When you are trying to drive traffic to your blog, it’s easy to focus on just getting people to land on your home page. You hope that once they are there, they’ll fall in love with your stellar content and sing your praises to everyone they know!
The truth is, we’re all on information overload these days, so just hoping you get return traffic isn’t enough. You need to find ways to ensure it.
That’s where Social Media comes in, and why it’s so great! Make sure your Facebook, Twitter and other social media icons are super obvious and easily used and if you make the like/follow/share easy enough…you’ve got a new committed reader, right?
While it’s no secret that I enjoy getting new followers on Facebook and Twitter (Facebook specifically seems to be a fabulous traffic driving tool for my blog), it also makes me a bit nervous.
Remember MySpace? Remember Friendster? Remember all those other Social Media giants that disappeared overnight?
If you entrust your readers to social media, listen up…you are doing a major disservice to your blog.
Even if Facebook doesn’t shut down tomorrow, they could shut YOUR page down. From what I hear, they aren’t very forgiving or understanding when you plead your case either.
So why not traffic build the good old fashioned way?
By creating a mailing list!
Email subscriptions (and RSS subscribers…but many people don’t understand what an RSS subscription is) are a much safer basket to place your readers in. Think about it, if your Facebook and Twitter accounts were shut down tomorrow…where would your readers be?
I guarantee they’ll still be checking their emails.
There are many ways to handle your mailing list. The most common place for bloggers (I think it has something to do with many of us starting off on Blogger) to hold their email subscription list is through Feedburner. (For the record, I use Feedblitz instead of Feedburner. I have to pay for it, but because I deliver an ebook with my subscriptions, it works well for me. Blog Tyrant uses Aweber (I did not have a good experience w/ them) and swears by it and many others use Mail Chimp.)
Wait a second, you didn’t know there was an option to start email subscriptions through Feedburner!?
Well there is, let me walk you through it step by step:
1. Go to your Feedburner account and sign into the blog you want to set up the email subscription for.
2. Go to the Publicize Tab and scroll down to Email Subscriptions
3. Activate Email Subscriptions on your blog
4. Now you can customize your settings.
- Subscription Management: Grab the HTML code here to place into a widget on your wordpress blog or a gadget on your wordpress blog here
- Communication Preferences: Your readers will have to Opt In by confirming their email address after they sign up. Here you can customize their confirmation message. Go ahead and add some links back to your blog in here! Make it personal and interesting!
- Email Branding: Change the name, title and look of your daily Emails here. There is a sample bit on the bottom so you can see what your changes look like.
- Delivery Options: This is very important. You want to send your emails out at a time that a lot of your readers will be close to their email. I send mine out towards the end of the work day. People are itching for the clock to move forward and bam! There’s my email in their inbox to help them pass the time ;). This works well for me. Experiment with different times until you find one that works (but don’t be a pain about it!)
5. Now you need to promote your email list! People are more wary about allowing you into their inbox then they are about allowing you onto their facebook. So offer some incentives, make subscribing as easy and as delightful a process as possible. Here are some ways I build up my email list:
- Offer email subscriptions as entries into my giveaways (Hey, want to enter my Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway? ;))
- Offer a free ebook with email subscription
- Make subscribing super easy with multiple areas to sign up displayed throughout my blog
Stop trusting your traffic to outside sources and take control of your mailing list today!
Check out all of my other articles on blogging today!