Subscribers are the lifeblood of your blog. Without them, it's easy to lose motivation and get burnt out.
There are countless ways to generate subscribers, but I'm going to take this away from the norm. (i.e. Popups, sidebars, bottom of posts, etc.) I'm going to break down 4 odd methods to generate subscribers that most people don't think about.
Let's get started.
1. On 404 Error Pages
A 404 error page is the page someone's sent to when the URL they go to on your website is no longer working or is incorrect. They usually look something like this:
Now, obviously 404 error pages aren't the most visited pages on your blog, but what if 50-100 people were landing on them every month because a link you posted on your social media was wrong? With a good incentive, you could easily convert 10-20% of those people into subscribers. Here's what it could look like with a free offer:
I currently convert about 10% of visitors who end up on my 404 error page.
2. On ‘Thank You' Pages
Sure, after someone opts into your free offer, they're on your list. But what if you want them to opt into a more ‘qualified' list? For example: let's say you offer a fitness coaching service and you offer a free “7-Step Guide to Dropping Weight Fast” as an incentive to build email subscribers. You ultimately want your subscribers to ‘request a free consultation,' so you could upsell them on a 3-month paid coaching package, but you're having a hard time getting them to do it. That's where ‘Thank You Page' optin forms come in handy. Add your ‘Get a Free Consultation' on the download page for the ‘free offer.' (Hubspot does a great job of this)
The moment someone opts into your list for a ‘free offer' is typically one of the most ideal times to upsell them. (Because everything's fresh in their mind) I currently convert about 1% of my subscribers into qualified sales leads with this strategy.
3. On Your Home Page
Ironically, Sue (owner of this blog,) currently does this! If you go to the homepage of successfulblogging.com, you'll notice her free offer:
Testing an ‘Optin homepage' is important for a few reasons:
- The homepage of a website is one of the most visited pages.
- According to Hubspot, the average ‘Optin Homepage' converts at 8% (Beats the .5-1% sidebar!)
That said, if you're getting 1,000 monthly visitors to your homepage, you could be generating an extra ~80 leads per month! What if you were generating 10,000 monthly visitors? What could that do for your business? I'm currently redesigning my site to reflect the ‘Optin Homepage' look.
4. With Facebook Ads
I know, you've probably heard this over & over again, but chances are, you probably aren't running ads for your blog posts. Well, it's time to break the idea that Facebook ads are only for people with ‘free offers' and products. I personally run $5-$10 in advertising for every blog post I write. Why? For a couple of reasons:
- They drive dirt-cheap traffic to my blog
- They help me come up with free offers (more on this below)
- They build awareness around my brand (i.e. the more people see me, the more credible I become)
- The grow my fan base (I get new fans from people who like the content I'm advertising)
Before I dive into #2, make sure you read this to learn how to generate $.17 conversions with Facebook.
How To Create An Offer With Facebook Ads
Running ads to your blog posts can quickly tell you what's hot. You'll find out what people are liking, commenting on, clicking through, and sharing the most. (It even helped me create The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Business Hacks) Now, it doesn't happen every time, but I find that every 5-7 blog posts that I advertise, 1 of them ends up performing relatively well. Like this ‘list post' that generated 59 website clicks for $5.
Or this other post that's currently generating website clicks for $.19.
Once you find out a post that performs really well, you can easily convert the post into a free ebook or you could actually re-write an ebook on the same topic. Once the ‘free offer' is ready to go, create a landing page and start running the ads again — except this time, run them to the landing, not the blog post. If the landing page is good, you'll start generating targeted subscribers for as little as a few dimes each. I currently convert ~42% of people who land on my free offer landing pages.
Generating more blog subscribers is a matter of setting up systems to insure you aren't ‘leaving the back-door open' in any area of your blog. (Including the above) By making sure your 404 error page, thank you pages and home page are optimized for conversions, you should immediately start seeing a larger subscribe rate. (Assuming your getting proper traffic!)
Are you using any of the above methods? What ways are you generating blog subscribers? Leave a comment below! 🙂
Josh Coffy is the founder & marketing director of Flight Media Blog. He helps Flight Media generate thousands of monthly visitors and leads, he co-hosts the Solopreneur Daredevil Podcast, and oversees all Flight Media's marketing & advertising clients. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.