I spend a lot of time reading blogs, looking for information to inspire me, encourage me, and inform me. I look at a lot of blogs. A lot of them.
It’s a lot of work and often takes time I should be using for something else. So when I find a blog I like, I subscribe. That way, I receive a notification every time the blogger posts new content. The notification comes right to my inbox. What could possibly be more convenient?
This week, I had time to look for new blogs. Some of them were of little interest to me, but there were several I wanted to subscribe to.
That’s where I ran into trouble.
Can Your Reader’s Subscribe to Your Blog?
Of all the blogs I wanted to follow, only three offered the option of an email subscription.
I could follow all the rest via RSS if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to. You see, I prefer the email notifications. RSS notifications in an online reader get lost in the shuffle.
And to be honest, when I’m online, I’m usually working. I forget to check RSS notifications and before long, I forget all about the blog, too.
What’s the point of all this?
The majority of the blogs I reviewed did not give me the option of subscribing by email. They lost me as a subscriber. That means they’re also losing other readers who prefer email subscriptions to ereaders and RSS.
Personally, I can’t afford to disregard those readers. I’ll bet you can’t either.
Are Email Subscriptions Really Necessary?
Long answer short, no. But they do provide something RSS doesn’t.
An email mailing list.
You see, when someone subscribes to your blog by RSS, you have a reader, but nothing else. There is no way for you to collect email addresses.
But with an email subscription, you build an email list, as well as a subscriber list. It becomes a different level of engagement between you and your reader.
When I trust you enough to subscribe to your blog by email, that means I trust you enough to give you something of value to me. My email address. That means I really want to read what you have to say.
The people who trust you enough to give you their email addresses are also the most likely to buy whatever you have to sell. Market research has proven over and over again that your mailing list will result in a higher percentage of sales than any other form of social media. Sometimes exponentially higher.
That Sounds Like a Lot of Work
Adding an email subscription option to your blog or website is easy.
Sign up with a service provider like MailChimp, Constant Contact or any of a dozen others (I use MailChimp). Most providers offer basic accounts at no charge. Once you have an account set up, you create a mailing list, make a subscriber link, install it on your blog or website and–wa-la!–readers can subscribe! If you like doing technical things, you can probably get everything done in an afternoon.
The link to your subscriber signup form doesn’t have to be big and bold like this (although big and bold equals easy to see and that’s always a good thing). It can be a simple highlighted link.
The only thing it needs to be is present and visible.
If you’re serious about marketing your work, then you need to get serious about building an email mailing list and that means getting serious about giving your readers the option to sign up.
What about you? Have you been unable to subscribe by email to a blog you wanted to follow? Can readers subscribe to your blog by email if they want to?