Set Up & Increase Your Blog Subscriptions

If you have a blog, you should be providing a quick and easy way for your visitors to subscribe to it. In this tutorial I'll show you how to add a subscribe by email form and where to put it to maximize your subscriptions. For more information on why you should have a blog for social networking, see this page.

Enabling Email Subscriptions

WordPress comes standard with an RSS feed so visitors can subscribe to your blog. But most web users have no idea how to subscribe to an RSS feed. You'll get far more subscribers if you've enabled email subscriptions, so all a visitor has to do is enter their email address and get your posts delivered directly to their inbox. If you haven't already done that, here is a simple tutorial I wrote on enabling email subscriptions for your blog.

After you've enabled email subscriptions, you'll want to create a custom form for placement on your blog.

Creating a Custom Email Subscription Form

Here's an example of my custom form, which I place at the end of each blog post. Go ahead and subscribe, so you can see how it works. :)

Did you find this post interesting or useful?
If so, be sure to subscribe so you don't miss the next one!
Your Email:
Delivered by

I'll make this as easy as possible by simply giving you the code I use for my custom form. You're welcome to copy it, but make sure you change HungryPiranha to the name of your feed. Here's the HTML code for my form:

<div id="blog-subscribe">

<form action="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify" method="post" onsubmit="window.open('http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=HungryPiranha', 'popupwindow', 'scrollbars=yes,width=550,height=550');return true" target="popupwindow">

<div class="sbtext">Did you find this post interesting or useful?<br/>

If so, be sure to subscribe so you don't miss the next one!</div>

Your Email: <input style="width: 160px;" type="text" name="email" />

<input type="hidden" name="uri" value="HungryPiranha" /><br />

<input type="hidden" name="loc" value="en_US" /> <input type="submit" value="Subscribe" />

<div class="sbtext2">Delivered by <a href="http://feedburner.google.com" target="_blank">FeedBurner</a></div>

</form></div>

And here's the CSS code you'll need to put in your stylesheet:

#blog-subscribe {
background: #f6f5f5;
width: 500px;
padding: 15px;
border: #dddada 1px solid;
margin: 0px 0 20px 0;
}

.sbtext {
font-size: 14px;
text-decoration: none;
font-weight: bold;
color: #2e2e2e;
padding: 0 0 15px 0;
}

.sbtext2 {
font-size: 13px;
text-decoration: none;
font-weight: normal;
color: #2e2e2e;
padding: 10px 0 0px 0;
}

#blog-subscribe input[type=text] {
color: #2e2e2e;
margin: 0 0 7px 0;
}

#blog-subscribe input[type=submit] {
-moz-border-radius: 5px;
-webkit-border-radius: 5px;
border-radius: 5px;
background: url(/images/submit-bg.gif) repeat-x;
color: #ffffff;
font-weight: bold;
font-size: 14px;
border: 0px;
padding: 5px 10px 5px 10px;
cursor: pointer;
}

Notice that I'm using a gradient background image for the submit button. You can use your own gradient background, or change the background to a solid color.

Adding Your Form to Your Blog

This part is really easy. All you have to do is copy and paste the HTML code for the form into your WordPress single.php file (located in your theme folder), just below this line:

<?php the_content(); ?>

And you're done. Now you've got an email subscription form at the end of each blog post. So when someone reads one of your posts and likes it, they can subscribe simply by typing their email address and clicking a button.

Building Your Own List

If you'd like to build your own email list so you can send visitors newsletters or auto-responders, see my tutorial on how to build an email list. I'll show you how to make a form like the one below.