7 Reasons Visitors Aren’t Becoming Subscribers

Are you making these conversion mistakes?

Any seasoned bloggers or online business owner knows that getting someone to your website doesn’t equal getting a returning visitor, a subscriber or a sale.

Getting them to the site is just the first step in a long process of converting them to a customer or subscriber.

Most bloggers have created some sort of opt in or lead magnet to convert visitors into raving fans but a lot of bloggers attempt at gaining followers and clients, actual scare them away.

Are you making these conversation mistakes?

7 Reasons Visitors Aren’t Becoming Subscribers

Being too eager

One day you are decide you want to start baking. You’re in the mood for chocolate so you open a new tab on your computer and type in the search bar, “Chocolate dessert recipes”

Google displays a large amount of results. You click on the first link you see.

Before you can even look to see the first post a window pops up asking you if you want to subscribe!

Subscribe to what? I know nothing about this site, the content or what it has to offer.

Yes, ideally as a blogger your goal is to gain followers but you need to be less eager. Give them at least a few seconds to see if they even like your site. Wait till they seem interested don’t come on too strong.

This isn’t to say lead pages are bad, in fact they are great but if your pop up comes up after 2 seconds vaguely invites them to give your personal information but without the promise of some sort of return why would someone give you their information after only being on you page for a few seconds. That’s like a guy walking up behind you at a bar and saying “Hi. What’s your name and number….” I haven’t even seen your face or talked to you to know if your annoying. Which brings me to my next point….

You interrupt them without making it worth their while

When you are just starting off or don’t have content upgrades, then you should still ask people if they want to subscribe, in my personal opinion if someone stays on your page for a minute or click to a second page then chances are they like what they see and might be inclined to subscribe because they like your writing. But you will see such better conversation if you offer them something.

Have a great worksheet that accompanies a post? Ask them to sign up so you can send it to them…bam new subscriber!

Spent months working on that e-book or how-to guide but no one is buying it? Perhaps create a condensed or preview version of it and offer it to new subscribers.

Everyone loves free stuff.

Your headline and content don’t match up.

Don’t title your blog “How to grow your Instagram followers” and then talk about Pinterest the whole article. Your headline is like a movie trailer… have you ever seen a preview for a movie and then saw the movie and felt lied to?

The perfect example of this is (for me) is That Awkward Moment… I have massive love for Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan… like if either of them showed up to my apartment and asked me to run away with them I’d be like “Take me I’m yours!” When I saw the preview to their 2014 film That Awkward Moment, I was expecting to laugh my way through a rom-com… when I finally saw the movie I felt betrayed! While there were funny moments (most of which had already been given away in the preview) I would not call the movie a comedy I felt like what I got was not what I was advertised.

Your headline makes a promise to your reader, be sure you are delivering.

You make the expert assumption

Imagine you go to the doctor’s office and he tells you, you have a slight myopia…chances are if you’ve never had vision problems you don’t know what that word means, so he will probably use the term, “Near-sided instead” (This felt like the perfect example since I just found out I’m nearsighted… thank you 4 years of desk jobs and 5 years of higher education, for strained computer eye syndrome.)

The same goes for your blog or website… don’t assume your readers know certain terminology that isn’t common. If you want to use industry phrases, explain them. This doesn’t mean you have to talk down to your readers. Most of the time people will rather you explain something they understand they make them feel dumb by using a term they don’t know without any explanation. People “google” things to get information, they are looking to you as an expert or source and expect you to help them, not confuse them further. 

You’re talking about the topic so you are probably an expert but your reading may have found your blog when looking for instruction, guidance or understanding. If you aren’t sure if something might not be a common term or word, then you should assume that you need to explain it or say it using more common words.

Chance are if your blog post made me feel dumb I won’t be subscribing.

There is no clear call to action

Just like you don’t want to be over eager you don’t want to be too passive. They found your website don’t make them work to join your tribe. I recommend setting up multiple places for people to join your email list. I use a sidebar sign-up form and a header banner to gain new followers.

