It’s still the question I get asked the most.
Despite writing on this subject several times, and basically spilling the beans on every tip and tactic I know for converting site visitors into regular readers, people seem to think I’m holding out. Most every time I speak with a fellow blogger on the phone, or meet someone in person, inevitably some variation of the following question will arise:
OK, so level with me… how’s you get all those subscribers? What’s the real secret?
No one wants to believe that there’s no magical secret. They’d rather fantasize about some forbidden copywriting technique that drives subscriber attraction. If I’d just share the magical words that make the difference, they’d immediately put those words to use.
OK, I give up. I’ll tell you the real secret.
The most important and all-powerful words that cause people to subscribe to your blog in large numbers are… the ones other people use when talking about you.
That’s it. That’s the *real* secret.
There are a lot of bloggers out there that are working plenty hard at creating content, but getting nowhere. It’s because what they’re producing doesn’t fill an audience need, or the subject matter is too well-covered and the blogger has not discovered a unique angle to set themselves apart. In either case, the content is simply not remarkable.
The word remarkable gets tossed around all the time thanks to Mr. Godin. I sometimes wonder if people truly know what it means. If I ask someone’s opinion about something and they respond with “That’s remarkable,” I follow up with, “Yes, but how do you feel about it?”
Remarkable simply means worth talking about. There’s no value judgment included. It could be bad or good; a fleeting distraction or something worthy of continued focus; a blog post that causes a minor single-day stir or a blogger who quickly rises in prominence.
Being a remarkable blogger is absolutely critical, but it’s not the end of the analysis. What the right people say about you is more important than the simple fact that they’re talking, at least when it comes to building a regular audience. You can’t please everyone, just the people who matter.
You absolutely must get people talking and linking, but they also have to be recommending. Those words of recommendation — whether express or implied — are more powerful than any other when it comes to building your authority and subscriber list. And that brings us full circle back to offering remarkable value to others with your content.