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Want to Grow Your Blog Subscribers Fast? Fix these 6 Mistakes (Especially #2 and #4)

Is your blog struggling to keep, or even get, subscribers?

You spend HOURS, DAYS, or MORE researching, writing awesome posts, crafting stellar headlines…and nada. Your subscriber list is holding steady at stagnant.

If you’re struggling to grow your blog beyond your friends and family, chances are, you’re making one of these six mistakes. Your blog is a way to make people aware of the products and services your business offers. ~Russ Henneberry

Even if you’re writing amazing content—Pulitzer Prize worthy writing—very few people will pay you any mind while you continue to make these six errors.

Let’s fix that, shall we? 🙂 Once you fix these issues (especially #2 and #4), you’ll not only start getting subscribers—but you’ll be adding them FAST!

Here are the top six reasons you’re not getting blog subscribers and how you can solve them to get more blog subscribers:

Blog Mistake #1: You Think Your Blog is a Business

A blog is a channel.

It’s a marketing channel, not a product or a service people can buy.

"It's a marketing channel, not a product or service people can buy."In order to pick up subscribers, your blog needs to make a relevant offer to your target audience.

Your blog is a way to make people aware of the product(s) or service(s) your business offers.

(RELATED: Developing a Content Marketing Strategy)

Think about what you can offer people, and use your blog as a means to make your offer to your target audience by including a call-to-action (CTA) in the blog’s body.

Consider including a CTA in your blog like the slide-in CTA from Neil Patel’s blog…

Slide-in CTA from Neil Patel's blog

Or the pop-up CTA from HubSpot…

Pop-up CTA from HubSpot

Or a CTA offer within the article itself, as we do in this post…

CTA within the article itself from DigitalMarketer

So, what do you sell?

Through products and services, you’ll acquire leads/subscribers.

Blog Mistake #2: Your Blog Doesn’t Have a Lead Magnet

If you want subscribers, you need to make a Lead Magnet Offer—an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.

You’re all familiar with Lead Magnets. They’re the pop-ups and the sidebars of websites you visit that ask for your contact information.

Here’s a terrible (but common) example of an opt-in that is intended to build blog subscribers…

Example of a weak Lead Magnet that isn't specific

The problem with this opt-in box is that there is no SPECIFIC, COMPELLING offer.

What does it mean that I will get exclusive articles, downloadable eBooks, and geeky trivia? I don’t see how these offers solve a problem for me.

If you want subscribers, then your blog NEEDS a Lead Magnet that calls out to your audience and offers them specific value if they opt-in.

When you tell someone you will solve a specific problem they have in exchange for their email, then you have a compelling reason for them to subscribe.

Solving this problem can be as simple as giving them quality, relevant information that educates them—as a free Lead Magnet.

Once you’ve gathered their contact information, you can make your subscribers relevant offers to products/services you sell. So, in that sense, subscribers and leads are the same thing.

(RELATED: Learn how to build Lead Magnets with our Lead Magnet Execution Plan. Not a DigitalMarekter Lab Member? Start your trial for just $1.)

At DigitalMarketer, we have Lead Magnets for almost every product we sell.

For example, we created a Lead Magnet for our blog called the Ultimate Social Media Swipe File. We offer this Lead Magnet to people visiting blog articles about social media.

When people opt-in, they are directed to this landing page (we’ll have more on how landing pages can help you get subscribers in a moment)…

The Ultimate Social Media Swipe File landing page

This page converts over 50% of the people who visit it into leads/subscribers. The Ultimate Social Media Swipe File Lead Magnet has generated ~350,000 leads through email, search, social media, and paid traffic over the last two years.

So you can see a Lead Magnet that offers specific value is super powerful. Create a compelling Lead Magnet with a specific, compelling offer and watch your subscribers soar!

Blog Mistake #3: You Don’t Have a Low Dollar Offer

Once a person has opted in to your Lead Magnet, make them a low dollar offer known as a Tripwire Offer.

(RELATED: How To Architect The Perfect Conversion Funnel For Your Business.)

Tripwire Offers are similar to flash sales; you offer one of your products or services at an incredible price. The price will often be at cost, or possibly less, like the example below…

Example of a Tripwire offer

Keep in mind, a Tripwire is not intended to be profitable. A Tripwire is trying to…

  • Pay for the cost to acquire leads, making your campaign break even
  • Convert leads into customers

And once these new customers have made their first purchase with you, they’re likely to buy from you again—provided they had a good experience and got value from their purchase.

Let’s look at the math behind how a Tripwire offer will liquidate the cost of acquiring new subscribers and allow you to generate subscribers at scale. "A Tripwire is not intended to be profitable."

