10 Ways to Optimize your Blog for Subscriber Opt-ins

outbound links strategy
While we all know how the money is in the list and all that, when it comes to walking the walk of list building, a lot of bloggers get cold feet.

That’s why it’s important to read Christine’s guest post.

ASIDE: This is the first guest post featured on Pro Blogger Tips.

Over to you, Christine! :)

Bloggers are at such an advantage when it comes to list building – and they don’t even realize it! They are surrounded by all this great content, great readers and incredible social know-how.

All of those characteristics can make for a big list.

But even with all these advantages right at a blogger’s fingertips, list building is one of the last things on a blogger’s mind.

First there’s the tech stuff, then responding to readers and then a host of other things that need attention first.  And unfortunately, building a subscriber list gets pushed back another day and another day until finally it’s neglected.

What can you do to get subscriber opt-ins almost on auto-pilot?

Start with your Blog

The good news is that you can grow your subscriber list fairly quickly just by making some changes on your blog.  Here are 10 ways to target your blog for capturing opt-ins:

  1. Write compelling content every time.  Your blog’s content is the catalyst that drives readers to subscribe to your list.  Compelling blog posts are the first place to start when revamping your blog for growing your subscriber list.  If it’s not compelling, it’s not worth publishing.
  2. Give your readers a reason why they should join your list.  Will they get a newsletter?  Will they get a free report?  Whatever you are giving them, make sure to show it off.
  3. Use Testimonials.  Testimonials aren’t just for selling items – they are great for free items as well.  Testimonials solidify your expertise on the subject.  They are impactful and show that others have received and enjoyed your product.
  4. Use an opt-in plugin.  Besides having an opt-in on the sidebar, an opt-in plugin will allow you to have one at the bottom of your posts and even as a pop-up.  An opt-in plugin can even be customized to match your site.  While there are some nice free ones, the most effective ones usually come at a cost (about $47).  Remember, quality and appearance are top priorities – an unattractive form is useless for converting readers into subscribers.
  5. Install a Hello Bar.  The Hello Bar is a neat little bar that runs across the top of your blog.  You can put whatever message you want on it and then a link to a destination of your choice.  This is a great way to direct readers over to your opt-in.
  6. Create a dedicated subscription page on your blog.  Creating a page gives readers a place they can go to see what all your blog offers them for opting-in.  You can showcase the benefits of joining your mailing list and tell them more about the freebie they will receive.
  7. Write a post about it.  As a blogger, you produce a lot of content – why not write a post about the free offer you have.  Mention a few things about what makes your newsletter a must-have.  Readers don’t always look for a place to opt-in, sometimes you have to walk them over to it.
  8. Make video posts about your offer.  YouTube is the second most widely used search engine.  Make a short video about your free offer and post it on your blog and on you tube.  Watch as the views convert into subscribers.
  9. Show social proof.  If you have a high number of Twitter followers or Facebook fans, show this on your blog.  Social proof is very impactful in motivating people to join you.  People like to be part of a group and if yours is a bustling place to be, then they will join in.
  10. And finally, subscribe to other blogs.  Call it curiosity.  Call it spying.  Call it whatever you want, but you need to see the process that others use for opt-ins.  This is an important part to mastering your own process.  Check out what they do and model it.

A Subscriber-Friendly Blog Attracts Subscribers…

Your blog is a hub of information on your niche.  Using it to grow your subscriber opt-ins not only makes sense but it gives you a dedicated audience for the future.  You may eventually create a product or service, you are already at an advantage by having an instant audience also called your list.

Blog subscribers can be the most loyal and receptive subscribers as they already know, like and trust you.  Keep growing your list and you’ll have one of the greatest assets any business can have.

About Christine Brady

Christine Brady teaches List Building and Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs. She is the author of several niche info products and a serial blogger. Whether you have started your email list or are brand new to the idea of having a subscriber list, Christine can help you build, market to and grow a responsive email list. Visit my special bonus page for some goodies!


  1. Celena Kuat says:

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for the great post. Useful tips!

    I have always had issues with creating content for my mailing list. But I guess it is just plain mental laziness. I started a list but mailed them just once every month and then just forgot it completely… :(

  2. Simmeon says:

    Hey Christine,

    I’m a sucker for watching a video instead of reading a long sales page. It’s easy to take information in via a video format, also I can just skip to certain parts. (When the allow you to have the controls) Also it help to see who and what this person is about – instantly determine if the are trustworthy or another guru.
    Simmeon recently posted..Create An Awesome Website For Your Business With 9 Vital StepsMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Simmeon,
      I enjoy videos too, but they can be a real pain when you have little time and wish you could cut to the chase.

