Yes. No. Maybe. It depends.

I know – crappy answer, right? But each one can be applied to the question of losing blog subscribers and whether you should care or not.

After all, as bloggers, we’re more often than not told that “it’s all about the list”. This usually refers to an email list, and why building one is important for your blog’s growth.

I’m not going to get into the “do I need a list or not?” question – Brankica already covered that perfectly.

No, for this post, I’m going to assume you already have a list. Additionally, I’m going to talk about subscribers to your blog, as opposed to subscribers to your newsletter, as there is a difference and for many bloggers, their blog subscription list is the only one they’ll have.

So, with that in mind – should you care about losing blog subscribers? Let’s dig in.

Yes – Your Subscribers Are Everything

When you start blogging, you might have many goals. Some of them could be to make money; some could be to share your thoughts with others; and some could be just to have a platform to get your writing mojo on.

Either way, to succeed in any of these goals (with perhaps the exception of the last one), you need readers. And, if you get readers, you want them to turn into subscribers.

After all, anyone can click a link on Facebook or Twitter and come over to read your stuff. But it takes commitment from a reader to want to follow your content religiously enough to actually subscribe. They’re saying they prefer you over the millions of other bloggers out there.

Because of that, you should care on losing them, and take steps to find out why they left.

  • Look at the content you wrote just prior to them unsubscribing and see if it’s a valid reason (perhaps a different tone or style from your normal stuff).
  • Email them and thank them for subscribing up until then, and ask if they’d mind sharing why they left.
  • If you are changing the style of your blog, and you see subscribers leaving, create a poll and ask readers their thoughts on the new direction.

By being pro-active on understanding the reasons for the unsubscribes, you can take the action needed to halt the slide.

No – It’s Your Blog and People Don’t Need to Read What They Don’t Like

The best bloggers (at least for me) are the ones that polarize opinion and question everything. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to be an asshat in all your posts – just don’t follow the herd when it comes to your opinion.

For example, if you’re blogging about blog tips, try and steer away from making every post a list one about the Top 10 this or a Best 20 that. Sure, list posts are great traffic generators and, when done well, can offer a great resource. But often they can be overdone and offer little.

Instead, share your lessons and how the most unlikeliest of sources can teach you about blogging.

Or, if you write about social media, ignore the standard “Why Google+ is great for business” posts and offer a rebuff on why the platform is struggling to be relevant for the majority of businesses out there.

By offering your stance on popular topics, especially if the stance goes against the popular grain, it helps you stand out as someone to listen to, since you clearly don’t buy into the hype of the Johnny Popularity bloggers.

Of course, the “problem” with this is that people don’t like to hear they may be wrong, or the platform they put the most love into isn’t as great as they want it to be. This is where you often lose blog subscribers – but that’s okay.

When you lose subscribers like this, it’s for a clear reason – you believe one thing and they believe another. Sure, you could try and persuade each other the merits of each other’s point of view and, sometimes, this works.

But, for the most part, people can be stubborn – and no-one benefits from a protracted discussion that clearly isn’t going to be resolved.

So, let your subscriber go. He or she clearly won’t enjoy your content if it’s against their beliefs; and you’re not going to enjoy the constant jibing from them because you don’t see eye-to-eye.

Let them find a blog that’s more suited to their stance, and leave you to write for the readers that actually want to be on your blog, because these are the ones that will be your biggest ambassadors as you grow your blog.

Your Turn

Of course, like any opinion piece, there’s no right answer. Well, except mine… Joke! ;-)

But the question of blog lists and subscribers is a big one, and one that has no definite right answer. After all, we all have separate goals on what we want to achieve with our blogs.

So, how about you? Do you bite your nails each time you see an unsubscribe and wonder what you did wrong? Or do you shrug, smile, and carry on as normal?

Share you own thoughts and experiences below!

This post originally appeared on For Bloggers By Bloggers, a free blog resource centre with daily tips to help you grow your blog. To get the latest blog tips, subscribe here!

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177 comments
SuzanneMannion
SuzanneMannion

Agree with all your points - and believe they hold true for all social media platforms and not just blogging.  One point I might counter!  Not everyone has a problem being told their wrong.  After all, if we've achieved such greatness, what's the point in moving forward and trying new things? If we're wrong, we know we've learned. Simplistic, perhaps, but the approach works for me.

Dave Zan
Dave Zan

Personally, my answer to this is "if you can afford to". You lose some, you gain some, depending on your efforts and your intention.   Thanks for blogging about it still. Something for some people to consider.

JayDolan
JayDolan

I lost subscribers. I found them under the couch though.

rohan810in
rohan810in

I care a lot about my subscribers. As you said subscribers are everything! That's right!

ella119
ella119

We cannot please everybody, but I still try my best to made an wonderful blog to capture their interest. Thanks for letting me stopped by.

Mark_Harai
Mark_Harai

 @DannyBrown That is one thing you've consistently done Danny - you let your work speak for itself, and you don't care what people think (although you're thoughtful) and it's had a huge influence on the industry.    Keep making a difference bro - you're really just getting started!