In other words, here is how you start getting 100 subscribers a day instead of 100 subscribers a month.

Check out the video below, an excerpt from our Execution Plan: The Tripwire Offer: The 18-Step Customer Acquisition Strategy, to understand the numbers behind a Tripwire offer so you can scale:

(Liked this video? You can find the entire lesson in DigtialMarketer Lab and learn how to build Tripwire Offers with our Tripwire Execution Plan. Not a DigitalMarketer Lab Member? Start your trial for just $1.)

Blog Mistake #4: You Don’t Have a Landing Page/Squeeze Page

But it’s not enough to have Lead Magnets and Tripwire Offers on your blog…

Your Lead Magnets and Tripwire Offers should have their own dedicated landing page, also known as a squeeze page. Here’s an example:

An example of a landing page from DigitalMarketer

There is a HUGE difference in conversion rate between traffic that is driven to a homepage or blog post and traffic that is driven to a squeeze page. Squeeze pages are far more effective at converting than your homepage.

Squeeze pages are far more effective at converting than your homepage. ~Russ HenneberryWhat does far more effective mean?

We’re talking as low as 1% conversion rate to a Lead Magnet on a homepage or blog post sidebar and north of 60% conversion rate on a dedicated landing page.


Homepages and blog post pages are distracting.

There are SO MANY different places a person can click on your homepage, from your About Us section to Products Page. People will get “shiny object syndrome” and become less likely to opt-in.

For instance, take a look at the screenshot of Shopify’s homepage below:

Screenshot of Shopify homepage with many options to click on

There are TWELVE different places a visitor can click on this homepage—and that’s just above the fold. In fact, there are 82 (yes, I counted) points a visitor can click and interact with Shopify’s homepage. This could easily lead to their email opt-in getting lost or forgotten by a user.

(By the way…there’s nothing wrong with the homepage having 82 different actions you can take—that’s what homepages are for! 🙂 ) 

"All of this can distract a prospect from opting in."Your blog post can sidetrack a lead just as easily as your homepage. There’s content to read, links to other resources to click, videos and images to consume, etc.

All of this can distract a prospect from opting in.

But a dedicated squeeze page has far fewer distractions to cause a lead to wander. A squeeze page only has two choices: opt-in or leave.

Case in point, this landing page from Shopify that only has two places to click…

Landing page from Shopify with only 2 places to click

Far fewer distractions.

Now, I’m not advocating that you eliminate sidebar banner opt-ins on your homepage or blog post pages and that you exclusively use squeeze pages.

There’s no reason not to have a sidebar opt-in, but it will not convert at the same success rate as a dedicated squeeze page. Not even close.

So, use both, and generate more leads. 🙂

(RELATED: Learn how to build dedicated squeeze pages with our Landing Pages Execution Plan. Not a DigitalMarketer Lab Member? Start your trial for just $1.)

Blog Mistake #5: You’re Not Buying Traffic…

…and sending it to your blog or your landing pages.

(RELATED: Crafting a Digital Advertising Plan.)

Once you’ve built Lead Magnets, Tripwire Offers, and landing pages, you want to buy traffic and drive it directly to your blog, or to one of your offer landing pages.

You will gain more leads, at a far quicker rate, when you buy traffic, allowing you to scale.

(RELATED: Perpetual Traffic Episode 130: 10 Digital Marketing Concepts to Scale Your Paid Traffic Campaigns.)

Blog Mistake #6. You’re Not Retargeting

And finally, when people come to your site and consume your content they are effectively raising their hand and saying they’re interested in this topic.

Through the contact information you’ve gathered from your Lead Magnets and Tripwire Offers, people who have shown interest in your blog content could be retargeted.

(RELATED: [Retargeting] 5 Resources That Will Bring You Up To Speed On The Future Of Website Traffic.)

"Correcting these six mistakes will help you generate more leads, subscribers, and ultimately, revenue."Retargeting can be very effective because it keeps your brand top of mind and reminds people of the quality content and offers you have.

If you have a Lead Magnet, a Tripwire, and a landing page, and you are scaling up by buying traffic, start looking at retargeting to really ramp up the number of subscribers that you’re getting to your blog.

Start by addressing Mistake #1, Thinking Your Blog is a Business, and work your way down the list. Correcting these six mistakes will help you generate more leads, subscribers, and ultimately, revenue.

Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is a digital marketer, speaker, and co-author of Digital Marketing for Dummies. Russ has helped hundreds of brands increase sales, leads, and retention including Crazy Egg,, and DigitalMarketer. Visit Russ's website or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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