7 Ways to Take Charge of Your Readership Problem: Optins

By: | May 16, 2015 | Tags: , , , | 45 comments
#Blogging Incentives

Offer your readers a free incentive to follow your blog.

Peculiar, isn’t it?

There are over 152 million blogs on the Internet.  Why is it that some blogs have hoards of followers while others struggle to find a readership?

The truth is, it’s not peculiar at all.

The blogs with many followers offer their readers something that other blogs don’t.

They offer their readers an incentive for following them.

You might wonder why it is necessary to entice your readers into becoming blog followers.

Recently, a reader sent me this comment:

…allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming posts.

My understanding is he wants to keep my blog in his reader.  However, by doing so, I am relying on him clicking his reader to read my posts in order for me to get his traffic.

If he were to sign up for my blog, he would automatically get the posts in his Email.

According to NicheHacks, 91% of all people check their Email daily.  This is in contrast to the 64% that even have access to a reader*.

My post How to Write a Killer About Page That Will Attract New Followers explains you should offer a free item people will get for following your blog and advertise it on your About page.

Which Incentive Should You Offer Email Followers?

Many choices exist when deciding which freebie to offer potential readers.

1. A free, private cheat sheet that sums up many of your posts

Here is an example of my About page.  Click to see the incentive I offer. Scroll down to Click to Get Free, Private Cheat Sheet.

A cheat sheet, summarizing your most useful tips, will save your new followers hours of reading your blog posts.

I made potential followers an infographic using Easel.ly.  My Easel.ly tutorial explained How to Make an Infographic in 5 Minutes.  That’s all the time it will take to make an infographic that will increase the chances of turning visitors into followers.

Busy people and visual learners both benefit by reading this freebie.  Busy people benefit since hours of information are in one compact visual.  Visual learners benefit by looking at the pictures on the infographic.

2. Depending on your blog’s theme, you could make and send your readers a template.

Use Microsoft Word to make a template that relates to your blogging niche.  For example, you could create a resume of a template and attache it to an Email.

3. A checklist

My post How to Grade Your Blog contained a 15-point checklist for successful blogging.  Those 15 points could have easily served as a freebie–a checklist of what new followers could do to achieve their goal, have a successful blog.

4. A case study

Is there someone who has been particularly helped by your blog? Write a description of someone who has been a source of inspiration for others.  Let readers know that they, too, can achieve that kind of success by following your blog.

5. A special post

One of the benefits of conducting an expert round-up post is just that–it rounds up experts who all contribute ideas in one post.  These types of posts often generate high traffic for this reason.  The interviewer is finding the experts, conducting the interview, collecting and sorting the answers, and publishing them.

I have conducted two expert round-up posts.  Either could have served as my incentive.

6. A YouTube Video

I made a YouTube video called Blogging Basics.  While it wasn’t my incentive, it could have served as one.

7. A goodie bag full of a combination of many of these ideas.

Blog Follower Incentives

A Variety of Incentives Exist You Can Offer Your Blog Followers.

How to Get the Incentives to Your New Followers!

When potential readers click my “Free Cheat Sheet” link, it takes them to  MailChimp.  At MailChimp, I designed a template that would enable them to type in their Email.  MailChimp notifies me, and those are the people I send my incentive to.

I attach my incentive to an Email welcoming them to my blog.

Since I use WordPress.com, I am unable to put in an opt-in box for new followers to type in their Email.  If I paid MailChimp $10.00 month, they would send my freebie for me.

This post began by explaining that successful blogs offer give-aways.  So, if you offer a freebie, how are your odds any greater than theirs of gaining new followers.  They aren’t.  However, it will keep your probability of success the same as the successful blogs.

All the incentive choices have one factor in common–they include a plan of action your readers can take as soon as they get it which will bring them closer toward a desired goal.

The incentive is so important to the success of a blog, that I actually have it in not one, but two, places.  I offer the incentive on my About page and on another page For New Subscribers.

One very important criteria exists that must characterize your chosen incentive.  It must be relevant to your theme.

My first incentive was not my current offer.  Initially, I was going to send new followers a post that explained how to avoid gaining weight on a cruise ship.

I wrote it and advertised it.  Months past, and maybe three took me up on the offer.  I didn’t understand since I had heard incentives have such a strong effect in growing blog readership.

Then, I read it had to be relevant to your topic.  Recently, I made the Blogging Tips Infographic that is now my current incentive.  This substitution of a relevant incentive has helped my blog readership grow.

The choices listed above are easy and free to make and offer. Having an incentive has dramatically increased my blog following, and it can for you as well.

Readers, if you believe others can benefit from this advice about how to make an incentive, please share.

Do you have any other ideas for incentives that have resulted in your readership expanding?  Which of these seven incentive ideas do you think you might try?  I look forward to your views.

