10 Steps For Gaining New Subscribers Fast

Over the past few months I have focused a lot of time testing and tracking different strategies for gaining subscribers and I have been able to consistently grow my daily subscription rate and it keeps getting better and better. Here are the top 10 things that you can start doing right now to explode your subscriber rate.

1. Get Your Own Domain

This is the very first thing I recommend that everyone do if they want to be serious about blogging. I have to be honest and say that I ignore 95% of the blogs that are hosted with services like Blogger or WordPress. I realize that there are a lot of bloggers that use these services but if you look at the large majority of successful bloggers they are hosted on their own domain. As soon as I even see a link that has something like “blogspot” in it, I absolutely cringe. Most of them look like cookie cutter sites and the first thing I think of is SPAM and it immediately gives me the impression that you are not an authority on the topic you are talking about. Even if this is not true, you need to understand that perception is reality for people that do not know you and you only have a few precious seconds to make a solid first impression. It is way too easy to hit the back button on a browser!

2. Give Them a Reason and Time to Trust You

One thing that is hard for people to understand is that a person will subscribe to your blog because they feel that you can fulfill a need that they have and they trust that you are a reliable source. This might be encouragement, advice, prizes or even humor but whatever it is, the majority of subscribers will need to be proven that they can trust you. It is important to be patient and do NOT jam affiliate offers down their throat, do NOT lie to them and you need to understand it takes time to build trust. We are often in such a rush to make money that we lose sight of building a trusting relationships with our readers and we rush into marketing to them.

3. Give an Incentive

This is another one of those questions I get asked frequently. Why are you giving away this eBook away for free? Why is CommentKahuna free.. what is the catch? People have become so tainted because of all the crap floating around and so suspicious of everyone that it amazes them when they actually find out that we are giving away something of value for free.

Why do we do it?

Because the mailing list we have grown from these two product alone is almost 50 000. Yes, you read that right, 50 000 subscribers, which means 50 000 people we can potentially market to. The added benefit is these lists are extremely responsive because they feel like they get value and we have earned the right to email them. Now of course this is not 100% for everyone, but out of all of our lists, the ones that are created through offering a valuable free product or service are always the most valuable.

What are you offering your subscribers?

Create a blog series and then put it into PDF format and offer it as an eBook, put a script on your blog that calculates something for the reader such as what their “healthy weight should be” or “what there $/day goal should be for their business” (hmm, that is a good one… if any of you do this I will link to you but give me credit for the idea), pay someone at Elance or oDesk to create something for you… the list can go on and on. Just make sure it is something that is worth while and related to your niche.

4. Tell Them To and Explain Why They Should!

This is the number one thing I see on peoples blogs that have low subscriber counts… they are expecting the readers to already know why they should subscribe to your blog. This goes hand an hand with the “Give an Incentive”, just by adding “Subscribe” or “RSS Feed” on your blog is not going to get people to subscribe. Give them a reason to and this does not mean just give them an incentive… Tell them exactly why they should subscribe!

If you are giving away a free eBook, do not just say.. “Subscribe and Get My Free eBook”

Would you subscribe for that reason? Of course not!

How about something like… “I Made $##### Last Month and This is the Exact Steps I Used to Do It”

This second one is much more effective, you are telling them why they should subscribe.

5. Put it in Front of Them

You will actually be witnessing a bit of a template change here in the next few days because of this. The current John cow template (that came with it when we bought it) is a great template that gets a lot of mention but it is not exactly the most effective template from a marketing perspective. When people first visit the blog the first thing that stands out above everything else is the header… which is nice but not really something that causes my readers to take action. The header is too big and takes up far too much valuable real estate on the blog. The template that is coming (just getting a few finishing touches), has the header graphic a lot smaller and also puts an opt in box right in the top right hand corner.

The number 1 thing I want my readers to do is notice the opt in offer. Once they opt in then they can read my posts and look at the ads but I want them to first of all subscribe!

Make sure you also put the subscription box front and center! This goes for contests and anything else you offer. Do not just make a post about the incentive, make sure you also have it noticeable to readers no matter what page they visit.

6. Use Aweber and FeedBurner

I love the way these two services work together. FeedBurner first of all tracks your feed stats for you but also formats your feed so it is compatible with more services. Aweber on the other hand allows you to not only offer the subscription via email, which FeedBurner also offers, but allows you to email your subscribers separately and you own the list. With FeedBurner you can not email your subscribers separately and do not actually own the list. Aweber is one of the few services that works perfectly with FeedBurner and tracks your subscribers.

Make sure to install the Feedsmith WordPress plugin so you can be sure FeedBurner catches all your subscribers.

7. Be a guest Blogger

Being a guest blogger on a already high profile blog can go a long way in building up your credibility. The funniest thing with this however is I have had a lot of people ask if they could guest post for me and they have sent me absolute crap for content. Spelling and grammar errors, boring content and nothing really worth while. If you want to be guest blogger then create a worthwhile piece of content and make sure it is 100% unique. Also make sure that at the end of the post you tell the reader how to learn more about you… and sell yourself! Do not just say “Learn More about me at…”, instead give them the benefits they will receive for visiting your blog.

8. Ask for Referrals

Constantly adding fresh and worthwhile content is effective but in my opinion an even more powerful way is through word of mouth recommendations. I can truthfully admit that I have subscribed to a few blogs without even reading a single post but just because someone I trust and respect has recommended them. Do not be afraid to ask your readers to give you testimonials and refer you to their readers. If you have friends that are bloggers, ask for a link… the worse that can happen is they say no.

9. Make it Worth their While to Recommend You

Contests and affiliate programs are both very effective strategies to exploding your subscriber count. Give your readers a reason to promote you that is worth their while. Appease to your readers needs and offer ways they can satisfy those needs by helping you grow your business. You will get a much better response to your “Request for Referrals” by giving them a beneficial reason to do so then you will get by just asking them to do it.

10. Test a Track

This is the absolute most important strategy of all. Make sure that you are doing controlled tests and are tracking the results. Do not simply implement something because someone told you to, instead test it and make sure it works. Every market is different and what works for one will not necessarily be the best for another. I recommend at minimum you install Google Analytics and set goals that track your conversion rates.

So what other tips do you have to add and what is your comments about the 10 I wrote about?