3 Simple Ways To Start Building Your List
You’ve heard it all before, right? You need this, you need that. It’s a tough and narrow line to walk on when it comes to figuring out the difference between things you need to do for your blog and things that won’t be worth your time. I hear you, but when it comes to creating an email list you can go on ahead and know that yes, it’s worth the time it takes to create and run one.
However, I’ll fully acknowledge that, just like starting your blog, you’ll run into a whole new set of problems with your list. The two biggest issues being a) how to grow your list and b) how to figure out what to send to people once you get them on the list.
Since it takes knowing your community and what they need from you to decide what content to send to your list. However, I’m happy to share three super simple ways you can start growing your list this month into a community of people who support you and are most likely to buy from you if you decide to launch your very own product or service.
FEATURE OPT-IN FORMS IN A FEW DIFFERENT PLACES
Here’s an obvious one for you: for people to get on your list, you have to have somewhere for them to subscribe. You’re probably thinking, “Duh!” right? Well if so, then here’s the question: why do you only have one in your sidebar and nowhere else?
Instead of assuming that everyone will see that opt-in form in your sidebar and automatically want to subscribe, it’s time to add a few extra forms in a few different places around your blog. If you’re not sure where you should add them, a good place to start would be your About page and in your Footer!
The most visited page on your blog aside from the Home page is probably your About page. Why? Well, it’s a great place for all of your new readers to get to know you! There are several things you can include on this page, but it’s a great idea to let people know you have an email list + include an opt-in.
As for your footer? Krista made an excellent point in her post a few weeks ago, “Only people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say make it [to your footer]!” I love that point because it’s so true. I never make it to the footer of someone’s blog unless I’m loving their content so much that I’ve read everything on their page. Once I get to the footer, if I haven’t already followed you on social media, I’ll be looking for those buttons as well as your opt-in form. By adding your opt-in form to the footer, you’re making it super easy for people who obviously are loving your content to sign up to get even more.
Ready to do a little more? Try creating a whole page on your blog with the sole purpose for subscribing to your email list. If you need an example, you can check out mine!
BEGIN WRITING A FEW GUEST POSTS PER MONTH
If you’re sitting there, shaking your head at the idea of coming up with more content to share online, let me be clear: guest posts are one of the most simple ways to build your list. I’ve been saying over and again to the ladies in my little mastermind group that they need to be pitching guest posts, so much so that they’re probably tired of hearing it. (What do you say, Melanie?) The truth is, coming up with guest post ideas aren’t as hard as you may think, and pitching them? That’s not that difficult either.
When you’re working on coming up with your ideas to post on your blog this month (or next) take a few extra minutes to brainstorm some extra posts that relates to your expertise. If you know a lot about cooking, maybe you can write a post on the 5 key items to have in your kitchen. If you know a lot about a blogging platform, Squarespace for example, maybe you can write a post including a tutorial on setting up your own Squarespace site. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, and neither does the pitch. Start with the bloggers you’re close to and ask if you can write for their blog. Include 2-3 post ideas in your email so they have something to pick that will best fit their audience.
The key to using guest posts to grow your email list? Most hosts will let you link to 2-3 places you’re hanging out around the web. Include a link to where their readers can sign up for your list. If you have a stand alone page, this is a great place to link it.
Ready to go a little further? Don’t just write a post. Include a content upgrade to have an even better chance at getting people on your list! Not sure what a content upgrade is? Read on!
ADD CONTENT UPGRADES TO YOUR BLOGGING STRATEGY
This is the ultimate way to grow your list easily. It takes a little more effort than the last two, but it’s much easier than trying to host your own live workshop, which is another way to grow your list. If you’re not sure what a content upgrade is, let me explain: a content upgrade is additional content that relates to a blog post that you ask your readers to input their email list in to receive. They’re a great way to provide additional content with great value to your readers, while simultaneously growing your list without having to do lots of extra marketing.
There are loads of different content upgrades that you can create to go along with your blogging strategy, and no matter what niche you’re writing in there are tons of different things you can offer to your readers as an upgrade. If you’re not sure where to start here’s a loose outline: take a look at your most popular posts and ask yourself if you can add any sort of bonus content to them. Create whatever your upgrade will be and make it available after they give you their email address. It’s as simple as that!
If you want to learn more about content upgrades, how to design them and the tricky part, how to deliver them, you can sign up for my free 2-hour Kickstart Your Upgrades where I walk you through everything you need to know to start adding these ethical bribes to your blogging strategy.
The good news? You don’t have to do all three of these methods to see growth in your list. Try one and then move forward as you get more comfortable and confident in what you’re doing. The most important thing, though, is that you’re utilizing your list the best you can after you get all of those new subscribers. Email them regularly and send great content to keep your community actively engaged and interested in what you’re sharing.
About The Author
Kory Woodard is a full-time business owner and blogger, and most of the time she can be found dreaming up new ideas to help passionate women follow their dreams. The rest of the time she’s spending time with her husband and puppy, enjoying life!