Every blogger is eventually faced with the task of starting an email list. For a lot of bloggers email list building is not something they want to do. For some it’s second nature. Regardless, bloggers everywhere are recommending that you start your list as soon as if not before starting your blog.
I’ve known a lot of bloggers who hate the idea of an email list. A lot of that stems from the onslaught of emails they get in their own inbox trying to sell them on the product of the week. For the average lifestyle blogger who makes their living off affiliates and ad revenue email list building seems like a lot of extra work for little return.
On the opposite side of the spectrum every successful blogger has a list and they attribute a lot of their success to having that list. The extra work of sending out an email to their list weekly brings in more traffic, repeated traffic, and in turn helps them sell products or get additional ad revenue.
Let’s go ahead and look at the Pros and Cons of having an email list.
The Positives of Having A List
One of the major reasons to have an email list building strategy is the massive boost in traffic that you can get from having an email list. Everytime you email your list there is a potential to get more people on your blog posts.
You can use your list to get people on to brand new posts and give you a nice spike in traffic on them. You can also send out old posts that suddenly start trending or become relevant with a news story.
Email list building brings in traffic and turns that traffic into sales of your latest products or extra ad impressions. No matter who you are as a blogger, the email list is a necessary tool in marketing.
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People who join your list generally do it because they want access to information you have that they can’t find elsewhere. This makes for a perfect opportunity to sell your products to the people on your list.
You can sell ebooks, planners, printables, or courses via your list. Be very careful about trying to sell products that you are an affiliate for though. Amazon does not allow for email marketing with their affiliates. Make sure you look into your affiliate programs to understand what is allowed and what isn’t with email marketing.
Control Over Marketing
In the day and age of social media marketing, SEO, and Pinterest marketing you have very little control over what people see from you. Everything is controlled by these invisible things called algorithms.
Those algorithms can make it a bit difficult to get seen by your ideal audience. Your list stops that. The people who sign up for your list are generally speaking your ideal audience. You are putting your products, posts, and more right in front of their eyes.
Email marketing is the one form of marketing you have a great deal of control over.
The Negatives About Having A List
The Extra Work
Email list building and creating emails for that list is not an easy task. There is a lot of extra work that is involved in starting a list. It’s not just the process of creating the emails themselves. It’s convincing people to sign up for your list in the first place.
There are freebies to offer in order to maximize your list sign ups. Additionally, you can’t just create one freebie and then expect that one freebie to bring in 10’s of thousands of sign ups. You need several freebies on several posts.
This extra work can be extremely time consuming in what’s already a busy task.
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Not only do you have to plan out your emails and then write them, coming up with content to send can be difficult. Especially, when you want to send your list content that no one else gets.
You will typically spend the same amount of time writing an email that you would writing a blog post and it will have a far smaller reach. While that makes for a happy list when you are already short on time it can feel a bit overwhelming.
Unlike your blog where you can move around posting dates as needed, your email list is not a place you can do that with. With your list you absolutely need to be consistent in sending emails. This means once you set a schedule you need to stick to it.
If you make promises you need to follow through. Additionally, you need to be careful about your emails being spam like. If the emails sound spammy they will be sent to spam folders, meaning people will be less likely to see them and open them.
How To Have A Successful List
You can decide one way or another on if you want a list or not. I recommend having a list for the traffic benefits alone. You can easily send a quick update about what is going on with your blog and add links to new blog posts and call it done.
However, if you really want to create a list and maximize it there are a few things you need to do. I’m sharing some of the best tips for email list building below.
Check out my post Blogging Tips: Pop-Up Sign Up Forms.
Part of my goals this year is to grow my email list and start utilizing it properly. While my simple sign up bar still brings in about 35 new sign ups in a week there are ways to boost that. One of which is offering freebies.
Freebies can be offered in several different ways. Three types of freebies to offer are printables, ebooks, and courses. There are a load of different ways you can take advantage of these options.
Create printable planners, worksheets, and checklists. Write small ebooks that give in depth detail into your niche. Create a free week long course that walks people step by step through something.
Deciding What You Will Email People
This is the one place that you should niche down in. Narrow down your niche a bit when it comes to your emails. This year my emails are being niched down to help work at home moms be more productive.
This means all of my emails will in some way talk to work at home mom’s and provide them with valuable tips and advice to managing a business from home. While my blog itself focuses on a few different topics my list is geared towards one topic only.
Create relationships with the people on your list. If they email you a question about your last email make sure you respond. This is the time to shine and build relationships.
Not everyone will email you, but when someone does you want to make sure you are available to answer questions. You never know what groups that person is involved in and how they can help build your business for you because they like what you do.
Speaking of recommendations. One of the best people I follow who is rocking their list is Carly over at MommyonPurpose.com. I found her when someone recommended her book Pinteresting Strategies to me.
She is one of those bloggers that just tells it like it is. Additionally, her emails give actual useful advice to bloggers who are trying to be successful with blogging. When she does sell, it’s not icky or gross. It’s more like a mention that actually sparks a lot of curiosity.
Carly is one of the few bloggers I follow that I open and read almost every single one of her emails.
If you are a brand new blogger don’t worry so much about starting your email list building strategy just yet. Go ahead and put up a subscribe bar but don’t worry about sending out weekly emails just yet. Get into the habit of creating content for your blog before you start worrying about sending extra content out to your list.
Keep in mind this is your list, with your audience, you can do what you want with it. Create awesome challenges, engage with your audience, have fun with it. Not every email needs to be serious. Additionally, give people a reason to look forward to your emails.
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Yes, it’s important to have a list. It’s time consuming and just one more to do to add to your blogging to do list. Take your time with it, make your list work for you, and the return can be absolutely worth it.
What are your feelings on email subscriptions and building a list? Leave a comment below letting me know. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your blogging and business boards.