Previously, I have written about what on a blog puts me off as a visitor and keeps me from subscribing to it. Today, I am going to disclose what makes me subscribe to a blog and how you can learn from my perspective as a reader to improve your own blog.
The quality shows. Whenever I see quality, I am inclined to make the most of it, whether it means buying a product, enrolling in a course, or subscribing to a blog. The problem is, for most, it is hard to describe what makes a blog so full of value that it becomes impossible to ignore it. So, here are five things that some of the excellent blogs do right and are the reason why I am subscribed to them.
Any blog I subscribe to is chock-full of value. It does away with redundancies and retains the valuable elements. Every such blog has no mediocre quality posts, no extra widgets and buttons, no unintended sentences, and no fluff. It only keeps what is important to me.
No element and not even a single dot on a blog should be there without a reason. Most readers have very short attention spans and they’ll likely be itching to go to the next web page if you don’t grab their attention the moment they arrive at your page. If you eliminate the redundancies and make the quality factor your first priority, there is no reason why you won’t see an exponential reader growth.
Distinct style of the blog author is what I notice first sub-consciously. I immediately notice that this is not just another of thousands of similar voices. It presents the common observations in a new way, and it carries with it the personality of its author.
Your style is how you say things, how you spell them out, and how you present them thorough your unique perspective. Your words, your grasp of the language, and your know-how of your subject matter define your style. The more eloquently you say it, the more uniquely you convey it, and the more information you put into your content, the more your refine your style and increase your chances of holding your readers’ attention.
I am pushed to perform a certain action, given reasons to undertake a certain task, and urged to do it NOW. There are no weak trailing dots, requests to “please” do it, and vague pointers that lead me nowhere. I am clearly told that if I do it, here’s how I’ll benefit from it.
It is vital to get rid of the elements that create uncertainty and doubt in your readers mind. Presenting information in a matter-of-factly and uninspiring way is not a good idea either. Instead, be clear about what you want your reader to do after reading a certain sentence or clicking on a particular link. Lay out information in a way that it makes your readers think and evaluate their opinions, and do something to change some aspect of their life.
I am impressed with beautiful colors, neatly aligned columns, and a balance between all the elements present on a page. Everything seems to be just in the right place, and I find it where I expect it. Navigating through such design is a breeze, and going to the desired locations is a matter of intuition.
Content is king, but design is the robes of king. How much would you respect a rag-clad beggar claiming to be king? Or how much would you like a king that goes around naked?
Similarly, no matter great your content is, people will ignore it if you dress it up in a raggedy design. Give your design top consideration, and make sure it’s pleasant to look at.
While I am enjoying my browsing experience on such blog, I am reminded to subscribe to it at different points, and all these points happen to be at critical places. For example, at the end of a great article, on the navigation bar with other “What’s more” links, and in the sidebar while I look for more browsing options, I am told to subscribe. Of course, I accept the offer and become a subscriber.
Just putting a big and shiny RSS button somewhere prominent is not a good enough reason for your visitors to subscribe. You should remind them and tell them to subscribe, and place your subscription link where you think it’ll convince your visitors of the value of your blog.
Remind them often. One of those links is sure to grab their attention.
Boy! Looks like I am not easy to impress unless you do everything right. But then again, this is how most of your visitors are. By subscribing, a visitor creates a bond with you. He makes a decision to read you for as along as you write. You need to give him a reason for making that decision, and if you tale care of the above points, I, as a reader, a visitor, a subscriber, and a traffic statistic, assure you that you’ll convert every right person to your reader!
What makes you subscribe to a blog?