I often get asked, “What is the best piece of blogging advice you’ve ever gotten?”
Without hesitation, my answer is always, “You must grow your email list.”
Even if you’re new to blogging, you’ve probably heard from a dozen different sources that you need an email list for your blog.
When I first heard this advice, I was super skeptical about starting an email list. I just did not understand why it was so important.
It seemed like a lot more work. At the time, I was struggling find time to design new blog themes, write blog posts and post on social media. Did I really need to one more thing on my to-do list? What good could possibly come from a list of email addresses…?
Man, was I so, so wrong.
The longer I blog, the more and more I realize just how important my email list is. There are so many reasons why you should spend time growing your list, but here are my top 5 for why you need an email list:
1. An email list lets you grow a captive audience
Do you spend a ton of time trying to promote your blog on social media? Do you get frustrated with your results?
Getting traffic from social networks can be very frustrating because we have very little control over how the social networks work. Facebook or Pinterest can (and have) change their algorithms without warning and all your traffic can be taken away in an instant. All of that hard work you did to grow your following goes right down the drain. That’s a really depressing thought, isn’t it?
The fact is, with social media, your success is subject to their rules and the networks control the flow. Did you know that when you post on your Facebook Page only 5% or so of your followers may even be shown your post. What kind of crap is that?
Well, the beautiful thing about having an email list is that when someone signs up for your email list, they invite you directly into their inbox. Your emails show up right next to those of their best friend or mom. That’s huge!
Your subscribers have given you a big virtual “thumbs up”. They’ve said, “Yes, I love what you’re doing! Send me more!”
Absolutely no one controls your email list but you. It won’t ever disappear because some social media network suddenly changes its rules. You are totally in charge of your list. That is why having an email list for your blog is such powerful stuff.
2. An email list lets your readers get to know you
…and vice versa!
I feel like my subscribers are my “insiders” who get to know more about me from my emails than they would just from reading the blog posts. I’ve made some great connections with my subscribers via this email list and met some amazing bloggers and web designers.
My subscribers also get to see more of the “behind the scenes” stuff and I get to interact with them via email and get to know them.
Because of these interactions, my list subscribers are generally my most dedicated readers. Their support for new projects, whether it’s been launching new blog themes or new site designs, has been awesome.
Interacting proactively with your list can give you the same kind of reader loyalty and connection.
3. You can deliver more value to your readers
When your readers join your email list, you’re given a big responsibility. They’ve invited you into their inbox and, in a sense, into their lives. You shouldn’t take this lightly at all.
Something you posted on your blog struck a chord with your reader and they signed up to follow you. They’ve given you the opportunity to share more with them and to add more value to their lives. Because, really, what good is an email list if no one reads your emails or everyone unsubscribes? If people are letting you into their inbox and their lives, they’re going to want value in return!
I’m a big proponent of providing heaps of value to your subscribers. My list receives not just emails but also access to a blogging resource library, a free online course and exclusive blog posts and tutorials that ONLY they get access to.
I’m constantly working on new ways to provide my subscribers with value whether it’s new exclusive tutorials or a new blogging worksheet. Or even a discount on one of my products.
Providing tons of ongoing value to your subscribers will encourage them to stick around and become loyal readers and followers.
4. You can get more traffic for your blog
When I surveyed my list subscribers less than a year ago about their biggest blogging struggles, getting more traffic was without a doubt their biggest issue.
There are so many blogs on the internet now that it has become really competitive and getting traffic is one of the fiercest battles in that competition.
So many bloggers are out there fighting to get traffic from Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., etc., etc. Social media networks can be a great source of traffic but you should not neglect your list as a source of traffic.
My list provides more traffic in 2 ways.
The first way is new readers who see my pins showcasing my opt-in freebies on Pinterest. They come to the site, read about the freebies and decide to sign up and stick around. So, my email list and the freebies associated with it help bring new readers to my site.
The second way is that whenever I write a new blog post, I send a notice out to my list and I always see a traffic spike on those days.
Your list is also a great place to send out roundup emails with a list of related posts to give your subscribers more info about a specific topic. Most of your subscribers may have only read a couple of your posts. Using your emails to help them find all your best content is a great way to provide value as well as get more traffic.
5. An email list can help you make more money
Let’s be honest, many of us blog to make money. Nothing wrong with that at all.
Well, having an email list can help you make more money. Whether you’re selling your own products, promoting affiliate offers or using ads, an email list is a way to cultivate a targeted audience. Your email list has signed up for your list because they’re interested in what you blog about and, potentially, what you’re selling or promoting.
It is 100X easier to sell to a “warm” interested lead than it is to a cold lead who has no idea who you are or what you stand for. An email list helps you build trust and lets your audience get to know you. So, that when it comes time to sell or promote, you’ll have a much easier time making sales.
Ready to start your list?
OK, have I managed to convince you it’s time to start your list? Or to start growing that list you’ve been ignoring?
Back when I first started blogging (like a bazillion years ago), having a list wasn’t A THING. But when I started this business, it was suddenly all the rage. But I was too busy with “business stuff” to worry about building my list. Boy, that was a big mistake that I really regret now.
BUT I’ve learned my lesson and have happily turned my list around and it grows on a daily basis. Which allows me to connect with my customers and blog readers, grow my traffic and yes, make more money.
This course walks you through setting up a FREE list using MailChimp, the most popular email list service for newbies.
Happy blogging and list building!