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21 Ways to Increase Your RSS Subscribers

Let me start out by being honest - Increasing your RSS subscriber count can sometimes be horrendous. It seems like no matter what you do, when you really want them, and you pour your heart out into providing helpful information on a daily basis, they still aren't subscribing!

In all seriousness, boosting your RSS subscriber count is quite the task, and you need to put in a little legwork to kick it off. As you'll read in one of the tips below, once you've done the work, and get the count up to a respectable three digit number, as long as you keep the content coming, it seems to take over on its own at that point. Working to get that first 100 subscribers can be a pain for many new bloggers, especially if they don't take their blog serious enough to get the job done.

Below are 21 different ways that you can start building your RSS subscriber count, and the more of these suggestions you follow, the more success you should theoretically have. I need to work on a few of these myself, and writing this post was just the motivation I needed to get going. Enjoy!

1. If You Don't Have It, Don't Show It! I'm talking about your feed count widget. If you're a new blogger, and you just landed your 4th subscriber, we're all proud of you, but seriously, don't put that little feed count widget on the front of your blog showing the world that 4 people read your RSS feed. I'm not trying to be mean, but the reason being is that if someone lands on your blog that doesn't know you from Adam, they have no clue that it's a new blog, and when they see that feed count widget displaying 4 readers, it's a huge turnoff. It almost appears that no one cares to read your posts. It's totally psychological. If they see you when you have 100+ subscribers, then it's something to show off, and they just might subscribe for themselves - but until then, lose it. Blog readers are a lot like sheep (I mean that kindly), and they'll use only follow the popular Shepard's.

2. Display Your Subscribe Button Proudly These days, when your average blogger is browsing through different blogs, and they see one that they like, the first thing they usually look for is that famous orange RSS subscribe button. Blog readers, for the most part, have short attention spans, so if they can't find it right away, you may lose them. Make sure you have your subscribe button and/or links prominently displayed and easy to find.

3. Email Subscription Option Believe it or not, there are still plenty of visitors out there that aren't quite familiar with RSS feed readers, so giving them the option to stay updated by email is very important. Feeburner, FeedBlitz, and all the others give you an option for feed deliveries via email, and it's also a great way to build a list! Always present the option of subscribing by email if you can.

4. Be Ad Free In Your Feeds Chances are, if you're a blogger, you're running a decent amount of ads or some form of advertising on your blog. The last thing people want is to receive a feed that's also full of ads. I've subscribed to feeds before on some blogs I like just to avoid going to the actual site and seeing all those ads. So somewhere next to your subscribe button, proudly emphasize that they can read your feeds "ad free". It just may be the tipping point to get them to subscribe.

5. Focus Your Writing This is more of a long term strategy, but if you're known for writing a variety of posts that differ from topic to topic, the chances of me subscribing after reading one post is slim. The last thing I want to see in my feed reader is what you had for dinner last night. I don't care. I subscribed to learn what you have to teach, not what you have to eat.

6. Contest Entries Here's a cool one that may give you a boost, but you have to play it carefully. Come up with a killer contest, and make it so the primary and best way to enter the contest is to subscribe to your RSS feed. If your prize is large enough, and you promote your contest on other blogs, this could mean a huge boost in your feed count. Here's the trick - you must be absolute sure to keep delivering top notch content, because when the contest is over, you can count on about half of those subscribers unsubscribing. But if you keep feeding them good material, you may have a chance at maintaining them.

7. Guest Blog Do you think you have what it takes to write for one of the big dogs? If so, try your hand at writing up some killer guest posts and submitting them to a-list blogs. Even if you land just one guest blogging gig, you can definitely count on an increase in RSS subs. I've done this before with other blogs, and have sometimes seen massive jumps in my RSS count. These new subscribers are more likely to stick around if I keep writing the content that they seek. Guest blogging is also a great way to make a name for yourself.

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