When blogging first came out, it was compared to an online magazine. Only it wasn’t really delivered. It was closer to a magazine you read at Borders but could not order a subscription to. You just had to go and buy one, take it home, and then return for the next one. Or maybe you’d just browse and read the articles you left, and not leave without purchasing anything
Now it’s getting a little easier with RSS feeders, but there’s another problem with those. People need to either have RSS software installed and running on their computer, or be willing to log into their online RSS service periodically in order to see your updates. There’s no guarantee someone will see your important blog updates in time BUSINESS.
Even worse, RSS readers take out most of the incentive for someone to visit your site. Your content is streamed to be viewed at another location, so it’s one less visit to your web page for each visitor who uses RSS. In fact, your advertising revenue could be affected because ads are typically not viewed in RSS readers, and most ad networks pay either per impression, per click, or based on how much monthly traffic you’re likely to pull in.
So RSS readers are not the best way to keep people coming to your site. I’m not saying to cut RSS from your site, of course. It’s a necessary part of blogging in this world, just like taking American Express for your business is, even with their outrageous merchant fees.
What’s the best way to get around this?
When you capture an email address, you thereby turn a visitor into a subscriber. Whenever you have an important update to your blog, you can email your whole list and let them know to come check it out.
Now, I’m not saying you should email your list every time you have a new article, but it does make sense to keep them in the loop of major updates. Maybe you have a cross promotion with an affiliate product you want to sell. Maybe you’ve been featured in an off-site major magazine and want your viewers to check it out. You could even have a damn good article that you want to make sure everyone sees.
Now how do you set this up? Sign up for one of the good email marketing services. We call them autoresponders. You can plug in a few starting emails to automatically contact your new subscribers. You’ll of course need them to opt in voluntarily, and maybe even confirm through their email that they want your ongoing information. This is good news though, because the slight effort it takes for someone to confirm a subscription validates in his or her mind that he or she really wants to keep hearing from you.
Some people like to give a special “treat” to their new subscribers for signing up. This is often a special report in a PDF file, an audio recording, an online video, or even simply a multi-part “e-course.” This gives someone more of an incentive to join up.