By boosting the number of people who subscribe to your blog's RSS feed through a feed reader or email, you will increase traffic to your blog organically. In other words, if your content is good enough to motivate people to subscribe to your feed, and you make it easy for them to subscribe, then all you have to do is continue publishing great content and visits should naturally increase.
It's less likely for a person to take the time to specifically visit your blog each day than it is for them to click an interesting headline in their email subscription message or feed reader and visit your blog. It's also easy for subscribers to share your blog posts with their own audiences, particularly across the social web on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and so on, which usually leads to more traffic for your blog. In other words, increasing blog subscribers is an important part of growing your blog.
Following are five WordPress plugins that make it easy for people to subscribe to your blog's feed, which will lead to more traffic to your blog over time.
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OptinSkin enables you to create subscription forms that are designed to convert. This is a premium WordPress plugin (pricing at the time of this article's writing was $47), but it's easy to use and can be extremely effective in increasing your blog's subscribers, particularly email subscribers. It takes just a couple of minutes to create a subscription form, which you can quickly add to the bottom of your blog posts, top of your posts, after the first paragraph of each post, or any other custom position on your blog that you prefer. OptinSkin offers analytics, A/B split testing, and sharing options. It also integrates with popular email marketing services like MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact, and many more.
The What Would Seth Godin Do? WordPress plugin has been around for years, and it's still very popular. It's based on the concept that new visitors should be welcomed to your blog and asked to subscribe immediately, so the plugin uses browser cookies to identify new visitors. These new visitors see a special message inviting them to subscribe to the blog's feed at the top of the blog post they're reading. You can customize the message and its location. The best part of this plugin is that it's free.
When you install the Hellobar plugin on your WordPress blog, you can add a narrow bar that spans across the top of your blog within a visitor's browser window. You can customize the colors of the bar, enter your own text message on the bar, and configure where visitors will go when they click on the bar. For example, use a Hellobar to invite visitors to subscribe to your blog and lead them to a subscription form when they click on the call to action button on your Hellobar. At the time of this article's writing, a free version was available with up to 25 clicks on your Hellobar per month, A/B split testing, and analytics access. For $4.95 per month, you get up to 100 clicks per month, A/B testing, analytics, RSS and Twitter feeds to use your Hellobar as a social ticker, the ability to save your themes, removal of Hellobar branding, and more.
Many visitors to your blog will be interested in some of your content, but not all of it. They might not subscribe to your blog because they don't want to receive irrelevant updates. However, if you give them the option to only subscribe to the specific categories
of posts that interest them, your subscriber number is likely to go up. The Category Specific RSS Feed Subscription plugin makes it easy to add a widget
to your blog's sidebar inviting visitors to subscribe only to categories of their choice. Yes, you can set category subscription options up without a plugin, but the plugin makes it so quick and easy!
If you're really serious about increasing traffic to your blog by boosting subscribers, particularly email subscribers, and you don't mind interrupting people during their visits to your blog, then the Pippity Customized Popups plugin might be a great option for you. With Pippity, you can create a pop-up window inviting people to subscribe to your blog, customize your pop-up window, control when visitors see your pop-up window, and conduct A/B split testing to find the best ways to create and use your pop-up window to convert the most visitors to subscribers. Pippity is a premium WordPress plugin, so it does come with a price tag (starting at $49 for a one-year, one-site license at the time of this article's writing). Pippity also integrates with a growing list of email marketing providers for email marketing, including MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact, and many more.