5 Ways to Increase RSS Conversion

One of the most common questions that we get from our clients is, “How do I increase my readership?” Well, a great place to start is making sure that you have a good call to action for RSS.

You know that having a lot of subscribers is great for your brand, regardless of the online presence you carry. It denotes authority on the blog or site’s topic, which then translates into even more subscribers!

The following are five tips and tricks to help you convert your visitors into loyal blog subscribers:

1. Should I display my subscriber count?

Let’s say that you’ve just started your blog and you have written ten great posts. Within that time, you’ve managed to reel in a solid 75 RSS subscribers and the trend is looking up-up-up. Should you show your count?

No.

It’s better to have your readers wonder how many subscribers you have than to show them you have very few.

Wait until you’ve reached several hundred to display the rss chiclet.

2. Clearly display the RSS call to action.

This one is a pretty simple concept. Put your RSS call to action in a place where people can see it. If people can’t find it, you won’t convert.

I prefer to place RSS subscription elements in the top right corner of the blog, with a graphic that catches the eye.

3. ALWAYS provide an email subscription option.

Not everybody uses an RSS reader such as Google Reader. Make sure that you are providing the option to have your posts sent to them via email.

You might be shocked to hear that you can convert email subscribers at a rate of 3x or more in comparison to normal subscribers by using tip #5.

4. Use plain english.

Try to avoid metaphors or figurative speech for the RSS headline. If you keep it simple with something like, “Receive Blog Updates” you will draw appropriate attention.

Not everybody understands what RSS is, so make sure that you keep your readers’ profiles in mind.

If you are running a blog on tractors and dump-trucks… it would be safe to say that your readers won’t be tech-savvy. Thus, you won’t convert if you say something like, “Get your RSS right here!.”

5. Offer exclusive content.

This is by FAR the most effective way to increase your RSS subscription. If you can offer to your readers something special, something that they can’t get any other way than signing up to your list.

If you can couple that with using a service like Aweber then you are golden! There are a few, very distinct benefits to this strategy:

  • email capturing for your own list (building an email list is a MUST)
  • thought-leadership
  • people who sign up for the exclusive content count towards your rss following

The people that sign up to receive exclusive content from you are your target market. Get them into a list and then offer them your products or services of value.

If you employ these tips, I can assure you that you will see results. That being said, these certainly aren’t the only ways to increase RSS subscription. Don’t be shy, share your tips below!

About Nate Whitehill

Nate is a co-founder of Unique Blog Designs and has been a user experience and visual designer for over a decade. He aspires to make the world pixel-perfect. Follow Nate on Twitter
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  • These are some great tips here Matt! Constantly updating your website with fresh content and exclusive content is a big reason for visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed. I’ve noticed that adding a “If you like this post please subscribe to my RSS feed” underneath every post you make really increases your RSS feed subscribers.

  • Misleading title! 😛

    I thought you were going to show us how to convert RSS subscribers into money! 🙂

    Good tips though.

    Now, can you tell me why you display post views?

  • @quickpwn – Thanks! Those are some really awesome tips, too.

    @joshdenney – Haha my bad. I should write a post on how to monetize subscribers as well. We put it there because it’s a cool feature. ;P

  • Google recently launched their Adsense for feeds program so you can burn your Adsense ads in your feedburner feeds. If you use 250 x 250 image ads in there you will get good results. Put the ads on top of each article. This is the only best way I know of to monetize RSS feeds.

  • Will definetly add the email rss button

  • Great tips and ones I already follow. The best tip is never show your hand if your reader count is under 300.

  • Question – What does one do with so many subscribers?
    ie. what are good ways to monitize a subscriber list (other than product promos)?
    Thanks