4 Things You Should Know When Using Popups On Your Blog

If you’re a blogger, one of your major concerns is probably increasing traffic to your blog – not just one-time visitors, but regular readers. Email subscription lists are ideal for developing a loyal reader base, and pop ups have been proven to be an effective means of harvesting email addresses. The problem is that many readers hate them. You can resolve this dilemma by using pop ups properly – and knowing when you should not use pop ups at all.

1. Make Pop Ups Useful

popup adsInclude useful features with your pop ups. For instance, along with harvesting email addresses, consider offering a free report for subscribers. Or include questions within the pop up to allow readers to determine how often they wish to receive newsletters or whether they want to receive the full body of the newsletter or just a link. Including this type of information in your pop up allows you to acknowledge your readers’ preferences, which can only help in building an audience for your blog or newsletter. The fact that you collect this information also sends a signal to readers that their preferences matter.

2. Avoid Pop Up Overkill

If your website has several pages, placing a pop up on more than one page can make sense. However, placing pop ups on every single page of your website only serves to annoy your readers and potentially drive them away.  Don’t program pop ups so that readers can’t make them go away without filling out the requested information. The pop up should either fade away after a few seconds, or there should be a prominent “X”, “cancel” or “close” button attached to the pop up. If your readers don’t want to fill in subscription information, pop ups that obscure the text of the copy they came to your website to read won’t change their minds.  Instead, they will probably click away from your website – likely never to return.

3. Don’t Use Misleading Pop Ups

Pop ups to collect email addresses and newsletter delivery preferences are fine. Pop ups that lead readers to other pages where they are faced with promotional copy for merchandise or services you’re selling – not so much. Rather than generating increased revenue, your efforts may backfire. Word of such unethical conduct gets around, and potential readers may use browser preference features to block your website altogether.

It’s also not advisable to spam readers’ mailboxes with ads after they’ve provided their email addresses for newsletter or blog subscriptions. It’s one thing to provide notice of upcoming blog entries. But you may find readers dropping their subscriptions in a hurry if you’re clogging their email inboxes every single day with a different item you’re pushing.

4. Avoid Pop Ups on New Websites

Until you’ve established an audience, keep pop ups to a minimum. While it’s true that pop ups are effective in harvesting email addresses, until your blog is established, you don’t want to do anything that might alienate potential readers. Many readers will assume a pop up is an ad and close it without even reading the contents.

A better strategy may be to include a subscription link at the end of each blog entry, or include a subscription link as a menu item on your blog’s home page. The advantage of this technique is that readers have already made it to the end of at least one blog entry, which is a positive indication that they like what they’ve just read, and are more likely to give a subscription to your blog a try.

This article is written by David Kendall. He contributed this guest post on behalf of WhoIsHostingThis.com for more information on their hosting reviews. David is a freelance technology writer and his articles appear on various marketing blogs.

How To Compile A Killer Newsletter Easily

newsletterNewsletters help you connect with your readers and clients and develop a good relationship with them.  It is best alternative source of returning traffic besides the Social Media. For online startups and businesses, newsletters could be a great marketing strategy.

Feedburner Newsletters

Feedburner is the most widely used RSS subscription platform in blogs. It doesn’t allow much customization to your newsletter content as it compiles the newsletter, leeching the content of the blog’s RSS feed. RSS subscribers are important, you can even monetize your RSS feeds to earn money.

1. If you are using post excerpts in the feed, make sure the excerpt is intriguing and attractive. For certain niches like News Blog,  a suspense building excerpt is very effective.

2. By default, Feedburner newsletters have a boring text-only interface. You can customize your newsletter to brand your Blog feeds.

Feedburner Customization

  • Log on to Feedburner. In ‘Publicize’ tab, Choose ‘E-mail Subscriptions’ and then ‘Email Branding’ submenu.
  • Under the “Email Subject/Title” form, Fill it with your Blog Name seperated by the snippet ${latestItemTitle}  with a hyphen or any other symbol.
  • In the “Logo URL” field, input the direct URL of your logo.
  • You can also change the Headline Font, Body and Link colors e.t.c by customizing the corresponding fields.

