I recently came across a post on SocialMouths about 15 powerful blogging blogs to follow. I do my best to keep up with the movers & shakers in my niche and I recommend you follow the movers & shakers in your niche too!
I was already following several of the bloggers mentioned on the list of 15, but the ones I wasn't, I added to my reader.
And by the way, if following more blogs about blogging isn't something you want to make time for, no worries. Stick with me and I'll do my best to cull the good stuff and pass it on to you here.
Speaking of passing on good information…
Why is it important to follow the movers & shakers in your niche?
Well, I'm sure we could come up with a lot of reasons why (tell us why you think it's important in the comments!), but one of the main reasons I do is because I watch them. I watch what they do, what they don't do, what seems to work for them and what doesn't.
Let me tell you, these are bloggers that know how to run a successful blog. And since we're all bloggers, we can learn a lot from how they do what they do.
Of the powerful blogging blogs to follow, what is the one thing every. single. blogger on the list has?
No need to look through them all, because I'll tell ya.
They all have an email sign up form on their site. They don't just link to their email sign up form, they make their email sign up form front and center.
Why is an email form so important?
Email subscribers are more valuable than RSS subscribers. It's true. Why? Because having an email subscriber means having permission to make direct contact with someone in the event you want to market your own product, generate some extra buzz, get feedback, etc.
Of course, spamming your email list and thoroughly annoying them will make the whole operation backfire, but having access to specific people can be priceless.
Big bloggers everywhere are talking about the importance of building your email list. In fact, many say it's one of the most important things you can do as a blogger.
So what should you do?
Put your email subscription form directly on your site, of course! Make signing up as easy as possible. Don't make a reader click through if they don't have to.
How do you put your email form on your site?
Well, the process will depend on the service you use, however, I'll go over the steps in FeedBurner since it's a popular and free choice.
1. Login to FeedBurner.
2. Choose the appropriate feed by clicking on its name.
3. Click on the "Publicize" tab.
4. Click "Email Subscriptions" in the left column.
5. Copy the code in this box:
6. Paste that code into a text widget on your blog. (Here's how to use widgets in WordPress.)