Blogging is all about attraction. You have to attract readers to your content, make a great first impression and then hope that they subscribe to your blog. There is a lot of talk on the net about getting readers to hit that rss feed or newsletter subscription, but there is not as much discussion on how to keep those readers once the conversion process is done. Online…you only really get one chance. I don’t want to put a lot of unneeded pressure on you…but once you lose that rss or newsletter subscriber…it is incredibly hard to get them back for a 2nd round. So…in true “don’t do this at home” fashion, let’s take a look at the top 10 ways to lose subscribers to your blog and have them running away with no hope of coming back.
Top 10 Ways To Lose Subscribers To Your Blog
- Frequently Go Off-Topic – Going off topic every now and then to give your readers an insight into your life or interests is one thing, but frequently going off into unrelated topics on your blog with no rhyme or reason can kill your chances of retaining consistent subscribers. Readers subscribe to blogs for a number of reasons, but the #1 reason is to get relevant, up-to-date information on a given topic…even if that topic is the blogger (applies to personal blogs). Have a defined topic to your blog and stick to that subject matter. If you are going to ADD your blog into randomness…do not expect people to stick around. They will just find someone else that will.
- Inconsistent Content Quality – There is a lot of talk in the blogging world about posting frequency. For new bloggers, this puts a lot of pressure on them for a schedule, and – often times – I see new bloggers (and some experienced ones) sacrifice content quality for a schedule or the feeling that they have to post so many times a week. It is and always will be quality over quantity in blogging as it relates to content. Do not sacrifice the quality of your articles to satisfy some random post number or schedule. It is not worth it.
- Performing the Hard Sell – We all know you want to make at least some income from your blogging. Hell…these days it is pretty much expected! However, honesty and transparency still rule when it comes to quality blogging and no one wants a used car salesman in their face when they are trying to get real information online. I have seen bloggers lose a massive amount of subscribers by getting desperate for the almighty dollar, and…by doing that…they post up questionable reviews and content that are a vain attempt at converting content into dollars. Be patient…money comes with successful blogging and them more you push affiliate advertising on your readers…the less success you will have.
- Changing Topics Frequently – Throughout the course of your blogging, you are going to see or come up with more great blog topic ideas. Just like the blogger that frequently goes off topic, you also do not want to change the direction of your blog frequently or chase other ideas on other blogs. You have to give one blog a real run at it for at least 6 months before deciding to change topics or dropping it completely. There is no quick and easy way to get a ton of subscribers and traffic within the beginning stages (unless you already have a massive blog in a related field), so stick with it and try not to chase every “great idea” out there…you will lose the subscribers that brought you your beginning success.
- Changing Designs Frequently – There are a ton of WordPress designs being released every week. Every 6 months, there is some new, hot theme that everyone just has to have. This is not going to change. Especially if you do your own design work…you are going to be the most critical when the readers of your blog probably don’t even notice the aspects of your design that just get under your skin. If your design is performing as it should…leave it alone. Do not add every single new, hot plugin or theme as you will start putting off readers with clutter and ever changing environments. The key to successful blogging is consistency.
- Forgetting To Interact With Your Readers – Readers will subscribe to your blog to connect with you as the blogger (even the lurkers). You have a comments section and contact form for a reason. Connect with your readers by responding to comments and answering emails. This task will get more daunting with more success, but even the most successful bloggers answer their emails…so you can to. If you want to lose subscribers…show how much you really don’t appreciate their efforts to help promote your content by ignoring their emails and comments.
- Not Providing Value and Uniqueness – So you created one incredibly valuable blog article that is converting casual readers into subscribers…great! But…now you are getting lazy and your content is slipping. Instead of creating unique, valuable content, you are just regurgitating the content of others and posting up sub par crap that your readers just could get better somewhere else. You absolutely have to provide value with a unique angle to be successful in blogging. If you are expecting to copy the success of others, the few subscribers you do get will leave in search of the real thing.
- Too Many Ads – Just like the used car salesman, no one wants to be bombarded with a bunch of banner advertisements on your blog. Your readers will understand (and appreciate) well placed, relevant advertising, but they will not tolerate in your face ad placement. If you want to lose subscribers…and quickly…blind them with ads. It looks cheap and actually converts a lot lower than well placed, relevant ads due to “ad blindness” (so many ads that they do not look at any of them).
- Negativity and Ranting (online arguments) – No one wins online arguments…ever! Yes…you can reach a lot of people at once and tell them how much you hate someone else…but the reality is…if it is not related to your blogging topic…your readers don’t care! Public bashing for the pure reason to just show your ass will drop subscribers faster than you will be able to recuperate from it. Keep the ranting and online negativity to a minimum…especially if it has nothing to do with what you are blogging about. You know you hate that co-worker that does nothing but bitch all day, so why are you going to be that person online?
- Becoming Bigger Than Your Blog – You start to see success, things are going really well, you have made a little bit of money and…all of the sudden…your head has gotten so big that you can’t fit through the doorway. Online ego’s and the feeling that you are not better than your readers will drop subscribers like crazy. You are never bigger than a single one of your readers and if you start to grow that online ego, it will come through in your writing. Humbleness breeds success in blogging. Even if you have succeeded in positioning yourself as the expert in your niche, there will always be more that you can learn and you will never know everything. The day I know everything about blogging, cycling or coffee…will officially be the stupidest day of my life. Always be learning and always be humble.
There you have it! The top 10 ways to lose subscribers to your blog. If you want to keep and attract subscribers to your blog…do the opposite of every single one of these top 10 items.
Image by Pippybug