My biggest pet peeve when it comes to blogs is when they do not have a "subscribe" option, besides the automatic RSS button. If I read your blog and I like it, I want to be able to subscribe to it! If you don't have one, you are forcing me to bookmark your blog and try to remember to come back to it later. While this is a feasible option, I love so many good blogs that it is a pain to have to jump all over the Internet to see if you have a new post up. (This may be called laziness, but keep reading and I'll explain my reasoning).
There are many different ways to allow your readers to subscribe. There is always "Google Friend Connect," which allows a reader to keep all their favorite blogs in one organized place. This basically offers one-stop shopping and allows me to access blogs I have subscribed to with one click. It also allows me to see summaries of new posts in one convenient place, allowing me to click to read more about an article that intrigues me.
My favorite, however, is being able to subscribe by email. I love receiving new posts in my inbox every day and being able to read them without having to go all over the web to find them. This is even more convenient than Google Friend Connect! Also, if I have a post I particularly enjoy, I can save that specific post in a folder to keep forever. I can go back to it for inspiration, advice, and just to absorb it's awesomeness. I can flag it if I want to keep it even closer. I can forward it to others and use it as a reference. I don't have to search for your blog, it comes straight to me and demands my attention.
While I understand that an RSS feed is useful, not everyone has a Kindle, a Nook, or another device that easily supports RSS feeds. I recently acquired a tablet (my family generously got me one for my birthday mid-February), but I still use my laptop most of the time. I have the Kindle software downloaded on my computer, but I still prefer to have my blog posts delivered by email. I check it daily anyway, so it is just much more convenient for me.
I have come across several wonderful blogs that have no options to subscribe whatsoever. I would like to ask these bloggers, what are you doing? You want your readers to fall in love with your blog, to come back again and again, to get more traffic and keep them coming back for more. So why in the world would you not give them an option to subscribe to your posts?
My advice? Give your readers as many options as possible. Put all three on your blog. Allow them to connect with you. If you can find other ways to allow them to subscribe, then do that too! There is no way that this can hurt you; it only benefits yourself and your readership.