June 16, 2018

Getting Your Atheist Blog Content to Readers

Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, near FairbanksIt used to be that almost every regular reader of an atheist blog either subscribed via email or used an RSS reader to be alerted of new posts. Times have changed, and there are many other options these days (e.g., social media). It is important to realize that some people still prefer RSS or email. Count me among those who strongly prefer RSS to all other options. I find it much more reliable, and I like the fact that it lends itself to use across multiple platforms and devices.

How Do I Subscribe?

Of all the people who might ever read your atheist blog, the most important are those who subscribe to it. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Scan the home page of your blog and make sure that you have a clearly visible means of subscribing to your blog content. Put yourself in the shoes of a first-time visitor who is thinking that they'd like to read more of your stuff. How easily will they be able to figure out how to do so?

First, I would recommend having a button or link for your RSS feed and making sure that your RSS feed is working correctly. If in doubt, try a popular online RSS reader like Feedly to make sure it can pull your blog's RSS feed. I don't personally use Feedly because I prefer to use a stand-alone RSS reader (I use NetNewsWire). It doesn't matter what you use; the point here is just to make sure your feed is working.

Second, I would recommend having a button or link for an RSS-to-email subscription service if possible. While I cannot comprehend why anyone would want to receive email from a blog, many people do. This will make it easy for them to do so. There are many options for this, and none of them are ideal. I use Google's FeedBurner because it is free and does not require me to share my name and home address with every subscriber like most of these services do.

What About Social Media?

I think it is a safe bet these days that many of your readers are going to prefer to access your content via social media. For them, you will want to make it very clear which social media platforms you use so they will know where to find your content. This seems obvious, but I see a surprising number of atheist bloggers who don't do it.

By providing an RSS feed, an RSS-to-email option, and a clear pathway to whichever social media platforms you use to distribute your blog content, you have made it easy for people to access your content. Over time, this should help drive more traffic to your atheist blog. And because you have installed a system for collecting traffic data, you'll be able to monitor this.