RELATED: Customize Feedburner Confirmation Email Body

 Custom Newsletters

With great content and design you can easily increase your blog subscription rate.

1. Content: Content is the primary factor you need to consider before compiling your killer Newsletter.

  • If you are marketing your online products, you should consider your subscriber demographics to find what they are interested in.
  • Use Catchy and interesting Headlines to increase reader’s engagement.
  • Don’t forget to Proofread to avoid Grammatical mistakes which might ruin your reputation and makes your readers regard you as a amateur.

2.Design: Design plays an invariable role in luring your subscribers into your blog and also brand your feeds.

  • Use a simple and elegant design and avoid embedding excessive images.
  • Using Too Many images can render your e-mail longer to load as well as many popular email providers disable images by default.
  • If you have no idea how to design using HTML, you can Google ‘Free HTML newsletter templates’ to find an ocean of template to download from.
  • A regular font is always preferred and avoid making the newsletter bulky, which is a major turn off because of increased load time.
  • You could include different sections and categories to help readers interested in specific category.
  • Always compose interesting headings in the newsletter. Let the headings alone explain what it is regarding in a nutshell.
  • Newsletter frequency is the factor most of us overlook. Business newsletter frequency shouldn’t exceed a few per week to avoid landing up in Spam Boxes of your clients.

18 Things You Can Do To Increase Blog Subscription Rate

Subscribers BaseThere’s a world of difference between a Blog Reader and a Blog Subscriber. Earlier we shared some basic tips to increase your subscribers count and also some reasons why you should subscribe HBB. 😛 A Blog Subscriber is a loyal reader who not only reads your blog posts regularly but is also interested in being a part of it. Your subscribers form your mailing and marketing list, your basic ticket to sales furtherance strategies. Take a look at our great tips to increase your blog subscription rate phenomenally.

Note: Subscribing is not only applicable for Email Newsletters and RSS, but also for other Social networks, so you can apply these things on them too.

1. Devise an Efficient Content Strategy

Establish a steady content upload strategy so there’s always something fresh and interesting. Make the content fresh, light, funny, personal, valuable and meaningful. Tall order? Yes. You want subscribers? Do it.

Some useful Resources:

  • 7 Essential Tips To Produce Creative Quality Content
  • HOW TO: Brand Your Blog With Unique Content
  • 5 Ways You Can Get Fresh Content Inspiration
  • 2. Make Your Subscription Link Highly Visible

    Make sure your feed subscription button or link is highly visible on every page. Make that you include a subscription link with each post, in your email signature and in your guest posts and comments.

    3. Provide a Call To Action

    Sometimes you’ve got to tell people to take action, or else most of them just won’t bother. Put out a call to action, something aggressive yet humorous, like, “We know you loved this article! Why wait? Subscribe to our regular feeds now!”

    4. Create a ‘Subscribers Only’ Community On Your Blog

    Promote regular Subscribers Only polls, surveys, lotteries, reward schemes, prime content, discussion forums, or a free eBook. Create an exclusive ‘subscribers-only’ community and make your readers want to belong.

    5. Proudly Display Your Current Subscription Rate

    Prominently display the total subscriptions and average monthly subscription rate using a tool like FeedBurner. This will make the reader think that if so many people have subscribed, there must be something good in your feeds.

    6. Update Your SEO

    Update both on and off page Search Engine Optimization on your site to get more visitors to your site. The more visitors you get, the more the chances of increased subscription rates.

    7. Educate Your Readers about RSS Feeds

    How many people know that RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication? Click an RSS logo and you’ll see a page of text that’s not very easy to understand. No wonder people just leave the page. Provide some explanation as to what RSS is all about, next to your RSS subscription button. The better your readers understand, the more interested they’ll be to subscribe. You can also create a “Subscribe” page explaining them how to subscribe.

    8. Use the Right WordPress Plugins

  • You can use the What Would Seth Godin Doplugin to customize limited time welcome messages targeted at new and repeat visitors. You can use the plugin to place customized Email or RSS subscription form in your posts as well.
  • The WP Greet Box WordPress plugin welcomes visitors with a small message and also allows you to include social icons and a RSS link.

