Note to Citizen Journalism Sites: Get a Subscribe Button

There is a reason that magazines have an option to subscribe. People aren’t always going to venture out every time there’s a new issue. So why not have a subscription option on your website?

At OMNI, we gather news from a lot of citizen journalism websites. Yet we can only do this efficiently through subscriptions. There are not enough hours in a workday to go to every single CJ site one by one. That’s true of readers too. They don’t have time to pull up every site they like to read. They likely have already comfied up to their own portal sites, so don’t think that they’ll suddenly make your site their homepage.

It’s one of the basics of any site with dynamic content. If your content changes, like a blog, you MUST have a subscription option. Yet when I go out to scour for new CJ sites, HALF of them won’t let me subscribe. And even more of them have the subscription option buried at the bottom.

If your site is serious about gaining readership you need to cover the basics. Make a subscription feed. Google’s Feedburner is excellent for this. It makes it simple. When you have made your feed, make a prominent subscribe chicklet near the top of your pages. I find it funny that some sites have prominent “follow me” buttons for Facebook and Twitter, but they don’t have the basic button to actually follow their sites!

Get a button. Put it on your site. We at OMNI have a nice little button at the top of ours. Not flamboyant. Just do it because we want to read your content.

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11 2011

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