Blogging + email marketing is the perfect combination to build a six-figure blog.
Starting an email list was the best business decision I ever made. Without an email list, I’m just another blogger. But with the power of an email list behind me, I run a real business.
Here are several reasons why you need an email list.
1. The money is in the list
Your money will come from the people who are on your email list – not the ones who visit your blog.
You will hear this time and time again: the money is in the list. You hear it all the time because it’s true!
Trying to make money directly from your blog is the equivalent of cold-calling someone during dinnertime trying to sell a turquoise ring. As my daughter says, “Not happening, dude!”
2. You own your list
You don’t own your social media accounts. You don’t own traffic sources.
But your email list? It’s all yours, and nobody can take it away from you!
You need to have something you own that grows in value. Something that you work on every day that continues to grow over time.
If you thought that was your blog – you’d be wrong. It’s your email list that matters more.
That’s because just about anything can happen to your business:
- Domain name change
- New social media accounts
- Your traffic goes to zero
- Your website goes down
No matter what happens in your business, you’re going to be fine. That’s because you still have the most valuable asset in your business: your email list.
3. You can’t control other platforms
Giving up control of your business is never a good idea. And when you rely on social media exclusively to build your audience, you’re just asking for trouble.
- What if you built an audience on YouTube, only to have them limit the reach of your videos.
- Or building your Twitter following only to wake up one morning to see your account terminated.
- How about spending years getting thousands of Facebook page likes only to have them change the rules and stop organically sharing your posts.
- Or growing a huge following on Instagram only to be shadow banned.
It’s not just social media, but search engines too.
What if you had a number one spot on Google search, consistently sending you hundreds of visitors daily? Then one day, you suffer a Google penalty, and your site is removed entirely from Google.
A simple algorithm change and your traffic could disappear overnight (happens with every Google update).
The point here is that you can’t control any of these things. But your email list? You’re in total charge of that distribution channel.
4. Your blog is the wrong place to sell
The first entry point into your business is typically a blog post. The people who visit your blog post do not want to buy anything.
They’re in the learning and research stage – definitely not in buying mode.
Stuffing a bunch of ads into your blog posts hoping to make a one-in-a-million-sale is not a good look for your brand.
Here’s why it’s hard to make money directly from your blog:
- You haven’t articulated how big of a deal this problem is.
- You haven’t drilled in on the consequences of not solving it.
- You haven’t described the emotional benefit from solving this problem.
- You haven’t even shown them you’re the one who should be trusted to solve this problem!
Trying to do all of this in a single blog post is not practical.
5. The typical customer journey
The typical customer journey looks something like this:
1. Search for a solution to a problem (via a search engine)
2. Browse for the best answer, find it, and solve the problem.
3. Close the window. Leave. Probably never come back.
Each of your blog posts will be #2 in their journey.
Your goal is to prevent #3 from happening – without getting their contact info first.
We need to find a way to get that one-time visitor to come back into your ecosystem at a later time to continue the conversation that started on your blog.
6. An email list is the best way to retain visitors
In an ideal world, someone visits your blog, loves it, and comes back every day.
Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore.
Back in the day, there were RSS feeds where people would subscribe to your blog for the latest updates.
Nowadays, people aren’t loyal to blogs; they’re loyal to the solution.
When you have a question, do you typically visit a website/blog to find the answer? Nope, you go to a search engine (Google, Bing, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.).
Whoever catches their attention gets the click.
And with so many websites, social media platforms, and in-your-face ads, it’s hard to keep someone’s attention longer than a few seconds.
Getting their email address allows you to communicate with your readers again and again.
An email list is an ideal place where you can continue the conversation you’re having with your ideal reader.
Think of it like this. Your blog post is the introduction, signing up to your email list is showing interest, and your email sequence is where relationship-building happens.
How do you retain visitors?
By having an email subscription form right on your blog posts.
7. Use your email list to build trust
Trust is the key ingredient you need to make money online. It’s not content, marketing, design, or pricing.
When you have someone’s trust, you unlock the potential to make a lot of money.
How do you build trust?
By selflessly helping others achieve their goals.
8. An email list helps you become an authority
Communicating via email allows you to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
They need to know you are their “go-to person” for problem X.
How do you become an authority in your niche?
By providing epic value over and over again.
9. Allows you to eliminate competition
When you write to an email subscriber, they are giving you their undivided attention.
They don’t have a long line of tweets, Pinterest pins, or Facebook posts vying for your attention. For at least that moment, they’re all yours.
10. Take care of the rule of 7 problem
There is a marketing principle called The Rule Of 7. It states that prospects need to see your offer 7 times before making a purchase.
It is why advertisers bombard you with the same ads on Facebook, knowing full well you’ve already seen them before.
How do you solve the rule of 7?
By sending a series of value-filled relationship-building emails to your list.
11. Allows you to build a tribe of true fans
If you ever really want to know who your ideal reader really is, look no further than your email list.
They are the ones who eagerly await your next email, read everything you post, and buy everything you create.
When should you build your tribe?
Start growing your tribe today. These wonderful people are the ones who will help you achieve all of your personal blogging and business goals.
12. You can sell to your list again and again
When someone visits your blog, you have one shot at making a sale, either to your own product, service, or affiliate offer.
I don’t like those odds.
But with your email list, you can write to your subscribers weekly, giving you multiple chances to make that sale.
Better yet, with an email list, you can make multiple sales to the same person throughout the months and years.
This is when the real power of email marketing is unleashed.
Start an email list for free
I use and recommend using ConvertKit for starting an email list.
When you sign up for the free plan, you can:
- Create unlimited forms for free
- Create unlimited landing pages
- Send emails up to 1,000 subscribers
Add an email signup form on your website
Once you’re all signed up, the first step is to create a form.
In ConvertKit, click on Landing Pages & Forms > Create new > Form > Inline
Choose a template and save the form when you’re ready.
To add the form to your blog, you need to install the ConvertKit plugin in WordPress.
Back in WordPress, go to Plugins > Add new and search for ConvertKit.
To finish setting up the plugin, you need an API key which you can find in your ConvertKit settings.
To add a form into a blog post, go to edit your post and look for the ConvertKit section at the bottom. It will look like this:
You can either choose a specific form you want for each of your blog posts, or you can set a default form to show up under all blog posts in Settings > ConvertKit in WordPress.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about starting an email list with ConvertKit, drop a comment down below!
Until next time,