53 Best Practices How To Attract RSS Subscribers

Posted in Web Design • Posted on 22 Comments

title-rss-best-practicesI’ve heard a lot of people constantly struggling to increase their RSS subscriber count. But before complaining often people aren’t aware there are few very well reasons for such things happening. In this post I wanted to take a research on many different, design related blogs and investigate their best practices how to use RSS buttons, where to place them, how to stand out and make that RSS button easy to notice and use.

First of all you must write regular, valuable and unique content to get attraction! No one likes to read the same stuff over and over again, because they now how and where to get good information. Also don’t write one day about Windows media player and next day about tips how to attract women – have a clear focus, so you can attract people directly interested in your topic and would want to subscribe in return to get more.

Through investigating all those blogs I came to several tips what you could do to increase your RSS subscriber count:

1. Place RSS button above the fold.

Usually RSS button can be found on the top right area, which in my opinion is definitely the best practice. When I am visiting blogs I like, I always look on top right for RSS button and rarely I don’t find it there! Don’t forget about using catchy RSS icon or maybe use textual RSS subscriber count instead of default one.

Place RSS button somewhere near logo or above the header, so people would be able to recognize subscribe button right away!

2. Place RSS button in the sidebar

Yes, you’ve got one RSS button on the top right of your blog, but still there are people, who want some more advanced features or even they don’t know what the heck is RSS! Use words instead of just plain RSS icons in the more descriptive way. Offer people subscription through e-mail and it is great practice to also create separate RSS page, explaining to other visitors, what RSS stands for!

3. Place RSS button under the posts

This tip is one of the most important ones. You must think like new visitor- let’s say it’s the first time you visit blog, read some article you take interest in and after finishing reading it, you think about what to do next? You can scroll through related posts, read comments, but one thing you’ll notice will be RSS subscribe button – asking to you “If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to our RSS feed for FREE!!!”. For example, if I would be new reader on that blog, I enjoyed article I read through, I would definitely click on that button and subscribe! All you need to do there is ask and present proposal in eye-catchy way to grab that moment of attention!

I also like using word FREE, because some of the visitors don’t understand this RSS thing so well and word free definitely grabs attention!

Now scroll through all those many different practices and see how it looks on other popular sites. Of course, you always must think about your design and layout dividing accents and colors in smart, professional and good looking way. It is also good practice to use also heatmaps after some time when you change new design to see how design and placements works out for your visitors!

1. CSS Globe

css-globe-rss-icon-inspiration-website

2. Little Box Of Ideas

little-box-of-ideas-rss-icon-inspiration-website

3. Problogger

Problogger website as professional it is, there are very good “Subscribe to Problogger” section. You have all the most important features there – Subscribe button, individual page explaining what RSS is, if you do not know it yet, Twitter button and subscribe via email field. Everything in one place and above the fold, very good example.

problogger-rss-icon-inspiration-website

4. SpoonGraphics

Very good solution, subscribe background is in grungy orange color and above the fold top right placement. When you mouseover RSS feed you also can see textual message how many subscribers there are.

spoongraphics-rss-icon-inspiration-website

5. FreeLance Folder

freelance-folder-rss-icon-inspiration-website

6. PaintBits

I think this is one of the best solutions, where little RSS button is on top right section, which is easy to find. But also in sidebar you’ll find Updates section, where you can see how many RSS readers there are and again with option to subscribe.

paintbits-rss-icon-inspiration-website

7. SpeckyBoy

RSS icon in Speckyboy’s blog is extremely small, but on dark background that orange icon really stand out!

speckyboy-rss-icon-inspiration-website

8. DesignMag

Very clear RSS message with different subscription options all in one place.

design-mag-rss-icon-inspiration-website

9. CSS-tricks

Top right and above the fold as expected – very clear message, for advanced options there are extra RSS buttons in footer.

css-tricks-rss-icon-inspiration-website

10. Digging Into WordPress

Notice how only thing in sidebar with dark orange background is RSS subscribe section, which makes it great, yet subtle accent since every article title is styled the same way.

digging-into-wordpress-rss-icon-inspiration-website

11. Mac Appstorm

mac-appstorm-rss-icon-inspiration-website

12. Ars Thanea Blog

Something a little bit different, though I think it would be better if at least mouseover would be in orange RSS descriptive way.

