I am a smaller blogger, no doubt about it. I’ve got around 700 trusty readers and followers on Facebook. Not too shabby, but not BIG, by any means. Just a few months ago though, I had plateaued around 300 followers. My numbers grew slowly, if at all, and I began to look into how to reach more people.
Then, I heard about email lists.
What’s the Big Deal About Email Lists?
According to blogging and social media gurus like Jeff Goins and Derek Halpern, your email list is the most important thing to focus on. The idea is that even if you’re not selling something, you’re still selling something – your content – and email continues to be the most direct form of marketing.
Even if your blog is a ministry, and you don’t receive any income at all from it, you have a message that you want to get out to the world. The hard truth is that your message isn’t going to get out there on it’s own, you have to market it. Sending out a monthly newsletter that includes exclusive content and a solid, relevant message is a great way to do that. Even if you’re not selling something right now, you may be in the future, and now is the time to build your audience.
Um, What IS an Email List?
I’m not talking about how many people sign up to receive your blog posts through feedburner. Email lists are built when people agree to give you their email address because they are interested in receiving what you are providing. They want MORE than just your weekly posts. Often, this comes in the form of a newsletter.
Ok, So How Do I Build An Email List?
First, you need a newsletter service. I love MailChimp. I’ve tried some of the more popular services, and this one takes the cake. Easy, effective, and FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers.
You can then install a sign-up form on your blog (MailChimp will walk you through that), and invite your readers to start signing up! Easy-peasy, you’ve got an email list going.
However, building your list that way takes a lot of time. And, honestly? People are more motivated to sign up for something when they get something out of it.
So, I wrote an eBook, and gave it away to subscribers. For free.
A year before, I had written a blog series on home management that turned out to be pretty popular. I took that series, revamped it a bit for the eBook, and included a complete set of home management printables. Sign up for my newsletter, get the eBook, including 30 printables, at no charge.
My goal was 1,000 subscribers.
I opened up the sign-ups for the newsletter, and launched my eBook on December 31. Word spread quickly thanks to a few blogging friends, and in six days I had 3,500 people sign up for my email list.
From zero to 3,500 in less than a week. I actually had to cut off the free eBooks because I had exceeded my goal, and needed to start charging for the book so I could pay for my MailChimp service!
My email list continues to grow, because the content I provide through my newsletter is exclusive and relevant. I try to throw a free printable in when I can, and share real, encouraging stories of faith and family. My newsletter sparks email conversations, and I am getting to know my readers on a more personal level than just through blog comments. Now I have a growing, invested audience, and a group of dedicated readers who will support my next project (like my book that’s coming soon).
Email lists. You need one. Give away something for free (anything you’ve got that is relevant and valuable!), and watch your numbers exceed your expectations. It will bless your socks off, I promise.
Kayse :: kaysepratt.com
*Disclosure: Affiliate link used.