10 Lessons I Learned from Gaining my First 1000 Subscribers
This is a guest post by Onibalusi Bamidele. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
My blog, YoungPrePro, recently surpassed its first 1000 subscribers, and there are a lot of lessons I learned along the way. Below you’ll find ten that come to my mind right away.
1. Your Subscribers are Your Most Important Readers
I learned this lesson the hard way, and if I had knew this I would be having far more subscribers than I have now.
I didn’t focus on gaining blog subscribers when I started blogging. All I wanted was to be getting a lot of daily visitors. Later I started seeing the importance of having blog subscribers as opposed to having daily visitors. Your daily visitors can stop visiting your blog after a sign of inactivity from you for some time, but your subscribers will always receive blog posts from you as long as they’re subscribed. On top of that subscribers also have a deeper relationship with you.
2. Content is King
I have disputed this statement once or twice, but after seeing the effect of writing great content I realized how important content is.
I have discovered I get more subscribers anytime I write a great post that can impact the lives of my readers. Sure they take a lot of time to prepare, but the results are worth it.
I get triple my usual traffic anytime I write a great post and I also end up being featured and interviewed in so many places, and this eventually boosts my traffic, reputation and brings in more subscribers.
3. Your Design Matters
I am a a guy who didn’t want to spend any money building my blog, except for my hosting fees, I used a lot of free themes for my blog and I later become unsatisfied which led me to changing my theme several times.
I went on with this for some time and I decided to give a premium theme a try. After I started using a premium theme on my blog I noticed a significant increase in my traffic and in my subscriber count. So yeah the investment was worth it.
4. Marketing is a Must
I blogged for the first few months with less than 50 subscribers, I didn’t do much to promote my blog and this had a great impact on the success I had. After that I realized that content can’t do the trick alone, and that you have to invest in marketing your blog too.
I started guest posting as much as I could, and this had a very positive impact on my subscriber count. The good thing is that the increased traffic I get from promotional activities tends to stick around month after month.
5. Networking is a Must
You will have heard people talking about you networking with other bloggers or having blogging buddies. I also had some blogging buddies who I connect with on a regular basis and as a result of this I am included when they write a new list. This alone has helped me gain some subscribers and it also helped me gain thousands of dollars in affiliate sales.
It might feel weird to try to connect with other people online, but believe me, having strong relationships with people inside your niche can go a long way to improve your subscriber count and your blog overall.
6. Having Goals is Important
I might be a little bit ashamed to say this, but my goal was to have a minimum of 20,000 subscribers before the end of 2010. Even though this goal is unrealistic (now I know!), it still had a great influence on getting my first 1000 subscribers — first, it made me work harder to improve my subscriber count and second, it kept me motivated not to quit.
7. Traffic is not Everything
My subscriber count is only a fraction of the traffic I get and I have realized with time that getting traffic is not everything. Conversion is what matters.
Getting more subscribers to your blog is not all about you focusing on how to get more traffic but how to convert that traffic to subscribers. There are a lot of blogs with less traffic than I have yet they have more subscribers than I do. Why? Because they’re good at converting traffic to subscribers.
8. Social Proof Works
When I got over 800 subscribers I started displaying my subscriber count and I have since noticed a boost in the rate I am getting new subscribers.
People love to be involved and they don’t love threading a path alone, they want to be assured that what you preach works and there is no better way to convince them than to let them know that there are tons of other people already subscribed.
9. Making Subscribing Easy is Very Important
One thing that amazes me is that over 700 of my subscribers are email subscribers. It is a major mistake to think that enabling RSS feed subscription alone is the way to go. Many of your readers don’t know what RSS is but there is hardly any one of them who doesn’t have an email. Don’t let people begin to know what RSS is before they can subscribe to your blog. Rather, make subscription available in any format you think they will like.
10. Feedback Matters
Many of us only care about getting subscribers, but we hardly care about retaining them. Another lesson I learnt from gaining my first 1000 subscribers is that what you think about your blog is not what matters but what your readers think.
I once got an email from one of my subscribers who told me that he was about to unsubscribe and that particular email would be his last communication. He told me I have been writing a particular type of post lately (which is true) and that he was tired of receiving that same type of post. He also told me that it is important to be alternating the type of posts I write. I took this reader’s suggestion and I saw a boost in my subscriber count.
