Wow! It was only 18 days ago that John Chow dot Com broke 31,000 RSS readers. Today, the blog hit another record by breaking the 33,000 mark. Right now, the Feedburner counter is showing 33,385 readers. That’s an average daily growth rate of 130 new readers per day.
When I broke 31K RSS, I gave a very effective method to grow your RSS by using a free eBook and Aweber. For this milestone, I going to show you a highly effective way to get first time commentators to subscribe to your RSS via Aweber.
OptIn Comments by Ian Fernando
OptIn Comments works seamlessly with WordPress and Aweber. When a reader makes a comment on your blog for the very first time, OptIn Comment will email that reader a thank you letter and ask if he would like to subscriber to your newsletter or RSS list. For example, if you’re a new reader and you made a comment to any of my posts, you will receive this message in your inbox once your comment was approved.
Hello [Commentator name]
Thank you for commenting on John Chow dot Com. I would like to offer you my free eBook, Make Money Online with John Chow dot Com as a gift for making the comment. To receive the book, simple sign up to my newsletter by clicking the link below.
Thank you and I look forward to reading more comments from you.
You can customize the message anyway you like. Once the reader clicks the link, it send them the eBook and adds them to the newsletter list. Conversion is very high because a reader who makes a comment on your blog is a lot more likely to subscribe to your blog. OptIn Comment has been helping me get an average of 25 new sign ups per day.
OptIn Comments is not a free WordPress plugin. Ian charges $97.00 for it. However, if you’re a John Chow dot Com reader, you can get it today for only $57.00. It’s definitely worth it if you’re already using Aweber.
Comment Relish by Justin Shattuck
Like OptIn Comments, Comment Relish is a free WordPress plugin that will send an e-mail message to new commentators. While free is a very good price, there are a couple of weaknesses with the plugin.
The first weakness is it doesn’t integrate with Aweber. You can use the plugin to send a thank you email to first time commentators and ask them to subscribe to your RSS feed or newsletter. However, without the Aweber integration, conversion won’t be as high. But, it will be higher than not sending a thank you note.
The second, and more serious weakness with Comment Relish is its coding. The plugin checks new commentators against all previous commentators. It does this by comparing email addresses. If your blog has a lot of comments, the plugin can overload your WordPress database because of too many queries. If you’re on a share host, then the host may threaten to disable your account.
Comment Relish maybe worth a try for smaller blogs with few comments. However, once you get to a decent size, you’ll have to use a more robust solution like OptIn Comments.