Unfortunately, great writing doesn’t guarantee an audience. Bloggers who want people to read what they’ve written typically must think in terms of building a path for followers so that they can find content and stay connected.
Today we were working on a website that until recently had been hosted on wordpress.com. We moved the site to a new host and then configured a plug-in called Magic Action Box that enabled us to put a box at the end of every post to encourage readers to subscribe to the blog. We really feel that this boosts readership and think it’s important to include this functionality. That got us to thinking about e-mail subscriptions. On a WordPress-hosted site, subscribers are managed for you. For blogs hosted elsewhere, a management tool is necessary.
Building a path for followers
Readers generally receive blog posts (not hosted by WordPress) via either e-mail or an RSS feed. It is important to facilitate both means of following a blog through web development. Readers who choose to read blog posts via an RSS feed will use an RSS reader — there are many free ones available. We always recommend that a website include RSS feed(s). For followers who prefer to receive new content via email, we generally recommend a service, MailChimp, that starts out as free and then costs money if/when mail volume reaches a certain point. MailChimp will send blog posts to people on a mailing list automatically whenever new content is posted (or at some other specified interval). The same email list can be used for direct e-mail should that be part of an organization’s strategy. There is a paid service, FeedBlitz, that will do the essentially the same things. Often we create e-mail templates for customers that match their branding, but some of our customers start with one of the many templates offered by MailChimp and FeedBlitz that they customize themselves.
We hope this helps our blogger friends. Please call us if you have questions and/or would like to discuss this more.