1. MailChimp vs. FeedBurner
First thing is first, if you’re not using MailChimp, you need to get on that ASAP. Almost all blogs start off using FeedBurner, and while it’s super simple to use, and updates are sent out automatically, the emails are SO BORING AND UGLY to your readers. MailChimp gives you the freedom to customize the way your emails look when they are sent out. Honestly, I unsubscribed from bloggers who were using Feedburner. While it may be annoying to have to manually send out every email, while feedburner does it automatically, it’s worth it. Your emails can easily be customized to fit the color scheme of your blog, you can choose a featured photo with a button to click so that the reader is directed to your new post, you can add social media links, and the list goes on. MailChimp can be overwhelming when you first sign up, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. For a GREAT tutorial on how to sign up and use MailChimp, you can watch this video here. I switched from FeedBurner around October in 2015 and in just one month, my subscription number sky rocketed. What held me back from switching for a while, was the fact that I didn’t know you could switch over your current FeedBurner Subscribers to your new MailChimp List. Here is a tutorial that I followed on how to do that.
2. Pop-up or no Pop-up?
This one is tricky. Many people say this is necessary. I signed up for a webinar that talked about this, and they were HUGE advocates for the pop-up, and said that the pop-up would dramatically increase your list. So directly after the webinar, I created a pop-up and couldn’t wait for the subscriptions to flood in…… for 3 days, I received ZERO new subscribers. Oh, but on day 4 I got one! lol. I left it up for a week, and nothing really changed than what I was getting before. Then I started to think about it. Each time I go on a website or blog, the FIRST thing I do when a pop-up comes up, is exit that shit out. They bug the crap out of me, and if anything, it makes me want to subscribe to your newsletter even less. This is purely an opinion of mine, and may help your subscription list, but I saw no difference, and then put myself in the position of my readers.Sure, it’s different if you have an eCommerce website, and there is some coupon code I’ll get for subscribing, but that’s not the case here.
3. Add Your Subscription Form in More Than One Area.
A few weeks ago, I added a second area for people to subscribe to my blog. THIS HAS BEEN A GAME CHANGER. My subscribers have doubled since I made that change, which I didn’t think it would make that big of a difference, but oddly, it did!
4. Have an Aesthetically Pleasing Blog Design.
I know this seems obvious, but seriously, we are more likely to subscribe to a blog when we love their blog design, right? At least I do! I went through a weird funk with my blog design for a while this year. I kept changing little things but couldn’t figure out what to do to it for me to LOVE it, and for my readers to love it, too. When I purchased my current blog design, I was obsessed with it, (still am,) and that’s when I started to notice another increase in my subscription list.
5. Have Compelling Blog Titles.
If you are a fashion blogger, you’re probably guilty (myself included,) of naming your posts by the colors you’re wearing. “Pastel Pink,” “Black & White,” and so on…. BORRIIING. You need to be using titles like: “The Summer Dress You Need To Add To Your Closet,” or “5 Makeup Tips To Keep Your Skin Looking Flawless.” And why? Because if you are subscribed to my blog, and you get an email of my new post for the day, will you really feel like even opening it if the subject line is “Bright Yellow.”??? Uhhh, not really! One great thing about MailChimp is that you can see how many opens your emails get, and I can definitely tell you that when I have a compelling title, I get WAY more opens from subscribers than I do when I have a boring title.