Having a blog is interesting, having subscribers is a commitment. What happens is that the readers of systems like Google Reader use this type of tools to keep up with the sites they prefer without having to visit them directly, much less leave a trace in case of being in an office with controlled navigation. It is easier to justify to your boss that you used Google Reader that they ask you for an explanation of having visited 22 blogs in one morning :), only to know that some of them did not publish anything new.
Readers are the equivalent of the loyal customers of a store, they are not the high sales volume but they bring more customers ... and if you treat them badly, you will also suffer loss of prestige.
How to have more subscribers:
Well, many have talked about this, one of the most important tips is to place the symbol or link sufficiently visible, such as the example image. In my case I have it on a page and inside I promote a couple of benefits of subscribing.
Then you have to write with passion about the subject, if you write some sponsored posts you should do it carefully. When I post a sponsored link, I usually upload it and immediately upload another one that I have in the drafts of Live Writter, so they do not enter your site one day and see a post "as if it were sponsored because it does not go much with the theme", I presume that they understand me
How to care for subscribers:
There are people who are afraid that their readers will not visit the blog and only read it in the readers. This is a wrong idea, because if you want to win visits, the potential is that they come through search engines; the faithful will subscribe.
The graph is an example of this, in the last month my blog has had 73% of visits from search engines, 23% from sites that link to me and only 4% of direct visits that are a similarity to subscriptions. So if I have readers, and I am afraid that my visits will be affected because they see me from readers, for that 4% it is worth offering a complete feed.
How to know how many subscribers your blog has:
To know how many readers your site has, there are tools like Askapache, That with adding the url of the feed you can know how many subscribers you have in Google Reader.
In the case of Geofumadas, To seven months of existence I have 21 subscribers. Applying the same rule to some of the blogs to which I am subscribed and That bind me, These are the results to date (20 February 2008)
James Fee: 162 subscribers
Cartesia: 57 (only in the news panel)
Engineering in the network: 41 mm
World Geo: 29
Engineering Blog: 32 mm
The world of maps: 26
Topografian (two): 10
The Txus Blog: 6 mm
Cartesia Xtrema: 6 mm
Geomatic Blog: 5 mm
If with all this you do not want to deliver your visits to the feeds, keep in mind that even if you hide the button, the new version of Firefox and IExplorer bring the option to subscribe just in the url.