Hey #BloggingBreakthrough friend! Are you ready for Chapter 5? Yeah? Good answer. For the letter ‘E’ we’re going to cover something you’ve definitely heard of. Lots of bloggers talk about this and they've got good reason to. It plays a pretty crucial part in building a targeted, active and engaged audience.
So far in the #BloggingBreakthrough series, we've looked at:
If you want to read those previous posts you can just click on each one of them above.
And remember, for more tips and freebies you can join us in the community.
But today’s post is all about…
Told you you’d have heard it before ;)
I bet you’ve read loads of blog posts when it comes to starting and building an email list. When someone in the blogging world tells you to do something, you kind of want to do it, right?
The problem is, people know they want to start an email list. But they don’t actually know why they’re doing it.
So they just do it. And they don’t see the results they want.
So today, I'm not going to go over what everyone else has already said. If you want a quick run through about what email lists are all about then this is the post for you. Let’s go!
What is an Email List?
A group of people who sign up to your list and receive regular emails from you. It’s your job to set up your list through a platform of your choice and create content to send to these subscribers.
Do I Need An Email List?
Now before we get into it, listen up – you don’t have to have an email list. You really don’t. It’s no good starting one #justbecause. You've got to have a purpose for it. You've got to know why you want one and what you’re going to do with it.
Now if you’re a lifestyle blogger who just blogs as a hobby, then you might not need a newsletter. You already communicate to your audience through your blog posts and social media. You’re not selling anything.
Or are you?
I actually think you are selling something. I don’t advertise on my blog. I don’t make any money from it. But I'm definitely selling something:
I truly believe that money doesn't have to be exchanged for something to be valuable. I create the most value in my content and even more for my email subscribers, because I want to build a strong community.
It’s like if you advertise on your blog. This is a perfect opportunity for you to introduce a newsletter. You could ask your advertisers each month to sign up to your email list and communicate with them through there. Emails lists are all about retaining readers. If you build relationships with your advertisers through weekly, bi-weekly or monthly emails, there’s a good chance they’ll advertise with you again.
But if you’re a personal lifestyle blogger who blogs about your daily life and things you’re interested in then yes, an email list might not make sense for you. Some bloggers choose to build relationships more through commenting and social media rather than through email and that’s completely fine. Every situation is different.
So if you don’t have an email list, I hope this has at least given you something to think about.
The Benefits of Email Lists
These benefits are aimed at both beginner bloggers and experts. Keep an open mind and have a flick through this list:
- You own your email list. Your social media platforms aren't yours. They could disappear right now. But you have complete control over your list.
- Subscribers to your list want more from you. They are the most important members of your community.
- You can easily keep in touch with people.
- You can build a targeted audience. People who sign up want to for a reason.
- You can build deeper relationships
- It’s another way to be creative
- It’s another skill
There really are loads of reasons why it’s great to have a mailing list.
But once you’ve decided to start one, then what do you do?
Step 1: What’s Your Publishing Schedule?
Just like with your blog, it’s really useful to set up a content calendar for your mailing list. You could just decide how often you’re going to post, what you’re going to post and when you’re going to post.
Pick a day and stick to it. Consistency is key so be realistic. If once a month is plenty, then stick to once a month. Pick the right schedule for you.
Step 2: What are You Going to Send?
They key to email lists is value. And I know how many times you come across that word on a daily basis but friends, we can’t ignore it. You've got to figure out how you’re going to offer something different. There are two great ways you can do this:
- Exclusive content
- Your opt-in
Let’s just go through each of these.
You could easily use your emails to send subscribers a list of your latest blog posts. But is that giving them any value?
Now I know some people who sign up to some newsletters purely to receive blog posts. But I think there are better way you can work.
Exclusive content is the way to go. Offering something different than what’s already on your blog. Telling people that they’re going to receive extra things that only they will see. Bigger tips, bigger secrets, bigger results. This will work.
The way I do this right now is with my #BloggingBreakthrough series. So this blog post is the first in the ‘E’ chapter. Then I’ll give away even more secrets in my Periscope on Sunday. And I create a special freebie relating to the post which I send out only to my email subscribers.
So if you actually join the community, you're getting the best bit.
So when you’ve signed up to a mailing list, you might’ve noticed that some people offer you a free download when you sign up.
This is an opt-in.
It’s something you get in return for putting in your email address.
Here are some examples:
These are very specific and offer something very special to everyone who signs up.
P.S I sign up to both of these lists ;)
At the moment my opt-in offer is special access to free resources as part of the #BloggingBreakthrough series. But I can reveal that I am in the process of writing my opt-in! It’s going to be social media related and jam packed full with ideas. I can’t wait.
Pop your email in here if you’re interested!
What Else Do I Need To Know?
Loads of other amazing bloggers have already written about email lists. So this list of resources is for you to have a look through if you want to dig a bit deeper into email lists. Enjoy!
And my friend Kory has a load of super-useful posts on email lists.
P.S Look out for me on Periscope on Sunday when I'll be revealing even more secrets about email lists.
Plus if you sign up to the #BloggingBreakthrough community you'll get access to a free email list workbook and even more tips.
Want to get your hands on the freebies?
Have you started an email list? What are your tips for managing yours? Let's chat in the comments!