I'll be writing a post in the future which suggests ways to increase your blog following. One of those tips is to make following your blog as quick and as easy as possible. Many bloggers only have limited time, and will close out of your blog rather than hunting for a way to follow you or subscribe to your feeds. That's if they can find your blog to start with! (More on this below).
Below are some ways you can make following/subscribing easier:
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have your blog linked up to your profile page. I've highlighted this because it's SO important! When you leave a comment, odds are that other bloggers will want to follow you back to your blog. Many, many bloggers out there don't have their blog listed on their profile page, and are losing out on dozens, if not hundreds, of followers!!! If you haven't done this, or aren't sure what I mean, check out my earlier post here. It includes a step-by-step instruction (including screen-shots) on how to do it. Actually, this is so important, you should check to make sure you've correctly linked up even if you think you've already done it!
- if you have more than one blog, make sure it's obvious in your profile which is your writing blog. Most bloggers won't have the time or the inclination to click on two or three or seven different links in the search for the elusive blog related to your writing!
- include a Followers Gadget on your blog if at all possible. This is a great way to build up your blog’s following. Place the gadget high up on your blog and in an obvious place, so bloggers don’t have to hunt for it
- for WordPress users who can’t include a Followers Gadget, add the Networked Blogs widget to your blog
- always include an RSS button, particularly if you have a WordPress blog. Make sure it’s at the top of your blog, or in a place that’s readily identifiable. Many bloggers will not spend the time hunting for a button if it’s difficult to find, nor do they want to scroll right down to the bottom of your blog to find it. Some blogs have tiny RSS buttons that are hidden amongst dozens of other widgets/gadgets - I'd hate to think about how many bloggers have exited without subscribing
- label your RSS button. Consider including the word “free” in the title. To many beginner bloggers, “subscription” implies something you pay for, so they're reluctant to click it. Here's how I've labelled mine:
“Add a Subscription” in Google Reader (or some other nifty trick).
- check that your RSS button is correctly linked (by clicking on it). When I changed my blog URL (a whole ‘nother post in itself!), I had heaps of Feedburner issues, and didn’t realize my RSS button didn’t work until someone told me about it months later
- as I said above, don’t force people to subscribe by email! Most bloggers will simply close out of your blog without subscribing, and you’ll lose out. Include the Followers Gadget (or Networked Blogs widget) or an RSS button at a minimum.
How about you: do you have any other tips for increasing your followers or subscribers by making following/subscribing easier?