If you’ve been blogging for a while, it means you’re checking your blog stats constantly, sometimes even a couple of times a day. And your greatest frustration is that you see hundreds or thousands of new people visiting your blog, but you realize that they never come back. So you’re asking yourself questions such as “What am I doing wrong?” or “Why don’t they find my blog appealing enough to come back?” Well, you should stop asking these questions, because they’re not going to get you anywhere. They’re the wrong questions. I’ve learned this lesson after years of blogging and experimenting in different niches, so trust me. Instead, you should focus on how you can turn these visitors into email subscribers who will come back to your blog every time you post something new.
Over the years, I’ve made hundreds of calculations based on the numbers of new visitors and returning visitors, trying to build efficient strategies that would turn the new ones into returning visitors. Just think about it. If you get 10,000 people to your site in August and manage to keep 1,000 of them, in September these people will be added to your other 10,000 random visitors, which means you’ll have 11,000 visitors for this month. Now, how do you actually keep these visitors? How do you make them check your blog at least once a week?
Regardless of your niche, what you’ll want to focus on to retain your visitors is email subscription. This will work great if you write articles that are meant to help people in some way. And if you feel that sending them a daily newsletter is too much, you can always opt for a weekly newsletter in which you summarize what happened on your blog that week and invite them to check the site to read the whole articles. I’ve tried both approaches, and I found that they both work for different niches. You’ll want to choose the one which you believe fits your niche best, always taking into consideration what your visitors expect from your blog.
Here are some tips that will help you turn your visitors into email subscribers, and they have all been tried by me, so I can guarantee that they work if you apply them correctly and stick to them. You might not have too many email subscribers at first, but the numbers will keep growing if you don’t lose your patience and motivation.
1. Place email sign up forms in the right places: Put these forms in your site’s header (or right below it in a feature box), at the top of your sidebar, or at the end of every blog post. The idea is to make the sign up as visible and accessible as possible. I decided this was one of the best ideas because I noticed my reaction as a reader when I found a blog that I liked and I wanted to subscribe to the newsletter. If I didn’t find the sign up form fast enough, I would eventually give up and go to the next blog. But if the sign up form was just in front of my eyes, I was immediately tempted to enter my email address, and usually this was exactly what I did.
2. Offer people something in exchange for their email address. So many people offer incentives for emails, so why wouldn’t you use this method? It’s actually very effective, and if you offer your visitors something interesting and useful, they’re going to be more than happy to subscribe to your blog. You won’t believe how many subscribers this method can bring you! Now every time I start a new blog, I immediately think of something I can offer my readers.
A good idea would be to offer a free PDF, a free audio, or free videos. Even better, offer them a free webinar, because it is something that not many bloggers do. People absolutely love webinars because they know they can learn new things from them. I must admit that the free PDFs and webinars have brought me the greatest number of email subscribers. Webinars are also good because your visitors get to know you better and, thus, they are more inclined to become loyal readers, share your content and engage in the conversations you start. I’ve made great friends this way, so I recommend you try to offer a free webinar at least once.
3. After you’ve positioned yourself as an expert in your field, you won’t need to do anything because people will want to subscribe to your newsletter. Just make sure you did step 1, because it’s always better to make things easier for them. Just focus on your content and make sure you deliver high quality information to your old and new subscribers. It’s especially important to focus on great content after you’re offered a free PDF or webinar and gained hundreds of new subscribers and visitors. If they were satisfied with your free information and gave you good feedback, it’s of utmost importance to keep their good impression about you and your work by delivering only top-notch content.
The best thing about these three steps is that they work all the time. This simple strategy will work in any niche and at any time you try to implement it. So, don’t forget: you need to become an expert in your niche and position your site, then create high quality content that will make your readers crave more, promote your site so it will reach as many people as possible, and then use clever strategies to turn your visitors into a loyal and engaged audience.
Also, don’t forget to check your blog stats every day and keep track of your number of subscribers. I remember that at some point I got so many email subscribers that I stopped worrying about them, and I just kept doing what I was doing without concerning myself with the numbers. That was until I realized that I had lost a couple of subscribers, which meant that something had gone wrong that it made those people unsubscribe from my newsletter. I immediately took action by creating polls and asking my readers to vote. Thus, I tried to find out what they thought about my blog, what new things they wanted to see, and how they thought it could be improved. Taking their advice, I started building on their suggestions, and soon my number of subscribers started rising again. What I learned from this experience is that each and every email subscriber matters, and if one of them leaves, it means I have to consider making some changes. Getting regular feedback from my readers through polls and discussion posts helps a lot too.
So I highly recommend you pay attention to your email subscribers, follow the numbers and the blog stats, consider their needs and wants, and make the changes they want to see on your blog. This way you’ll never lose a single one of them.