How to Lure the First Subscribers to Your Blog – 5 Tips

By Mary Jaksch

The start of a blogger’s journey is exciting. Once you’ve wrestled your blog to the ground and have learned to publish a post, you are the proud owner of a living blog (in contrast to all the dead blogs littering the Internet). Once you’ve got Feedburner subscriptions set up, you settle down to wait for subscribers. Then nothing, absolutely nothing, happens.
Frustrating? Tell me about it!

How to get those first crucial subscribers?

When I started Goodlife ZEN, I was very excited. Still am. The only thing that I couldn’t get my head around was how to start getting subscribers. I forced my son and my best friend to subscribe. And after that there was a lull. Nobody else subscribed for the next two months. In the end, I subscribed my cat Sweetie – just to have a third subscriber.

Then I found some simple ways to get subscribers. Here are my tips:

  1. Create a simple business card with the name and URL of your blog.
  2. Tell every person you meet about your blog and give them the card to check it out.
  3. Let all your friends know about your blog – and ask them to subscribe.
  4. If you are on FB, make sure all your FB friends know about your blog.
  5. Start commenting on related blogs.

I know some of this may be a bit blush-making. But it works.

Four weeks after starting this strategy, I got to 20 subscribers. And then Goodlife ZEN grew to 100, 1000, 13,000 and beyond.

The most difficult part of growing a blog is getting to 20 subscribers. Everything else is easier.

Why do some bloggers reach success – and others don’t?
Before I share the secret of blogging success, let me tell you a story. I was recently in a karate class (I’m a 4th Dan Blackbelt). At the end of class, my teacher, Grandmaster Hanshi Andy Barber, looked us in the eye and said, “The reason you are Blackbelts and others haven’t reached that level is simple. You kept going.”

Same with blogging:
Successful bloggers keep going.

21 Responses to How to Lure the First Subscribers to Your Blog – 5 Tips

  1. Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project March 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Thanks for the quick shot of encouragement as well as tips, Mary!

    One thing I’ve found helpful in getting more subscribers is to add my blog’s URL to the signature line of my emails, so that every email I send out automatically includes a link to my blog. It’s very easy to set up an automated signature in most email programs. In MacMail, for example, go to the Mail menu, choose “Preferences,” then click on the “Signatures” tab.
    Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project recently posted..Freedom Friday- 3-25 Resource Round-Up

  2. Peppy | The PeppyWrites Chronicles March 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Hello Mary,

    I really liked your article – your confidence and determination comes through in your writing; every time I read a suggestion or helpful tips from you I am motivated to “keep on going” with my blog.

    Aside from not being able to pass the 29 “followers” mark – I like the term “subscribers” much better, there’s something about “followers” that doesn’t sound, oh, I don’t know, professional or dignified. Can that label be changed? Just curious. Sorry, I got off point which is – I am not good at requesting comments.

    I’m trying to figure out what my problem boils down to — and if poor quality in writing and content is at the root then I know it’s time to “call it a day”.

    Mary, what helped you know you had the ability and you just had to keep working at it? What prevented you from “calling it a day”?

    Any insights you offer will definitely be appreciated!

    Peppy | The PeppyWrites Chronicles recently posted..When Illness Happens To Friendships

  3. Joseph Archibald March 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Hi Mary, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

    Only too true and may I quote you…

    “The reason you are Blackbelts and others haven’t reached that level is simple. You kept going”.

    We should see blogging in exactly the same light. If we can keep going through what (appears to us) as the “rough” times, then chances are good that we will survive and we will thrive!

    Yaro Starak tells us that if we create interesting content (or indeed, pillar articles) on our blogs and we do some regular blog commenting etc. then the initial trickle of site visitors will slowly turn into a stream. That stream (if we keep on blog commenting etc.) will turn into a river. That river will turn into a flood, given time and given perseverence and belief in what we are doing.

    I personally do not think its quite as easy as that, but the general principals are sound enough. If we are very passionate about something in life, even though we may not be thoroughly successful at it, there could very well be a spin off, which brings us the sense of achievement that we crave.

    Thanks again Mary!


  4. Daniela Gitlin March 28, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Great little article! I can always stand to be reminded that persistence leads to success. It is the secret behind everything I’ve accomplished. And yet, I forget with every new endeavor!

    Write on! Daniela

  5. J.D. Meier March 28, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    There is a lot to be said for staying on path … and Karate masters are always a wealth of wisdom.

  6. Carol Tice March 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Hi Mary —

    I think we’re having a mind-meld today…my post for the day is 10 tips on how to get the first 1,000 subscribers.