Livefyre
Livefyre

@DannyBrown Hey Danny, we're seeing a spike in activity that's caused some functionality degradation; dev team on it now. Will update you!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

 @SuzanneMannion Hi Suzanne,

 

Oh, for sure, and that's the great thing about blogging, is having the differing opinions and accepting those to challenge yourself.

 

It's when people say you're wrong and have no reason to, except to "pick a fight", that it's time to just ignore them. :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Livefyre It's probably that damn @kmueller62 showing off with the new comment widget. Blaggard! Cheers, guys!

Livefyre
Livefyre

@DannyBrown @kmueller62 Usually it's @ginidietrich, @skypulsemedia, or @shonali, but you're right Danny, Ken is the culprit here! ;)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@ErinMFeldman @shonali @skypulsemedia @Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich I've been working and sipping Pimms.

ErinMFeldman
ErinMFeldman

@skypulsemedia @shonali @DannyBrown @Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich I'm the innocent one. ;)

ErinMFeldman
ErinMFeldman

@shonali @DannyBrown @skypulsemedia @Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich I've been shoe shopping. I don't know what you all have been doing.

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@shonali @erinmfeldman @DannyBrown @Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich no good

shonali
shonali

@erinmfeldman @DannyBrown @skypulsemedia @Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich Good Grief. What have y'all been up to?!

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Livefyre Wait, it's not fixed at all - still on Livefyre 2.0 ;-) Cheers guys, appreciated!

Livefyre
Livefyre

@DannyBrown All should be back to normal for ya Danny, thanks for hanging with us!

ErinMFeldman
ErinMFeldman

@DannyBrown @skypulsemedia @Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich @shonali Well, I might be getting closer...

MargieClayman
MargieClayman

I'm sure y'all will duke it out :) @kmueller62 @DannyBrown @shonali @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich

kmueller62
kmueller62

@MargieClayman @DannyBrown @shonali @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich they can be Conquest, War, famine & Death. I wanna be Snark

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@kmueller62 @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich @shonali Well, at least one of them doesn't pretend to be the Jesus Christ of rock music...

kmueller62
kmueller62

@DannyBrown @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich @shonali two sides of the same Canadian wooden nickel

MargieClayman
MargieClayman

The five horse-people of the Apocalypse :) -> @kmueller62 @DannyBrown @shonali @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@kmueller62 @shonali @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich No, no - you're confusing Bieber with Canadian wordsmiths Nickelback. #mybleedingears

kmueller62
kmueller62

@DannyBrown @shonali @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich stop quoting your great Canadian philosophers

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@kmueller62 @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich @shonali Justin Bieber once wrote a song about kilts. #babybabyhairyknees

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@DannyBrown @kmueller62 @shonali @ginidietrich klout is paying me to collect all your public data and private butt dohickeys

kmueller62
kmueller62

@DannyBrown @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich @shonali #putakiltonit

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@kmueller62 @shonali @ginidietrich @skypulsemedia I've heard even if i make my butt private it can be accessed #kloutmakesthingssoundwrong

kmueller62
kmueller62

@DannyBrown @shonali @ginidietrich @skypulsemedia My butt won't create an account for you without permission #mybuttknowsmorethanklout

kmueller62
kmueller62

@DannyBrown @shonali @ginidietrich @Livefyre @skypulsemedia i think you've started a new meme

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@kmueller62 @skypulsemedia @shonali @ginidietrich @Livefyre PROVE IT!!! #kloutorkensbutt

kmueller62
kmueller62

@DannyBrown @skypulsemedia @shonali @ginidietrich @Livefyre psh. #MyButtKnowsMoreThanKlout

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@kmueller62 @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich @Livefyre @shonali It's my job to. #thatisall #knowsmorethanklout

kmueller62
kmueller62

@DannyBrown @skypulsemedia @ginidietrich @Livefyre @shonali i had to look up Blaggard. How did you know??

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@ErinMFeldman @skypulsemedia @Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich @shonali Listen to Erin - she has as many shoes as Gini!

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@kmueller62 @ginidietrich @shonali @skypulsemedia @Livefyre Is that X-rated Manga? Oh, wait, that's Hentai, my bad!

ErinMFeldman
ErinMFeldman

@skypulsemedia @Livefyre @DannyBrown @kmueller62 @ginidietrich @shonali It's exactly like a shoe horn, Howie. ;)

kmueller62
kmueller62

@DannyBrown @ginidietrich @shonali @skypulsemedia @Livefyre oh that's right. he's still on Xanga

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@kmueller62 @Livefyre @ginidietrich @shonali @skypulsemedia It beats taking ice cream off the baby.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@skypulsemedia @Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich @shonali When you move to WordPress, Howie, you'll know all the secrets!

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@Livefyre @DannyBrown @kmueller62 @ginidietrich @shonali what is a comment widget? Like a shoe horn?

kmueller62
kmueller62

@Livefyre @ginidietrich @DannyBrown @shonali @skypulsemedia oh yeah, nice. blame the old guy.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Livefyre @kmueller62 @ginidietrich @skypulsemedia @shonali They're ALL blaggards!!