11 Ways to Maximize Your Blog’s Subscriber Count

January 11, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

feed subscriptionsThe number of RSS subscribers is the best performance metric to use when determining the effectiveness of a blog. More and more people are learning how to use feed readers and how to receive updates through email. Readers are instantly notified of new content on your site and are more likely to remain engaged. If you’re not actively promoting your RSS feed, you are at risk of being left behind. Don’t let that happen to you.

A subscription based blog also helps to manage risk as traffic and loyalty is not completely dependent on outside factors such as search engine rankings. If for some reason your traffic plummets, your blog readership could go down with it. By utilizing subscriptions, you lessen the chance of this happening as you have more control over your marketing and audience.

Below are the top strategies, both on-page and off, that I use to actively promote RSS subscriptions to the blog. Once implementing these changes, you’ll see your subscriber count skyrocket soon enough.

On-Page Optimization for Subscriptions

  • Use the feed button
    This nifty orange button has become the standard for feed subscriptions. Visitors may look for it if they want to subscribe to a blog. Make sure you have one clearly visible at the top of your pages. You can even make it bigger if you’d like as I’ve seen this being done on some blogs.
  • Give your readers various options
    When subscribing to the feed, your readers have different preferences in terms of how they’d like to subscribe. Some people like using feed readers like Google Reader, others prefer using the feed reader built into the browser, and still others would rather receive updates via email. Provide options for all of these different people either in the site navigation or on a separate “subscribe” page. Feedburner offers a nice way to incorporate all of the popular options.
  • Get Feedburner
    Speaking of which, be sure to sign up for Feedburner if you haven’t already done so. Feedburner offers a variety of great tools including statistics and tracking, subscribe by email, and links for social media submissions. Be sure to utilize MyBrand which will enable you to tie the feed to your own site’s domain. This will prevent hassles in the future if you wanted to move the location of your feed later on.
  • Show your subscriber count, but only when you’ve reached a certain level
    A high subscriber count can help to establish your authority and be a selling point to get you even more subscribers on board. However, if the only subscribers to your blog are you and your dog, this can actually hurt you. Display the count only when you’ve reached a certain level. This varies in different industries so do your research and see where the top blogs are at. For example, I started displaying the count for Winning the Web only after I gained about 250 subscribers. I think that’s a good threshold for an Internet marketing blog.
  • Promote your feed after every post
    A nice tactic that has worked well for me is to include a sentence after every post to promote the feed. In my case I chose to edit my WordPress theme to display “If you like this post and want to become an Internet marketing guru, be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed so you can stay up to date on all of Winning the Web’s latest articles.“ This is an easy way to remind interested readers to subscribe to the blog.

RSS Feed Marketing

  • Use the feed URL in the footer of your emails, forum signatures, and blog comments
    Basically you want to promote your feed just as you would promote your homepage. This is an effective method in attaining more subscriptions but might turn away people who would rather access your homepage.
  • Use contests
    My personal favorite method of promoting subscriptions is to use a contest. In my last contest giving away a John Chow review, I managed to gain 250+ subscribers in just 2 weeks.
  • Provide incentives
    If you want to reach people who don’t normally use feed readers, you might want to provide incentives which are only available through the feed. This could mean providing additional tips and content only to subscribers or offering prizes to select subscribers.
  • Build a community of loyalty
    Make contacts in your industry, reply to the comments on your blog, help out others in need, and develop a vibrant community on your blog. This will make your blog “sticky” with readers always coming back for more on a daily basis.

Posting to Increase Subscriptions

  • Follow a set posting schedule
    Following a set schedule will help your readers connect to your blog and learn when to expect new posts. This usually means more subscribers to your blog.
  • Provide great content
    In the end, it’s all about great content. Without it, all of your marketing efforts will fall short of meeting your goals for feed subscribers. Make this a priority and the subscriptions will come.

The strategies laid out in this article are a means to maximize subscriber potential for your blog. The ceiling of your subscriber count ultimately depends on how much value you are providing for your readers. Provide great content, optimize your site, and market like a madman. You’ll see huge increases in your stats as a result.

Can you think of any other ways to increase subscriptions to your blog? Be sure to leave your thoughts by commenting to this post.

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Posted in Articles, Blogging, Internet Marketing
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29 Responses to “11 Ways to Maximize Your Blog’s Subscriber Count”

GradeMoney.com on January 11th, 2008

Perfect and clear cut info! I’m looking forward for this 🙂

David Hong on January 11th, 2008

I’m trying to open a contest for my blog so I can increase my subscribed readers. Not sure what kind of prizes I should give out. Any suggestion?

