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When I first started my blog, I set up an email capture box that invited people to join my email list just because I was told that was what I should do. I didn’t know why and to be honest I didn’t even know what I was supposed to send to these subscribers. So I just send them a link to my new post each week and called it good.
As I continued to blog, I kept growing that list slowly and in my first year, I ended with a little over 100 subscribers. Talk about a bummer.
I knew there had to be a better and faster way to grow that email list! So I kept experimenting and trying and then it happened!
I went from gaining just over 1oo subscribers in a year, to a total list of almost 600 in one month!
I had gained 500 subscribers in one month all because I actually implemented a strategy to drive people to my list. Then a few months later as I continued to grow and nurture my email list I learned why so many bloggers say email is so important.
Don’t have a list yet? Learn how to start your email list here!
Why Having an Email list is so Important
A few months after implementing my new email strategy and nurturing my list, I had just become an affiliate for a great company and they were having their big annual one week sale.
And after marketing their product to my email list, I made over $300 in profit in only one week! Just from my list!
And the best part was it didn’t even feel sleazy at all! I knew that this product was exactly what the people on my list was looking for. In fact, I even received two thank you emails from subscribers telling me how they purchased the product and how it was the answer to what they were looking for!
So not only did I just make $300 in one week from affiliate sales but people were thanking me for my emails!
Now I’ve come to realize that your email list is YOUR PEOPLE the ones who are raising their hands saying I want more! The ones who are excited to read your emails and actually buy things you recommend! Normal blog readers or social media followers don’t do that.
So what’s the method I used to grow my email list fast? It’s super simple really…
Offer Super Targeted, Valuable Freebies in Exchange For Their Email.
The first mistake we make when we are brand new to blogging is we just throw up a “Subscribe to my newsletter” box and call it good. Your mom subscribes, your grandma subscribes and that’s about it.
That doesn’t work because all of our inboxes are being filled every day. And if you don’t have something of value to trade in exchange for my email, I’m not going to give it to you. No one needs another newsletter coming into their inbox.
But that also doesn’t mean you can scrape together whatever freebie and the emails will start rolling in, no ma’am. How you get the hoards to come is by offering a super targeted, super valuable freebie.
Step 1: Know Who You Are Trying to Attract
Here’s the thing about blogging, and business in general, you cannot be for everyone! There is not one brand in the world that is for everyone. Not a single one.
“Everyone drinks water” but there is not one brand of water for everyone. There are people who do not use bottled water because of the environment. There are those people who only drink Smart Water because they “gotta have” the electrolytes. Or people who always buy the cheapest water because they swear all bottled water comes from the same place.
There is literally no brand in the world for everyone and your blog should be the same. You should be actively attracting a specific target audience and in turn, repel everyone else.
I know that can sound scary when you’re just starting your blogging journey. Heck, you want anyone and anyone to check out your blog! Anything to get those pageviews up right?
But when you write for everyone, you really write for no one. Nothing makes you stand out, nothing makes you unique because you are trying to cater to everyone.
People get behind people like them. They subscribe and BUY from people who they feel like they just get them and they only feel this way when you blog in a way that attracts those specific people which means you’re repelling others. If you’re a “all bottled water comes from the same place” person then the Smart Water people will roll their eyes and leave but your people will cheer and buy from you!
This is how I made that $300 in one week! Because I didn’t have just a bunch of random emails on my list, I had MY PEOPLE on that list and I know who they are and what they need and that is why they bought from me!
So how do you get only YOUR PEOPLE on your list? You need to create a freebie that targets their specific wants or needs so you first need to know who your people are. Ask yourself…
- Who am I trying to attract on my blog?
- What makes them unique?
- What are their specific struggles and needs?
- How can I help them?
Go deep until you feel like you know who your people are! Even create a reader avatar or also called a customer avatar for your people. Your avatar is a character you make up that represents your ideal audience. You give them a name, a story, learn their struggles and desires.
Once you know who you are trying to attract you need to create the perfect super targeted, super valuable freebie to get them on your list!
Step 2: Create a Freebie that Specifically Attracts Your Ideal Reader.
Once you know who you are trying to attract. It’s time to get those specific people onto your email list through a super targeted freebie/lead magnet .
