How to Get 1100 Subscribers in Five Days 214

There are two reasons why I’ve used the above title for this post. Firstly, it’s a follow-up to my article on How to Get 1,050 Subscribers in Three Months. Secondly, because my new blog, Anywired, reached 1,100 subscribers five days after its launch on Thursday.

This post contains everything I’ve learned about starting a second blog while using your first blog, connections and profile as a platform to launch it from. If you take only one thing away from this post, let it be this point: your first blog is always the hardest. It only gets easier after that.

The recipe for success

When launching Anywired I had no idea what to expect. I had hoped that some Skelliewag readers would be interested in it, and I had suspected it to be a little easier than starting this blog from scratch had been. I had decided to be optimistic and hope for 100 subscribers in the first week.

Clearly, I had underestimated the value of three factors:

  1. A loyal audience.
  2. A profile in your new niche.
  3. Connections with other bloggers.

These are the three components which made the launch successful. If you can build each of these components, you have a recipe for the successful launch of blog #2.

I think that while many bloggers have ideas for new blogs, they’re discouraged because they think back to how tough it was to build something from nothing. Through the process of launching a second blog, I’ve learned that you can leverage the many hours of work you’ve done on your first blog (and on other blogs) to make growing you second blog much easier.

A loyal audience

From the comments on Anywired and emails I’ve received, it seems that a large portion of the blog’s new subscribers are Skelliewag readers (thanks, guys!) It also helps that the blog’s niche (working and earning an income online) is in line with what many Skelliewag readers would like to get out of their blogs: a supplementary income.

If I had started a blog about duck shooting, you can expect that the interest from Skelliewag readers would have been much less.

My key tips on building this element of a successful blog launch would be:

  • Create passionate readers and, as Leo Babauta says, try to be “insanely useful.” (Congrats to Leo on becoming a full-time blogger!)
  • You’ll have more audience transfer if your new niche is of interest to most of your target audience. That being said, a first blog can help even if your new niche is completely different. (After all, maybe some Skelliewag readers are duck shooters!)

A profile in your new niche

Having some degree of respect or notoriety in your new niche can also be helpful. If I decided to launch a new blog in the mountain-biking niche, for example, I’d expect a slow start because very few bloggers in that niche know who I am.

A lot of people know that I’m a freelance blogger, and I also write for ProBlogger and Freelance Switch, both of which are read by people interested in working and earning an income online. Because I already had a profile in the niche, people were confident from day one that I knew what I was talking about.

My key tips on building this element of a successful blog launch would be:

  • Comment on blogs in your new niche before launching (to develop a bit of name recognition).
  • Write some posts on your first blog that incorporate your new niche (to demonstrate that you know a bit about it).
  • Guest-post in your new niche around the time of the launch.

Connections with other bloggers

My friendships with Darren Rowse, Collis Ta’eed, Jon Phillips and Maki resulted in links and support from their respective blogs when Anywired was launched. I’ve been very lucky to make connections with influential bloggers, but the launch was also given support by a number of Skelliewag readers, combining to create a grassroots swell of support.

The combined effect was immensely helpful in generating incoming traffic and no doubt brought in a lot of fresh faces and new subscribers. I’m thankful to everyone who wrote about or commented on the launch. I was truly humbled by the warm welcome.

My key tips on building this element of a successful blog launch would be:

  • Tell blogging buddies about your launch in advance and send them a link when the site goes live. I didn’t ask anyone for a link, but I found people were willing to link anyway.
  • Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get links from top bloggers. Your loyal audience should help you out.
  • Call in favors by asking others to vote for articles on your new blog, or support it in any way they like. You’ll find that if you’ve been helpful to the person before they’re likely to oblige and do so gladly.

Where to next?

I hope this post has allayed some of your fears about starting a second blog, though it’s still essential that you answer five hard questions before starting a new project.

In a month or so I’d like to return to the topic and reflect on what I’ve learned about the actual process of juggling two blogs.

I was considering writing a post simply saying thank you for your support, but I hope this post does the same thing while proving useful. Providing value is probably the best way I can say thanks :-).