One of the most annoying – but true – sayings in Internet marketing is “the money is in the list.” Anyone who wants to build a brand online needs to build an email list – even bloggers. “Wait. A blogger needs an email list?”
A blog is a perfect platform from which to build an email list and get email subscribers – especially if you already have a growing, successful site with an engaged audience.
But why would a blogger need an email list?
Email is not dead. On the contrary, email marketing is still one of the most important means of communication for business.
Email drives traffic. Email your list about new posts and drive traffic at will. Tell your subscribers about new content, free resources and other cool stuff.
Potentially make money. Promote offers – either your own products or affiliate products. This is one of the most popular ways to monetize an email list. Just make sure, if you do this, that you are only promoting good products. Otherwise, you’ll be hurting yourself and your subscribers. Not a good option.
Build a relationship. Email is one of the best ways to build a relationship with your readers. If nothing else, this is a major reason to build an email list with your blog.
Using your blog to build a list is not difficult, but it will take work on your part just like anything else worth doing.
Write great content
Focus on writing fantastic, engaging, helpful content. This is your first and best tool for attracting visitors. People aren’t going to come for your half-baked, nonsensical scribbles.
As a blogger, your goal should be to write content that people will love – that provides value. This is even more important if you hope to build a list with your blog.
Perhaps you have heard the expression, “content is king.” It’s very true. People love high quality, well-written, helpful content. Shockingly, this kind of content is more rare than you might think.
Many blogs fail from the start because their content stinks. Their content is rushed, incomplete and subpar. Helping people isn’t even on the radar. Blogs like that deserve to fail. If your content stinks, people will look elsewhere. If people look elsewhere, don’t expect great traffic – and don’t expect to build a list.
Look up from your keyboard once in a while. See what people in your niche want. What questions are they asking? What problems are they facing? Write content that addresses needs. Provide tips that save time and money. Point out free resources. This is what people want. Further, it’s what search engines expect from you.
If you want search traffic, do not neglect your content.
Create an incentive
People don’t usually scour the internet looking for email lists to join. You have to give them a reason to subscribe. How do you and I do that?
One of my favorite movies is a 2005 film by Blue Sky called Robots. In the movie, a character named Mr. Bigweld is the head of a large company and inspires our protagonist to be an inventor. Bigweld’s famous catchphrase is “See a need. Fill a need!”
You know, that’s great advice for you and me. That’s what we need to do: find a need and fill that need. That’s the way to create a product or service that will draw new subscribers in like a magnet. This is sometimes called a lead magnet.
Indeed, this is how commerce as a whole works. People pay in money or time for what they need or want.
Provide something people want or need, and you can get a subscriber very easily.
Think about your readers. What do they want? What questions do they have? The answer to that question will, of course, depend on your niche. If in doubt, ask them. Don’t be afraid to visit other websites in your niche and read what people are saying. You can even visit other sites and see what other bloggers are offering and create something in the same vein.
Don’t get stuck on this. Creating an opt-in incentive is not difficult. Don’t let anyone tell you it is. It really is as simple as finding what people want and offering it in a downloadable format.
A lead magnet typically takes the form of one of the following:
An eBook. This can be created in a tool like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
A checklist. This too can be created in Word or Google Docs.
A video or video series. This can be something as simple as a selfie-video as long as you’re offering value. Of course, if you want to go all out with professional editing and animations, you’re certainly able to do that too.
Each of these is something that can be created quickly and shared quickly.
To help you, I have created an eBook that covers product creation from start to finish. The product you create can easily be used as an opt-in incentive. You will learn to create an info product, going through every step from brainstorming to product delivery. Seriously, if I can do it, so can you.
Make every blog post a lead capture page
Add an opt-in form to every relevant post. Again, your content is what attracts visitors to your blog. Put your offer where their eyes meet your site.
My email service provider, GetResponse, provides a WordPress plugin that makes this extremely easy. However, there are several very good plugins that will do this for you no matter which email service provider you use.
Some page builders, like Elementor, also offer the ability to create custom lead capture pages and opt-in forms which can be inserted at will. Alternatively, use the code provided by your email service provider and add it to your pages and posts.
If you don’t currently have an email service provider, check out GetResponse. It’s a great option, and I’m a huge fan. They offer a great free trial which will give you time to see if it’s right for you. Plus, if you sign up through my link, we both get a nice bill credit. Sweet.
Do I really need an email list as a blogger?
Will your blog implode if you don’t have an email list? No. It won’t. And building a list won’t cure world hunger. However, you will be severely limiting your growth and profit potential if you don’t. It really doesn’t take that much more effort – or even that much more time.
Many bloggers are quite successful without email, and it won’t be the end of the world if you decide to join them. However, I can say from personal experience and the experience of my friends that having one makes the process much easier, much more social, and far more fun.
It isn’t difficult. It’s so easy even I can do it. I know you can do it too.
If you would like to get started and you aren’t sure where to go from here, check out my free course, ListBootcamp. My course will teach you to build an email list in no time. It’s completely free and yours to keep.
Start building your email list with your blog today!