It’s not difficult to find someone who’ll tell you what should or shouldn’t be on your blog. The problem is that this torrent of advice can lead to overwhelm, not knowing which advice to follow, which to ignore. There is one thing that is pretty much constant in all the advice though, can you guess what it is..?
An email sign up box.
That’s it! End of article!
Hang on, hang on – if I’m going to join the crowd dishing out advice about your blog, I should at least tell you why and how, so here goes…
It doesn’t matter if your blog exists to make money, or whether it’s just there as a vehicle for you to express your views – in either case you want your visitors to visit again, right?
Trying to get traffic to your blog is one of the biggest hurdles online, so once you actually get someone to your blog, the last thing you want is for that visit to be a one off.
Despite the best of intentions to come back again, people just get distracted – yes, someone *might* make the effort to actively seek out your blog again, but it’s more likely that, well, they won’t.
If you can provide them somewhere to give their email address though, that changes everything! It means your content will come to them rather than them having to go to the content, and what’s more, it comes to them in their inbox, increasing the chance that they’ll open it and follow through.
It means that instead of someone liking your site but going away never to revisit, that same someone sees an email from you and they’ll remember that they liked your previous content, so they’ll click through to your new stuff.
So, how do you go about it..?
Well, there are 2 main ways to do it – firstly through your blog’s RSS feed, and secondly through an email autoresponder.
RSS stands for rich site summary, or really simply syndication, and most blogs have a feature which allows you to put an RSS sign up box on your blog. It’s free, and once someone enters their email address, they’ll get an email informing them every time you post on your blog.
The advantage of this is that it’s free and easy, and you don’t need to remember to do anything once it’s set up. The disadvantage is that you don’t have much control over what goes out – every post will go out, and you can’t send custom emails.
An email autoresponder gives you much more control. You can decide which posts you want to email about – you may just want to send a weekly round up with links to the various posts. With an autoresponder you can also set up *other* emails to go to those that sign up, and these emails can help to build a relationship, and/or promote products.
The autoresponder allows you to set up a sequence of emails to be sent out automatically, so once it’s set up you can leave it to send those emails out at the regular intervals that you set up.
Perhaps you can use this sequence to send our your best content, or the most popular, in addition to broadcasts you make yourself about new content.
The autoresponder gives so much more flexibility over an RSS feed that I would recommend it, and while paid versions offer even more flexibility still, there is nothing wrong with starting off with free ones if that suits your budget better.
In either case though, hopefully you can see why so many people recommend putting an email sign up box on your blog – I’ve got one on mine (top right of every page!) – have you got one on yours?
That’s it for today, let me know what you think!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget to *tell* readers about your sign up box! (Mine is at the top right of every page!)
P.P.S. By the way, the sign up box is *not* the blogging secret the gurus don’t want you to know!