(or, the GFC After Party)
If you’re anywhere in the world of WordPress, you’ve probably felt the effect of Google recently discontinuing its Google Friend Connect (GFC) service to non-Blogger blogs. Yes, they warned us they were leaving. But I don’t know if anyone was really ready for the huge silence when their widgets and feeds just vanished. ::poof::
There was an option, prior to March 1st, for you to export all your GFC community data – so you could create a spreadsheet with all your blog’s GFC followers. And most importantly: their email addresses. But if you missed that train – sorry, it’s left the station.
So now what?
Well, Google recommends that everyone rush to their nearest Google+ signup portal and create a Google+ page for their business or blog. (big surprise…) But that doesn’t mean you’ll get all your old followers back instantly.
The obvious plan of action is to get all the people who *used* to subscribe to your blog via GFC to re-subscribe through your RSS feed. But how do you get people to pay attention and hit “Subscribe?”
Option #1: Write an RSS Subscribe Tutorial
This wouldn’t work for all types of blogs, but one possibility is to write a step-by-step tutorial on how to subscribe to your blog. If your style is very conversational and interactive, this is a very effective way to guide your readers to becoming committed subscribers. Want to see this in action? The Crafting Chicks had a dedicated “how to subscribe” post just before the GFC switch.
Option #2: Use a Notification Bar
A Notification Bar is a feature bar that appears at the top of your site, which directs your readers to read (or DO) what you want them to. Your bar can say something as simple as “Subscribe here,” but the important thing is to take your readers by the hand and lead them to join your community. You can see this in action over at Wives with Knives, where I recently installed a FooBar for Cathy.
(I’ll be reviewing a few of the best Notification Bar options out there in a future post.)
Option #3: Help Your Readers Prioritize Subscribing
If you have eight different buttons that you want your readers to click on, they may not click on any of them. If your highest priority is on your readers subscribing to your feed, then for heaven’s sake – clear away everything else for awhile! Okay, keep your sponsors’ buttons up…but even your sponsors will benefit by your attracting loyal readers to your blog.
Put that Subscribe button at the top of your sidebar, at the bottom of each post – anywhere you can.
If you didn’t make headway with converting your Google Friends to RSS subscribers before the Google Friend Disconnect, all is not lost. You’ll just want to make sure you keep them coming back with some killer content, then give them every opportunity to hit “Subscribe.”
Need help implementing any of these techniques on your blog? Fill out the project questionnaire and I’ll get back with you. I’m happy to help!