3 Reasons You Desperately Need RSS Subscribers

Real Large RSSBefore I started Court’s Internet Marketing School, I had absolutely no idea how powerful it is to have a group of people that reads your site through RSS.

Confession time: I actually used to think it was stupid to allow people to read your site through RSS because it seems to cost you valuable impressions every day.

Right now there are around 900 people that read my site through RSS. Simple math seems to tell you that over a month’s time, that would cost me 27,000 visits to my site – about the same amount of unique visitors I have every month.

Does this mean that I could effectively double the amount of unique visitors I have every month by deleting my RSS feed? Even though it seems like it could be the case, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Before I started this site I didn’t see the value in RSS but I was very wrong.

3 Reasons You Desperately Need RSS Subscribers

  • Your RSS subscribers are the people that will link to your site most often. This will positively affect your search engine optimization efforts more than almost anything else. More links is always going to translate into more search engine traffic.
  • RSS subscribers are more likely to add your posts and pages to social media sites like BloggingZoom, StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit. If you don’t have a good RSS count, you probably don’t have a base of social voters.
  • RSS subscribers are more likely to buy your affiliate offers than random people that come across your site. Since they will get to know you and trust you (assuming you’re trustworthy), they will likely put more stock into your recommendations. Note: If you give sucky recommendations this will have the opposite effect. 😉

There is no doubt that without my subscriber base, I would have less traffic. My RSS readers are the ones that link to my site, and they are the ones that are voting for me on social sites. There is absolutely no way I could have the Google rankings I have without my RSS subscribers.

The #1 goal for your blog should be to increase your RSS count. Nothing is more important than this. If you don’t have a blog but are using a traditional site, make sure you create an RSS feed that people can use.

The next post I publish will help you to increase your RSS count. You’re probably going to want to subscribe to my RSS feed now so you don’t miss it. 😉

Comments 45

  1. I was a visitor turn RSS reader. I will comment, like now, from time to time.

    Plus, you could add RSS ads in the feed to compensate. Just enough to make some money with 2-3 advertisers per post. You will need to take the number of post/month into consideration.

  2. I find myself subscribing by email to blogs that aren’t updated regularly but I tend to just go ahead and directly visit those that I like that are updated regularly. I feel like I’m missing part of the experience if I use a reader.

  3. Hi Court
    I think you’re right on the money with this on all counts.
    Without RSS and full feed it would be impossible for me to keep up.
    Partial feed is a tease and there’s not one left on the 50+ feeds I have; and no I don’t visit there sites or give them my email address – the partial feeders lost me!
    PS Thanks for the new themes – always great to get new ones.

  4. I check up on my feed subscriptions through firefox live bookmarks…and more specifically, I save the feeds in a folder on my bookmarks toolbar.

    In a nutshell, I actually visit the site after viewing the title of the post via the folder. So even though I’m a feed subscriber, I’m hitting the site most every day. I wonder how many subscribers are like this.

    Also, wordpress 2.1+ cuts off the feed annoyingly. But this might work well for the publisher as it forces the reader to the site to read the rest of the article.

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  6. I couldn’t agree with you more. I read your blog by RSS feed, amongst many others, and every day I find several of the blogs with posts (such as this one) that move me to pop on over and comment.

    I am much LESS likely to subscribe a blog by email because I found by doing so that I get spammed big time. Not only does that cause me to unsubscribe from the blog, but I also remove them from any friends list on networking sites. I think people that misuse email addresses are probably the lowest of the low amongst bloggers.

    RSS feeds is the easiest way to subscribe to blogs, and I’ve been thrilled that my subscriber numbers have doubled in a very short time. You do great work here Court!

  7. Court,
    I agree with Lin. When I read an interesting post via RSS I am very likely to click over and post a comment, which results in increased pageviews.

  8. Guess what Court? I’m both an RSS subscriber AND a site visitor to this blog! 😀

    But anyway, I don’t think you could’ve said it any better. I used to be the same way – I thought that when people subscribed you lost tons of valuable uniques and pageviews. But like you said, it’s really the opposite – it’s those subscribers that’ll be willing to send you even more pageviews because they refer people to your site! 🙂

  9. Good post Courtney! I clicked over here from the email as I wanted more info…

    This will sound dumb I’m sure, but I don’t really know what an RSS feed is, where to find one or how to install it. I wouldn’t have gone looking as I didn’t know the advantages, but now you’ve explained the ‘why’ I WANT one too 🙂 BUT, please explain the ‘how’ as well.

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  10. I agree, RSS subscribers are extremely important. Leaving out RSS on a blog is like a magazine only offering their publication at the newsstand–A big mistake. The big question we grapple with is whether or not to include the full text of each article. I’ve heard great arguments for RSS teasers and for full text.

  11. Court, Ive never thought it was I never thought it was stupid, however, I have found it one of the more challenging aspects of running a blog. The fluctuations can make one a bit of a nut job, I look forward to your suggestions. Until then I ‘ll keep trying to add value content and hope for the best. But I have to say that oversize d button you have on this post has to have had a positive effect for you. Confession time for me now, I just subscribed to your feed because of it, although Ive been visiting your site 15 times a day. I guess I never saw a need to subscribe. Good work

  12. Boy …. the more I learn … the more I find that I still need to learn .. arggg …I’m a newbee to all this and there is so much to digest … how to create a good blogsite, search word optimizing, now feeds, etc.
    My site is still very crude, and visits rare … :o(
    Hope I can learn enough before I get discouraged and quit. Always willing to accept advice from anyone who has fought the good fight and won …. :o)

  13. Guess what? I didn’t even bother about the number of RSS subscribers that I have too, and now, I try to grab every opportunity that I have to turn those one time visitors from search engines to faithful subscribers. 😉
    And it’s kinda hard to keep coming up with quality contents that your subscribers to make sure they stay as a subscriber… but of course, it’s a good problem to have.

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  15. hmmm … I’m not so sure that the idea that RSS subscribers don’t also contribute to site visits is totally valid … especially if your posts encourage comments. I think that in addition to being the most likely to submit your posts to social networks, RSS subscribers are also quite likely to be the most likely to leave regular comments. … and until there is a way to do that from an RSS reader, they have to visit your blog … the best of both world 🙂

  16. as long as you keep posting, we’ll keep reading. the numbers that good blogs can get are staggering. gotta keep them coming in to look around

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  19. Your 5,000 (odd) words on blogging is what gave me the final push to add a subscribe by email button to my blog. So, pretty cool, and since I just added it yesterday, I’m excited that I already have a subscriber, squee!

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  23. Hi Court! I just started my new blog: http://www.floridaguyinbrazil.com/ and I have to say that I’m so glad I found your site! I have a long way to go, but I believe that with the great tips found at your site I’ll be successful. It’s going to take hard work, but I’m willing to put in the time and effort. I hope one day to write a book about my experience in relocating to Brazil so that I can help others.

    Have a geat day!
    Chris

  24. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely doo I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    The problem is something too few folks are speaking intelliigently about.
    Now i’m very happy I came across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

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