    I never did the business-card trick…no doubt that would have gotten me going faster!

    You’re certainly right that those first couple dozen are probably the toughest!
    Carol Tice recently posted..Foolproof Ways to Attract Your First 1-000 Blog Subscribers

  7. Kala/ Design @Gallery Lotus March 31, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Mary thanks for the simple tips that work-I’m still now revamping my business card and creating a beautiful new logo for my website design site.
    Kala/ Design @Gallery Lotus recently posted..Affordable Small Business Website Design

  8. Jackie Paulson April 2, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    Thanks for the simple tips, I am going to “go back” and see if I cannot work my blog a better way. I am in the wordpress challenge to post a day in 2011. I took the challenge to prove I can write every single day. Sometimes I use their topics and others I don’t. I cannot find one niche to write about to make a blog about. That is my biggest problem: narrowing it down. I’d love advice, if you don’t mind.
    Jackie Paulson recently posted..Tithe vs Offering

    • Joseph Archibald April 2, 2011 at 12:44 am #

      Hi Jackie, if there is one thing that I’ve learned about working in IM (and this comes from an SEO guy who was prepared to plow through writing up boring old content on product after product, simply so he could rank in Google and make a few bucks each day by doing so). For a blog, you HAVE to focus on something that you are truly PASSIONATE about. If you do not, you will not have the will power to stay at it when the chips are down. And believe me, the chips will be down a whole bunch in the early days!

      And don’t worry about the fact that your own passions are already very popular online in the form of blogs. The fact is, no doubt you can come up with your own angle, and by doing so the chances are good that you’ll – in time and with perseverance, attract lots of readers to your blog.

      Good luck Jackie!

      Joseph Archibald recently posted..Change YOUR Life – Change Your Thinking

      • Jackie Paulson April 2, 2011 at 1:08 am #

        Thank you for the link, and information. I have so many interests that for a year I cannot narrow it down. I will have to deep think or rethink my approach and passions. I fear I will run out of things to say.
        Jackie Paulson recently posted..Tithe vs Offering

  9. Awakening Tempest April 8, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I’m not really too fond of the word ‘Lure’ as it appears to bring someone towards a plot without their full consent – but I agree with the points made and that one must keep going to make a success.
    Awakening Tempest recently posted..Revisiting Israel’s Terror War on Gaza

  10. Minnesota Transplant May 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Excellent tips here. Thanks. Another idea I’ve heard (and occasionally used) is to leave those business cards behind — with tips, in gasoline bathrooms, in books or magazines you leave behind at the laundrymat or wherever. And I’ve included them in my Christmas cards every year. Some of my aunts and uncles are my greatest fans!
    Minnesota Transplant recently posted..That’s incredible emphasis on credible

  11. Cristian Balau August 10, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Commenting on related blogs is one of the best strategy as you get a lot of exposure to possible subscribers. After you get those you need to keep up the quality content coming and also the blob commenting and other ways of promotion.

  12. Gareth August 17, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Right signed up to feedburner, time to get some subscribers!
    Gareth recently posted..Motivation: My peculiar and fickle friend

  13. Mike@Flooring Options September 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    That was simple but useful tips and encouragement from you! I’ve gather again another ideas, tips, advices and encouragement.. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! Best regards to you!
    Mike@Flooring Options recently posted..Exotic Hardwood Floors

  14. Naomi Campbell September 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Good Day Mary!

    You did an excellent tips actually. Blog commenting to other related blogs are such a great help to get traffic to your site. Thanks for sharing this excellent tips here. Thanks much!
    Naomi Campbell recently posted..Bank Repossessed Cars

  15. Eva Green October 9, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    Success in blogging, consistency is very much important it requires great motivation and determination in order to keep going in blogging. So, let us keep going!
    Eva Green recently posted..Natural Remedies For Heartburn

  16. Effective sales strategies October 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics that plenty are interested on.
    The point that the data stated are all first hand on actual experiences even help more.
    Go on doing what you do as we enjoy reading your work.
    Effective sales strategies recently posted..Two Essential Marketing Strategies

  17. Caitlin B. December 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Everyone says share your blog on facebook. Most of my friends don’t shre the same interest as me an dI don’t think they would enjoy my blogs content. Also since I’m just starting I don’t know how quality my posts are (I enjoy them but I don’t know if others do) and I’m terrified I’d embarrass myself by sharing it with my friends in real life (via facebook).

  18. Tobias Wagner April 16, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Good way to get new subscribers is to offer some free stuff for subscription. What free stuff? You can find on the web )
    For example, if your site about web development – offer a free website template, or maybe some free ebook, which you could compile from the posts you already written.


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