cover a variety of topic, some more serious and ‘on topic’ than others. Send readers to it on the wrong day and they can come away with the wrong impression of you.
  3. no strong calls to action – when you’re promoting your blog you want to convert people into loyal readers. While most blogs have a subscription options in their sidebars they generally don’t have strong calls to action on them (or at least not as strong as some of the other options below).

So what other options are there for you when you’re promoting your blog? Let me explore three:

1. Purpose Built Landing Page

One of the most effective ways to convert new readers to your blog is to have them arrive on a page that is purpose built for new readers and attempts to convert them.

The idea of ‘landing pages’ is one that comes from the advertising world. When a company runs an advertising campaign online they generally will not send people to their site’s front page – they generally will design a page specifically for the campaign that appeals to those the campaign is aiming to convert and which has a strong call to action.

Bloggers can develop landing pages also. This is useful when promoting your blog via advertising but also in other contexts. For example when promoting your blog on social media sites or profiles you could develop a page that you send people to that appeals to social media users.

Further Reading – read more about how to do them at – The Importance of Landing Pages of Blogs.

2. Individual Posts

Another option is to send people to specific posts that you’ve written instead of your home page.

This is a technique that I use particularly when I’m doing an interview or a guest post on someone else’s blog. The key is to pick one of your best posts and make sure that it is on a topic is relevant to the context that you’re promoting yourself in and the audience you’re attempting to attract.

In this way you direct people to a post that is likely to hit the spot with them. You can also tweak the post you’re promoting with a call to action at the end.

3. RSS Feed

This is another technique that I’ve used numerous times with significant success. I wouldn’t recommend doing it all of the time or even doing it in isolation but it’s a great secondary promotion technique.

What I mean by that is to include your RSS feed’s link along side another link when you’re promoting your blog.

For example – if you’re promoting your blog in forums in your signature – why not include a link to your blog AND an invitation to subscribe to it all in the signature. In the same way – if you’re doing a guest post on someone’s blog – don’t just link to your blog, include a way for people to subscribe in your byline.

In effect you’re including a call to action right in your promotion. The cool thing is that it works – when I’ve done this I’ve seen noticeable increases in subscriber numbers.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. MLRebecca says:

    This is great! I hadn’t thought about creating a landing page for a blog. That’s really an interesting concept. Some blogging platforms like WordPress, for instance, would make creating a landing page very easy. Thanks so much for posting these awesome tips!

  2. Landing page great advice.

  3. Mike Austin says:

    Thanks Problogger……..your information are very very helpful.I will follow all your tips to drive traffic to my website.Thanks once again….

  4. I had not even thought about including your RSS feed along with your blog link. That is an interesting concept. I’ll try giving that a shot! Thanks.

  5. I am having a big issue with this on a couple of my sites. New readers who hit my home pages have told they are overwhelmed by how much stuff is there and just don’t know what to click on. No matter how well laid out or organized it is they just don’t know what to do with it. I don’t want to dumb down the the home page, but I am also afraid of readers not knowing what to do with a magazine style site.

    Like you I often integrate video, specific categories and and featured posts as well as simple list of recent posts and some other links. I also make use of a blog page through a wordpress template and would love to send my new users there when they arrive but I am at a loss of how best to do it. Most people scream bloody murder when something pops up and while not unreasonable even useful messages that suggest they subscribe or go to the blog page often times gets blocked.

    Can you suggest a script or plugin that wouldn’t be too intrusive but yet get the message across to new readers and still let me keep the homepage as it is?

  6. @Brad Heart
    Maybe just putting a “new readers start here” link and going to some of your favorite posts? Or if you have time, make landing pages for your biggest traffic generators (like twitter or SU) and start doing some specific linking, which really is a good way to bring traffic to your website.

    I agree with Alex from Net-Entrepeneur in that some landing pages can be just plan irritating if they aren’t constructed properly. This is why you should generally try to link to an article that the visitors coming through that medium will find helpful. (in my opinion) However, yes, a well constructed landing page can really help you keep visitors on board.

  7. Jazzy says:

    These are great tips. Now, excuse me while I try to implement them!

  8. panca says:

    thanks for 3 tool suggestion for promotion….good sharing

  9. DemoGeek says:

    Darren…this question has been disturbing my sleep lately…what real advantage you get in promoting RSS subscriptions?

    I understand the concept of RSS subscriptions and the convenience that comes with it but from a blogger perspective what advantage that RSS subscription brings in over encouraging visitors to visit the blog (so they can discover more content, might have a flash news section so they can know of that flash news, monetizing advantage etc.)?

    I don’t click on any ads that I see on my feed reader. And I’m not asking this purely from a monetizing perspective.

    What’s your thought?

  10. Ganesh says:

    I find that established blogs use this technique more often. Asking a new visitor to sign up to your list would be much better than showing him your front page and confusing him. Good idea.

  11. A good post and a damn good idea, thanks.

    The only problem is, how the heck do you create a ‘landing page’ on something like ‘blogger’? I can’t see how it can be done.

    Anthony

  12. Mike Henry says:

    A nice feature with WordPress is the ability to use different Themes for the Pages. It helps to make a unique landing page that can be as tailored to any given niche as you need it to be.

  13. Sara says:

    That’s a great idea…I never thought about creating a landing page or using my RSS feed link…

  14. chris says:

    :) yes you are right most people promote their main domain instead of there single post. I did the same before with less success, now when I started to promote even my mainbusiness. Homepage Support and Utility coding, I did a Post for that and just show it: http://www.christian-albert-mueller.com/professional-coder/ . People even know much easier what they get and just have a look. But with RSS I am not so sucessful.

  15. Bertus says:

    I have thought about creating a landing page for my funny video blog – http://oraclevid.blogspot.com , but after reading the post and all the comments I think I am better off without a landing page. On my main page will always be a pretty funny video, so I think the people could just navigate down or to categories from there if they want to see more.

    Or do you think a landing page would help me more, and what exactly could you suggest for a landing page for a special kind of blog like mine?

    Thanks
    If you like funny vids daily subscribe to feed here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/oraclevid

  16. ALRADY says:

    Let me see if I understand this.. You are suggesting that in a post like this that we post our url early on.
    http://www.ehow.com/members/Alrady-articles.html

    Even though it is in the website link that make our name clickable = so now it is there 2x?

    Then again as we sign off so that there are actually three links to our pages or article of interest?

    How do you feel about using headline animators. Where does it end?

    ALRADY
    http://www.ehow.com/members/Alrady-articles.html

  17. Hello Darren!
    Just found your blog, very nice work!

    The landing page idea just make so much sense!
    We build landing pages around keywords so why
    wouldn’t we build landing pages for each traffic source to our blogs? Great Info!

    Thanks
    Bobby Winchell
    http:www.bobbywinchell.com/blog

  18. Shaan says:

    From the very beginning, i am promoting my homepage only. And it was it really nice to know to use landing pages and feed subscription links.
    Regards,

    Shaan Haider