Building an email list is a lucrative task for any blogger. If you want to build a loyal fan base that reads everything you post, you MUST have an email list. My email list is now in my top five traffic referrals for my largest website, Mod Podge Rocks. If you think about it, it’s the ONE consistent way of keeping in touch with your biggest fans . . . way more reliable than social media in the long term.
I highly recommend that every blogger have an email list, even if you are just sending out your posts at first and not doing anything custom. If you are new to mailing lists, you may not know where to get started. Use these tips to get your blog’s email list up and growing!
- Decide on an autoresponder. This will be the service that collects the email address and sends out your messages for you. There are several options to choose from, but MailChimp is a great one to start with.
MailChimp is easy to use, reliable about getting the emails to your list, and free for the first 2,000 subscribers. Once you build up a solid email list of 500-1,000 subscribers, you may want to consider upgrading your account to access more features.
- Create a lead magnet. This is a free report, checklist, or something similar, which your readers will receive in exchange for their email list. This freebie needs to be enticing so your blog visitors feel compelled to hand over their personal email address. It should also be in line with the information you currently share on your blog.
Examples for a good lead magnet include:
- The top 10 recipes/crafts/posts on your blog, compiled into an ebook for easy reading
- Step-by-step tutorial of a topic related to your blog (exclusive)
- Helpful checklist for an popular activity in your niche
- Place sign up forms throughout your blog. The sidebar is probably the most popular place to collect email addresses, but don’t stop there. Put a sign up form at the end of each blog post. Let your readers know if they enjoyed the post they just read, they can sign up to be notified of more posts via email. I also have one on the front page of my blogs under the slideshows, which I specifically requested the last time I got a new blog design.
An exit pop up asking your visitor to subscribe before they leave may also work. Keep in mind, however, that some people hate pop ups. Having said that, I’ve never had complaints about my Optinmonster pop up. I use the exit-intent pop-up tool, which is perfect for people who hate pop ups! It doesn’t come up until someone is about to leave the page anyway.
- Share your subscription link on social media. It’s great that you have 20,000 Twitter followers or Facebook fans, but you want them on your list so you can be sure EVERYONE is seeing your updates. When you have them on an email list, they will receive your messages – whereas social media updates so fast, even your most loyal followers may miss new posts from you.
- Set up an RSS feed if you aren’t ready for newsletters. Sending a personalized newsletter to your blog subscribers is a great opportunity to connect. They can get to know more about you, and you can share bonuses or exclusive information with them to keep them happily subscribed. However, if you aren’t ready to compose and send a newsletter on a regular basis, you can have an RSS feed that sends just your newest blog posts.
These email list tips should get you starting growing a list for your blog. Above all, offer your subscribers great value and helpful information, so they will be happy they signed up – and never want to unsubscribe!