9. Avoid Long Contact Forms

Keep your subscription forms simple and non-intimidating. If you want additional information, prompt users to provide it after a few feeds are delivered.

10. Design a Great Landing Page

Your landing page really ‘lands’ the user, if it is effectively and attractively designed. A landing page is solely dedicated to getting people to subscribe, so keep it distraction free.

11. Post Comments on Other Blogs

Drop your Feed URL or landing page in your comment link. Comment consistently and let the comments show your depth of understanding, intelligence, subject authority and astuteness. It also helps to use a clever avatar along with your comments. Brand your comments and become a hero in commenting.

12. Use the Right RSS Feed Tools

Use a tool such as FeedBlitz; it analyzes your blog’s computer-readable RSS feed and updates the latest stuff to subscribers via email, IM and Tweet.

13. Design an Attractive Signup Form

A boring subscription form is only going to get your readers yawning. Jazz it up a little, make it attractive, funny, interesting and exclusive to encourage readers to subscribe.

14. Use the Right Words

Check out the difference between, “If you like this article, please subscribe” and “We know you loved this article! Get our latest delivered to your inbox – sign up now!”. You get the point.

15. Focus On Target Niche Audience

Don’t dilute the impact you’re trying to make by marketing to everyone. Focus on getting your niche target audience to subscribe.

16. Do Your Guest Blogging from the Beginning

Don’t wait till you have 100 subscribers to begin guest blogging. Get your name out there right from the beginning; it’s the best way to get more subscribers. Check the basic benefits of Guest Blogging.

17. Write an eBook And Give It Away

Find out what your target audience needs and write a great eBook that helps them solve their problems. Offer this eBook as a reward to anyone who subscribes.

18. Make Sure Your About Us Page Creates an Impact

Your readers want to know you intimately in order to form an emotional connection. Use your About Us page to get up close and personal with your readers.

Do you know any other cool tips? Kindly share them in the comments please, thank you.

6 Effective Ways To Increase Your RSS Subscribers

Getting the icon for RSS feeds on websites and blogs is no big deal as the user-friendly interface of your blogging platform will aid you in adding RSS icons easily. The task is to keep your readers and regular visitors of your blog under the control so that, they will be able to know the updates on your website and visit it when needed. This is such a useful technique that lends its hand to even a million-dollar business but what is much more difficult is that making the visitors of your blogs to hit the RSS button to make him/her a regular reader, which is equivalent of signing up for your website.

RSS Subscribers

I would not say this as that much hard even as there are certain ways which can help you to increase the subscribers count. Here are some of the main ways to increase the subscribers and of course it will help for your blogging as well.

1. Have Good Enough Sized RSS Icon

Well there is something that you can do to display that your blog or website has the RSS subscription enabled, make the RSS icon (using the HTML) size to a bigger size. This way you will find yourself capturing the visibility of the readers of your website and check on the icon to get into their daily reading board, as and when you update your website. Check this 70+ Resources to get perfect RSS Icon to match your blog’s theme.

2. Place Them Right

It is not good enough that you get a size alone for the RSS subscribe feed icon, but is also necessary that you get the icon placed in the right hand side top position of the web page so that the reader will find it easy to click to subscribe. Some of the positions in the website or blog will include the topmost corner on the right hand side of the page, or in the lowermost region at the end of the article giving the readers the opportunities to subscribe for reading your blog posts regularly.

3. Place them all over the website

When you are placing the RSS icon, see that this icon for subscribing readers to place them all over the website, that is in every page of your website. By this way you will have the readers subscribing in any of your page (he/she may land in any of your page) and once subscribed they will be intimated automatically on any new posts in your blog.

4. Tell your readers

RSS is not a new concept but still you will find many non-tech savvy people visiting your blog so let them know about RSS. By this way it is easy to attract a number of RSS subscribers by introducing them to RSS subscription. You can have a string of text near the icon to explain what is this being kept for and how does it works.

