You were probably hoping for something more profound. While that's not necessarily profound, it is an answer that people don't like to acknowledge. I get questions from bloggers all the time asking about how many subscribers I have to various things and how long it took me to get there. I don't have the exact answer to that. It's not a cookbook formula.
We all like to think we have the best site out there. Who wouldn't want to read our stuff?? We're awesome! But the fact is that if every reader signed up for every blog "Newsletter" and "email notification" then they'd have hundreds of emails that they'd just delete without reading anyways. So why sign up in the first place?
Think about how you determine what to sign up for. It's probably the site with the most informative information about what you are interested in. Just because you like Ford doesn't mean you go sign up for every Chevy, Toyota, and Honda page out there simply because they sell vehicles and had a newsletter pop-up on their page.
Readers want established bloggers. Ones that stick around consistently throughout the week, twelve months of the year, for more than a year. Actually, I don't consider a blog as established until they're around for at least three years with consistent posting. Under those terms, The Book Cove is not an established blog. While I have email followers and newsletter subscribers, it is no where near the audience that some of the top sites have...all of the top sites who have also been around a while...and who have "paid their dues" and kept up their blog.
It's about establishing street cred.
Of course, you could start a blog and in six months have a million subscribers. But the average blog is a slow building process that has to find itself before others find it.
So there's the deep and profound answer. Some are probably wondering why I bothered posting about this. I've been answering a lot of questions for other bloggers, both new and old(er), lately. Not that I'm much of an expert on some of this stuff, but a lot of it is just understanding a different perspective. This is one of those questions that floats around on message boards in some form like "I've been blogging daily and cross promoting my posts but I don't have any subscribers. What can I do?" And usually you can go take a look at the blog and see that it has only been around for a short time with inconsistent posting or varied content (not necessarily varied interests in books but more so posting personal, fashion, photography, or whatever along with you "main" blog topic) and the page itself is still very much in the developing stages.
As I said before, you can usually answer your "blog issue" question by asking yourself what you would want. Do you want to add another email to your inbox that is irrelevant, obnoxious, or poorly written? So while you may not have a lot of subscribers now, there are things that you can do to help increase subscribers in the future. No use treading water. Things that you can do include:
- Make sure your site is cleaned up (and up-to-date)
- Legible writing (font size, type, and color contrast)
- Organization (if your blog isn't organized your newsletters probably aren't)
- Follow buttons are in plain site (this is the subscriber building base. Make sure they can find them)
- Post titles should make sense (it's a good idea to write what type of post it is in the title)
- Excellent grammar (this is a big one because you're trying to appeal to other readers and writers) I still struggle with this and I'm self conscious typing right now...
Overall, just keep your blog looking as professional as you can. The impression your site gives will influence people to subscribe or not subscribe to your posts.
And then there's others who've done all of this and still aren't happy with their subscription numbers and they are staring at this post like:
Sorry. I don't have an answer off hand for everybody. Try having your site critiqued by bloggers who have been successful with their blog and newsletter.