RSS Subscribers VS Email List | Which Is Better?

January 11, 2010 · 0 comments

in List Building

This is a question that comes up a lot among bloggers, with bloggers around the world split on which is better.

I think that it really comes down to what the goals you have for your blog, because different goals require their own unique tools to achieve them. But let’s take a closer look at each option to help you decide which one is best for you!

RSS Subscribers VS Email Lists

Let me first say, before I get into pitting them against each other, that this is not an ‘either or’ battle! It is important as bloggers to have both RSS Subscribers and an Email List! So if you do decided that you want to focus on building an email list – do not remove all opportunities to subscribe to your RSS. Because your readers have preferences and some prefer to subscribe to newsletters while others would rather subscribe to your RSS.

RSS Subscribers

This is where the majority of bloggers start out. RSS is usually already build into the blogs theme which allows visitors to start subscribing from the beginning.

Tracking Your RSS Subscribers
If you have not already, sign up to FeedBurner (it helps you keep track of how many people are subscribed to your blog) AND install the Feedburner FeedSmith Plugin – for WordPress (as it makes sure you do not miss tracking any RSS Subscribers!).

Why Do We Want RSS Subscribers?

As I said earlier, that if you want to get the most out of your blog you definitely want to take advantage of both RSS Subscribers and Email Subscribers, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you want to continue to build your RSS Subscribers.

  1. Builds Your Blog An Audience
    I don’t want to fool you into thinking that every RSS subscriber will visit your blog each time you post a new article. In fact I would say if you get 20-30% of your RSS subscribers to to read your post you are doing well.

    Don’t be disheartened by this. Instead just figure these calculations into your goals. If you want 100 regular readers a day, then you may need 500+ subscribers.  But the main thing is that RSS subscribers gives your articles an instant audience!

  2. Builds Your Blogs ‘Social Proof’
    A lot of first time visitors will judge your blog instantly by one simple thing – your feed count. If you make your RSS feed count public then the size of your feed count will either validate your blog in the eye’s of your visitors or potentially lower their expectations.

    The higher your feed count, the higher your ‘Social Proof’

    This is why with my blogs, I usually do not show my feed count until I am definitely in the 100′s (usually not until I hit 500 rss subscribers). because I want people to visit and think “There must be something great about this blog!”

Email Subscribers

Now if you have been blogging for any time now, you are sure to have heard the following saying:

The money is in the list!

I am sorry to tell you, that they are not talking about your RSS Subscriber list. Maybe 18months ago when you could sell blogs for $22 per subscriber, but these days RSS Subscribers are not worth that much money, so a lot of bloggers are turning to building an email list.

They do this using products such as Aweber, GetResponse or MailChip, which look after all the details of your subscribers and make it easy for you to send emails to your list.

In case you were wondering, I use and recommend Aweber!

Why have so many of the probloggers made the move towards a focus on email lists?

Why Do We Want Email Subscribers?

  1. More Qualified Buyers
    When people sign up for your list they are telling you that they want more information from you on a specific topic.  While people are telling you something similar when they sign up for your rss feed, it takes a lot more for someone to give you their email address, then to add another feed to their feed reader.
  2. Provide Additional Information You Don’t Want On Your Blog
    Sometimes you have tips, or advice, or even product reviews that you don’t want to put on your blog. It also allows for follow up contact, because statistics show that if you remind people about an offer it increases the chances of making a sale.
  3. Joint Venture Potential
    Having a blog can get you certain opportunities with joint ventures, but if you have a responsive list then you are going to be a highly valuable asset to any internet marketer in your niche.

As you can see this is not an either/or equation. If you are wanting to get the most out of your blog then you should definitely be looking to build your rss subscribers as well as your email list.

However, most people usually have a preference to which they like more, so why don’t you throw your opinion into the ring?



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