ars-thanea-rss-icon-inspiration-website

13. Phodana Media

Just mouseover RSS feed button and get advanced feed options.

phodana-rss-icon-inspiration-website

14. Design Bombs

design-bombs-rss-icon-inspiration-website

15. I Love Colors

Unique 3D RSS box and really nice rollover effect and good thing is RSS button is easily observable.

i-love-colors-rss-icon-inspiration-website

16. GoMediaZine

Here you’ll find RSS butons in two places as well – I think it’s a really good habit.

go-media-zine-rss-icon-inspiration-website

17. IconDock

Simply a little bit lifted out RSS button creating subtle and elegant accent.

icondock-rss-icon-inspiration-website

18. MonoFactor

monofactor-rss-icon-inspiration-website

19. Line25

line25-rss-icon-inspiration-website

20. EPaper Central

Dark background and three bright buttons easily approachable and understandable!

e-paper-central-rss-icon-inspiration-website

21. Pro Blog Design

pro-blog-design-rss-icon-inspiration-website

22. CopyBlogger

copy-blogger-rss-icon-inspiration-website


23. Design Disease

design-disease-rss-icon-inspiration-website

24. Viget Extend

viget-extend-rss-icon-inspiration-website

25. Coda Blog

coda-blog-rss-icon-inspiration-website

26. Creative Briefing

creative-briefing-rss-icon-inspiration-website

27. Oliekav

Dirty grunge style design with interesting approach, where RSS subscribe button is sort of combined together with logotype.

oliekav-rss-icon-inspiration-website

28. Viget Labs

viget-labs-rss-icon-inspiration-website

29. Vectips

One of the rare examples where RSS buttons aren’t in above the fold section, but somewhere middle. Different approach also not by using classic orange color, but green one.

vectips-rss-icon-inspiration-website

30. Cats Who Code

Very good example with two RSS buttons, where first two links on the top are in orange color, describing RSS and also there is counter to see how much people actually have been subscribed.

cats-who-code-rss-icon-inspiration-website

31. Catalyst Studios

catalyst-studios-rss-icon-inspiration-website

32. Gisele Jaquenod

giselejaquenod-rss-icon-inspiration-website

33. FreeLance Switch

freelance-switch-rss-icon-inspiration-website

34. Kohette

Scroll down the page, but RSS button always hang on top right welcoming new readers to subscribe.

kohette-rss-icon-inspiration-website

35. Kultur Banause

kulrur-banause-rss-icon-inspiration-website

36. Sparklette

sparklette-rss-icon-inspiration-website

37. Natalie Jost

natalie-jost-rss-icon-inspiration-website

38. Veerle’s Blog

veerle-blog-rss-icon-inspiration-website

39. Web Design Ledger

There are two RSS button placements on this site as well. Above the fold and in sidebar!

web-design-ledger-rss-icon-inspiration-website

40. Blog What Design

blog-what-design-rss-icon-inspiration-website

41. N.Design Studio

Sometimes with such small RSS icon can be enough.

n-design-studio-rss-icon-inspiration-website

42. PSD Rockstar

psd-rockstar-rss-icon-inspiration-website

43. Branded07

Everything in this site is really gorgeous and professional, but I really think they should create those RSS, Twitter buttons more appealing in order to get more subscribers. I like rollover though.

branded07-rss-icon-inspiration-website

44. Adii Rockstar

On the left side Adii keeps the most important things like logo, description, projects and welcoming RSS subscribe button which is light grey standing out on the dark background.

adii-rockstar-rss-icon-inspiration-website

45. Macalicious

macalicious-rss-icon-inspiration-website

46. NorthxEast

northxeast-rss-icon-inspiration-website

47. We Function

we-function-rss-icon-inspiration-website

48. Digital Photography School

digital-photography-school-rss-icon-inspiration-website

49. Just Creative Design

just-creative-design-rss-icon-inspiration-website

50. SmashingMagazine

smashingmag-rss-icon-inspiration-website

51. NetTuts

I consider this as good RSS displaying way – simple options and button above the fold and scrolling a little bit down, you’ll get to expanded RSS options, explanation link what RSS is and actual subscriber count!

nettuts-rss-icon-inspiration-website

nettuts-second-rss-icon-inspiration-website

52. Noupe

noupe-rss-icon-inspiration-website

53. Tutorial9

tutorial9-rss-icon-inspiration-website

53 Best Practices And Tips How To Get New RSS Subscribers

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Dainis is 25 years young man, who struggled for 3 years while studying in design academy and working for local design agency, because of ignorant teachers and agency boss. He couldn't believe this is all life could offer to him! And then he discovered true Internet possibilities, he was lucky to find his passion early in life and take advantage of this beautiful Information (Internet) Age! Now he is committed to help others succeed, to help others take charge of their life and follow their passion! His goal is to open Your eyes and help unveil Your true potential!

