The Secret To How I Got 500+ Blog Subscribers

In March, I gave my readers this challenge:

“You help me reach 1,000 e-mail subscribes and in return I’ll feature a new, original short story, written by me, on my blog.”

I’m happy to announce that, this past week, we’ve reached the halfway point of our goal:

The C2C now has 500+ subscribers and it’s still growing every day!

First, I want to say thank you to all of you who have gone above and beyond to recommend my blog to your friends and family. Nearly every day I get messages from new readers who have found the C2C and have been moved and inspired by its content.

The growth of my blog is in large part due to my loyal readers, who are some of the most passionate, fascinating, talented, thoughtful, kind, and yes, courageous, people in the world.

I can’t thank you enough for helping my blog get this far.

The Secret To How I Got 500+ Subscribers 

Recently, a reader asked me what my secret was for getting so many subscribers, and I basically told her this:

“I own a High Elven Warrior Sword that kills orcs.”

No, I’m just kidding. What I really said was this:

“I don’t keep any secrets.”

In fact, my readers know that I give all my secrets away.

You see, part of what drives me is inspiring you, and part of inspiring you is telling you exactly what I did to get to my current level of success so that you, too, can achieve this level of success for yourself.

So, if you were itching to know how I’ve gotten this far, here’s how I did it:

I Gave All My Secrets Away 

I’ve never accomplished anything without afterward telling my readers exactly how I accomplished it. Read my archives and my guest posts and you’ll see what I mean.

I Treated Every New Subscriber Like A Person And Not Like A Number

Even when I first started, I never took a single subscriber for granted.

If I was looking to guest post, for example, and the blogger I was guest posting for only had two subscribers, I was still psyched:

“That’s two potential readers!” I would say—then I’d go skipping, wide-eyed, through a meadow.

No, but all jokes aside, most bloggers overlook the importance of two or three readers. They take these readers for granted because it’s such a “small” number. But that’s their biggest mistake: they’re treating their readers like numbers and not like human beings.

On the other hand, when you view your subscribers as human beings, you start to realize that having an influence on even a single human being is a HUGE deal.

So, please never take for granted any amount of subscribers you have, even if it’s just one or two.

I Never Measured My Worth Or Success By Numbers

I never saw the number of subscribers as a measure of how I was doing as a blogger or a writer. So, when I didn’t get more subscribers, or when I lost some—which did happen sometimes—I didn’t take it as a sign that I was a failure.

To paraphrase my fellow Top Ten Blogger, Judy Dunn:  losing subscribers is actually a good thing, because it means you’re narrowing your audience down to a core fan base who is actually interested in what you have to offer.

You don’t want readers who are going to drop in once in a blue moon, just so they can use your comments section to plug their own blog—you want readers who believe in the cause of your blog, who will stand alongside you as you fight tooth and nail for what you believe in.

Those are the kind of subscribers you want.

I Made The C2C A Welcoming And Supportive Environment

I moderate comments on the blog so that there are no personal attacks, and so I can keep away all the orcs.  (Wait, what?)

All that unnecessary negativity brings people down and wastes everybody’s time. And we need less of that in today’s world.

By the way, even though I discourage personal, negative attacks, I always welcome people who respectfully disagree with me.

I also make Courage 2 Create a welcoming environment by allowing all types of people to guest blog for the C2C:  from veteran writers who have decades of experience in the writing world, to newbies who just started to discover their love for writing, to one of The Top Ten Blogggers for Writers.

The common denominator is that all my guest bloggers are great writers and they have something to say. C2C will never be an “elite,” “exclusive” club where only select group of people get to hang out. As long as you love writing and life, C2C will always have its arms open to you.

(Oh, and if you have a High Elven Warrior Sword that kills orcs and Uruk-hai, you’re also in.)

I Let People Know That My Blog Existed

I wrote guest posts for other blogs so that new readers could find me.

I Didn’t Make Getting More Subscribers The Motivation Behind My Blogging

My purpose for reaching 1,000 subscribers is not solely so I can get more subscribers–it’s so that more people can benefit from the great advice that’s shared on the C2C.

So many make the mistake of getting more subscribers just for the sake of having more subscribers.

Don’t make that mistake.

Instead, start by writing a meaningful blog that helps your readers. Then, once you’ve established a useful blog, go out and seek people who will benefit from the advice you give. Your “end” goal should be improving people’s lives for the better; and increasing your subscriber number should only be a means to that “end,” not the end itself.

Unfortunately, many people take the reverse approach: they see more subscribers as the end itself and not a means to an end.

In my opinion, this is why so many blogs fail to gain a more committed readership.

(That and maybe because they lack the High Elven Warrior Sword necessary to slice off orc heads.)

I Gave My Subscribers Gifts

My e-mail subscribers receive a monthly newsletter where I offer them exclusive deals and freebies. They get all of this just by subscribing to my blog through e-mail.

For me, giving gifts is a way to give back to my biggest fans, and it also gives new readers a great incentive to subscribe.

By the way, a gift doesn’t have to be an object or a service—it can also be a great short story or poem written by you.

I Made It Absolutely Clear To My Readers How They Could Subscribe

So many bloggers make it so hard for readers to find out how to subscribe to their blog, or, even if they do make it clear, they don’t let their readers know what the benefits of a subscription are.