Sources:

PewResearchCenter *

Jon Morrow, BoostBlogTraffic.com

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    • Janice Wald at 3:34 pm

      Hi Lucie!
      Thank you so much, as always, for reading what I write and commenting. It’s so great you check in with me this way. I just followed you on Instagram today! Do you find it helps with your blog traffic?
      Janice

        • Janice Wald at 12:01 am

          My daughter showed me today. Easy enough, but no traffic from it. If I start getting traffic from it, I’ll wrote a post about it. I don’t think anyone would be interested if it doesn’t produce traffic.
          Janice

  1. Janice Wald at 3:59 pm

    Thank you so much. Thank you as well for your visit to my site. I don’t recall us meeting before. I did try to visit your site but ended up at your Facebook page.
    These ideas are each easy, free, and quick to make. Let me know which one you end up choosing as your free incentive. Nice to meet you.
    Janice

  2. Jaime at 3:27 am

    I’m still trying to figure out what I should offer! I run a saving money/couponing blog, so there’s tons of possibilities, but I’m trying to think of something unique that no one else would have. =)

    • Janice Wald at 12:41 pm

      Hi,
      I thought some more over your concerns over uniqueness. If you use common money-saving tips, for example, and you put them in an infographic with pictures, that would be unique. I have infographic-making tips on my site (many, I’m obsessed). They all allow you to upload your own photos, so definitely you’d be making it your own. Any thoughts?

  3. Robin Follette at 4:07 am

    This is exactly what I need! I found you through Grown Your Blog, and it’s perfect timing. I’m going to come back tomorrow afternoon after my freelance work is done and go back through this, taking notes, and get started. Thanks for the great detail.

    • Janice Wald at 12:56 pm

      Hi Robin!
      What kind words! I will add you to my Email list, which I send out once a week, so you never miss a post. On the other hand, I have a free private infographic which will summarize all that reading I give to new followers. Here is the link http://wp.me/P5jxvv-hM.
      Thanks so much for clicking my link at the Facebook group! I’m glad we met.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald at 12:45 pm

      So Rena, put me out of my misery. Did you pin the infographic or the Monopoly money? LOL Thanks for the kind words. Thanks for checking in with me today.
      Janice

  4. Janice Wald at 1:04 pm

    Hey Aishwarya,
    I’m so glad you found these ideas valuable. When I started offering my relevant freebie, my readership increased, and is continuing to increase, much faster than it did. You thanked me for the tips. I give tips on how to get new readers and followers all the time here. If you’d like to sign up, you will get my free incentive. I got you the link. It really will save you hours of reading. =) In the meantime, I’ll add you to my Email I send out once a week, so you never miss a post. Nice to meet you. Janice
    http://wp.me/P5jxvv-hM

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    • Janice Wald at 9:17 pm

      Hi Angela,
      I appreciate you coming over and greeting me. Thank you for the kind words about my post. I have suggestions like this at my site regularly. If you’d like me to add you to my Email list that I send out once a week, let me know.
      Nice to meet you.
      Janice

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    • Janice Wald at 9:13 pm

      Hi Susan!
      Nice to hear from you. Thanks for reading what I wrote and writing me. You have many niches? What do you blog about? Are Ebooks complicated? I don’t know how to install an automatic download. Is it complicated? Thanks again for reaching out.
      Janice

  7. D.G.Kaye at 8:40 pm

    Janice I love your great ideas. I’m bookmarking them all. Currently I don’t have the time to fight with mailchimp as I find their templates and creating forms confusing. Every time I venture over to my mailchimp I find myself spending hours on their help tabs trying to figure things out. Eventually I will get there again when I have time to spare. 🙂

    • Janice Wald at 9:11 pm

      Hi Debby!
      I got a referral from your Amazon Book Sales. Congratulations on being a published author that sells their books on Amazon. How thrilling for you. Maybe one day I will sell a blogging book or two on Amazon. It is a goal. I wondered why my link would be at your Amazon website that I would get referral traffic from there.
      Thank you so much for the compliments on my ideas. I am sorry you are having stress with MailChimp, though. There are so many YouTube videos out there. I would pick one to watch, and then it becomes easy. That’s actually how I learned what I needed to know at MailChimp. Thanks for writing, good to hear from you, and congratulations again.
      Janice

      • D.G.Kaye at 9:26 pm

        Hi Janice thanks for the advice on using youtube, I will do. Now, I’m not sure I understand what you mean by you got a referral from my books? Hmm that is interesting, and great.
        And, you should absolutely be putting together a books compiled from all your blogs about blogging tips. Check out Nina Amir. She is right up there with her blogging books, taken from her own blog posts. Food for thought. 🙂

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