WordPress DIY – How to Increase Your Blog’s RSS/E-Mail Subscribers!

For those of you bloggers out there who have been following my blog for awhile, you might have noticed that Zedomax.com has been gaining more RSS/E-mail subscribers rapidly over the last 6 months ago.

Well, that didn’t happen because I was lazily sitting on my butt rather, I have been trying new things.

In this post, let me show you all my “secrets” and you can too, multiply your RSS/E-mail subscription growth for your blog.

1. Aweber E-mail Newsletter

First, I used to use Feedburner’s E-mail newsletter system for about 2 years.  In that time, I did amass about 1000 new subscribers but I decided to make a change (due to one of my friend Josh Whitford’s suggestions and also John Chow’s post on Aweber) by trying out Aweber.

As you can see in the below graph, the red arrow represents where I made the change, when I started using Aweber for all my e-mail newsletters with a lightbox signup:

By the way, your Aweber email sign-ups can be tracked in your Feedburner, there’s an option for that.

As you can see, I wasted my first 2 years NOT using Aweber for new e-mail signups and my subscriber growth literally exploded since then.  Right now, I am projected to hit about 30K or 40K total subscribers by end of this year, not too bad for a slight change in how people sign up for my blog newsletter.

Of course, Aweber charges you a monthly fee for number of e-mail subscriptions they manage but I think it’s all well worth it, if you are seriously about increasing your blog’s subscription rates.

The best part about Aweber (other than the increase in subscription rate) is that you can customize subscription sign-up messages, follow-up messages, and a bunch of great customizations otherwise not possible.

And you can also “still” keep using Feedburner’s e-mail newsletter for those who want the “raw” feed.

If you haven’t used Aweber so far, take my word for it and try it for yourself.  (Also use the lightbox sign-up box as it’s about 10 times more effective than regular in-line box.)

2. WordPress Standout Comments

Second, I have been using the new WordPress Standout Comments plug-in($67), which allows you to add Aweber e-mail subscription option whenever people leave comments on your blog.  (You can also use another e-mail newsletter system if you want to btw.)

As you can see in my comments section, there’s also additional goodies like e-mail comment notifications, Twitter follow, Twitter tracking, and other cool stuff.

This is definitely a great plug-in and worth investment if you are serious about increasing your blog’s subscription rate.  Mine has been going a bit nuts with it because of the “snowballing” effect with people leaving comments and subscribing thereafter.

If you don’t like to spend money on things, you can also probably find a bunch of other free plug-ins such as Subscribe 2 but I won’t bet my money on it because e-mail systems can become a big headache and you want to work systems that will be spammer-proof.  Trust me, I have run many own my e-mail servers before and spammers somehow find their way to spam your servers, many days wasted with spammers and hosting companies who think you sent the spam instead or at least hold you responsible, not a fun thing to do.

A bit of marketing helps blogging

Right now, these two things are what has been really increasing my blog/e-mail subscription rate like crazy.  If you don’t believe me, check my blog’s feedburner subscription numbers (top right) every couple weeks.   I bet you, it keeps going up.

I know, part of blogging is to be very good at writing great articles but another huge part that will make or break you is the ability to “market” yourself.  There’s a ton of great writers who can’t market themselves versus few mediocre writers who become unbelievably successful and famous because they know how to get their stuff to the audience.  (I won’t mention who, not me of course, but I think you do need to know a thing or two about marketing your blog.)

P.S. Also you can see what John Chow said on increasing RSS subscribers couple years back. (on YouTube)

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