This post was submitted by Nick Cernis – the author of Put Things Off, the laid-back productivity blog.
Think you’ve heard it all before?
It’s true – if you want more subscribers, write great content and target a specific niche. It’s a lovely idea, and guess what? It really works.
But to understand why your readers subscribe (and how to hook more in), it helps to use some fun psychology. Read on and find out who’s really subscribing to your blog.
7 Dark Truths About Your Subscribers
If you’ve got subscribers, it’s likely that they belong in at least one of these categories:
1) They want to be you
If you subscribe to Problogger, the chances are high that you want what Darren’s got: a great full-time blogging job. There’s no shame in it, but before you move to Australia and buy black specs, consider this: your individuality is what makes you worth reading. (Besides, sheep look ridiculous wearing glasses.)
2) They want to be with you
There’s a well-known blog that became one of the most-read UK sites overnight due to the author’s profession: she was a London call girl. Thousands of viewers checked in to read about her candid antics. She never named names, but it still made for titillating reading.
3) They want your brain
Are your readers zombies? If you’re an expert in your niche, the chances are high that you’ve got subscribers for one reason: they’re marching to your beat and they want your brain. It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
4) They want your goodies
Is your blog like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory? Are you always giving away prizes and links to free stuff? It’s a universally accepted truth: free sweeties equals followers.
5) They want your wit
Laughter is a powerful thing. Whenever a blogger makes me giggle again and again, I look for the subscribe button. Partly it’s because I like being drip-fed humour every day, but in truth I’m just jealous: I want their wit.
6) They want to stay ahead
Do you subscribe to your competitors’ blogs? You should do—it’s the best way to stay ahead. Chances are, a lot of your readers are your competitors. It’s how they keep abreast of what you’re planning and try to stay in front.
7) They want to check up on you
Last month my Mum told me that she’d subscribed to my blog. I had no idea! It didn’t worry me, but it certainly made me think. Suddenly you become very selective about what you say, and which life experiences you share. (Don’t worry – secretly they’ve done all the crazy things you have too.)
How To Get More Subscribers With The 7 Dark Truths
If you want more subscribers, just flip the 7 Dark Truths on their heads:
1) Become a superstar
If you work hard at becoming well-known in a certain field, people will want to be you and read you.
2) Become a heart-throb
If you write openly in a way that tugs on people’s heart strings, chances are they’ll want to hear from you again. It’s rare to find bloggers who spill their soul in a mature way that you can learn and grow from.
3) Become an expert
Seth Godin has the world’s most popular business blog for a reason: he’s the best in his niche. He’s also a superstar and he’s witty, so he attracts some of the other groups. If you can become a funny expert superstar too, your subscriber count will thank you.
4) Become generous
Think differently: as well as giving away prizes or links to free sites, what could you offer your readers for free that would be invaluable to them? Free website advice? Free marketing help? A free eBook? Whatever it is, make sure they have to subscribe to get it. Use the Feed Footer plugin for WordPress to add the details at the end of your feeds.
5) Become funny
There’s a famous saying: you’re either runny or you’re snot. If you can make people laugh, they’ll be more inclined to grab your feed once they’ve dribbled giggled their way to the foot of your post.
6) Become a market-leader
The 37 Signals blog is one of the most popular in their niche. If you can make something that’s truly remarkable, there’s a good chance your competition will subscribe to see what you’re up to. Competitors equal subscribers. Having lots of both never sounded so good!
7) Tell your Mum
Tell your friends and family too. They’ll want to check up on you, and will become subscribers long before you’ve had the chance to delete your post about that “incident” with the hay barn and the matches.
Go forth and use your new knowledge to gain the subscribers you deserve!
Nick Cernis is the author of Put Things Off, the laid-back productivity blog that teaches freelancers, entrepreneurs and bloggers how to live the lives they love. Subscribe to his feed or visit PTO now.