To be honest, this is the one area that I absolutely suck at. I realize that it takes time, but I just haven’t found any fast ways to build a big subscriber base so that I can flip these quickly. But I do have a few ideas for you that I’ve had success with in the past.
If you don’t have the “subscribe remind” or a similar plugin installed, you are missing out on some potential subscribers. This puts a small blurb of text on the bottom of every post asking people to subscribe to your feed, and it generally has about a 1-2% success rate. Not much, but it’s worth having.
I realize that if you hold a contest it could push your blog past the deadline for selling them, and thus cost you some points in the contest. But more RSS subscribers might make you more cash, and then it would make it worth it. I’d recommend a quick contest… something you can do in a week, maybe two and make it a term of entry that they have to subscribe to your feed.
You might forego the contest completely and just do a giveaway. This might be your best option. I saw my buddy Ryan do this with a brand new site, and he ended up with over 200 Rss subscribers in less than 60 days. And what was he giving away? A wordpress hoodie. Yeah…
Respond to Comments
When responding to comments, you can almost always find a way to slip in a statement like “are you subscribed to my feed” or “Thanks for the compliment. I recommend signing up for the feed so you don’t miss any more great information”. Stuff like this is cheesy, but effective.
There are several Wordpress plugins that allow you to exclude categories from your blog. Why would you want to exclude these? So that you can use them for RSS-only posts of course! Make sure and hype up that you are getting ready put out a post that offers a great deal of information, hype it for about 2 days… then release it. Your Rss subscribers will get the post, the regular blog readers… not so much. Want to kick it up a notch? Post an excerpt on your blog. Two sentences followed by some periods might peek their interest.
Even with all of these ideas, it’s pretty tough to generate a ton of RSS subscribers in 30 days. I usually end up with somewhere between 30-50. So what do I do? I don’t mention it anywhere in the ad for the site, unless someone asks… and surprisingly, they usually don’t. Just focus on the good parts of the site, and leave out the not so good… just as if you were selling anything else. Always focus on the features and benefits. For example. if you were selling cars, and a couple came in to look at a new SUV would your opening line be “Hey this thing sucks gas bad. It gets like 8 miles per gallon.” or “This is a great looking truck with a wonderful ride. It’d be great for hauling a boat back and forth to the lake.” I think you know the answer…