If you asked me 7 months ago to tell you how to get 5,000 blog subscribers in 30 days, I don’t think I could give you a straight answer. Not because I didn’t know what was needed to increase subscribers, but because, 7 months ago, I only had 14 subscribers! So what happened in the last 7 months that makes me an expert to tell you how to get 5,000 blog subscribers in 30 days? Well, I did a lot of things during those 7 months but there is ONE major action that helped me achieve 5,000 blog subscribers in 30 days.
First, here’s what happened seven months ago that contributed to my sudden growth and what you can do to increase your subscribers…
Take the blogging course that trumps every other blog course available
I enrolled in Elite Blog Academy and made some major changes to my blog – including a complete facelift and domain name change – which both helped increase my subscriber list. Before taking EBA I admit, I really had no idea what I was doing. I had not taken any blogging courses until February 2016, when I enrolled in EBA. I realized that I needed to learn as much as possible if I’m going to have a successful blog. So I bought blogging eBooks and took more courses throughout the year. I spent a lot of time and money investing in educating myself and I found that after checking out everything else out there, none of the material I found compared to what I got from EBA.
EBA helped create the foundation for my blog. I had been blogging for 12 months, not making money, not having many page views or followers. No one was repinning my pins on Pinterest. I had no idea what I was doing and one blogging eBook wasn’t going to change that for me.
I invested in EBA and by the end of the year, I was making a full-time income and had 5,000 subscribers join the Simple Made Pretty community in just one month.
EBA only enrolls once a year but you can sign up for the waiting list (just like I did) HERE to start getting tons of free materials and information from Ruth (EBA’s founder). Even if you are not ready to invest in EBA (it’s $797!) the free blogging info you get while on the waiting list is priceless!
Strategize your social media accounts
For me, my top social media referrer is Pinterest, bringing around 95% of traffic to my blog each month. So my main focus was Pinterest while my other social media priority was in this order: Facebook, Instagram, Google+, then Twitter.
So I focused on Pinterest first, then Facebook (this book really helped grow my Facebook following) and then Instagram. I’m still working on Google+ and Twitter strategies because my following isn’t as great yet but your situation may be totally different. If you have a huge Twitter following, strategize Twitter. You get where I’m going?
If Pinterest is your top referrer, here’s what you can do to get the most out of Pinterest:
- Get rich pins
- Organize your boards – categorized according to your blog’s categories
- Create a killer bio – one that will make people follow you in an instant!
- Make sure your Pins (from your blog) are perfect (size, picture quality, and text needs to be Pin-perfect!)
- Join tons of group boards related to your blog niche (mine are organizing, home decor, crafts/DIY, holidays)
- Create a BoardBooster account and set up automatic pinning to secret boards
- Set up a campaign on BoardBooster with your top 5 pins and update them every 2-4 weeks
- Create a Tailwind account and schedule related content pins
- Add a Pin button to your blog (I use SumoMe and Pin it button for Pinterest)
Invest in a really good list building service provider
In order to grow your email list, you will need a great list building service provider. I started with MailChimp because it was free (up to your first 2,000 subscribers) and after several months of struggling with using MailChimp and not gaining very many new subscribers, I decided to check out other options and discovered ConvertKit.
I signed up for a free webinar on ConvertKit called “How to get your first (or next) 1,000 email subscribers in 30 days” and after an hour listening to Nathan Barry (ConvertKit’s founder) tell his story, Nathan blew me away with the FREE information he provided. He gave tips on how he got his first 10 subscribers, then his first 100, then his first 1,000. The day after the webinar, I implement the steps he mentioned and that week, my list doubled! By the way, I was still using MailChimp at the time so just by implementing Nathan’s tips, I doubled my list in 7 days!
The feature that interested me the most with ConvertKit was being able to automate emails and offer a “course” style email to my readers. I knew I wanted to offer a free organizing course and I wanted to have more options when it came to writing and designing my newsletters.
In the days that followed, Nathan kept emailing me asking if I was ready to join and was offering one month free for a limited time. I loved the concept but was not ready to commit. Why not? Well, I couldn’t justify the expense at the time. I mean, why would I pay $29/month for a service I could get for free from MailChimp? Well, I quickly found out that it was not the same service. If you really compare apples to apples, ConvertKit is by far the better choice for bloggers looking to convert readers into subscribers.
I made the choice to transfer my list to ConvertKit and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my blog.
ConvertKit was so easy to set up and it still blows me away how I don’t need to do anything and I’m making my readers lives better with the automated email system. MailChimp does not offer automation unless you want to start paying – and in my opinion, ConvertKit is the better choice if you are going to pay for a service.
You may not be ready to start paying for a service, but at least sign-up and watch this webinar from ConvertKit (they will send you a replay if you miss your scheduled webinar). The tips that you get in the webinar are valuable and since sharing with other bloggers in my circle, they too have doubled their lists just by watching the webinar!
Offer an incentive
If you want to convert readers, you need to take action by offering something valuable for them… an incentive like a free printable, a free course, or a free eBook. Do some brainstorming to see what you can come up with for your niche and offer that item in digital form for free if they sign up.
