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While a shiny new visitor to your site is always a cause for celebration, it’s the tried and true subscribers who will grow your food blog’s success. Just ask the friendly waitress at your local mom and pop diner, and she’ll tell you: regulars pay the bills.
As a serious blogger, your goal should be getting visitors to click that Subscribe button so that your content becomes a part of their daily life. We’ve got some tips to help you make that happen.
While some chefs have the rare ability to toss any old vegetable into a saute pan and make magic happen spontaneously, most of us have more success in the kitchen when we’ve spent time developing a recipe. That’s because we’ve taken time to consider the variety of flavors we have on hand and how they’ll work together. We’ve thought about the people who will be dining with us, their favorite ingredients and the ingredients that they turn their noses up at.
Likewise, a successful blog is a blog that has been thoughtfully planned out with your audience and resources in mind. Not only will developing a content strategy result in more engaging posts, but it will also make writing those posts simpler for you. No last minute rushing or apologetic updates when you’re too sick to write.
While your storytelling skills no doubt delight your blog readers, offering value-added content will take your blog from fluff to fantastic. So what’s the most valuable thing you have to offer? Believe it or not, it doesn’t cost a dime. It’s your expertise.
Focus on developing content that solves problems for subscribers. Pay attention to the questions that appear consistently in your comments and answer them. Test different recipes and let readers know which work the best. Tanya at Lemons for Lulu provides a weekly meal plan that helps readers take control of the kitchen with confidence, which makes subscribing to her blog a no-brainer.
How does mom get the family running from all parts of the house to gather round the dinner table? Simple. She calls to them.
Sometimes persuading a new reader to subscribe to your blog is as simple as asking. Be sure that you’ve included a Subscribe CTA at the top of your blog where readers can see it and take action.
This is a controversial step. While installing a pop-up will instantly grab your reader’s attention, some people do find them off-putting. However, pop-up design has improved considerably since their initial inception, and it’s possible to use these tools in a way that actually does grow your subscribership.
Remember a few rules to create a pop-up that works:
- Give readers an exit from the pop-up
- Restrict your use of pop-ups to prevent pop-up fatigue
- Limit the amount of information that you ask readers to provide
- Keep the style and tone consistent with the rest of your blog
- User fewer words and more powerful images
This CTA that we integrated into The Daring Gourmet’s blog posts demonstrates how to tastefully use pop-ups to build your subscriber base.
If the Queen of Hearts hadn’t meant for her tarts to be eaten, she really shouldn’t have left them in the window. Can’t you just picture the cartoon vapor rising from the freshly baked goods, tickling the nose of that poor Knave so that he simply couldn’t resist sneaking off with them?
A valuable opt-in offering works like the scent of strawberry tarts just pulled from the oven. You’re offering some delicious goodie to visitors that they’ll find irresistible. Perhaps it’s a cleverly designed measurement guide or a top secret recipe that you’re only sharing with subscribers. Whatever your special treat is, it can belong to your new reader for the low, low price of an email subscription.
Have you ever watched someone else eat a delicious meal and realized that your mouth had start watering? Or spied a friend’s souped up, cherry red Kitchen Aid blender and realized that you absolutely had to have one for your own kitchen?
We just can’t help ourselves. We like things better when we know that other people like them too. It gives us confidence that we’re not as weird as we feel. Use that to your advantage by prominently showcasing the praise of current subscribers, the number of subscribers that your blog already has, and any awards or accolades that you’ve gathered thus far, as The Adventure Bite has done below.
Once you’ve gotten your subscribers’ email addresses, don’t disappoint them with lackluster messages. Take time to deliver additional, exclusive content via email so that new subscribers don’t become un-subscribers.
If you need help building a food blog that converts casual visitors into dedicated subscribers, leave a comment below or sign up for a 30 minute, no fee consultation!