Why I Disabled Email and RSS Subscription On My Blog and Why You Should Too
For far too long, Bloggers have accepted what’s been given to them. And Email/RSS are no friends of Bloggers.
Let’s examine the facts.
Rejecting Your Biggest Fans
Who is subscribing to your Email/RSS list?
Your most loyal, interested readers are the ones who are subscribing to your Email/RSS feed. And what do you do to them?
You reject them!
You’re telling your most loyal fans that you will deliver your content to their inbox (or RSS reader) so they never have to come back and visit your blog again.
Email/RSS content delivery essentially means every blogger is in the business of having to attract a brand new reader every time they post.
Blogger has to work his ass off to convert that first-time visitor into a subscriber, at which point this very valuable reader is never to bee heard from again.
And, since they are no longer visiting your blog, you’re telling them not to bother commenting. Because if you wanted them to comment on your blog, you would bring them to your blog.
Oh, and also, since they are getting your post delivered to their inbox, they’ll never have an opportunity to share it.
You, my dear Blogger, are rejecting your biggest fans.
No wonder most blogs are unable to build a loyal fan base and comment brigade. You’re actively keeping your own biggest fans at an arm’s length.
I think that’s a waste.
The Way Things Should Be
Your most loyal readers shouldn’t be a dead end. They deserve better.
Your post goes out to their inbox/RSS, and that is the finish line. Why not turn those same readers into points of origin?
Why not turn those readers into broadcasters of your content? Your readers have an audience on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Right?
Why not enable your true fans to be more than fans. They can become advocates. They can become evangelists of your content.
Exploding at a Theater Near You
So, what AM I using instead of Email/RSS?
The answer is Atomic Tribes.
What’s an Atomic Tribe, you ask?
Atomic Tribe is the Next Generation RSS. It’s a Social Email list. It’s built for bloggers, by bloggers.
Your readers lose no functionality, but you, my dear Blogger, get a TON of new, never before experienced, functionality.
1. AuTOMatIC Sharing:
Every time you publish a new post, members of your Atomic Tribe will automatically share it via their social channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).
Imagine a tribe with few hundred (or thousand?) people in it, and every time you -and only you- publish something new, it gets shared across multiple social channels per member?
That is guaranteed traffic, eyeballs, and Attention.
I don’t know about you, but I’m signing up my mom, my brother, my girlfriend, and everyone else I can find.
Even my friends who have no idea what a blog is…finally those friends will come in handy.
As the Chief of your Atomic Tribe, you can enable Manual Mode so that members who wish to share manually can do so.
2. A Community For Your Blog
Email/RSS gets a Social makeover.
Your RSS/Email subscribers are invisible to one another. Atomic Tribes -on the other hand- enable your biggest fans to congregate around your content.
What will happen when few hundred diehards are able to see each other, communicate with one another, and are able to devise strategies that are focused on getting you, your blog, and your content, to the next level?
We don’t know. This is brand new, never attempted before. But my money is on something wonderful.
3. No Loss of Functionality for Reader
Your posts still arrive in their inbox as if they’ve joined your email list.
Some readers might prefer to read all blogs they subscribe to in one spot, using their RSS Reader. For them, there is a new, special kind of RSS Reader (Tribal Stream) that allows them to not only read, but also comment AND share your post via additional social channels (like StumbleUpon, G+, etc.)
4. Powerful Stats
All users are able to see each other’s performance which just might create a mini-contest to see who can bring most traffic, attention, and engagement to your content.
Currently in Alpha
The plan is to roll out Atomic Tribes in 3 phases. Alpha, Beta, and Open.
Phase 1: Alpha
During the Alpha phase, we will open a sign-up window for 3 days, so that brave souls can get in on the ground floor.
I expect these braves to help guide the development of Atomic Tribes. Tell us what’s missing. What’s working, and what’s not working. And generally stay in contact with me (dino @ triberr.com) so that we understand what you’re going through.
This phase is NOT for everyone. Anyone who signs up should have analytical mind, pioneering spirit, and patient disposition.
For that, we will roll out Atomic Tribes at $40.00 (50% off) monthly subscription, guaranteed for a lifetime.
Phase 2: Beta
Based on the initial Alpha roll-out, I expect us to make a lot of changes and improvements to Atomic Tribes.
Once those improvements are in place (no set timeline) we will open Beta phase for 3 days and allow a second wave of braves to sign up, at $60.00 (25% off) monthly subscription.
We figure that between Alpha and Beta phases, all current Triberr members who plan to sign up will sign up, and for those, Atomic Tribe price is heavily discounted.
Phase 3: Open
Based on the feedback from Alpha and Beta phases, we will open Atomic Tribes to all (no set timeline for this, either).
