At least that’s what I experienced.
While the majority of the web traffic that this blog receives is still through search engines, I’ve started to see a relative increase in the number of regular readers, which is definitely a good thing. It’s important to grow your RSS subscriber count, because it not only shows that you are developing a loyal reader base, but it’s also important for many ad networks. This is because they base your rate/payout partly on the number of RSS subscribers you have. I know this is true for ReviewMe and Text Link Ads.
For the past month or so, I’ve been sitting pretty steady at the 50-60 subscriber range, and while this is reasonably respectable, it’s nowhere near where I want to be. The “natural” way to increase the number of RSS subscribers to your blog is to write excellent content and promote yourself accordingly, and while this organic method works quite well in the long run, it can take a long time. I know that when I first started Beyond the Rhetoric, I had no more than 10 subscribers. Then again, I didn’t update nearly as often back then as I do now.
So, you’re probably wondering how I managed to increase the number of RSS subscribers by more than 50% overnight. No, this has very little to do with the evil Facebook scheme that I talked about some time back. Instead, I stumbled across a WordPress plug-in that I never knew about before. And I can’t believe I missed it for this long.
I just activated the Feedburner FeedSmith plug-in last night. At that time, I had 65 subscribers. When I logged onto my computer this morning to check up on the stats, I discovered that I am now up over the century mark: the chicklet is telling me that I have 104 RSS subscribers. That’s a net increase of 39 subscribers, representing an overall growth of 60%. Sixty-freaking-percent!
Taken from the official page:
The plugin will detect all ways to access your feed (e.g. http://www.yoursite.com/feed/ or http://www.yoursite.com/wp-rss2.php, etc.), and redirect them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber. It will forward for your main posts feed, and optionally your main comments feed as well.
I didn’t realize that I had been missing out on THAT many subscribers. You probably won’t see a substantial increase if your blog is relatively new, but if you’ve been around for a few months, it is most certainly worth your while to install this plug-in. Now I just have to figure out how to hit the 200 mark.