Starting an email list is the best investment you can make if you want to make money blogging. But yet here you are, still without an email list!
I was the same way. I didn't take building my email list seriously my first year of blogging. As a result, I didn't make any money even though I was publishing blog posts like a maniac. You can read more about my blogging journey here.
My biggest mistake as a blogger was not starting an email list sooner.
Don't be like me and let's do this right now!
You might be wondering why a new blogger would even need an email list anyway. Let me convince your right quick. Here are 4 reasons why you need to start an email list right now.
why you need to start an email list
1. blogs don't make money
Blogs don't make money. How many bloggers do you think make a lot of money from their blogs? Not too many. If you think you can make money blogging by just splashing a lot of ads on your blog - you're doing it wrong.
We're going to use your blog only to funnel traffic (people) to your email list (where the money is made).
You can go ahead and apologize to your blog right now for pimping her out like this.. but it's got to be done!
2. you establish trust
Many have tried (and failed, me included!) to skip starting an email list and just try to make sales from a blog post. But when's the last time you bought something from a complete stranger directly from a blog post?
When you email your readers value after value, it makes you at worst... not a stranger. And at best... you create a rabid fan who will throw money at everything you create!
3. traffic comes and goes
Some days your blog traffic will be good. Other days, not so much. And what happens at midnight every night? The stats get reset to zero and you have to start over again.
Traffic comes and goes, but your email list is forever, son! If you rely solely on traffic to make money, you're playing a dangerous game, rockstar.
4. You can sell to your list again and again
You might get lucky and make a drive-by sale here or there via your blog. If you do, more love to you. But what happens after that? If you don't capture that buyer and keep in touch, they probably won't buy from you again.
But when you make a sale via your mailing list? That customer can come back and buy from you again and again and again...
This is the real power in having an email list. The power of repeat customers.
COMMON OBJECTionS FROM NEW BLOGGERS
1. I don't have anything to sell
Nobody has anything to sell when they're a new blogger. In fact, you can be blogging for 3 years and still don't have anything to sell. That's okay. You can still send your list product recommendations and earn a commission.
2. I'm not an expert
Got a mean case of imposter syndrome? Yeah we all get that. That's normal. You don't have to be an expert to be a blogger or start an email list. You just have to be further along the path than your readers are.
3. I don't know what to write
Nobody ever knows how to do anything, until they do it. Writing to your email list is easier than writing for your blog, because everyone on your list already likes you.
An email idea can be as simple as the first paragraph of your latest article with a link to the full blog post.
4. I don't have a lot of traffic
You can still build a list without a lot of traffic. Sure, if you had a lot of traffic you would get more subscribers, but you should still start now. A lot of new bloggers want to wait until "the time is right", but the right time is always right now.
Seriously, your email list will become your blogs' best asset. It will be your main source of income for years to come.
Here's a super simple step by step guide on how to start an email list.
5 steps to start an email list
STEP 1: SIGN UP WITH AN E-MAIL MARKETING PROVIDER
The first thing you need to do is to sign up with a company who will store the email addresses for you and send your emails.
Mailchimp has a "forever free plan" with the following limitations:
The email marketing provider I use is ConvertKit. Here's why I prefer it.
ConvertKit has a FREE plan. Check the video below to see how it works.
You can sign up with ConvertKit here without entering any payment info.
STEP 2: add an OPTIN FORM on your blog
Great! We're all signed up. The next step is to add a simple optin form on your WordPress blog to begin collecting emails.
Here's how to set up an optin form with ConvertKit.
STEP 3: CREATE A LEAD MAGNET
Nobody signs up for newsletters anymore. Sadly, it took me a long time to figure this out.
When I got around to starting an email list, my first attempt was a simple optin form that said "Subscribe for updates". How did it go? I collected a grand total of zero emails my first year of blogging.
What I learned is that nobody wants to give up their email unless they're getting something valuable in return.
It’s a fair exchange. You give them a freebie and they let you into their personal inbox.
Here are some examples of freebies (also called lead magnets) you can give away:
Need some more ideas for lead magnets in your niche? Google some blogs in your space and see what others are doing. If it works for them, it can work for you.
STEP 4: write a welcome email
The first email you send is called the welcome email. It will be the most important email you ever write. Reason being that almost everyone who signs up to your list will open this email.
You should introduce yourself and deliver the lead magnet you promised in this email.
Here's how to get this done:
STEP 5: start using thrive leads
If you want to grow your email list you're going to need something more than a boring optin form in your sidebar.
What we need is full customization of the optin form and their locations.
To start growing your list you need to use a lead generation program like Thrive Leads.
Here's why I recommend using Thrive Leads:
Thanks for reading. If this post has helped you start an email list, please leave a comment below and save this post on Pinterest!