How I Broke 33,000 RSS Readers

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.

John Chow

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.

73 thoughts on “How I Broke 33,000 RSS Readers”

  1. Looks like your rss count is growing like a weed, John. Maybe I sould give opt in comments a go.

    1. Way to go John. I guess 34,000 is only 5 days away?

    2. If Ian dropped the price to $29.95, I’d buy it.

      1. ZK says:

        Your right is an affordable price….

    3. Ryan McLean says:

      Wow it is growing really fast. Congratulations….
      Mine is growing pretty fast too but not as fast as yours. I have gone from around 35 subscribers to 200 subscribers in 1 month. Not a bad increase I thought

      1. DamnSmiley says:

        hmm Ryan thats really cool, you keep it up man. Looks like ur trick is working lol.

    4. Yep Opt In comment is awesome tell me if there is any other plugin simial to Opt In and costs less..

  2. Mubin says:

    Amazing John. You keep on improving, and I can tell you I am using the RSS more and more due to me not liking this new theme at all.

    1. Actually your subscriber count is below 33,000 right now.. Maybe the recession has hit your subscribers as well..

  3. Opt-in comments looks really neat to increase email subscribers greatly. Thanks for the discount! I don’t really like Comment Relish that much, because as you said, it overloads the database once your blog starts getting some comments…

    Does Opt-in comments overload the database? Can I use it on a shared host?

    1. John Chow says:

      OptIn Comments hasn’t overloaded my database and it’s huge! Yes, it can be used on shared hosts.

  4. Great information. I use comment relish, but Opt-in comments looks like it could be beneficial here shortly.

  5. Glen Allsopp says:

    Congratulations John, submitted to StumbleUpon for you!

  6. Bash Bosh says:

    Congratulations for new record John! 🙂

  7. because of you and shoe i signed up for Aweber. and am actually taking a webinar as i write to start off. I really liked the idea of offering an Ebook. I do have a question though. Where do you get the image of the book next to your subscription entry? I would like to offer an ebook but it seems a little bit more tangible to have something that they can see.

    1. John Chow says:

      Nate did that for me. There are many designs that will design eBook covers. Check

  8. Alex says:

    No offense, but do we really need to know “how” you increased your reader count every 1000 or 2000 readers? I mean do you switch your tactics every 1000 readers just for fun? I bet you just have a popular blog that increases in readers every day, and you didn’t do much but keep writing on your blog

      1. DamnSmiley says:

        why wouldnt they read it…i just took notice of this shitty site when i saw the email. lol im a subscriber but the fool didnt give me an ebook option lol 😀

  9. Congragulations from Grandma….I guess this will only happen to me in my dreams.

    Dorothy from grammology

  10. John, what does your growth curve look like? Does the rate of growth increase as you get more subscribers? It seems like it have a kind of snowball effect – more subscribers means more people talking about you, which leads to more visitors, which leads to more susbcribers, et etc.

    1. On a side note to that question; I’m still a little curious as to what the percentages are for valued readers. I’d assume your click through rate from feeds rises with the increase but how well does it compare?

  11. Every time I’ve seen people using comment relish lately, it’s sending an email for every single comment, whether the visitor is new or not. Same thing on our blog. What a pain! OptIn comments might be worth the money just for fixing that one problem.

    1. Ian Fernando says:

      optin comments only emails every unique email address or commenter – so it will never bother your dedicated reader once they become frequent readers and participate in the posts. 🙂

    2. Mihai says:

      It probably does that because you don’t have the wp_cr_emailed table created.
      If that’s the case you can create it manually and everything will be ok.

  12. Ecko says:

    Unfortunately, I’m not a WP user. So, I don’t need these plugins at the moment. have you the same way to blogger user? 😀

  13. ZK says:

    Congrats John , your blog seems to be growing faster each day. The plugin is priced high, users would pay up $20 for this plugin.

    1. Ian Fernando says:

      the reason for the price is because of the quick growth and the ability to capture the user at that mind stage – active user. Also since growing your list very important and is considered an “ATM” – once you captured your list you can promote to them over and over again. plugin is very powerful to use and definitely can help increase in rss readership and potential income from dedicated readers/users

  14. 100kjob says:

    Well done John, that’s not a news any more as you keep breaking through all the milestones.

