Blogging can be one of the most rewarding things you do as an author. By sharing with your blog readers you can build your author brand, develop topic authority, and share your ideas with a world full of potential fans. But what happens next?
Do your blog readers and followers just float away into the vastness of the internet—never to be seen again? Hopefully not.
As an author, you want your blog to do more than just get attention. You want it to turn casual browsers into loyal readers. You want it to help you build an audience of true fans who can’t wait to buy your books and tell their friends about them.
That all starts with getting people on an email list where you can communicate with them on an ongoing basis. And in this post, I’ll share some strategies you can use to convert more of your blog readers into subscribers.
Let’s get started.
Publish Regularly and Stay on Topic
This might sound obvious, but if you want to keep your blog readers coming back for more, you need to give them something to want to come back to.
If you write nonfiction, you can fill your blog with helpful information on your area of expertise. If you write fiction, you can share short stories, excerpts, or reviews of other books in your genres.
For example, if you’re writing a novel in the LitRPG genre, you might publish an article called “Best Books like Ready, Player One.” Readers will appreciate the reading list suggestions. And if you keep delivering content they’re excited about, they’ll be more likely to want to stay in touch through your email list.
Offer Your Blog Readers Bonus Content
If you want someone to join your email list, you need to give them a reason. What’s something you can offer that people will get excited about?
Some sites focus on updates. Scott’s Cheap Flights sends people alerts about great deals on airline travel. FoodDeliveryGuru lets people know when their favorite service is running a sale on delivery. My site offers people a free book marketing eBook all about how to get more exposure on Amazon.
So let’s apply these models to author websites. What could you promise people who choose to subscribe? Maybe it’s updates and reviews of new books published in your chosen genre. Maybe it’s a free short story or a companion piece to something you’ve published.
Whatever the case, offering something more exciting than “join my newsletter” or “get free updates” is key to converting readers into subscribers.
And you can totally offer more than one cool incentive. Lots of my articles offer topic-specific bonus content that I know readers will appreciate.
Of course, let people know that they can leave your email list at any time, and they’re not under any obligation. This helps to not only gain subscribers but retain them as well.
Make Joining Your List Easy and Obvious
I’m amazed at how many sites bury their opt-in forms or don’t have any obvious places to subscribe. You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you have people wanting to join your email list but unable to do so. You have to make it easy.
I’m not saying you need to have 5 different popups or anything crazy. Instead, here’s the principle I follow: make sure that no matter where someone is on your website, if they get the urge to join your list, they can do so easily—without a bunch of searching.
Headers, sidebars, and footers are all places you can do this. And yes, popups can play a role. For example, consider adding an exit-intent popup that appears when people start to leave your site. It’s a great way to reach people before they’re gone and give them a chance to join your list.
Don’t Flood Email Inboxes
Once you’ve got your subscribers, you need to do your best to retain them. And one of the best ways to do that is to provide fresh, relevant content on a regular basis.
But you definitely can go a bit overboard here. Unless specified via an option, there’s no need to send out an email or newsletter every day. First off, that can get really tiring for you. And secondly, nobody likes a spammer.
A weekly newsletter can cover everything that’s been updated on your blog, let people know about conferences you’ll be attending, and still seem fresh. Or even a well-put-together monthly newsletter could do the trick.
Now if you’ve got a special event coming up such as a book signing or showcase, go ahead and send out an email. But daily or multiple-times-a-day emails get really old. Really fast. Learn to respect your readers’ boundaries, and you’ll definitely see your retention rates go up.
Every Conversion Counts
There are countless advantages and opportunities to be had from gaining blog subscribers. Chief among them is…you are creating a fanbase for your future works. Your blog subscribers will be a perfect target audience if you release a new book.
Understanding how to convert your blog readers and passersby into devoted followers is the first step in building that audience. And success begets success. The more happy subscribers you have, the more people you’ll have sharing your work with their friends and helping you find new fans.
So use the tips I’ve shared to start optimizing your blog for converting readers into subscribers. It will make every post you publish more effective toward your long-term goals.
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