Mike Huang on January 11th, 2008


There is actually a plugin called “SUBSCRIBE REMIND” that will add a reminder automatically at the end or top of each post. There is also a plugin called “FEED FOOTER”, which allows you to provide tips only through feeds.


Kyle on January 11th, 2008

Marketing your marketing blog. I’d have to agree with saying 250 is something of a magical number to start showing your reader base. Most people have 100 friends, coworkers, and partners that will follow something so this sounds like a solid number.

David Risley on January 11th, 2008

Good advice. Another piece of advice I might add to it is to educate your audience on how to use RSS. Depending on the audience, sometimes you’ll find that they just don’t know what to do with an RSS feed. So, educate them, and at the same time give them an email alternative.

Internet Marketing Do-Follow Blog on October 19th, 2008

That is a great tip David, I agree I added a whole page on this, many people have not clue what it is and we cannot assume they will know how to use it, plus it helps to give them the reasons to subscribe.

Alan Johnson on January 11th, 2008

A person who is subscribing to your feed, newsletter or is visiting your blog on a regular basis is basically giving you a vote of confidence. And, in the long run, you will have only to gain if you publish content people find useful on a regular basis which convinces them to “vote” for you 🙂

Alan Johnson

McBilly on January 12th, 2008

Another No-BS straight to the point post Gyutae! Maximizing your blog’s subscriber count can be a deciding factor whether your blog will stand out of the pack. Great post buddy. 😀

Alan Johnson on January 12th, 2008

There are more important things which can make you stand out, having a large RSS readership more of a result of standing out and running a resource worth reading.

Alan Johnson

Gyutae Park on January 13th, 2008

Thanks, let me know how it works out for you.

@David Hong
Well the prizes you can give out in a contest depends on a lot of factors including your budget, your goals, and your resources. Once you establish all of that, you’ll have a better idea of what to offer.

@Mike Huang
Thanks for the tip. I’ll check those plugins out.

Yep, 250 is a good cut off point. I’m hoping to reach 500 and 1,000 soon.

@David Risley
Great tip. It’s more relevant for industries where readers aren’t as tech savvy, but it can definitely help in increasing subscribers.

@Alan Johnson
I’m with ya on the “vote of confidence” thing. As bloggers, we always have to prove ourselves if we want to keep our audience.

Nope, no BS here. Subscriptions is the top performance metric here at WTW.

David Hong on January 13th, 2008

@Gyuetae Park

Thanks for the advice.

Alan Johnson on January 13th, 2008

Exactly, there is simply no “easy way out”: if you provide quality information, people will be glad to follow your resource on a regular basis as long as their time is well spent. It’s all about consistency and most bloggers out there fail due to the fact that they give up after they start to lose momentum instead of working towards achieving their goals even when they seem out of reach.

Alan Johnson

outsource staff on February 8th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I firmly believe that On Page Optimization and Off Page Optimization will both give you access to the benefits and vast sales opportunities offered by global market.


why would I want to increase the RSS subscriber count in the first place?

Irish on March 12th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I guess the contest strategy is the one that can give the best result…but would cost more money.

Crystal on March 15th, 2008

Don’t forget to do all of this WITHOUT being intrusive to a non-RSS reader.

Carol Ann Wiley on March 16th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I am literally finding a treasure trove of valuable information for someone who has been blogging for awhile but only serious about doing it as a business recently. I have so benefited from the tips and information contained in “Winning The Web”. Thanks not only to Gyuetae
for this well-done site and all the info but also to the many readers who have been willing to comment and share some of their own suggestions.

Does anyone have an example of a good yet simple instruction guide to help people somewhat new to using your RSS feed know what to do?

Meethere on March 17th, 2008

out of all of them, RSS feed contests are the best way to increase the count on a new blog.

Dr. Teeth on April 17th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I know, i have struggling to maintain a decent amount of subscribers on my blog, thats the reason i started a contest 2 days back.

Millionaire Mindset on April 18th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Great post. I am looking to increase my rss subsriptions with my new blog and this gives me all I really need to know. 🙂

SEO Diva on July 31st, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

This was a very helpful post. I started showing my subscriber number at a lower count, with the line “Help me reach XXX subscribers.” It’s been effective in encouraging people to subscribe – they like to help.

Work At Home Ideas on October 13th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

It may be good also to include a page at your navigation bar titled “Why Subscribe” reminding yet again the benefits of subscribing to your blog.

Peter Lee

SEO Consultant on June 14th, 2009

Nice work dude… It is helpful for me as well as others..

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