Are You More Likely to Subscribe to a Blog With a Higher Subscriber Counts?

August 3, 2007 by  

I came across a blog post that said having your FeedCount displayed when you still have a low number of subscribers can prevent potential subscribers from subscribing to your feed.

The argument is that visitors are more likely to subscriber to a feed if they see a higher count because it tells them that you are an authoritative voice in your niche.

If everyone is subscribing to your feed, surely you know what you are talking about and they should subscribe to it too. In order words, some people use your subscriber counts to judge the quality of your blog.

So for the past few weeks I’ve decided to hide my FeedBurner counter to test this theory. I can’t remember exactly when I started to hide it but it was definitely a few days before my John Chow ReviewMe was published.

As you can see below, the number of my subscribers has been increasing gradually. However, I can’t say it’s solely because of the hidden FeedBurner counter. As you may know, I’ve been promoting via ReviewMe at John Chow Dot Com, then later via AdWords and these definitely have contributed to the increase.


I am going to continue to hide the subscriber count to see if it could speed up the subscribing process.

Some may argue that it doesn’t really matter if you have 20 or 2000 readers who are religiously following your blog. That 20 people are real people. It shows that you are providing useful information that worth their time and this is something you should be proud of.

How about you? Does the FeedBurner counts influence your opinion as to the quality and authority of a blog? Are you more likely to subscribe to a blog if it has a higher subscriber counts?

Are You More Likely to Subscribe to a Blog If It Has a Higher Subscriber Counts?
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Comment by Mr. Rajawang
2007-08-03 21:00:23

yes i think a low subscriber count does effect SOME of the readers subscribing to your blog..

Comment by ben
2007-08-03 21:08:01

my opinion…gaman…. i don’t think so..

Comment by Glen Allsopp
2007-08-03 21:14:19

I know for a fact that it makes a difference, people are a lot less likely to subscribe to your feed if you have 1 or 2 people showing up on there

Humans are like sheep in nature, they follow the crowd and dont like to miss out

Simple as

Comment by
2007-08-04 00:32:17

I think they do..count.

Comment by
2007-08-04 01:00:59

I would have to answer yes on this…at least in my opinion and experience…

Comment by KennyP Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-04 01:49:18

Low count doens’t affect me but high count does

2007-08-04 12:38:19

Personally, I don’t give a crap how many subscribers a blog has when I subscribe as long as they post often and post quality content. However, on my new blog I don’t list the subscriber count because my number is not very high – so maybe I’m a hypocrite! =)

Comment by Ahmad uzair
2007-08-04 14:28:00

i agree with you Gaman. low subscribers feed will affect the visitor nature. I use to hide it in Feb and it made better improvement.

people seem to value your content with the subscribers list first. if they see a low subs, they will think that the blog is low quality and will not to come again.

I will show the list of mine if the target has achieve.i don’t know how many years the target will but at least it reach,then I will show it.

Comment by Zul
2007-08-04 16:08:51


Comment by Lorna
2007-08-04 19:40:01

Too bad you tested it at around the same time as John Chow’s review, otherwise it would be interesting to see how it affects your subscription.

I would say it depends on the content of the blog. If I see a niche blog that I like, I’d subscribe to it no matter what. If it’s a general blog though, I would be surprised and *may*, in very very rare occassions, be interested enough if I see a high subscription number and be influenced to subscribe.

Comment by College Guide
2007-08-04 21:22:33

Yes I think so. Social proof is not really a prove, but a good indicator that the blog might be of top quality.

Comment by san
2007-08-05 12:31:10

i don’t think so…

Comment by ben
2007-08-05 15:42:25

For me it’s just a number…:) that will make us as the blog owner motivated to post more..article…

at least somebody love us.

Comment by dott-com
2007-08-05 15:59:36

The feed count just a number. But a number that show some authority to other. To build an authority it’s a hard job and not one day job. Sometime to display a higher feed count somehow like a blogger show off. It’s great actually. Not a big deal to show or not.

Comment by Wahlau.NET
2007-08-06 11:41:30

I believe so, if others thinks that it is good..then it must be good…

it is a normal stereotyping

Comment by tim
2007-08-06 11:58:42

for me its doesn’t matter whether the count is high or not. Most important thing is the CONTENT !

–blog for dream–

Comment by Charles Lau Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-08 01:53:05

While it may be the contents that count in my subscription of a feed, sometimes it makes me wonder why this guy has such a high number of feed subscribers when I just don’t get the rhythm of his blog… I will usually subscribe it and just enjoy reading it till I find it not so useful then I will unsubscribe it away…

Comment by Noorizam Shah
2007-08-16 09:16:46

thank you for the tips.. i will try it in my blog. 🙂

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