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As a relatively new blogger (less than 2 years), one of the hardest things I’ve found in this career is growing my email list. I don’t know why it has been a struggle for me, but in reading other blog posts and Facebook group comments, I see I’m clearly not alone. That’s why I’ve finally put together a successful strategy to keep my email subscriber list moving in the right direction.
Email subscriber list growth depends on how well you are promoting your blog. If you are just writing and publishing without sharing on any social media channel, how can you expect people to find it? Spending a good amount of time coming up with and implementing the right strategy is key to jump-starting your email list.
Set a goal
So I’m a manager full-time in my day job, and I know how critical establishing achievable goals are in business. It’s absolutely no different with your blog. The first thing you need to do is determine where you want to be in the next 30 days. Are you reaching for 50? 100? 500? 1,000? Establish a goal that’s reachable in the time frame. For this post, I’m using 30 days as the time frame to really get things cookin’!
Here’s a list of ways I’ve personally grown my email list. Not every strategy or tip here will work for everyone. Find what works best for you and stick with it. Oh, and don’t be afraid to shift gears if you find the strategy doesn’t work the way you want.
1. Simply Ask People to Join
Word of mouth is still as effective today as it was 100 years ago. Before the digital age, people learned about things by word of mouth. Ask your family, friends, or co-workers to check out your blog, and to sign up with your mailing list. You’ll be surprised as to how many actually follow through. You can also ask your Facebook and Twitter followers to join too. If you have a Facebook fan page (I hope you do!), there is an option to send an invite. Don’t be shy and think people don’t want to see it. Take the leap and invite your entire list. What’s the worst that could happen?? Seriously? One word of caution here is to not put it out there like they are obligated to join. Make it a casual conversation like: “Hey, did you know I run a blog? Check it out! I’d love for you to join the mailing list if you’d like.” Don’t force the issue.
2. Write Content Worth Sharing
No matter how hard you promote your blog, if your blog posts are garbage, you can expect garbage in return. Posting for the sake of posting will get you no where. Plan out your post. I guarantee you can write an effective blog post in under 30 minutes! If you write content worth sharing, you will gain your readers’ loyalty and your mailing list will reap the benefits.
3. Offer an Incentive for Subscribing
What value does subscribing to your email list have for your readers? Are they going to get anything free? Write an eBook, create a free webinar, design a worksheet, offer a free design service. Do something. Give them something they’ll love for free. Here are a few ideas:
- Free eBook
- Mini course or webinar
- Blog printables
4. Use a Reputable Email Marketing Service
Don’t be one of those bloggers who sends out campaigns using a personal email account. How unprofessional! I highly recommend and use MailChimp. It has all of the tools you need to get your email list started up for free. It comes with tutorials to help customize your email form, helps you schedule automatic RSS feed emails, and even gives you tons of design options. MailChimp also gives you statistics on how your email campaigns are going. It tells you how many people are on your list, how many opened your email, and how many clicked on links within the email. Once your blog grows, though, you’ll have to opt in for the paid service, but it’s totally worth the effort. Whatever email marketing service you use, be consistent with it and actually use it!
5. Join Facebook Groups
I have met so many great blogger friends on Facebook groups. Many of us started out not knowing one interesting piece of information about the other, but as we continued sharing our content with each other through these groups, many of us have subscribed to each others’ blogs. Use Facebook threads as a way to network with others and share your content. The more eyes that see your content, the more your mailing list will grow. Start by joining my Facebook Group, “Blogger Share and Promo Group.” I created the group with the sole purpose of sharing blog content and boosting traffic.
6. Be Genuine
No one wants to subscribe to a blog that’s going to blast 2-3 emails a day trying to sell something. If you are doing this today, I guarantee you most of your readers will unsubscribe in a heartbeat. Be genuine and you will gain followers. If you are using affiliate links in your blog posts, do so subtly, and don’t make it appear that earning a commission is all you care about. Trust me, people can see right through your intentions. It’s ok to include affiliate links in your posts, but only do so when you truly want someone to see the value in the product you are promoting.
7. Write Down Your Strategy
Above all, you need to document your email marketing strategy. Put it in a place where you can refer to it and make changes as your blog changes. I’d even go as far as to share your email strategy on your blog like I’m doing today. Let people know you truly care about the quality of your posts, and for all of those who choose to subscribe to your blog. Let them see you have a clear plan in place and that they are not wasting their time by signing up today.
8. Make it Easy to Subscribe
Nothing’s worse than going to someone’s blog and not seeing an opt-in form clearly on their blog. Don’t make your readers work to find out how to become a part of all of that great content you’re writing. Make it obvious. If you’ll look over in my right sidebar, towards the top of the page, you’ll see I’ve done just that. I want people to be comfortable when on my site, and I want them to find content with ease. Analyze your current site and find ways to improve the way you direct traffic to your sign up form. If it’s hard to find, you probably need to make some updates.
9. Send regular emails
Today, I have MailChimp set up to send a weekly email on Fridays to all of my subscribers. This email is tied to my RSS feed, and sends an excerpt of every blog post I’ve published during the past week. If you want to see what that looks like, subscribe to my blog today, and the next Friday that passes you’ll get an email. Feel free to mirror your email blasts like I have. I also recommend sending an addition 2-3 emails per week. These can be on any topic you want, but make it VALUABLE to your readers. Don’t just email to email. Make it worth your readers’ time to stop what they are doing and pay attention.
10. Use Pinterest to Market Your Mailing List
Ok, you’ve probably heard me rant and rave about how well my site performs because of Pinterest traffic. I’m telling the truth when I’ve really seen my traffic and mailing list grow because I’ve implemented a consistent strategy with Pinterest and with using Tailwind. You can market your mailing list on Pinterest by creating a visually-stimulating image and then link it to your subscribe form. Make sure to explain in the description what your site is about and why readers should join.
Were these tips helpful? Let me know what you think!
Hey, don’t leave my page just yet. Let me know whether or not this post was helpful for you in the comments section below. I’m always looking to improve all of my blog posts to help you succeed.