Now that we have set up the blog so far and filled it with initial content, we naturally want to attract as many readers as possible to our pages.
Feed subscribers are a good and stable source of traffic. This means the users who subscribe to our RSS feed and are always informed about new articles on our blog.
Feed readers use so-called feed readers for this. This can be your own mail program, an online service or a program especially for RSS feeds.
In this article I want to talk about the importance of feed readers and give tips on how to increase their number as quickly as possible.
This article is part of the blog startup series .
Why feed readers?
First of all, that’s a very good question. After all, it has been proven that most of the visitors to the majority of blogs come from Google.
So why invest energy in building up a larger number of feed subscribers?
In my experience, the answer lies primarily in the fact that RSS or feeds are still unknown to the majority of Internet users.
Conversely, this means that feed readers are usually more experienced on the Internet and they are often bloggers and active Internet users themselves.
And you need such active users, some of whom also blog themselves, if you want to make a blog successful.
In addition, feed subscribers mean a basic base of readers who are only informed about it shortly after the publication of a new article and then sometimes read the article, vote on social news portals, set backlinks , tweet etc.
Furthermore, a larger feed reader base also offers a psychological advantage, which I will come back to later.
Basics for more feed subscribers
I don’t want to list the little tips and tricks here, but first of all to go into the general basics for more feed readers
For this you should put yourself in the shoes of potential feed readers or analyze your own behavior when subscribing to RSS feeds.
There are thousands of blogs and every user thinks very carefully about which RSS feeds to subscribe to and which ones not.
The internet has changed the information landscape. There used to be few media outlets that covered a wide range of topics. Now there is the Internet and thousands of sources of information.
This has also changed reader behavior and many users consume their information in small bites.
In my experience, a clear thematic focus of a blog is therefore very positive for the number of feed readers. Readers are much more likely to subscribe to an RSS feed if they are interested in the bulk of the articles. In any case, I wouldn’t subscribe to a feed that consists of 80% articles that just don’t interest me.
Example: A pure football RSS feed is likely to receive more subscriptions than a general sports feed with news from all kinds of sports. Because who wants news about football and synchronized swimming at the same time? 😉
Of course there may be exceptions, but the majority of RSS users put together a collection of RSS feeds, each of which covers an area of interest.
That brings us to another foundation. RSS readers can unsubscribe from a feed relatively quickly. This is why you should make sure that you publish very good articles not only at the beginning, but also later.
Because it will happen again and again that feed subscribers clean up a bit and if they then notice that nothing interesting has appeared in a feed for a long time, it is quickly deleted.
further tips for increasing the number of feed readers
Here are a few very specific tips with which I have managed to increase my feed reader numbers (Selbstaendig-im-netz.de> 3,000 and blogprojekt.de> 1,000).
It sounds banal, but one of the most important factors is quality. If you write articles that readers like, you will also gain a lot of feed readers.
Writing new articles on a regular basis is important to many regular readers. But having too many articles can put off feed subscribers. If you have to fight your way through 20 new posts on a feed every day, you may lose interest.
Every now and then a bonus promotion for feed readers works wonders. A free eBook for all feed readers or a competition that is only organized in the feed.
Many blog readers want a fullfeed, i.e. the entire article in the feed. This also has disadvantages , but creates many new feed readers .
Both in the blog and beyond, you should actively advertise your feed. So don’t hide the RSS button but display it in large format in the blog. It doesn’t hurt to do that in 2 or 3 places in the blog (e.g. via direct link to the feed or by installing a plugin). Every now and then you should also promote your RSS feed on Twitter and Co.
thousands of blogs out there and so little space in the feed reader. 🙂 If you want to assert yourself against other blogs and end up in the feed reader, then it helps if the readers trust you. There are many things you should and can do to achieve this. Just don’t disappoint your subscribers.
- Target group
I am a big fan of specialist blogs that are dedicated to one topic. And that also pays off with feed readers if you hit the nerve of the target group. If you have a blog with several main topics, it can be worthwhile to offer separate RSS feeds for the individual categories.
This is how you use the feed readers optimally
Once you have a certain number of feed readers, you can use this number well. I use Google Feedburner to manage my feeds and they have statistics there too.
I recommend that most blogs only specify the number of feed readers in their own blog if they have 100 subscribers. The hint “I already have 12 feed readers” seems a little sad. From 100 feed readers an effect slowly develops that I would call ” herd behavior “.
We all know this from other areas of our life. If a lot of people buy a certain CD, then it has to be good and we are also interested. If everyone goes to a film, then it can only be good, etc.
In many (not all) situations in life we follow the mass of people, because not all of them can be wrong. And the number of feed readers has a similar effect. A high number of feed subscribers will signal to some of the new visitors that there must be something good here.
Therefore, if you have a certain number of subscribers, you should definitely output the value on your blog.
It is also highly recommended to reward the feed readers. Every now and then, as mentioned above, organize a competition. This not only ensures new feed subscribers, but also rewards the “old” ones.
But you can also do other things in the feed. With plugins like the Better Feed introduced in the 7th podcast , you can only output content for feed readers that is not displayed in the normal blog. So you could add survey links or implement other actions exclusively for feed readers.
And of course you can also earn money with a larger feed reader base. The above-mentioned plugin is also suitable for incorporating one or more paid “nofollow” advertising links. Or you can use the “AdSense for Feeds” option offered by Feedburner.
Feed readers are some of the most loyal regular readers of a blog. Therefore you should try to get them, actively market your own feed and organize special things for feed readers every now and then.
Then you can count on an active feed readership, which also provides backlinks and comments.