      With a written sales page, you can scroll down and scan through the copy, but with videos, you have to be patient., and watch the whole thing to learn what you may have gathered in a two minute speed-scan.

      So I sit on the fence on which format I prefer – it depends on my mood. :)
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..10 Ways to Optimize your Blog for Subscriber Opt-insMy Profile

  3. Hi Simmeon,

    Just shows the difference in preference – I prefer a written page. But having both would be a good idea too – a video for the people that prefer video and sales copy for the readers.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Christine Brady recently posted..7 Tips for a Compelling NewsletterMy Profile

  4. Shalu Sharma says:

    I think any sort of subscriber is good for the blog. I have not heard of this optin plugin but seems promissing. I saw the plugin video and its very good. I am very impressed what it can do. Plus I belive you are using this plugin, looks very professional as well.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted..What do Indians wear?My Profile

  5. Samuel says:

    Thanks for the ten tips!
    Samuel recently posted..Top WordPress Plugins To Reach The Top!My Profile

  6. Hi Christine….
    Thanks for your tips about ‘Increasing Subscriber’.
    I am working towards it and getting positive results also.
    but i believe it to be organic means no pressure…your reader should compell to join it by reading your article then only it is beneficial.
    sandeep kumar recently posted..Problogger Dream – Chat with S Pradeep Kumar from HellBoundBloggersMy Profile

  7. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Killer post Christine, I agree with all the tips you mentioned here, but what I want to ask is that I’ve heard a lot about WPsubscriber plugin. What’s your suggestion about which plugin is best? OptinSkin or WPsubscriber?
    Ehsan Ullah recently posted..Giveaway #1: Win Free Genesis Framework With 6 Child Themes Cost $180My Profile

  8. sanjay says:

    Good tips Christine! I would prefer a written sales page than a video so I can skip to the part where I wanted to read. I agree to subscribing to other blogs and you’ll see what they are doing that you can apply that to your strategy. Thanks for the article!

  9. Chris says:

    Hi Christine,
    your tips are very effective. I don’t use them all at the moment, but surely I’ll. And points #2, #3, #4 and #6 work very well for me ;)
    BR, Chris
    Chris recently posted..10 Crucial Tips How to Prepare Viral PostMy Profile

  10. Khaja moin says:

    worthy tips!
    Going to try Youtube for getting leads! ;)
    Khaja moin recently posted..Virurl Review – Increase Traffic With Online Content MarketingMy Profile

  11. Adrienne says:

    Hi Christine,

    We meet again so it’s nice to see you here on Yeremi’s blog.

    You’ve given some great ideas for building that list and I recently installed a plug-in that people could opt-in right below my comments. That list is growing as well which I was kind of surprised but it does work. I don’t have a separate subscribe thank you page so that’s something I just kind of forgot about I must say.

    I use to have the Hello Bar but took it down. I got hardly any action from that to be honest with you. But you’ve definitely give me a few other things to think about so I appreciate that.

    Great share.

    Adrienne recently posted..Excuse Me But I Am A Little ConfusedMy Profile

  12. Brian Harry says:

    A good landing page with opt in is one of the best practice when it comes to building a list and without it you can’t make a good list. I do preferred a written content than to have a video loaded since some of the browsers users use are not updated to watch it and one more thing the sales video is sometimes being read than speak.

  13. Ben says:

    Hi Christine :) Interesting tips. Agree with several of your points.

    Great content is essential. I’d also add that it’s important not just for your blog, but for your newsletter content, too. Perhaps that goes without saying, but would-be subscribers might be interested to know what they’ll actually get from the list (besides a freebie). What will you send them that’s not already on the blog? This is a tricky one and I’m still working on it myself :)

    Social proof is an interesting one. How does that get people to subscribe? I definitely find it helps to get people to read the blog, to leave comments, and to follow me on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook. But I don’t think it has much of an effect my newsletter signups. That said, it’s hard to argue one way or the other unless you can find out what makes someone subscribe. Do you know of a good way to track that? :)

    Not sure I’d want to pay for an opt in plugin though. If you already use Aweber, just use the lightbox popup form and customise it to your liking. This is what I do on my blog. I’m not overly keen on the popup, but it seems to work, and it only appears on your first visit to the blog.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your tips and congrats on being the first guest blogger here :D
    Ben recently posted..Start Your eBook TodayMy Profile

    • Hi Ben,

      Thanks! And glad you enjoyed it!

