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«Return to Blog List 7 Ways to Get and Keep Me as a Subscriber to Your Blog

I subscribe to a lot of blogs on a variety of subjects, and regularly find new blogs to add to my reader. I unsubscribe almost as regularly. When I first began subscribing/unsubscribing (it’s a little like gardening; planting and weeding), I was not conscious of my reasons for adding or keeping feeds. Over time, I’ve become more explicitly aware of my criteria.

Not every post has to meet each of the following criteria, but a blog that meets most of them over several posts has a pretty good chance of my continued attention.

  1. Interesting topics – This is the most obvious, and probably baseline requirement. If you’re blogging about topics that I don’t care about, I won’t subscribe. Which is OK, because someone else will. And thank gawd not all blogs interest me: there are only so many hours in a day.
  2. Personality – Say what you have to say in an interesting way. If you’re interesting enough, I can overlook some of the other requirements on this list. I want to sense who you are, but I don’t necessarily want to know what you had for breakfast (everyone knows that’s what Twitter is for).
  3. Frequency – It may not be humanly possible to blog too often (if Chris Brogan can’t do it, probably no one can), but if you’re not blogging at least once a week, I’m probably going to lose interest.
  4. Breadth, or depth, or both – Give us this day our daily breadth: well maybe not daily, but once in a while surprise me with something unexpected. Depth, on the other hand, satisfies my need to know more about whatever I came for. If I continue to hear the same message restated or repackaged over and over again, I’m going to conclude there is nothing more to learn from you, and I’m gone.
  5. Show me other interesting stuff – Introduce me to other bloggers or web services or useful information. Send me off to check it out. I’ll come back to see what you’re going to point me to next.
  6. It’s not all about you – It’s probably impossible to blog without ego, but the best bloggers, the ones who’ve earned a permanent place in my reader (Darren Rowse, for example), seem to be primarily about helping their audience learn something. If feeding a hungry ego is a large part of a blogger’s purpose, it’s quickly apparent and difficult to read on a regular basis, even if valuable information is offered.
  7. Respond to comments – Some of the bloggers I read regularly recognize comments as an opportunity to further the conversation. Occasionally, the discussion is more interesting than the post, which is a nice bonus.
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