2 Key Ways To Get Visitors To Come Back Again & Again
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It essentially means that people can subscribe to your blog posts. They can receive each new post you update in a reader, such as Feedly, or in their email box.
The good news is that WordPress already comes with an RSS feed set up. You just have to go into your “Appearance” area on your blog’s dashboard and look at your widgets. Click on RSS and a screen like the following will pop up:
The “RSS Feed” is usually something as simple as http://example.com/feed, where “Example” is the name of your blog. The best way to get people to subscribe to your blog is to:
Invite them to subscribe. Include a call to action in your blog posts that says something like “Want to make sure you stay on top of all our latest content? Click here and subscribe.” Make the “here” a link so they can easily click and go.
Another way to leverage your following is to build an email list. Email is useful because you know that each message you send arrives in your subscriber’s inbox. Email is personal and you can use it to share more information that is valuable, drive traffic to your blog, and promote or sell products or services.
Here’s a quick example of an email message from a blogger. As you can see, it’s personal, conversational, and promotes a webinar. It’s a perfect example of how you can leverage your following to earn money and build a blogging business.
In order to be able to leverage email, you need to convert your blog readers to email subscribers. You have to motivate them to sign up for your email list. To do this, many bloggers create what’s called an “Opt-in.” An opt-in is an offer that your visitor wants. It can be an eBook or report. It might be a video training series or it can be a free product or service as well.
Think about what your audience might want to get their hands on. What type of information could you offer them in exchange for their email address? Your opt-in should:
- Solve a problem for your blog reader.
- Be in digital format – so that it can be accessed online and/or delivered via email.
- Naturally fit in with your blog topic.
Once you’ve decided on an opt-in offer, and created it, you’ll want to create a sign up form to place on your blog and you’ll want a system to deliver the material to subscribers. Many autoresponder services automate the entire list building and management process. An autoresponder is an email delivery system that allows you to schedule email messages in advance.
Good ones to explore and consider include:
These are just a few to consider. There are at least half a dozen that are well rated and easy to use. Search “autoresponder” and explore your options. As with any tool, you want it to be easy to use, function well with your existing blog technology, and provide the features that you need to be successful.
Most autoresponders offer a sign up form creation tool and walk you through how to position the form on your blog. When placing your form on your blog you want to decide what your ultimate goal is.
For example, if your goal is to build your email list and market to your blog following via email then you want your sign up form to grab attention and take priority on the page. At the very minimum, you want it to be one of the first things that a visitor sees. Below is what visitors see when they visit WritetoDone.com. The sign up form is larger than the header and it’s positioned before the first blog post.
In this screenshot below from MarthaBeck.com, you can see that both the “Subscribe to my blog” and the “email list sign up” are competing for attention. This works well enough for Martha because her email messages and her blog have a lot of overlap. They’re also different enough that someone may happily sign up for both.
Decide where on your blog you’d like the sign up form(s) to be positioned. Remember, that whatever your primary goal is, you can also include a call to action in your posts to help motivate readers. For example, if your primary goal is to get people to sign up for your email then include an invitation for them to sign up at the end of your blog posts.
Before we wrap this up, there are a few other ways that you can leverage a loyal following. We talked about selling advertising space on your blog as well as promoting products or services within your posts. You can participate in Google AdWords and affiliate programs. These programs help you place relevant ads in your blog’s sidebar.
Here’s what the sidebar looks like on the blog DumbLittleMan.com. You can see different types of ads including Google Ads and a banner ad for AuthorHouse.com.
Benefitting from your loyal following is about monetizing. How do you plan to make money with your blog? Identify your primary income goals and then start building a blog that attracts readers and makes them want to become part of your blogging community. This is something I help other entrepreneurs with, targeting and building up strategies that work.