If all you have is a “Subscribe Here” at the bottom of your footer, chances are people aren’t noticing it or signing up.

While currently I don’t have a pop-up subscriber box these are great as long as they pop up at the right time.

You make things harder than they have to be

If there is not an email or phone number to contact, you on your contact/about me page then there needs to be a contact form and I better not have to type in 3 didn’t caches with the blood of a virgin and sacrifice my firstborn to submit it. A lot of bloggers and biz owners use caches on their comments and contact forms to prevent spam but if you want people to engage with your site you may want to hold off on caches when your traffic and subscription numbers are still low.

Your spam filter will filter out suspicious comments. If you’re worried about people using your comment section to advertise themselves (We’ve all seen it a blog post titled “How to grow your Twitter followers” with a comment that says Get 1000 new followers for only $5 -link-) make it so you have to approve all comments before they are public.

This has multiple benefits. Not only can you monitor comments but you are more likely to manage your comment section better. At least twice a day I check the comment section on my dashboard and approve, then respond to comments one by one. This way I’m not ignoring them. I love when I comment on a blog or ask a follow-up question and the writer responds, it shows they appreciate their readers and you taking the time to comment.

You lack consistency

I came to your blog because of a post about Yoga but none of your other posts are about Yoga or a wellness lifestyle. This one is difficult for lifestyle websites because a lot of different things make up your lifestyle. This isn’t to say you can’t write about multiple topics but you need to have a theme or niche. If you share a post with a recipe let readers know how often you post about them or enable the “related posts” widget so other recipes are right there and they don’t have to search.

Heading and menus are also vital. I may hate all your pieces on politics but love hearing your Tinder horror stories so having clean sections in your menu “Dating” “Recipes” “Politics” etc. let’s me know where to look for the pieces I’m interested in.

Also make sure you are posting regularly. If I visit your blog and see your last post was 3 weeks ago I probably don’t feel like there is a reason to subscribe. Yes, life happens and sometimes posting will be interrupted but try to maintain regular posting, even if it’s not the same day every week. Most successful blogs post at least once a week as they build their following.

Post regularly and have a focus on your website.

What are some things you’ve done to increase your subscribers or clients?  

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  1. This is great! I completely agree with you about seeming to eager. If something pops up when I’m two seconds into reading, I get annoyed and just click out of the box without even reading what it’s offering me. I also like when I don’t have to think about figuring out where you want me to go and what you want me to read – make it easy for me!! I do understand the consistency part, and it is difficult for a lifestyle blogger – something I’m still trying to work on! Thanks for the great tips!!

    • I think the biggest thing about writing different pieces is to just focus on your tone and keeping it consistent so you can still tell it’s the same person.

  2. Wow this is a fabulous post!! I so am struggling with getting subscribers…I do feel like I have a niche and know it well, but the techy stuff of offering a printable or freebie holds me back I guess from getting sucscribers

    I do fashion and travel, and I know most fashion bloggers do giveaways with rafflecopter.. I did do one with a group of bloggers that pre made the widget, mentioned about subscribing and did not get one…so I am not sure why.

    Thanks for sharing


    • People will often go the easiest route to enter a giveaway. If it’s a comment or fb like or follow they will do that instead of subscribe. But to be honest thats okay people who subscribe in rafflecopter giveaways tend to unsubscribe after the first email they get.

  3. I hate headlines that don’t match up. Especially ones that are obviously just written that way to get you to click and won’t ever subscribe to those blogs or websites.

  4. I love your points, especially about the cache’s….I feel like I am giving my blood as well! Great info. I am now a follower of yours on Bloglovin’ 😉

  5. I’m trying to figure out the best way to call for subscribers. But I really don’t want to add a pop-up because I get so annoyed by those myself. Great post!

    • I think it’s a constant battle for most bloggers. If you’re having trouble with nichhe consistency, remember that their are tons of sites looking for contributors (And some pay) if something seems off brand but you’re passionate about it try to share it else where.