A lead magnet is anything you offer for free to your readers in exchange for their email (a lead). This can be a PDF, coupon code, anything that will convince your reader to hand over their email.
Now the secret to this step is to not just scrape together just any freebie . You’ve got to create a super valuable, oh so good freebie that speaks directly to that avatar of yours.
What does your ideal audience struggle with and how can you help solve those problems with a freebie?
Let’s say you have a food blog and your ideal audience/avatar is stay at home moms who just can’t seem to get organized. She dreads dinner time because she never knows what to make or even what is in her cupboard. So each day is a struggle to figure out what the kids want plus what she has already on hand to make or if she has time to go to the store.
You could create a meal planning and grocery list freebie that would help her to create a meal plan and grocery list for the entire week so she always knows what to make for dinner and knows she has everything she needs on hand.
Or you could create a free bundle of easy dinner recipes that can be whipped together with only ‘X’ ingredients that would show your avatar to make dinner with whatever things she already has in her cupboard.
You don’t want to offer 100 Best Keto Recipes if you’re trying to attract a mom who is simply trying to feed her kids and spend less time on dinner. That won’t speak to her! But 100 Easy Dinners in Under 30 Minutes will! Make sense?
So spends a good amount of time brainstorming freebie ideas that would specifically attract your target audience. Then once you have a killer freebie idea go create it using Canva, a Word document, anything! Just get it created!
I use Canva to create all of my lead magnet freebies for my blog. Here is a tutorial I made that shows you how to make your own! Plus Canva is free!
Having a hard time coming up with a freebie idea? Get my list of 50 Freebie & lead magnet ideas here!
3. Add Opt-in Forms Everywhere On Your Blog!
Now that you know who your people are and have a killer freebie to attract them, you’ve got to make it easy to get their hands on!
No one will search and search through your blog looking for a place to sign up for your email list. The only way to grow your list fast is to make it as easy as possible for people to sign up. That means adding opt-in opportunities EVERYWHERE!
- Add a pop up to your blog.
- Add in an opt-in form to every blog post.
- Try a top bar at the top of your blog.
- Add one to your sidebar.
- Add one to the end of your blog posts.
They should be everywhere.
The nice thing about creating a freebie that you know your audience needs and will love is that when you offer it to them they will be happy to trade their email for it. You don’t seem spammy, you just seem helpful! That’s why it is so important to always focus on serving your audience!
4. Promote your freebie like crazy!
Finally, your email list won’t grow even if you have a crazy awesome freebie if no one knows about it!
So once you’ve created your freebie and added opt-ins everywhere to your blog making it super easy for readers to subscribe, you’ve got to promote your freebie and get it out there!
- Write a dedicated blog post about your freebie outlining why it is so awesome and how to use it with an opt-in form so readers can get their hands on it!
- Create multiple different Pinterest pins promoting your freebie and link them to the opt-in landing page or the dedicated blog post.
- Create a Facebook post, Instagram, and Twitter post prom0ting your freebie.
- Run a Facebook ad for your freebie targeting your ideal audience/avatar.
- Add opt-in links to all your social media profiles.
Facebook ads are especially helpful in getting awareness out about your freebie, just make sure you’re targeting your ideal avatar! The thing is if you don’t go blue in the face from promoting your freebie, then you aren’t talking about it enough! Only about 6% of your audience on social media will see your posts. So make sure you keep sharing and sharing!
This is how I gained 500 subscribers in one month!
- First, I outlined who exactly I was trying to attract to my email list. Because if you cater to everyone, you’re going to attract no one.
- Then, I created a super targeted, super valuable freebie that specifically attracts my ideal audience/avatar.
- I then added opt-in forms everywhere to my blog.
- And I spent lots of time promoting my freebie like crazy to drive people to my list!
The real secret to growing your list is to know who you are trying to attract and creating a freebie that speaks to them!
My list only continues to grow more and more each month because of the strategies here! And in turn, my income goes up too! So don’t forget to give your email list the attention it needs especially after someone subscribes. Keep them engaged and keep serving!
Remember to always serve, serve, serve so that when you come to sell, your list is ready to buy! You’ve got this!