Imagine that it’s just a game of blog hopscotch. You need to hop deftly from one milestone to the next. Like hopscotch, the fun part is doing everything in sequence (with a little flair thrown in).
Your First 100 Subscribers:
Consciously work on building your subscriber list from the first day that your blog goes live. Your goal is to put your subscription offer in front of every visitor that browses your blog.
Do this to get started:
1. Be Prepared: Sign-up for Aweber or Mailchimp to store your list and send your emails. Each of these services make it easy for you to do some cool email ninja stuff with your list. You’ll be happy you did once your blog hits the 1,000-subscriber mark.
Go ahead and install Google Analytics too. You’ll need an easy way to track your blog traffic. Google Analytics is free and easy to understand. Don’t skip this step, you’ll need this info when you get to Step #8.
Resource: Get Google Analytics
2. Create an Email Newsletter: Offer your readers the opportunity to get to know you better. Demonstrate that you want a relationship and will send them love notes on a regular basis.
3. Offer A Gift: Find out what your reader wants to know the most about. Think about their #1 problem. Now, create a simple workbook, checklist, or ebook to offer them in exchange for their email address.
4. Make Sure Your Offer is Seen: Put the Opt-in form for your newsletter at the top of your sidebar. Your goal is to make your opt-in box the first thing your reader sees.
Cruising to 500 Subscribers:
5. Write Cornerstone Posts: Cornerstone posts are evergreen articles that target a specific keyword. These posts are packed with great information that shows your search engine visitors that you mean business. But, remember that you are writing for readers first and search engines second.
6. Become an Opening Act: Start writing guest posts on blogs in and around your niche. Guest posts allow you to audition your content for a new audience. People who like your stuff will head over to your blog.
Resource: Why You Should Give Your Best Posts Away
7. Crash Parties: Twitter has become a virtual convention hall with conversations popping up in every corner. These conversations are called Tweet Chats and are a great way to attract new visitors to your blog. There is a Tweet Chat for hundreds of topics.
Find a Tweet Chat, join, and start making friends. Help people, answer questions, and people will find their way to your blog – and become a subscriber.
Resource: Crowdsource list of over 330 Tweet Chats
Crossing the 1,000 Mark
We’re almost there. Now we just have to step on the gas….
8. Clone Your Superstars: Take a look at your blog traffic numbers and find the posts that have attracted the most traffic. You can also review your retweets and comments. Once you’ve found your superstars, Brainstorm posts that expand on topics that have proven crowd-appeal. For extra reach, consider turning super-popular themes into info-packed, cornerstone posts.
Resource: Chris Brogan wrote an excellent post about this: What PostRank Helps Me Do
9. Ask for the Subscription: Put a clear and obvious call-to-action at the end of your posts inviting readers to subscribe. Personalize each invitation to fit the subject of your post. Have fun and make sure your readers understand the benefit of signing-up.
10. Promote Your Posts: 9 out of 10 bloggers miss this step. Listen to me. There is nothing wrong with telling the world about your work. Your readers shouldn’t have to hunt for your posts.
Tweet out your post at least twice during the day. Do the same for your Facebook audience. The more readers you attract, the more subscribers you’ll receive.
Resource: Blog Post Promotion: The Ultimate Guide (Affiliate)
Ready to Play Hopscotch?
Over time your email list will become a powerful engagement tool. You can use it to survey for new topics, offer products, and virally spread posts beyond your immediate reader base. The hardest part is getting started.