How I Broke 31,000 RSS Readers

The blog hit another milestone today by breaking 31,000 RSS readers. Right now, the Feedburner counter shows 31,028. I really didn’t expect to hit 31,000 this fast. It was only 17 days ago when I wrote how I broke 29,000 RSS readers. At this rate of growth, I’ll pass 33,000 by the end of the month.

The Most Effective Way To Build Your RSS

Over the years, I’ve found many ways to increase my RSS readership base. However, one method has stood out heads and shoulders above the rest. Shoemoney started using it last month and went from 16,000 to over 21,000 readers in less than 20 days. The method works extremely well at getting new visitors to sign up to your blog. The system is based around incentive marketing. Here’s the step-by-step.

Create a Free eBook or Free Incentive

If your blog has been around for a while, chances are you have more than enough content to create an eBook out of it. Do you have any multi-part posts? Why not put them together into an easy to download eBook and offer it as an incentive for readers to subscribe to your blog?

My eBook, Make Money Online with John Chow dot Com, has been my best marketing tool to date. Not only does it increase my subscriber base but the book links back to my blog from every page so it’s a also a great source of traffic. Many readers who’s downloaded the eBook pass it around to their friends and that brings more visitors. The best part is, it didn’t cost me anything to produce. I just picked some of my best make money online posts and repackaged it.

If you don’t have enough content to create an eBook, you can use a free articles service to make one. However, I don’t recommend doing this because it doesn’t work as well from a marketing and branding standpoint. It’s always best to use your own content. You don’t really need that much content to create an eBook. I’ve seen eBooks as short as seven pages. Those are marketed as “Special Reports” and work just as well get getting readers to subscribe to your blog.

Sign Up for Aweber

After creating your eBook (or even before), the next step is to sign up for Aweber. Aweber is a newsletter and email marketing service. As a blogger, you’ll be interested in their blog broadcast feature. A blog broadcast allows Aweber to take the contents of your RSS feed and turn it into a newsletter that summarizes the past few days or posts that was written on your blog.

Here’s the key. Turning on blog broadcast adds all your newsletter subscribers to your FeedBurner counter because Aweber reports subscription information to FeedBurner. If you ask Shoe how many newsletter subscribers he has, you’ll find it’s surprisingly close to the amount of his recent RSS increase.

Use The eBook To Get Readers To Subscribe

The last part of the formula is to use your free eBook as an incentive to get readers to subscribe. My Aweber is set up so once a reader confirms their email account, it will send them the eBook.

This method works really well for non-tech readers. Many people still do not know what RSS is but will understand what a newsletter is. People who don’t know how to sign up to RSS will know how to enter their name and email to sign up for a newsletter.

How well does this method work? My newsletter subscription base accounts for 1/3 of my RSS readership. Make an eBook, sign up for Aweber, turn on blog broadcast and watch your FeedBurner counter go up.