One of the questions I’m most commonly asked by bloggers is, how do I convert blog visitors into blog followers? How do I get people who come to my blog to subscribe via RSS or some other method while they’re there? How do I get people to stick around?
While there is no magic formula, there are a few things you can do to increase your conversion rate (the number of people who subscribe to your blog after visiting you).
First, I must emphasize one incredibly important point. You really can’t trick people into following your blog. People will not follow unless your content is good. And not just good, but consistently good. Generally, people who are visiting a blog for the first time, don’t just follow after reading one post. They peruse a little bit. They make their way around to see if they want to follow or if they already found the only good thing you’ve ever put out.
In other words, if you are having an overly difficult time getting your visitors to follow, you may want to look at your content. Are you being to flowery or self-absorbed (I’ll talk about that in the next post)? Are you boring people out the door? Are you being so diplomatic to all people in the world that nobody can actually connect with you? If any of these are you, take a step back, examine, and then mix things up. Get a little more risky. Be a little more simplistic in your approach. Do what you’ve gotta do to start getting those conversions to your blog.
- Make it easy to follow. We’ve already talked about installing the follow buttons. If you don’t have easy ways for people to follow via whatever their own methods are, you will not get people signing-up. Visitors to a blog don’t like looking around for a way to follow. Instead, they simply click-out.
- ASK people to follow you. You should invite people at the end of every post to follow you. This is something I’ve somehow stopped doing recently, and I’ve noticed that my follower growth has somewhat diminished.
- Dejunk your blog. Do you have a bazillion little doodads and buttons and ads in your side columns? Dejunk them! You should have no more than a handful of useful or informative sections in your sidebars. One of the quickest ways to disinterest people in following is to have a cluttered blog. It gives them a headache and they leave faster than you can say “please stay!”
- Do you post often enough that people will follow you? People generally don’t like to follow blogs that rarely put out content. How often should you post a new blog post?
- Be bold about what you’re blogging. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. People don’t like to follow people who are perfect little people pleasers. Would you rather have 50% of everybody or 0% of everybody? Because people pleasing brings you the big fat zero. No, I take that back. Everybody has a mom who will follow because she’s… well… mom.