22 Comments Best Comments First
  • DlibrarieD

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 19:44

    1

    Really good find. Lot of work there. Added to bookmarks.
    And it`s one interesting thought about “get more RSS subscribers through off-site means”, worth to think of.
    Paldies.

    0
  • Harsh Agrawal

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 18:18

    8

    My 2 cents also try to add RSS feed before post, use wp greet wordpress plugin to welcome your readers…. and let them subscribe to feeds :-)

    0
  • John Samuel

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 20:05

    9

    I have seen a lot of creativity for the subscribe button. Thanks for this exhaustive list.

    0
  • Tobbi

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 21:30

    10

    Great collection, no. 2 & 4 are my favorites.

    0
  • Decent Banners

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 03:16

    7

    Do you think it is necessary to show the no. of subscribers on blog?

    Because if ones blog has only few subscribers it will give a wrong impression to others that his blog is not active, or not interesting…etc.

    0
  • BunnygotBlog

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 02:20

    6

    I have heard of Noupe and Smashing Magazine before but not many of the others.

    0
  • Paul Stamatiou

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 18:52

    2

    Not quite sure this qualifies as 53 best practices, versus 50 examples of how people link to their RSS. ;-) Regardless, I enjoyed it. Hoping you’ll have a follow up about how to get more RSS subscribers through off-site means (I mean how to drive them to your site by doing things not on your site). You could have the most awesome RSS button and placement but if readers don’t get the extra push to subscribe or have some sort of call-to-action then it kind of falls flat.

    0
  • Jay Zuck

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 22:50

    3

    There are many, many ways of configuring an to look and feel of your rss subscription button for maximum appeal. You have given me a lot to consider in that regard and indicated a ton of ways it may be done citing some great examples.

    0
  • Ayaz Malik

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 06:19

    4

    kool. i guess my blog following it perfectly XD

    0
  • Sasha

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 07:01

    5

    Excellent. This Post is put together well. I think the simpler the better for RSS buttons. If it is “over designed”, the link could be missed as it won’t be identifiable.

    0
  • Gabriel Scofield

    Friday, October 30th, 2009 07:24

    11

    thanks for the info…I have now added another more visible button since my main button is a little hidden for a new blog reader to recognize.

    0
  • Alfons

    Monday, November 2nd, 2009 00:42

    12

    Nice collection! Thanks for sharing

    0
  • julio

    Monday, January 25th, 2010 17:03

    19

    Great post I will be making changes to my blog in the up coming weeks and will be using this post when it come time for the rss.

    thanks!

    0
  • greven

    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 23:51

    20

    Haven’t seen this list before. Really nice list. Thanks a lot for including Paintbits Dainis. :)

    0
  • irtiza104

    Monday, June 28th, 2010 23:55

    21

    A great resource. Stumbling it.

    But where can i find some good looking feed counters? and how can i set them in a category menu (nav menu)?

    best wishes…

    0
  • jin

    Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 11:45

    22

    Hello I just want to ask you if it is okay to add my rss feeds on forum signature? Can I attract subscribers on it?

    0
  • chris

    Saturday, December 12th, 2009 11:04

    18

    In my opinion rss should be place after the post and in the sidebar. Which is very often display and more visible to readers.

    0
  • Waheed Akhtar

    Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 08:07

    17

    Thanks for sharing that list !

    0
  • Amber Weinberg

    Monday, November 2nd, 2009 19:47

    13

    Great tips, the most annoying thing in the world is to find a great blog and then to have to hunt around the whole site for the RSS feed. This happens a lot more times than you would think.

    0
  • Ben

    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 19:04

    14

    Lol, how did you manage to turn a guide into a roundup?

