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Last Updated on January 8, 2020 by Katherine
If you’ve been looking into blogging, you’ve likely noticed most blogs have a subscriber form and usually some opt-in freebie. So what exactly is the deal here? Well, there are some excellent reasons why you’ll want to build an email list, which I’ll discuss first.
Secondly, it’s not super hard to get started or expensive. You can get started for free. You only need a mailer company like MailerLite and Canva to create your opt-in freebie. So interested in learning more? Read on!
Why You Want an Email List
The number one reason you want an email list, particularly if you’re going to make money blogging or even writing, is that your list belongs to you. Your list isn’t dependant on the new google algorithm (or any algorithm for social media), you control it. Google, Facebook, or Pinterest cannot take it from you.
You Can Get More Sales
Your email list is a potential gold mine. These people already trust you enough to give you their email address. You can begin to market your products or even an affiliate offer (make sure you read your affiliate agreement as some may not permit email marketing). That translates to money in your bank account. I wouldn’t spam them constantly with affiliate offers, but a soft sell now and then isn’t going to tick too many people off enough to unsubscribe (and if they do, they are not your real fans!).
You Can Find Out What Your Readers Want
The people who subscribe to your list are at least somewhat familiar with your blog content and like it. These are the people who can help you gain insight into what you might want to write about next. Their suggestions or ideas can help you if you’re stuck what to put in that content calendar of yours!
Okay, So How Do You Get Started?
You can read my earlier post about how to make an opt-in freebie. The next step (or the simultaneous step) is to sign up for an email marketing company. I highly recommend you start with MailerLite. They are entirely free for up to 1,000 list subscribers and offer straightforward solutions to segment your list (as you can see from my blog, I have a few different lists based on what people are liking). There are other free options, too, but MailerLite is the one that for me, it seems easiest to use and design emails. Many bloggers use ConvertKit, but they are a paid service, so if you’re starting and can’t afford it, there are plenty of free options until you build a list. Once you size out of the free option, chances are you’ll be making money off your list and can afford to upgrade!
Ways to Get Them To Opt-In
Getting subscribers to opt-in is relatively straight forward once you have your freebie and your mailer company.
- Offer a pop up on your site.
- Have the opt-in form on your sidebar.
- Have a call to action in each blog post for them to subscribe to.
- Advertise your freebie on social media – Plugging free stuff is good practice for graduating to your first paid product!
Figure Out Your Sweet Spot for Email
It may take some trial and error, but my favorite phrase is “done is better than perfect.” I can’t remember where I found that one, but I chant that whenever I’m unsure of publishing something.
Right now, I am contemplating changing the frequency of my monthly newsletter to a bi-weekly or possibly weekly. Whatever you decide, though, be consistent and establish expectations with your subscribers early on. So definitely pick a recurring schedule that you can actually achieve. Some people do daily emails and nothing but respect for them, but I ain’t got time for that!
What Do I Put In All Those Emails?
I know what you’re thinking, it’s probably a variation of what I was thinking when I first thought about sending emails…”What the hell do I say to these people?”
Sound about right? I thought so. Interestingly enough, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to get real serious about your avatar. If your ideal blog reader is female and in her 30s, she’s not going to interested in anything that’s marketed to teenagers, for example. Also, it’s tough to write something for an unknown reader, and I struggled with this for a long time. I have friends that I know would be interested in some of the stuff I blog about, so when I write posts, I pretend that I’m writing to a particular friend who I know would want to know about that week’s blog topic.
Resist the temptation to say you’re writing for everyone. It’s going to fail.
Remember, these people are willing to tell you their email address. Don’t abuse that trust and don’t antagonize over every single detail of your email. If they unsubscribe, they aren’t your people, and they’re doing you a favor.
Okay, okay, some suggested topic points!
- Send them a super-exclusive freebie.
- Income/Traffic reports
- Behind the scenes at your blog
- Recaps of your blog posts
- Reminders and News
- A super special blog post
- The “mistakes I’ve made” email.
- Affiliate Offers (Pro tip: Make sure it’s something they’d be keen on).
- Tools and resources email.
There are tons more ideas on the internet, search on google to find a suggestion that speaks to you the most. You have to be interested and passionate about writing that email; otherwise, it will fall flat.
So I hope this post has solidified just how important an email list is to a money-making blog (or one that aspires to be). It is something that a professional blogger absolutely cannot afford to ignore. Every few months Pinterest, Facebook, and all those other big social media players roll out new algorithms (probably even more than that). These roll-outs often affect your website traffic from those sources. Your email list, though, is yours and really can’t be touched by any social media giant or google. There are rules to follow about your list, but your mailer should have things set up for you to comply with regulations that come out (such as the GDPR in the EU).
I hope I helped explain the purpose of an email list and its benefits. I also hope I was able to give you some pointers on where to get started too! If you enjoyed this article, hit one of those share buttons to share with your network or pin it to Pinterest, I’d greatly appreciate it!
Speaking of social media, are you trying to grow your audience and aren’t sure how to get more traction? Check out my FREE tip guide that should help you see some results with a few simple little tweaks, drop your email in the form below to access your download (I promise never to send you spam).
Next week I’m headed back into the crafting world, I’m going to show you some cool ideas for mason jar luminaries so be sure to check that out if you’re interested! Until then, stay crafty my friends!