Wednesday, July 15, 2009

10,400 Blog Subscribers Without Using RSS

At, I’ve never intended to use an RSS subscription service like Feedburner to gather readership. Instead, from day one I preferred to build an optin email list using Aweber and it’s blog broadcast feature to build a pre-web2.0 styled ezine. To do this I offer a free Super Adsense Theme and 2 free chapters from Wordpress Adsense System.


To send our ezines automatically / semi-automatically, I use Aweber and their “Blog Broadcast” feature. Done properly, this works just as well as Feedburner or any other “subscribe to RSS by email” service.

Last week, the number of ProfitBlogger Ezine Subscribers reached 10,200. Pure RSS feed subscribers via Feedburner measured only 303. These have to be users who know where to find and how to subscribe to our RSS feed, simply because we do not publish a “Subscribe by RSS” or “Subscribe by Feedburner” link anywhere on

We collect leads and send out weekly / bi-weekly ezines to all our subscribers, and it’s been working really well fro this blog at least. We do not depend on search engine traffic, although we do get our fair share of it.

But why don’t we use RSS subscription solely on our blogs, like John Chow or The answer is simple:

  • This is not just a blog; we have a forum, a directory, and soon a subscription-based video tutorials site for beginners. We have a few RSS feeds, and I don’t want to scatter my traffic everywhere.
  • We do not depend on advertising income (Adsense or banner ads). Since we do not do it the “John Chow way”, there’s really no reason to aim for a high PR 6 or to show off the number of RSS subscribers to would-be advertisers. We do not need to cramp 8 banners into our sidebar :)
  • We no not do paid posts or reviews for example or So again, there’s no need to impress advertisers. We do reviews to make money from affiliate products, not from the reviews themselves.
  • We target a different market. Personally I was “thought” in the direct marketing field of Internet marketing. I believe in all sales pages and selling information products using direct Internet marketing, with affiliates, offline marketing and the whole shebang. My target market (blogging beginners) do not even know about RSS readers or how to use an RSS feed until they have at least bought the Wordpress Adsense System. So, I use the best medium to reach them – email!

We simply chose a different path by creating products, and getting traffic to those products. We get lesser traffic, but target that traffic to an income source which delivers over 2,000 constantly in product sales, and over 2,100 in affiliate sales.

Even the John Chow “gang” have recently started to offer free ebook downloads in return for a name and email, something which they themselves would have considered “old school” and “repulsive” a few months ago. Needless to say in the herd mentality when one high-profile person does it, everyone follows without thinking twice.

If you have a blog, and want to make money online, do it your way. It’s ok to test what others are doing, but don’t force yourself to use methods that may not work well for you.

Advantages of Using Ezines Instead of RSS:

  • You get 100% control of your subscribers, and can send them other emails not intended for your blog
  • You get to send out 5 or 8 or any amount of recent blog posts together instead of daily updates like Feedburner does
  • You get to format your emails properly and even include other affiliate links or ads

Disadvantages of Using Ezines Instead of RSS:

  • You cannot show off readership easily to would-be-advertisers
  • You cannot command a higher price of paid review services like ReviewMe or PayPerPost (you can always sell reviews yourself with OIO Publisher)
  • You cannot command a higher price for Text Link Ad sale (you can always sell links yourself with OIO Publisher or the WP Text Ads plugin)

I do not recommend that you try to get optin subscribers AND build RSS subscribers at the same time. Just focus on building one source of readership, and it will be more than enough.

Basically, if you want to make money from Google Adsense, Text Link Ads, and other forms of advertising, build a RSS readership base. If you want to make money from your own products or affiliate products, use Aweber and build an optin list instead.

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