  6. I’m definitely pinning this to come back to again! Growing my subscriber list has definitely been a challenge, so I’m really looking forward to putting some of these ideas into action.

    • Exactly you don’t want to talk about how conservative you are one day and then talk about how liberal you are the next post….readers won’t know who you are or what you’re about.

  7. Really great points, Dia, definitely some food for thought! My biggest pet peeve is click bait aka when the headline and content don’t match up! I definitely wouldn’t sign up for a blogger’s newsletter if they do that.

    I think one of the most useful ways to grow your subscribers is offering free content, for sure. And second best is having a clear call-to-action at the end of every post that engages readers.

    Melody // http://www.marevoli.com

    • I do need to get better about asking at the end of every post. I’m in the process of going back and updating older posts to add this and just imporve them and make them better, as well as the images. Thanks for stopping by Melody!

  8. Well timed post for me! Just last week I tried to get serious with my subscribers. All I had before was a box on my sidebar. I signed up for Mail Chimp, and Thrive (instead of Lead pages) for my content upgrade, but I’m so confused! Not one person signed up for the upgrade, and I think I’m doing it all wrong! Anyway, it’s my goal this year to build my subscriber list, so hopefully I will get it figured out!

    • Don’t lose faith. How often are you marketing it? How are you marketing it? It sometimes takes a while… I posted my writer’s guide content upgrade and got a whopping 2 subscribers then I started doing more posts on the topic and wham! People started signing up a lot more like 2 months later for the upgrade.

  9. That last tip is something I constantly am reminding myself. I am mostly a fitness blogger but sometimes I want to write about other things. I also need to get my hello bar back up and running!

    • First I really enjoy your blog Becki… it inspires me to try more. It is hard to find the balance of focusing on one thing but still writing what you enjoy. Kat Kinsman told me that if you tell your stories honestly and authentically people will root for you weather you’re talking about birth control or guacamole.

  10. These are awesome tips! That first one irritates me to my soul….the page loads and you’re already throwing in my face that I should subscribe, um no! I really want to focus on growing my subscribers this year and plan to offer some kind of freebie. I’m still trying to figure out what that should be though. sigh


  11. I always always always make sure my blog posts/videos have a point. Otherwise – WHY THE HECK come and visit/read/watch?! People need to not feel like they’re wasting their time!

  12. This is great advice, and some things that I don’t see mentioned too often. I hate pop-ups in general, but especially when I first get to a site. As you said, I just found you I don’t know if I want to be getting your emails! Plus even if I do subscribe the thing is popping up everytime I visit any annoying me, even though it’s no longer relevant to me. I also love your point on the “expert assumption.” I’ve been to blogs where they start in using abbreviations and I have no idea what they mean, and that’s frustrating.

    • Becky we are totally on the same page. This is super frustrating if you are going to learn about something and they just assume you know these phrases…it’s like, “no, that’s why I’m here.”

  13. This post is fantastic. I’m reading it and going through my blog right now and making edits and changes. Have you thought about making this a printable checklist? Because I would love to share this around with my fellow blogger friends.

  14. Great tips Dia! I agree that all of these are very important to think about as bloggers. I will say that when I visit a site and the first thing that pops up is to subscribe, it is kind of annoying. As you said let me be able to explore your site first and then see if I want to subscribe.

    • Thanks for stoping by Diana. It drives me crazy when I can’t find the “X” it’s like “why are you doing this to me, I just wanted to look at cupcakes!”

  15. Great tips! I’m really working at focusing and authenticity during 2016, hoping that will help with blog growth and reader retention. I need to incorporate these into my formula of things to consider. Thanks. – Katy

  16. This post is so on point, Dia! Love your insight in every one of your posts… I personally hate it when I see pop-ups as soon as I go to a website, such a turn-off!
    Indeed, consistency is key, being a new blogger I am trying my best to be concious of this one, especially for a lifestyle blog.
    xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

    • You are doing great Kusum! It’s so hard sometimes, you get so busy with life or your day job it’s like “Guess I’ll be up late tonight to work on tomorrows post”.

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