The Best Way to Get More Blog Subscribers

This is the question I get asked the most.

Despite writing on this topic a couple of times, and basically dissecting every tip and tactic I know for converting site visitors into regular readers, people seem to think there’s some big secret.

No one wants to believe that there’s no magical secret. They’d rather fantasize about some forbidden technique that drives subscriber attraction. If I’d just share the magical words that make the difference, they’d immediately put those words to use.

OK, I give up. I’ll tell you the real secret.

The most important and all-powerful words that cause people to subscribe to your blog in large numbers are… the ones other people use when talking about you.

That’s it. That’s the *real* secret.

There are a lot of bloggers out there who are working hard at creating content, but getting nowhere. It’s because what they’re producing doesn’t fill a need, or the subject matter is too well-covered and the blogger has not discovered an angle to set themselves apart. In either case, the content is simply not engaging enough.

The word engaging gets tossed around all the time, and I wonder if people truly know what it means.

Engaging simply means worth talking about. And, yes, it could be bad or good; a fleeting distraction or something worthy of continued focus; a blog post that causes a minor single-day stir or a blogger who quickly rises in prominence.

The truth is that you can’t please everyone, just the people who matter. To you.

You must get people talking and linking, but they also have to be recommending. Those words of recommendation — whether express or implied — are more powerful than any other when it comes to building your authority and subscriber list. And that brings us full circle back to offering remarkable value to others with your content.

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14 thoughts on “The Best Way to Get More Blog Subscribers

  1. I’ve found it interesting that the posts of mine that have gone “viral” to some degree have been ones which I did not consider my best work. The same has been true with photography. It almost seems like you keep throwing things at the wall, and sometimes something sticks, and takes on a life of its own. Certainly people share things because of what it says about THEM, not because of you (the writer) – so I try to keep that in mind when I write.

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    1. I think that what we consider to be our best work is oftentimes just us wanting to share something, even though it’s not something people can easily relate to, it does not add value to their lives, and does not help them solve any of their own issues. It’s like an itch you have to scratch. No one else cares about it though, even if you feel better after doing it.

      Thank you for your comment, Nick. This got me thinking that we are quite bad at figuring out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to writing popular content.

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      1. I agree. I also think that some of the things which I have written that I consider very useful to others has not caught on. I do think that the reason people share things is because of what they feel it says about them to share share it, i.e. what they want people to think about them and know about them. All in all, as you’ve stated, it’s not about us but about the reader.

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      2. Yes, that’s an important yet underrated factor. Lots of people share motivational and inspirational stuff (TED talks, whatever) just because they think it’s cool, or they want to be viewed as the type of person who is interested in personal development.

        Also, social media (blogging included) is a lot more about appearances than we are inclined to believe.

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