Once Atomic Tribes enter Open phase, we will price them at $80.00 monthly subscription.
At this point, Atomic Tribes will be available to anyone who wants to sign up, and we suspect this is when business blogs will enter the fray. Hence $80.00 monthly price tag.
Email and RSS services have some good ideas, and we will steal those.
So, for example, we plan on adding Auto Responder capability so that when people sign up for your Atomic Tribe you can send them an email with a link to download your Ebook.
Some RSS services offer stats. Because of the nature of Triberr, we are able to do some really amazing things in terms of tracking performance and stats.
And when I say “amazing things”, I’m talking about things that no other service can do. We just need time and resources to get there, but we will.
Here’s a short list of things we have in the works:
- Approval before joining
- Moderator level accounts
- Ability to export member list
- Rewards programs and incentives for your members
- Personal Messaging between members (or DMing in Twitter parlance)
- Ability to select which members will be featured on the tribe profile page
- ReBlogged posts don’t get circulated back into your tribal network, but we will have them fed into your Atomic Tribes. Very cool.
- Ability for members to control how often they get emailed (once a day, 3 times per week, etc)
We have a whole slew of improvements planned out. However…
I know that as we roll these out, our members will have opinions, viewpoints, and insights we haven’t even considered, so I expect some of the coolest features to come from our userbase.
How To Get People Into Your Atomic Tribe
I expect this to be really easy at first, and then really hard.
Here is how I did it.
The way I got first 30+ people into my Atomic Tribe is I told them to sign up. What is it? They asked. I told them “nevermind what it is, just you sign up”.
You can do that with good friends, family, and even some employees.
This “employee” sign-up deserves a closer look.
If you work for a company who’s employees are passionate about the company (think Apple, Zappos, Tom’s Shoes, etc); employees are ecstatic to share company’s blog via their channels. And, they already do this, Atomic Tribes just makes it way easier, and ensures no one ever misses a post.
For companies who’s employees are there just because it’s work, the company could create incentives and even distinctions/titles for employees who sign up and are active in promoting the business.
All employees are marketers. As it should be.
As for readers, they might want to subscribe via Email/RSS…well, if they try to subscribe to my blog via Email/RSS, they won’t be able to.
I am no longer accepting new Email/RSS subscribers. In fact, my next step is to convert my existing Email/RSS subscribers to Atomic Tribe members.
I will send an email to my email subscribers alerting them of changes.
Also, I will write a post titled something like “Only for my RSS subscribers” to alert them of changes.
I have to write a public post since there is no other way for me to contact them otherwise. Which is ludicrous. I mean…Google knows who subscribed to my blog, why wouldn’t they share that info with me? But I digress…
Will I lose people during the switch? You bet. Out with the old, in with the new.
I expect to disable the sending of my new posts via Email/RSS within 2-3 months. If my current Email/RSS subscribers haven’t migrated, they will be left out.
Some of my long time readers I expect to meet for the first time when they join my Atomic Tribe. Notice how I slipped a link to join my Atomic Tribe there? Hehe
You might want to take a softer approach…whatever works for you is fine.
Once you exhaust the initial supply of people who trust you, you will have to educate new arrivals as to what exactly it is they are signing up for. But it’s worth it.
Have you noticed how Bloggers are more likely to share an article rather than link to it? That’s because we went from the culture of backlinking to a culture of sharing.
Many of the popular blogs (HuffPost, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb (RWW), etc.) were founded around 2005.
These old blogs were born into the culture of backlinking. When Bloggers wanted to share a RWW article -for example- with their own audience, they would link to it. Google loved this since their search algorithm relies on backlinks to determine relative page ranking.
By the time Social culture came into being, these old sites have built up a HUGE number of backlinks, and then they benefited from the Twitter and Facebook’s culture of sharing.
As people searched Google for something to read, they would turn up these old sites, and when readers would see share buttons, they would click on them, thereby further promoting these sites in a wonderfully virtuous cycle of high search ranking and high number of shares.
It’s too late for us to build a HUGE number of backlinks. So, we’ve missed the boat on that particular virtuous cycle. But Atomic Tribes enable us to catch the next one.
Atomic Virtuous Cycle
When your most loyal readers share your content via their social channels, they are not only bringing eyeballs to your content, but they are bringing potential new members of your Atomic Tribe, which share your content via their social channels, which brings more potential new members for your Atomic Tribe, and the virtuous cycle continues indefinitely.
Let’s see an Email list or RSS do THAT!
If you’re reading this post on the day it was published, you’re in luck.
For the next 3 days, you can sign-up to get an Atomic Tribe of your own.
If you’re reading this 4+ days after it’s published, you can get weight listed by sending me an email to dino @ triberr.com and I will notify you when we enter the next Beta window.