I always keep the subscription box at the top right of my side bar, and have an explanation of what my readers will get if they subscribe. (I also share this information at the end of my About page.)

I go a step further by always reminding my readers about the benefits of subscription through Twitter and Facebook with messages like this one:

“Did you know that in the past my readers have won free eBooks, free T-shirts, and free subscriptions to online courses through the monthly Courage 2 Create Newsletter? It’s true. And all they had to do to win was subscribe to my blog through e-mail!”

So, what are you waiting for, subscribe today and help Courage 2 Create reach 1,000 subscribers and receive a gift of one short story written by me!*** (Go to the top of my side bar, enter your e-mail and then click the button to subscribe.)

much “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!”

(Uhhh, I mean…)

much love x 500,

Ollin

Bonus Secret: I Wrote Posts With “A Call To Action” At The End Of The Post Encouraging My Readers To Subscribe

***Editor’s note: Since I’ve written this post the C2C has reached 1,000 subscribers. The short story has already been featured on the blog, but now has expired. So, look forward to a possible eBook featuring all the short stories I featured on the C2C in the past to come out sometime in the future!

To follow the Courage 2 Create and find out what happens to Ollin and his novel, you can subscribe by inserting your e-mail into the subscription box in the top right corner of the sidebar! Subscription is completely free! Thank you for subscribing!

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21 comments on “The Secret To How I Got 500+ Blog Subscribers

  1. Am I missing something? Do you have a separate newsletter? I’ve subscribed to your blog all year and haven’t seen anything about free stuff or a newsletter. I read the posts anyway, but just wondering.
    Congratualtions on reaching 500 subscribers!

    • Ollin says:

      Hey Marcia,

      Are you subscribed by e-mail? You may have to re-set your settings so you receive the c2c to your inbox. Thanks!

      • Ollin says:

        Hey Marcia, I added some more instructions and updated the post above. Shoot us an e-mail if you still have problems. I want to make sure you have a chance to win this week’s free prize.🙂

    • Ollin says:

      Hey Marcia,

      I tried searching for you in my e-mail subscriber database on WordPress and I didn’t find you. If you are a WordPress member, are you sure you adjusted your settings to receive updates via e-mail?

      If you aren’t a WordPress member then you may have to re-subscribe because it’s not showing on the database. Sorry about this confusion.

  2. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I believe I found you through a guest post. I don’t think all the extras are the secret. I like your blogs posts, topic, etc. While I’m not a daily reader, (my schedule doesn’t allow it), I appreciate knowing it’s available when I have time.

    • Ollin says:

      Hey Stacy. True, I don’t think my extras are the secret to my readership. (I talked about how to grow your blog readership last week Why Answering This One Simple Question Will Get Your Blog Read By More People) But I do think these tips are the secret to my subscriber number. I guess I did not explain this well, but there is a difference between just having readers and having subscribers. Subscribers are sort of that extra step. The above steps I shared are what helps you turn your readers into subscribers. I wanted to share that because I know some of my readers wanted to know how to convert readers into subscribers. Of course, all the reasons behind my blog’s success can’t fit into one post. There is no one formula that fits all. But the best I can do is try to give people things they can use that will help their own blogs succeed. Thanks for your support!

      P.S. For a more comprehensive post on how to be a successful blogger, check out my “75 Ways To Become A Top Ten Blogger” post series: 75 Ways To Become A Top Ten Blogger {51-75}

  3. Becky says:

    I have been a subscriber to your blog for some time now, and I have enjoyed your posts and found them helpful too. Thank you!

  4. Christina says:

    Ollin, what I love about this post is that your roadmap for gaining loyal subscribers is also a roadmap to having a successful, fulfilling life and career. Which I think is exactly the purpose of your blog.

    I always get your newsletters:)) I like how you keep us in the loop.

    • Ollin says:

      Hey Christina,

      I can always tell a loyal reader by the fact that they get the double meaning right away.😉 Thanks for contributing your thoughts!

  5. Ollin,
    Congratulations on your 500 subscribers! It is well-deserved. I always feel like I am talking to a friend when I read your blog. I appreciate your genuine, honest posts and your willingness to share your journey so openly. You are an inspiration.
    Write On!
    Kathy

  6. 83October says:

    Congratulations on the number of subscribers! I think Ollin, the way your blog has transformed and grown is inspiring. While I haven’t been able to visit your blog as often as I used to, the focus and your dedication to the message you impart is noticeable and admirable. Thanks for sharing how you got there….

  7. I’ve been around for a long time, and have seen how you’ve grown in every way and it’s a lovely thing to see. Out of all the bloggers I used to “know” when I first began my old Here Be Dragons blog, I think you’re the only one still posting. Everyone else has dropped off the blogosphere, sadly…but glad you stuck around and of course, I hope to read your novel one day!

  8. Hi Ollin:

    Since you gave out all your secrets, I am asking you this question: How did you put the “like box” in your blog? I have tried to copy both the iframe and XFBML code in a text widget, but it did not work for me. Did you make any changes in Facebook generated iframe code to make it work in wordpress.com?

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