Let me be clear…
There’s no magic bullet.
There’s no switch you can flip to simply get more blog subscribers.
And that’s not what I’m offering you in this article.
Instead, what you’re going to learn are seven proven ways to get more people to read your posts and subscribe to your blog.
These are the same tactics that marketers and copywriters have been using for decades to improve engagement and get better results.
If you systematically apply each of these tactics and put in the effort required, you’re going to see growth in 2020 that will overshadow your successes so far in 2019.
This first tip sounds simpler than it is, so read this one carefully.
1. Get More Blog Subscribers: Write Scroll-Stopping Titles
A blog post’s title is arguably its most important element. Some marketers even claim that the title is more important than the article itself!
Think about this…
The title is the first and most often last element of your post that people see. When someone lands on your blog, it’s up to the title to capture their attention and get them to click through to the post.
With better post titles, your visitors will click on more of your posts, which means they’ll read more posts, which means they’re more likely to signup for your newsletter, email course, or whatever lead gen you have prepared on your site.
But your post title doesn’t stop working on your website. Nope, it’s got an even bigger role – social media.
When you (or hopefully your happy readers) share your post on social media sites, there’s often nothing more than an image and title for the post.
By writing stronger, more compelling post titles, you also increase the amount of traffic and shares you’ll get from social media sites.
You should dedicate at least 10 minutes of careful optimization to your title every time you write a post. Coschedule has a free headline analyzer that will help you get started if you’re not familiar with copywriting techniques for headlines.
2. Use Eye-catching Images
Okay, I lied…
I told you that your post relies on the title to get attention, but there’s actually an element that most people see before the title, and that’s the post image.
While it’s important to include images frequently within your post copy, you only need one perfect image to complement the post subject. This single image is going to show up in WordPress as the Featured Image and be used every time someone shares the post on Facebook and Twitter.
Don’t just include a pretty landscape photo because it looks nice. Look for an image that actually helps support the topic of the post or even creates intrigue.
3. Write Compelling Excerpts
Excerpts are the most under-appreciated conversion tool that bloggers have.
While you can simply use the first 25 words of your post, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to get more clicks.
The post’s image will first capture the visitor’s attention, and then the title should convince them to read. But if they need more convincing, the excerpt is there to pique their curiosity and encourage them to read the post.
When writing excerpts, all you need to do is write 1-2 short sentences selling visitors on the benefits they’ll gain from reading the full post. You can type the teaser into the Excerpt box in the WordPress editor, and it will show up on the blog homepage and all category pages:
And while I’m on the subject, writing an excerpt is more important now than ever before. Because…
In fact, it’s easier if you write it as a meta description first to ensure your excerpt will fit into Google’s guidelines, and then copy it into the Excerpt box in WordPress.
As if that isn’t incentive enough, Facebook and other social media websites will also embed the excerpt giving it even more opportunity to convert passive browsers into engaged readers.
The first three tips have been mainly copywriting ideas, but this next one is going to get a bit more technical.
4. Include More Optin Forms
If you want to build your blog subscribers, then you’ve got to add an optin form to your site. There are plenty of great plugins to choose from to include forms.
A lot of bloggers will add a single form to the sidebar and stop there – that’s a good way to leave money on the table. Including forms in multiple places will give your email marketing a boost and net you more subscribers each week.
Instead of only including an optin form in the sidebar, you should add forms to other places throughout your site’s design. Some popular optin placements include:
- After the post content
- Below the comments
- Above the posts on the homepage
- Popup forms
While popups are annoying, they’ve become commonplace over the last year or so, and people have gotten used to them. That said, it’s important not to rely on them too much.
Some websites include offers in popups that display before readers are truly ready to signup. Then when the reader decides they do want to signup, that same offer is nowhere to be found! Make sure you make any offers in your popup available via another form that always displays on the site.
5. Build Your List Faster with a Freebie
Offering post updates will get you subscribers, but giving something away for free will build your list much faster.
Instead of just advertising a weekly or monthly newsletter, write an ebook, design a graphics template, or make a useful tool that you can give to readers who signup for your email list.
This strategy is compatible with any email marketing software or plugin you choose. After someone subscribes, just redirect them to a “Thank You” page on your site that includes the download link.
If you’re not sure how to add a download link to WordPress, just follow along with this quick video tutorial:
6. Write Engaging Intros
A great intro will get more visitors reading your post instead of quickly skimming it. Here are a few tips for engaging your visitors.
First, don’t jump straight into the meat of the content. You have to capture attention and build anticipation for what’s to come before you get into the details.
It’s best to use very short paragraphs and sentences to open up your article because even though someone is already on your site, they’re probably still on the fence about reading the whole post. Shorter sentences are quicker to read and lead visitors into longer sentences. That gives you enough time to get them excited about the rest of the post so that they actually read it instead of skimming through the headings. Building a “slippery slide” with your words like this is a classic copywriting technique.
You should spend special time and attention on your introduction the same way you do with your post title.
7. Make Your Site Load Faster
People have short attention spans these days, and they have better things to do than wait for your site to load.
If you want people to subscribe to your blog, you need to make sure that it loads fast. This means that each post on the page, the popups, and every other aspect of your site need to show up and be accessible quickly.
Some simple and easy ways to speed up WordPress are to:
- Add lazy loading to your site
- Optimize your images
- Add caching
Those are some of the easiest and most impactful changes you can make, so give them each a shot on your site.
Subscribers are the lifeblood of a blog.
One of your top priorities as a blogger should be to get more blog subscribers. Using the tips outlined above, you can make systematic changes to your blog that will result in more people reading your posts and deciding to subscribe each and every day.
Do you have any questions about the tips included here?
Do you have additional tips to get more blog subscribers you’d like to share with other readers?
Post in the comments section below!