Your subscribers are the lifeline of your blog because if every other thing collapses, they will still be there. The above are 10 lessons I learned from gaining my first 1000 subscribers. I hope you can use them to increase your own subscriber count.
About the Author: Onibalusi Bamidele is a 16-year-old entrepreneur living the Internet lifestyle and the founder of the young entrepreneur blog, YoungPrePro.com. Make sure to subscribe to his blog to get all his updates.
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21 Responses to “10 Lessons I Learned from Gaining my First 1000 Subscribers”
Lye Kuek Hin
First of all congratulations on getting your 1000 subscribers. I have seen how you work hard for it, doing a lot of guesting posting in various and coming out with ebook of your own. All these are what people can learn from you in order to reach 1000 subscribers. Great work and keep it up.
Thanks a lot for sharing.
So important to keep your readers engaged and coming back, you must make them feel that your messages are that important that they come back to your blog daily.
Awesome post Oni,
Nice job man, Yeah, i agree with your points and they are very important. Writing great content and making subscription box easy to subscribe is the key. Also conversion matters a lot. Keep up the good work bro! I’m sure you will go places. Have fun 😀
It’s funny, RSS seems to be dwindling. I’ve noticed a majority opting for email as well. Perhaps if Google worked in RSS to Gmail it might make a difference but I find most people prefer to check as few mediums as possible.
Congratulations for reach 1000 subscribers, it is not only very good lessons, but cornerstone, I can add to put subscribe form after every post as this blog make, but I don`t know to make this on my Joomla site.
Congratulations for reaching 1000 subscribers. I think posting frequency is also an important factor increasing the feed subscribers count. Daily updated blogs get more subscribers than those blogs which updated just once in a week.
Wow, congratulations on hitting 1000 subscribers Oni! 🙂
Yeah, I really agree about the importance of setting up email subscriptions. Over half of my subscribers subscribe by email too!
Fantastic post, Oni. I enjoyed every single point! 🙂
Great job Oni! That’s impressive for being 16 years old and a young professional. I agree, having subscribers is very beneficial in comparison to unique visitors. I’m building my blog up and appreciate the subscribers much more than visitors (though I love visitors, too) because they are showing continued interest in my content. Setting up email subscriptions is important too!
Follow me on Twitter @jackiej04
Excellent write up Boy!! way to go!! All the best .
I had never really seen the view that my RSS visitors are my most important. Aren’t all my readers equally important whether they are regular readers or first time readers?
If I may butt in for a second 🙂
@ Dean Saliba on : I had never really seen the view that my RSS visitors are my most important. Arenâ€™t all my readers equally important whether they are regular readers or first time readers?
I believe Onibalusi’s point really is that if you can get repeat readers to your blog then you should. Repeat readers are usually a sign of “trust” in readership and they are known to convert a lot better then first time visitors. Thus Onibalusi is observing a very good point. First time visitors on the other hand are just as important, for sure,, but it is more important to turn them into repeats if possible.
Content certainly is king, and I agree that it is what every blog needs in order to thrive. Great content equals great readers and a great blogging brand.
Bob Strassel Jr.
You really made me rethink a few things about my goals for launching my blog. I appreciate your candor. Thanks again for sharing and congrats on the 1000 number.
This is very post and having good numbers of subscribers is indeed a proof that readers trust the blog and the blogger. Its very important to have constant and ever increasing readership rather than a spike of traffic now and then.
Your article greatly explains about the same.
Thanks for sharing.
First of all congratulations on getting your first 1000 subscribers!
I will definetel start to install E-mail subscriptions, other than RSS Feeds.
It is good to learn from experienced people like you.
I loved your tips and information.
Web Marketing Tips
as per your point no 7, you mentioned that traffic is not everything than subscriber is also for the traffic as well.
What do you think
Having someone visit your blog once then never come back only helps your unique visitor count. Having someone subscribe and show continued interest in your content is much more valuable because they are most likely to share your blog and re-tweet it, etc. I’m not saying unique visitors aren’t as important, I just value subscribers more. Hope that helps!
Useful points and especially email subscription… Never thought anything good about that as becoz of handling and spamming problems, But I think if content is King then Email is Weapon.
Excellent lessons. Your tips are gold.
1,000 subscribers? That’s awesome!
I think I need to work on #9. I don’t think it’s easy enough for people to subscribe on my blog.
congrats on ur 1000 subscribers mate 🙂 and thanks for sharing this awesome post with us. I hope i can increase my subscriber count.
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