There are so many wonderful blogs that teach all sorts of wonderful tools for making blogs better. I am NOT presuming to do what they do so expertly. I am NOT an expert and I don’t pretend to be one. BUT one thing that I do well is to understand what BEGINNERS really struggle with (being one myself) and to explain it in a way that makes sense and gives REAL, PRACTICAL help. In my Blogging 101 Series, I will be sharing How To’s for some of the things I’ve struggled to learn. Mostly it will be how to use some of the great tools available to us bloggers. In each post I’ll put in a form that allows you to ask your questions on topics you’d like to see me address. How does this fall into the spectrum of Titus 2, you ask? It is all a part of mentoring/discipleship. I mentor through my blog (as well as IRL – in real life) and I want to give YOU tools to help YOU get that done as well.
How can I get my subscribe box under each post?
You’ve seen this on all the BIG blogs. But how in the world do you do it? “Use the What Would Seth Godin Do (WWSGD) plug-in” they say. SUPER! You install it and are excited to get that box in all your posts and watch your readership SKYROCKET!! The only problem is, once you install it, you don’t have the FAINTEST idea what to do! If you are like me, your disappointment and frustration mounts as the tears fall. Well, let me help you out. If you have installed this plugin, let me take you through the steps I used (you might find better ones elsewhere, but this is how I got mine working) to get a real subscribe box under (or above or both) each post.
Step 1 – Install the plugin
You can find the plugin here or simply go to your WordPress dashboard, click on Plugins, Add New and type in WWSGD and the top plugin should be What Would Seth Godin Do. Follow the normal procedures for installing and activating the plugin. If you don’t know how to do that, please leave me a comment and I’ll fill you in on that.
Step 2 – Subscription code
Some of you may be very adventurous and use Mailchimp or Mad Mimi or some other service. In which case you can easily find the code from your subscriber box. If you are like me and still use Feedburner, you might be absolutely CLUELESS about how to find it! So I’ll help you out.
- Log into your Feedburner account.
- Click on the name of your feed (mine is Teaching What Is Good) – the number of subscribers there is the number who read your blog through a reader – that is NOT the number of email subscribers you have.
- You will see a number of tabs across the top – click on Publicize.
- On the LEFT sidebar, you will see a number of options…go to Email Subscriptions, click on that.
- The top box has the code you will need; copy that to a text document and save it for later.
- If you scroll further down this page, you will see the number of email subscribers you have.
Step 3 – Setting up your plan
Step 4 – Setting the plugin design
Now you are ready to begin to get the plugin set up the way you want it. Open your plugin settings by going to Settings in the Left sidebar, scroll down to WWSGD and click on that. The first part: Message to New Visitors If all you want is the subscribe box, plain and simple, at the bottom of your post, you will copy your code (from either Mailchimp or Feedburner or whatever source you use) into the top box of the plugin: Message to New Visitors. Check it out. Do you like it? Is it eye-catching? Does it need some zip and color? Actually it has been shown that people are more likely to click your subscribe box if it is colorful. Now if your blog is subtle in color, you don’t want clown red, but you will see a significant difference if you use a color from your blog to make this stand out just a bit.
In mine, I chose to change my background color of my subscription box to a grey (that fits with my theme but is different) by adding this code right afte
The bold code is the new code I added. If you don’t know the html code for the color you want, go to this site and try out different colors until you find one you want.
Then you’ll want to type in the text you want to show up: Email updates, or Subscribe to your inbox, or Never miss another post, or Get updates to your inbox. Whatever you want. Here is where you’ll make that change:
If you want to create a table with 2 columns to have both the Subscribe box AND some text to allow readers to sign up for your RSS feed and if you don’t know the html coding for tables, I suggest you play around with this text generator. Here is the coding for my Subscribe box. I have highlighted things you’ll need to change to YOUR feed information, and the form from your subscriber service is begun and ended in purple highlight. Second Step: # of Repetitions The next section goes back to your plan above. Do you want your subscriber box to show up all the time or do you want your readers to receive a different message once they’ve come to your blog a certain number of times? This is up to you completely! Here is where you set the number of times they’ll see the subscriber box. Third Step: Message to Returning Visitors Again, back to your Plan. Did you figure out what to say? You can put that text here. You can code this to have links to your RSS and to your email sign in WITHOUT having the box show up. Your email subscription page on Feedburner also has code for a text line for email subscriptions. Last Step: Where this will show up This last step is quite easy. You check the radio buttons for where this will show up: before or after your posts (or specifically where you put the code tag) and do you want this on pages as well as posts.
I know this sounds like a whole lot but I’m hoping it is clear enough to allow you to follow step-by-step. I’d love to hear how this worked out for you and if there are other questions I missed or still need to address or clarify.
Questions for: Blogging 101: blogging tutorials for beginners from a beginner Keep checking out this series. I hope that it will be an encouragement and help to you! Linking to any number of these lovely blogs.
Yes, this is definitely more helpful that the other sites I’ve been to! The pics & explanation of the coding, & the external sites are all very helpful. But this brings me to another question…is the feed burner attached to your blog? If so, how do I get to it, or is it something different I need to sign up for? I’ll need to get that nailed down before I can play around w/the subscribe box again. 🙂 I’ll have to send you my slew if questions so you can write about those as well. 😀
So sorry I took so long getting back to you, Caroline. I’ve had computer problems. Thanks for the encouragement.
Feedburner used to be sort of the standard for RSS feeds. It was run by Google and you signed up for it and then attached some code to your blog. But Google has dropped support for Feedburner and many bloggers have switched away from it. When Google completely dropped their Google Reader this past spring, it was sort of the last straw for many bloggers who dropped Feedburner altogether.
You can STILL sign up for it (you would go to http://feedburner.google.com ) and follow the sign up directions. This enables people to sign up for your blog in a reader.
Yes, keep those questions coming!! I will address them in future posts in this series, so check on Saturdays (late in the day) to see if I’ve posted another Blogging 101 post.
This is excellent and was something I have wanted to do for a long time. I use Mail Chimp but I am clueless when it comes to Feedburner and so much so that I have no subscribers!! You said to log into my Feedburner account (LOL) and I asked myself, “How do I do that?!” Well, I Googled it. I really really need this!!
Ah, your comment inspired my next installment!! It’s on how to get your feedburner subscribers list.