My incentives include a free organize your kitchen course, access to all of my printables in my digital library (a future post on how to set up a private library is in the works), and a free time management guide for bloggers. I also have sign-up options available for readers to be the first to know when one of my products will launch.
There are so many things you can offer as a freebie. Just think of something that people always ask you for. My most popular incentives that generate subscribers is this free printable Emoji Party Package and these Elf on the Shelf Superhero Costumes. All of my incentives generate subscribers, but these two are my top referrers.
Include your related incentive with a blurb of info at the bottom of each post. You will see mine when you scroll down the page where it says “Psssssttt.” I only include related incentives in each post since my posts range from crafts, decor, organizing and blogging (and I offer a freebie for each category).
The ONE action that helped me get over 5k subscribers in 30 days.
Offer an incentive that (hopefully) goes viral
I wish I had a crystal ball to show you if the incentive you are offering could go viral, but you never know how well something is going to do until you try it. At least that’s what happened in my case.
In December 2016, I gained over 5,561 subscribers in 30 days. My growth happened so fast that both ConvertKit and I were unprepared and there was one-day email sending had technical difficulties. Luckily, ConvertKit was amazing with recovery and support and everything was back up in 24 hours!
I’m being totally transparent and showing you my numbers in the below screen shot. Just look how my subscriber list grew in just one month! In December I offered an incentive that went viral – these free printable Elf on the Shelf Superhero Costumes.
If your niche is totally different from mine, you are probably wondering how can you offer something similar to (hopefully) go viral. Well like I said, I didn’t know which incentive would be “the one” so I offer many incentives, most which direct readers to my private library so I don’t have to send individual freebies to everyone.
The only thing I can suggest is to sit down, brainstorm about what you can give your readers as an incentive and offer them all! Don’t give the farm away, though. If there is a product you can sell to make income, try selling it first and if it flops, offer it as a freebie. Or you could offer a product that has reached its life cycle and is no longer selling like it used to.
Timing is everything as well. My incentive went viral because I introduced it right before the holidays and created a demand. If you write about budgeting, fitness or organizing, a good time to introduce an incentive might be right after the holidays (when many people want to save money, lose weight, and de-clutter).
One other thing I must mention. Your results will vary. It took hard work and a lot of incentives before drastically growing my email list. I can’t promise that by following the above steps that you will have the same results. It was obvious that my results were above average when everyone on the ConvertKit team emailed me to say congrats on the rapid growth 🙂 But by following my suggestions, you should see growth in your subscriber list whether big or small.
- Take a top blogging course (EBA)
- Strategize your social media accounts
- Invest in a great list building service provider
- Offer an incentive
- Offer an incentive that goes viral
Interested in starting a blog?
It doesn’t take much money to start blogging. BlueHost starts at $2.95/month and WordPress is SUPER easy to set up to start blogging. It takes some getting used to navigating on WordPress, but you don’t need any technical skills to get started. I highly encourage all business owners to have some sort of blog for their business. One reason why I started blogging was to link my products from my Etsy and Amazon shops to create more SEO possibilities.
If you want to get started blogging in no time, read this post on How to Start a Blog in 4 Easy Steps.
I have to admit that over the past 6 months since I became serious about blogging, I realized that I need A LOT of help getting this blog where I want it to be. Not only did I enroll in the Elite Blog Academy (which is closed now but will open again Fall 2016) but I also invested in Abby Lawson’s Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook. Abby details how to grow your hobby blog into a business and the info she provides is fantastic! I read through the book in a matter of hours adding bookmarks with my to-dos. She provides everything that you need to know if you are just starting a blog or need some pointers to push your blog further. It’s a must-read for bloggers!
Be sure to check out my Resources page for all of the blogging resources that I used to turn my blog into a money-making business!
Make sure you have a host with enough space/speed…
Like I mentioned above, BlueHost is great if you are just starting out. I switched to WebFaction with the recommendation of my IT support team but I’ve also heard great things about WP Engine. If you plan to have tons of pictures (like me) then you should check out hosting providers with more storage and speed, in which case, WP Engine or WebFaction are the way to go. Go through this link to get 2 months free at WP Engine when you pay annually. You can check out their plans here.
Add a theme to make your blog stand out
When starting to blog, there are many free themes (designs) that you can choose from, which is how I started. Although it didn’t take long for me to want to have more control over my design and stand out. That’s why I highly recommend purchasing a theme through StudioPress. Here’s the SMP blog theme (Modern Pro Blogger by Pretty Darn Cute) if you like my theme. My theme has 5 different color options, patterns, etc to personalize and make it your own. I highly recommend a theme with the Genesis Framework!
Create a blogging time management schedule
Time management is a struggle for most bloggers (especially newbies!) and finding the perfect work-life balance will make or break your success. Since I like helping my readers (that’s you!), I’m going to share my time management process for your blogging journey and give you my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for FREE!
Get my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for Free!
All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
You can always send me an email if you have blogging questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. I’m not a technical person and do not consider myself a WordPress pro, but I’ve taught myself A LOT through this blogging journey of mine!
Psssssttt…Right now I’m offering my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for FREE! All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links or a sponsored post. All opinions are always 100% mine and I don’t partner with any product or company that I don’t use and love. Please see our Full Disclosure for more information.