    0
  • Indrek

    Friday, November 13th, 2009 16:29

    15

    Very good tips! They actually gave me some pretty good ideas about rearranging my blogs RSS icons. Thanks!

    0
  • Julia Andreson

    Monday, November 16th, 2009 21:20

    16

    Impressive and cool. I like the designs of buttons. Thanks

    0
  • jin

    Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 11:45

    22

    Hello I just want to ask you if it is okay to add my rss feeds on forum signature? Can I attract subscribers on it?

    0
  • irtiza104

    Monday, June 28th, 2010 23:55

    21

    A great resource. Stumbling it.

    But where can i find some good looking feed counters? and how can i set them in a category menu (nav menu)?

    best wishes…

    0
  • greven

    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 23:51

    20

    Haven’t seen this list before. Really nice list. Thanks a lot for including Paintbits Dainis. :)

    0
  • julio

    Monday, January 25th, 2010 17:03

    19

    Great post I will be making changes to my blog in the up coming weeks and will be using this post when it come time for the rss.

    thanks!

    0
  • chris

    Saturday, December 12th, 2009 11:04

    18

    In my opinion rss should be place after the post and in the sidebar. Which is very often display and more visible to readers.

    0
  • Waheed Akhtar

    Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 08:07

    17

    Thanks for sharing that list !

    0
  • Julia Andreson

    Monday, November 16th, 2009 21:20

    16

    Impressive and cool. I like the designs of buttons. Thanks

    0
  • Indrek

    Friday, November 13th, 2009 16:29

    15

    Very good tips! They actually gave me some pretty good ideas about rearranging my blogs RSS icons. Thanks!

    0
  • Ben

    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 19:04

    14

    Lol, how did you manage to turn a guide into a roundup?

    0
  • Amber Weinberg

    Monday, November 2nd, 2009 19:47

    13

    Great tips, the most annoying thing in the world is to find a great blog and then to have to hunt around the whole site for the RSS feed. This happens a lot more times than you would think.

    0
  • Alfons

    Monday, November 2nd, 2009 00:42

    12

    Nice collection! Thanks for sharing

    0
  • Gabriel Scofield

    Friday, October 30th, 2009 07:24

    11

    thanks for the info…I have now added another more visible button since my main button is a little hidden for a new blog reader to recognize.

    0
  • Tobbi

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 21:30

    10

    Great collection, no. 2 & 4 are my favorites.

    0
  • John Samuel

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 20:05

    9

    I have seen a lot of creativity for the subscribe button. Thanks for this exhaustive list.

    0
  • Harsh Agrawal

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 18:18

    8

    My 2 cents also try to add RSS feed before post, use wp greet wordpress plugin to welcome your readers…. and let them subscribe to feeds :-)

    0
  • Decent Banners

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 03:16

    7

    Do you think it is necessary to show the no. of subscribers on blog?

    Because if ones blog has only few subscribers it will give a wrong impression to others that his blog is not active, or not interesting…etc.

    0
  • BunnygotBlog

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 02:20

    6

    I have heard of Noupe and Smashing Magazine before but not many of the others.

    0
  • Sasha

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 07:01

    5

    Excellent. This Post is put together well. I think the simpler the better for RSS buttons. If it is “over designed”, the link could be missed as it won’t be identifiable.

    0
  • Ayaz Malik

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 06:19

    4

    kool. i guess my blog following it perfectly XD

    0
  • Jay Zuck

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 22:50

    3

    There are many, many ways of configuring an to look and feel of your rss subscription button for maximum appeal. You have given me a lot to consider in that regard and indicated a ton of ways it may be done citing some great examples.

    0
  • Paul Stamatiou

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 18:52

    2

    Not quite sure this qualifies as 53 best practices, versus 50 examples of how people link to their RSS. ;-) Regardless, I enjoyed it. Hoping you’ll have a follow up about how to get more RSS subscribers through off-site means (I mean how to drive them to your site by doing things not on your site). You could have the most awesome RSS button and placement but if readers don’t get the extra push to subscribe or have some sort of call-to-action then it kind of falls flat.

    0
  • DlibrarieD

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 19:44

    1

    Really good find. Lot of work there. Added to bookmarks.
    And it`s one interesting thought about “get more RSS subscribers through off-site means”, worth to think of.
    Paldies.

    0

Comments are closed.

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