There are two big mistakes every blogger has made in the beginning. 1) Start the email list later. 2) Never announce they’ve published something new to the people who already want to know about new posts.
That’s crazy! We often are so obsessed with getting more eyes to read our stuff and we’re tracking new visits every day but we forget to actually tell the people who already said they want to hear from us that we published something new.
That madness has to stop. You don’t need more eyes to read you, you need to pay attention to the ones that are already doing it.
I’ve been making this mistake for so long. I started my email list this year (english list, I mean, the spanish list started on 2012) and I always thought that the next post would give me more people and the next one, too, oh, but wait to publish the next one… and besides being a tiring task, it’s greedy, in its purest form.
I focus my last few years in getting more people but my content suffered a little bit. I was always trying to write the next great thing but the people who were already my audience got a lot of inconsistent posts about a lot of topics. And, let’s say I wrote something about Social Media today and they signed up but the next post they’d get was about this restaurant and the next one was about this event and the next one was about this prize and they’d had to be really patient to get another Social Media post, the main topic they signed up in the first place.
I’M SO SORRY ABOUT THAT.
When I figured out that was my mistake, I knew exactly how to fix it. By focusing on the people who were already on my list, to write for them, to serve them, to build blog series for them.
But here’s the deal, there’s a lot of people out there who hasn’t realise they’re chasing the idea of getting more readers instead of focusing in their own audiences. And I thought it was a great opportunity to talk about how we almost always forget there are people who are waiting to know about us, already.
Your audience followed you somewhere for some reason. Your audience signed up your newsletter for some reason. Your audience added your blog on a syndication tool for some reason. Don’t ever forget about them.
Instead, everytime you published something new, try to tell them you wrote a post for them.
Don’t worry if you lost time or if you’re starting to let them know a little bit later. The only thing that matters is that, from here, you’re focusing on the right thing: your existing audience.
The 3 ways to let your audience know you published something new are, basically, 3 features I found on WordPress for this purpose. But it doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to add it to your own site if you don’t use WordPress. Just be creative enough to add them or improve them!
3 ways to let your audience know you published something new
Connect your Social Media channels with Publicize.
Publicize is a built-in WordPress feature to help you spread the word on your Social Media channels every time you publish a new post.
And yes, you can totally share your new posts on Social Media. And there are 2 reasons for doing so (I bet there are more but if you’re doubting of doing so, you only need these 2).
- If people followed you on Social Media is because they’re interested in you. This interest could be you’re friendly or you’re smart or you’re creative or you’re, you guessed it, interesting. There’s a big chance they want to know what you have to say. You might won’t get them all to read you but I bet some of them will!
- We’re living in the post-Google-Reader era. “Having a blog” is no longer that common so there’s a big chance they don’t know you write one. Publishing your new posts on your Social Media channels will give them a heads up!
You can connect your Social Media channels to Publicize right here: http://wordpress.com/sharing ❤
Just click in the “connect” button of the social network you want to publicize your posts in and follow the instructions. 🙂
If you’re using WordPress.ORG, visit your dashboard and go Settings > Sharing to find the Publicize options.
No subscription box? No problem! Add a form instead.
I’ve heard a lot of people claiming that the abscense of subscription boxes is a problem in my platform. I only think the problem is creativity. You always have to do the most you can with the tools you have. If you really need a subscription box and can’t add one, add a form where the only field you’re asking is the email or email and name.
In every page or post, there are 4 buttons above the editor page. Those are Add Media, Add Poll, Add Contact Form and Add Location. Well, click on Add Contact Form and create a form with a single field and you’re done with your new subscription box.
For example, if you leave me your email address in this box, you’ll be the first to know when I publish something new. I bet you won’t want to miss it!
Of course you’ll have to do something extra to contact the emails you get, later. But it’s as easy as eating a pie. You just have to download a .csv archive from the Feedback menu. To do this go to the WordPress Admin Dashboard (both WordPress dot com and org), then Feedback, then Feedback again and you’ll find all your new friends’ email addresses and / or messages if you set up a contact form, instead.
You can download that email list as a .csv (at the end of the page there’s a button to do it). And import it to your favorite email marketing platform and you’re done. ❤
Just remember that they gave you their email address because they want to hear from you. Don’t be lazy and try to contact them every time you publish good stuff or every time you want to say hello (you can write a letter to them, you know, they’re people)!
Or, you know, add a link at the end of every post that goes to your newsletter landing page, too. Like this one http://kath.pw 😉
Use all the “follow blog” WordPress features.
The WordPress original features help you to spread the word without any extra effort. People who follow you blog, get every post you publish immediatly. There are 3 features to help you with this task, try to activate them all.
The Follow Button.
The follow button is a widget you can add in any side bar you have on your blog. As I don’t have a side bar on my theme, I didn’t add it but it’s a tiny blue button that can be very useful if your main audience is already a WordPress user. The people who will be able to follow you by clicking that button will be the people who already have a WordPress profile.
If you don’t want to add a widget but want to create your own button and add it wherever you want, create your own Follow Button over here: https://developer.wordpress.com/docs/follow-button-creation/ it will only work with sites powered by WordPress (com and org).
And that’s it. Every person who clicks that follow button on your blog, will get every post you publish from now on.
The Follow Button on the corner for the non-Wordpress-users.
Now, we’re talking! What if your audience doesn’t use WordPress or doesn’t have a WordPress profile or doesn’t read that many blogs but, somehow, want to keep reading yours? Well, give them an opportunity to keep reading you by activating this follow button at the bottom right corner of your blog.
It will appear to every person who is not logged in on WordPress (the only way I can see it is if I visit my own blog in a new incognito window).
To turn this feature on go to the WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Reading > Follower settings > Logged out users and check the “Show follow button to logged out users” option box. 🙂 And that’s it.
What I like about this feature is that it is a button and doesn’t disturb anybody.
But the people who are really interested in follow your blog and get all your new posts, will click that button and see this:
Who said WordPress.com doesn’t offer subscriptions forms!? That’s a form! A more discrete one but a form at the end. I love this option because it offers the people who doesn’t have a WordPress profile a way to follow my blog and keep in touch with me. ❤
And you just have to click a checkbox to get this feature. They only have to click and leave their email address and automatically will be notified every time you publish again. ❤
The follow blog widget.
This is the most popular follow feature WordPress has. It’s a beautiful combination of the two above. You add the widget in your side bar and it will detect if the person reading you is logged in or logged out WordPress. If logged in, they’ll see a follow button. If logged out, they’ll see a subscription form to leave their email.
I’ve put mine at the very end of the page.
Activating these 3 follow blog WordPress features was a permanent solution for me. After activating it, I had to do nothing but publishing to let my audience know I published something new. Which is perfect because you know how much I love permanent solutions.
Now, I can focus on creating content for my existing audience knowing that any new person reading me will find a way to be part of my audience without me tricking them to be so and I can focus on sending emails to my existing audience who subscribed to my newsletter (I need to improve my skills on this, but I’ll tell you that story later).
If you want to be the first one to read my next post, join my newsletter here: http://kath.pw ❤