When you are first starting out, your blog is pretty much your primary product. Charlie Gilkey helped me land this super valuable piece of info quite awhile ago… when I was just (re)starting out.
Let me say it again because it’s important for you to land this too… In the beginning, your blog is your primary product.
And when you boil it down, the very main thing you want right out the gate is readers, or subscribers. And to grow, grow, grow that list you are building.
The basic rule of 500.
There is a ton of info around the basic principles of list building and growing your subscribers. You’ll hear the great shiney ones (the Danielles, Jonathans & ChrisGs of the blogging matrix) talk about numbers and what you should be shooting for… basically, great big giant ones… hundreds of thousands would be nice, right?!
Which feels so outta reach in the beginning. Even the basic 500 feels like a giant leap. The basic 500 goes “don’t even think about launching an online product until you have 500 subscribers…” Sigh. If I believed this, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this to you now because I wouldn’t be blogging! But that’s mostly because I haven’t given up yet. ;)
I don’t have 500 subscribers and yet here I am. I’m working. I’m not making six figures but I am building my own business. One day at a time. One client at a time. One subscriber at a time.
What kind of online business are you?
It’s really super important to understand whether or not your business is primarily service-driven or product-driven. Again, another Charlie Gilkey-ism here… if you are primarily service-driven, you will not need 500 subscribers to be making money or even to launch your first product. However, if you are a products-driven business, then yes, the numbers will matter. And so when the gods & goddesses of the blogging matrix throw out this number, it is indeed an excellent guideline. If you are building a products-driven business.
Why the numbers game is just an illusion.
Here’s what else I’ve seen about lists and about those (cursed/blessed) numbers… it’s possible to have a large list, send out product offers and not convert on your sales. Why? I think it’s important to consider the time it takes for your audience to get to know you, or to feel like they know you. They obviously like you if they’ve subscribed. But just because you have the numbers and they like you doesn’t mean they’re gonna buy from you. For me personally, I gotta love you. And that love for you is built over time. By establishing a consistent way of showing up with me (publicly or privately). It’s way more about your message. Your content. Thus, content is always king.
So I just want to offer you a little bit of relief about the whole numbers game. It’s better to be thinking about your own game, what you want to be doing in and with your business, than figuring out how to grow the numbers. If you focus on your stuff, the numbers take care of themselves.
Here’s a simple strategy to increase your blog readership if you are literally ‘just out of the gate.’ After installing this plugin, you can stop thinking about all this and get focused on the next idea for your business you are going to say Yes to.
WP Greet Box Plugin
With this plugin, you can put a custom greeting box at the top or bottom of each of your posts. The plugin displays a customized greeting to your reader based on the social networking highway they found you on.
Choose which networks you’d like “activated’ for personal greetings or simply display the invitation to subscribe again.
Search for and install this plugin from your Plugin menu on your WP Admin panel or visit WP Greet Box for more details.