  15. congrats man.
    Thats a really fast growing rate 😮

  16. Narmadi says:

    I just wanna say.. congratulation on this

  17. rich says:

    Congrats John, the quality you provide is directly proportional to your success. You have proven this.

  18. jobucks says:

    Hello john, You’re really good , I quezz you’ll hit 50000 readership by the end of this year…..

  19. Clog Money says:

    Interesting when I get some time tonight I’ll have a look at Comment Relish see if I can improve on it.

  20. wesley says:

    testing this plugin 🙂

  21. wesley says:

    Note that this plugin is actually against the terms of service of Aweber.. And all requests will come from the same IP, at which point they will probably ban your IP and the plugin will become useless.

  22. Tinh says:

    I wonder how you can answer all comments and why you let spammers share spams link like this spammer: cehczjk


  23. vikram says:

    very nice post john i just start preparing my ebook now love to have that much reader

  24. Good for you, John. Looks like I might have to check out that plugin after all because the other one IS a resource hog.

  25. Takumi86 says:

    33.000?! i can only make 8 reader at the time. Gosh John, its been a while sine my last visit here, and you do a lot of improvement especially that car pic, i like that 🙂

  26. Paul says:

    Wow, nice growth.

  27. ARE A BLOG KING!!!

  28. Uh, oh! You lost 1,000 readers, you’re not over 33,000 anymore. What happened?

  29. tivitune says:

    waa. you really did that. No wonder you really good guys. I hope i will get more readers..

  30. Eric Go says:

    John, congratulations for the new milestone. I had just reached my 15th rss reader the other day. It is still a long way to go for me 🙂

  31. says:

    John great achievement ,I will be one of these days.

  32. Chuck says:

    Good info and inspirational. But in my case, i don’t really even have more than 1 steady I know i should write more and i am working on that. Keep the info coming! Great post.

  33. Alex Liu says:

    Great tips for that. I’ve never thought of that. I used to think that installing a plugin on my blog doesn’t contribute much to me and my blog readers. Now, I see it differently. Thanks for the great insight!

  34. Mihai says:

    if you want to use the comment relish plugin make sure to check this post:
    You can find an improved version there. This version will not have the “database overloading ” problem mentioned in the post.

  35. Sindiket says:

    That was a really good tips of you.As an Internet Marketer i nver tought about that before…

  36. William Wong says:

    John how much is your monthly hosting fee of your site?I also want to set up my blog to earn money but i have limited budget only and don’t know what to write.

    1. John Chow says:

      The hosting is sponsored by BlueFur. If it wasn’t sponsor it would cost $500 per month.

  37. charles says:

    Awesome. That is a good growth rate for the blog.

  38. Double says:

    That would be in my dreams having 33,000
    RSS readers. You rock JC.

  39. Linn says:

    that’s fantastic… well done.

  40. Sending a thank you noteis a wonderful idea! And a great way to let people who were interested enough to intereact by leaving a comment subscribe to your RSS.

  41. Good wp-plugins. Congratulations for you new record.

  42. I was wondering why my Feedburner RSS count keeps fluctuating in reader count. Maybe they have a bug…lol

  43. Justin says:

    Class pleased me, I am one of 33000

  44. Diana says:

    Congratulations on the milestone. It is a record that is hard to beat but you deserve it.

    Diana @

  45. Keral Patel says:

    I did got an email when I commented and I did subscribed to your blog. Its a nice and cool idea.

  46. Thank you Sir for sharing your trick to get reader, I will try it

  47. MaCo says:

    Is it too expensive for me to get readers, any other tips and tricks

  48. MaCo says:

    Hi Mr. John Chow I wanna be your next reader sir,

  49. Ben Pei says:

    Hey John.. You just added another 2k+ readers again! Wonder how you do it..

  50. MelodyN says:

    Well John, of course you were able to break your record. Quality posters like yourself are hard to come by.

  51. bhas says:

    lolz.. everyone is wondering how john chow is doing it. there are too many noobs here. just take a look at blog and watch how some prick managed to trick rss readers to 7k in a in just a few weeks from 200 readers. RSS feeds can be tricked.. its easy.

    johnchow with alexa ranking of only 30k? i dont think so. cmon guys theres too much BS here.

  52. Kevin says:

    Wow… this is something unbelievable…. you rock JC

  53. good tips, btw, how to do that, i don’t understand, what plugin do you use?

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