      My thoughts, as far as the social proof point goes, is that readers interested in your topic want to be where the knowledge is – if they see that others are there too, it shows that you are being trusted by others. We are more inclined to join with someone that has the trust of others as well.

      I track my subscribes from social media with a specific offer I send out. Additionally, you can use Analytics on a specific page and see where your conversions are coming from. Does that answer your question?

      I do like and use Aweber, but OptinSkin is so eye-catching – I actually just talked about it in my newsletter!

      Hope that answers your question!

      Christine Brady recently posted..10 Mistakes to Avoid in your Email MessagesMy Profile

  14. Devesh says:

    Hey Christine,

    Excellent tips and so glad to see you here on Yeremi’s blog. These all are essential tips and I’m already following most of them.

    Keep up the good work, Christi ;).

    Devesh recently posted..OptinSkin Review Plus 8 Reasons Why OptinSkin is the Best List Building PluginMy Profile

  15. Pauline R says:

    Nice tips. I am following most of the tips already. I have not tried the opt-in plugin though. Will try this out

  16. Thanks Christine, for this wonderful post.
    Olusegun @ Motivational and success tips recently posted..3 Steps to Launching a Successful FundraiserMy Profile

  17. Hi Olusegun,

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Christine Brady recently posted..A Not So In-Your-Face Way to Make Your Message PopMy Profile

  18. No Doubt ! Your tips work But Hello Bar is really works for me so many times.

  19. Hey Christine (Ah, I see you everywhere, you are guest posting a lot, aren’t you? :D).

    Great tips!

    One thing I would add on is the importance of the enticement. People these days just look forward to their benefits. Other than the emails we give, we need to give them a strong enticement (eBooks are fine, but they are too common and are not perceived to be high of value, unless they are provided by an authority figure or a person with big audience).

    So, we should provide something unique: Like Ecourse, Webinars, Preview of our Book (which is what I am planning to do), Demo/test version of our product etc are great examples of these. Since these things aren’t used as much as an eBook, they are perceived to be high of value (It is important that we keep both – perceived value and actual value in mind).

    Anyways, thank you for the post!

    Jeevan Jacob John
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted..Facebook Interview Chat, Productivity Challenge and Podcasts!My Profile

  20. Hi Jeevan,

    Great point! It’s all about value. And reaching the right people – your free offer should grab the right people so you can send them messages on the exact thing they are looking for.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Christine Brady recently posted..7 Ways to Increase the Responsiveness of your ListMy Profile

  21. Hey Christine, nice one out here. Had a question – Is it good to show up full length banner with an opt-in form right when a viewer lands on to your blog. I’m not talking about a pop up.

    Raaj Trambadia recently posted..How To Drive Traffic From FacebookMy Profile

  22. Samuel says:

    Christine Brady

    What of in a solution where you are still new in Blogging, which of the following is a must apply method to gain audience ?
    Samuel recently posted..Top WordPress Plugins To Reach The Top!My Profile

    • Hi Samuel,

      To gain an audience, the first thing to do is to define your niche. Once you define what you do and who you market it to – for example, bloggers, small business owners, over 55 crowd, etc., then actually finding them is a lot easier.

      Google your niche plus the word forums to find where your market hangs out. It all depends who your business is targeting, because those are the people that you want to reach.

      Hope that helps!

      Christine Brady recently posted..The One Thing That will Take your Email Messages from Good to GreatMy Profile

  23. First things first for me.I’d rather focus on gaining more traffic before getting oriented towards my visitors..I am waiting for that day when I get somewhat around 1000 vis per day..
    Good post Christine i am going to start with the10th point you mentioned..Subscribing your blog right away.
    Lokesh Muniyal recently posted..HCL ME Y2 Launched, 3G Enabled yet Cheap!My Profile

  24. Enstine Muki says:

    Hey Christine,
    Happy New Year!
    I’m reading this post on time – just when I’m about to start building a list. Great and helpful tips.

    thanks for the value!
    Enstine Muki recently posted..How To Get Rich Online? The Lifestyle of A Successful Email Marketer!My Profile

  25. The insights and the opinions shared in this blog are appreciable. These tips and advices are really very much effective. Thanks for the post.

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