It’s no secret that in today’s Internet marketing world, you need an email list. If you have a blog, you already have an excellent tool with which to start building your list. Let’s look at how to build a list with a blog.
Build a List with a Blog?
One of my favorite things to do is to teach people to build email lists. It’s fun work for me. To the surprise of many, blogging is actually a wonderful way to build an email list. Why? Simply, you’re putting your opt-in offers right where the eyes of your potential audience will be.
By putting your offer In the same place as the very content your audience wants, you are setting yourself up for the perfect storm of success.
Know What Your Audience Wants
To build a list with a blog, your blog needs traffic. In order to get traffic, you need to be writing the kind of content people want to read. Makes sense, right?
Before a restaurant draws a crowd, it needs to serve the kind of food people want to eat. The same is true here. If you want to get eyes on your blog’s content, you’re going to have to learn write what people want.
Now, that doesn’t happen overnight of course. Expect to do plenty of market research. Study keywords. Watch Google trends. Study your niche.
Then, write content that fits what people in your niche want. As these individuals start visiting your site, you will have a great opportunity to build a list with your blog.
Write Phenomenal Content
However, if you want to build a list with a blog, your content needs to be phenomenal. A blog full of unhelpful, poorly written content won’t do nearly as well as one that is full of thoughtful, masterfully-written advice and valuable tools.
No matter what your niche happens to be, make sure whatever you write is value-packed.
Remember, one of the goals of your blog is to build your email list. If you want people to want to join your email list, impress them with the high-quality content they can access before they join.
It’s no secret that one of my goals with this blog is to encourage you to check out my email course that teaches how to build an email list. How likely would you be to sign up for that course if the content you can see here is low-quality, poorly constructed, and unhelpful? Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, you wouldn’t be likely to sign up at all.
Instead, you want to see excellent, helpful material before you decide to take the plunge and sign up for my email list. Basically, you want to make sure I’m not some creep before you get in the car with me. Makes perfect sense.
For the same reason, you need to ensure that your blog impresses as many potential subscribers as possible.
Optimize for Search Engines
Search engines like Google help people search for and find websites with the content they want to see. Clearly, we want our content showing up in search engines so that we too can get a slice of that traffic. But that process isn’t exactly automatic. We need to do something called search engine optimization.
This phrase describes all the actions necessary to ensure a website, page, or post ranks well in a search engine. Any time someone searches for a keyword or keyword phrase that may be relevant to our content, we want our content to be the first thing seen on page one of the search results.
A better search ranking translates into more traffic. More traffic, means (generally speaking) more opt-ins.
Long story short, in order to build a list with a blog, make sure it ranks well in Google, Bing and other search engines. Don’t neglect your SEO.
Ensure a Great User Experience
No doubt you’ve seen sites around the web that are aesthetically horrible. They look bad. They’re slow to load. You can’t find anything, and after a few seconds you want to leave. This is the kind of user experience your visitor must not have.
As you build up your blog, make sure to design it in such a way that it looks pleasing to the eye – but not only that. Make sure your important content is easy to find. Don’t make your visitor guess where to find what he needs. If applicable, add a search box. Use clear, visually consistent menus and navigation prompts.
Test in various browsers and on several platforms to make sure your page loads as you expect. You don’t want a blog that loads fine on the big screen and looks horrible on phones, for example.
We want the focus to be on your content and your email list signup forms. If your site’s design is confusing or distracting, users are going to be less likely to sign up. Instead, they will be quick to find the back button and go to another site.
Create a Lead Magnet
Here’s the thing about email lists, and you need to understand this if you’re going to build a list with a blog: People don’t browse the internet looking for email lists to join. They don’t see an opt-in form and think, “Oh boy! Email list!” No, of course not. They need some kind of incentive to join.
That incentive can be something like an eBook, a video, course, etc. Or it could be a discount or access to a membership site. Each of these is something valuable your visitors will want.
That, however, is the key. Your lead magnet should be something that provides value. In order to provide value, focus on solving a problem or answering a question.
If you would like an in-depth look at creating a lead magnet, grab a free copy of my eBook that teaches how to create an information product or lead magnet. It’s helped lots of people in its time. Hopefully it will help you too.
Choose an Email Service Provider
In order build an email list with a blog or any other tool, you need an email service provider to handle your contacts and sending emails. My current favorite provider is GetResponse, but you are welcome to use whatever you prefer.
Your email service provider is responsible for handling the back end of your list building efforts. This is the system that is responsible for storing subscriber email addresses, sending your email messages, and handling unsubscribes.
Without this critical piece, it would be impossible to build a list with a blog – or without a blog for that matter. I highly recommend GetResponse, but there are plenty of great options out there.
Write an Email Sequence
What good is an email list without an email sequence? Using your email service provider, write a few emails that will be sent to your new subscriber. This sequence should include your lead magnet.
As soon as someone subscribes to your list, the first email in this sequence will be sent.
Take this opportunity to make a great first impression on your subscriber. Provide serious value, and make sure he knows he’s made the right decision by signing up for your list.
Make sure to write the best email marketing content you possibly can, and impress your subscribers new and old.
Add Opt-In Forms Where Relevant
Once you have your lead magnet, email service provider and email sequence set up, you need to create a front door for your list. On a blog, this usually takes the form of individual opt-in forms near your content.
People come to your blog for your blog posts. Put your opt-in offer where their eyes will be – either in or very close to your blog content. Depending on the email service provider you chose and which blog platform you’re using, this can be easily accomplished using a script provided by your ESP or with a simple plugin, like OptinMonster.
Building an Email List with a Blog Isn’t Difficult
Using your blog to build a list is actually pretty simple once you think about it. It really comes down to learning what people want, writing the type of content they’re looking for, creating an info product that fits their interests, and adding opt-in forms to your posts.
I know that sounds like a lot. Believe me. But I promise you it’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds.
ListBootcamp is a free boot camp that covers the basics of building an email list. If you’re interested in building a list with your blog, take a look at the free course. I think you’ll like what you find.