6. Comment with your RSS Feed URL

This is a clever way, I would say. Bloggers do leave comment on other blogs when they come across a good post but they will use their blog URL in the comment details. Let us do a simple tweak here, use your RSS Feed URL when you leave a comment on other blogs. This will be beneficial in 2 ways, the blog owner will subscribe to your feed and the people who leaves comments to the same post that you left will also subscribe to your RSS feed.

6. Subscribe to get more subscribers

Gaining more subscribers to your feeds is like collecting donation for a cause, and you will find that subscribing to read others blogs of similar interests will encourage them to read your blogs. This is one of the best ways to get quality and targeted readers to your blogs. This will definitely bring a number of subscribers so do not miss to try this out.

Definitely these simple ways will teach you the nuances of RSS subscribers!! Comments are really appreciated!!

Image Credits : BlogPerfume (Thumbnail) and @Labnol – Flickr (Post Image)

This article is written by Rahul. He is a Technology lover and a fitness advocate who is associated with weightlosstriumph.

10+ Simple Tips To Increase FriendFeed Subscribers

FriendFeed is a real-time feed aggregator that consolidates the updates from social media and social networking websites, social bookmarking websites, blogs and micro-blogging updates, as well as any other type of RSS/Atom feed.

Earlier FriendFeed announced that FriendFeed subscribers count will combine with RSS Count. For example, if you have 200 people subscribed to you on FriendFeed, and you’ve added your blog as a service on FriendFeed, now you can see those subscribers right alongside the subscriber counts from Google Reader, Bloglines, My Yahoo, and anyone else subscribed to your blog’s feed. You can check HBB’s Feeds Distribution below.

FF Count

Below I mentioned some simple tips to increase your FriendFeed Subscribers. Earlier I also shared tips to increase Twitter and Digg Followers.

#1 – Brand Your Profile : If your profile looks appealing, then visitors will easily become subscribers. Just make sure you fill all the relevant details. Make use of the vanity URL and promote yourself or your brand through it. Also keep a good profile picture.

#2 – Create FriendFeed Group : You can create a FriendFeed Group for your blog/brand and promote through it.

#3 – Write about FriendFeed : If you own a blog or website you can write about FriendFeed, and suggest your readers to subscribe.

#4 – Aggregate Your Feeds : Aggregate Twitter and many other feeds into FriendFeed to get full experience of the service.

#5 – Comments & Likes : Interaction is important On FriendFeed. Interact with fellow FF members, comment and like their statuses and posts.

Interact - FF

#6 – Be Active : Update statuses via FriendFeed, share your FF friends posts & statuses, upload photos and files and much more.

#7 – Join Some Groups : If you want to find some more subscribers, then you can join groups which interests you and interact with them.

#8 – Subscribe Them : Common and old logic which everyone knows. If you subscribe them, they’ll subscribe back. Almost works, but not 100%.

#9 – Find/Invite Friends : You can import your address books from services like Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, Twitter, and Gmail to see which of your friends are already using FriendFeed. You can also invite other people.

Invite Friends - FF

#10 – Make Use of FF Tools : FriendFeed has lots of tools. They provide some ways to customize your FriendFeed experience, make it a little easier, and maybe even have more fun. Check out FriendFeed Tools.

#11 – Embed FriendFeed On Your Blog : Let FriendFeed make your other websites more friendly with our embeddable widgets. Keep your friends, readers, and fans up to date with what you’re doing, or let your readers share your site’s content to FriendFeed. You can check them below.

  • Use FriendFeed Badge : Create a customized FriendFeed badge to show off the services you use and your recent FriendFeed activity.
  • “Share on FriendFeed” Link : Add this link to let your readers share content from your site on their FriendFeed.
  • Feed Widget : Share your feed on any site! Embed your feed or a room’s feed on your website or blog with the feed widget.
  • Chiclet Widget : A compact way to link your site’s visitors to your FriendFeed.
  • Status Widget : Choose to display your most recent message from your status service.
  • Real-time Widget : Share your feed in real-time on any site! Embed your feed or a group’s feed on your website or blog with the real-time widget.

If you are using FriendFeed, you can connect with HBB FriendFeed page and join HBB Group there.