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Using Email Subscriptions to Boost Readership

Among all metrics for measuring the reach and authority of a blog, traffic is often the most sought-after. The higher traffic you have, the more readers. When you’re monetizing your site, this translates to higher impressions, and therefore better income. If you’re not after dollars, but rather eyeballs, traffic is still a good indication of how widely distributed your blog is.

However, traffic is not all that matters when it comes to readership. Truth be told, a handful of blog readers are probably too lazy to keep track of all their favorite blogs all the time. Even those who use RSS readers might have dozens and dozens of feeds to sift through. A good number would probably prefer just to receive their daily dose of your blog right in their email inboxes.

The advantage of adding email subscriptions to your usual RSS feed link mostly involves added ease of access to potential visitors. Rather than fumble with copying and pasting the feed URL to their feed reader, they just key in their email address, hit enter,” and expect to be alerted every day of new items.

Some services even go to the extent of copying the body of each post content into the body of the email. At first, you might feel that readership from emails might be eating into your page views. To the contrary, though, most people who want to check out discussions will click on the item and read the blog post from your site itself.

How to set up email subscriptions

The simplest way to set up email subscriptions on your blog is to run your feeds through Feedburner. Once you’ve set up Feedburner to “burn” your site’s feed, you can activate the Email notification service under the Publicize tab.

Can I monetize email subscriptions?

The main problem with email is that, unlike the web, you’re not always sure how your readers will be reading your content. Will it be in HTML? Will it be plain text? Will it be on the desktop computer, or a mobile device? It’s always best to assume that readers will be reading your post in as minimal a format possible, which means text.

This also means that monetizing content transmitted through email might be more difficult. You can monetize RSS feeds through AdSense or banner ads. With email, monetization will usually includes affiliate links and sponsored reviews. If your blog is popular enough, then you can run a newsletter for paid subscribers only, in conjunction with using email as a notification service. You can use software and services like Feedblitz and AWeber for this purpose.

In conclusion, adding email functionality to your blog would help drive traffic to your site. The main benefit, though, is that it gives users an easy way to access your blog without much effort.

What Every Blogger Ought to Know About SEO

The problem with most blogs that want more search engine traffic seems to be their lack of linkworthy content, or linkbait.

You might be blogging consistently, publishing your 3-5 300 word posts week in and week out. However, that in itself will not get you a lot of search traffic.

To get a huge increase in search traffic, you will need links from authority sites. Authority sites include the popular sites in your niche, the well-branded sites, the about.com’s on the net, the blogs that get 10+ comments per post, and the sites with Alexa ratings under 100,000. Also, The EatonWeb Blog Directory lists blogs based on authority.

Google gives a lot of weight to these links because they are harder to build than the average link. These links can’t be bought (usually). Instead, they have to be earned with linkworthy content and diligent marketing.

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Are you WIIFM-conscious?

According to Chris Garrett, you should always keep in mind these 5 most powerful words when it comes to promoting anything:

What’s In It For Me?

Always put yourself in the shoes of your audience because they will be asking that question. Keeping WIIFM in mind means figuring out how your blog can appeal to the people you want to reach.

Reading your blog needs to be a rewarding experience for both the regular readers and first-time visitors. You need to demonstrate this through all aspects of your blog, from the design to the functionality to the content.

Once your audience understands why they should be reading your blog, you must move on to what you want them to do on your blog. You need to be able to communicate to the benefits of bookmarking, subscribing, linking, and returning to your blog.

What are the more specific calls to action you wish to achieve on your blog? It could be a Digg or a Stumble. It could be a click on an affiliate link or any other advertisement. It could be directly buying your product. As you become more specific with the expectations you have of your audience, you must communicate them more clearly.

Connecting with your audience is an essential feature of successful blogs. And being mindful of WIIFM at all times is the way to do it.

Self-Promotion is Overrated; Get Someone Else To Promote You

I just read a great post from Seth Godin (via Problogger).  His post was about the power of recommendation. 

He wrote about posting excerpts from his new book last month and also giving a recommendation for a book by author Garr Reynolds.  He built a Squidoo page about that book with an affiliate link to Amazon. 

Guess which book has gotten more sales?  His book or Garr’s book? 

Seth checked his stats and it shows that he’s sold more of Garr’s book than his own book.

What people say about you is much more important than what you say about yourself.

There’s a lot of talk about self-promotion but it’s a lot more beneficial and effective when other bloggers promote you.

When people talk about you and especially when they recommend you, you gain credibility, mindshare, and exposure.

So, how do you get other people to start talking about you?

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Don’t Forget About Forum Marketing

When bloggers think of marketing, they usually think of blog commenting or social media marketing.

However, don’t forget about forum marketing.

Forum marketing has many benefits. If other marketing methods are not working for you, give forum marketing a shot.

I think the learning curve for social media marketing is steeper than forum marketing. Also, you’ll often reach a more targeted audience with forums than with social media sites.

Forum marketing is similar to blog commenting. It allows you to reach a targeted audience. However, forum marketing has an advantage over blog commenting because you can start a forum thread in the topic of your choosing. In blog commenting, you’re constrained by the topic of the blog post.

Tips

Here are some tips for improving your forum marketing.

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