My biggest blogging mistake is that I waited years to start an email list, and then even longer to take it seriously. I finally started taking my email list seriously around 2016.
I was about to launch my course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and realized that I really needed an email list. I was collecting the occasional email address about a year before then, but I was doing absolutely nothing with it, and I don’t think I even had any email optins on Making Sense of Cents – there was no way for people to subscribe!
So, when I was creating my first course, I realized that I really needed to learn anything and everything about building an email list.
I had no clue how anything worked. I didn’t know how to send a newsletter, I didn’t know how to get people to join my email list, and so on and so on.
I really wish I would have started my email list back when I first started my blog so many years ago! In just the past 3 years since I started taking building an email list seriously, I already have over 100,000 email subscribers. I think that if I would have started from the very beginning, I could possibly be at double or even triple that!
But, I don’t like to live in the past 🙂
So, today, I am here to tell you to start an email list for your blog RIGHT NOW.
Don’t wait until tomorrow, and definitely don’t wait until next year.
I really wish I would have spent more time on my newsletter, but I’m glad I’ve learned from my mistake.
Due to this, I recommend that all bloggers spend time growing their email list.
Here is why all bloggers should have an email list:
It’s easy to start email marketing for your blog.
Okay, so I know what a lot of you are probably thinking “But, it’s so hard to start an email list!” Or, “I don’t even know what the first step to start an email list for my blog is!”
That is completely fine, and I understand.
I was completely confused when it came to email lists and I had no idea what I was doing. And, that is why I waited so many years to finally start my email list.
Creating an email list in actually much easier than you think.
For example, to make it easy for bloggers, Constant Contact provides:
- Video tutorials that show you how to get started, grow your list, send an email, automate your list, and more. They have tons of helpful videos that will get you from A to Z.
- Easy to customer email templates so that your emails always look great
- Real-time tracking tools so that you can see who is opening, clicking, and sharing your emails
And so much more.
Your newsletter is all yours.
Unlike with social media websites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, your newsletter and email subscribers are all yours, and you have their undivided attention.
You don’t have to worry about some social media algorithm not showing your content to your readers, as they are your email subscribers so you aren’t fighting with anyone else to have them see your content.
You also don’t have to worry about a social media website deleting your account. I have seen this happen far too many times – websites such as Pinterest or Instagram delete a social media account of a person who makes their living on that social media account, and then they are left with nothing.
That doesn’t have to be you, though – you can protect yourself!
By having your own email list, you are in control.
This can help you to improve your page views, increase your income, and be in control of your own business.
The money is in your list.
According to Business Insider, 98.4% of consumers check their email every day.
I believe that email/newsletter is the best way to promote an affiliate product and to sell your own product as well.
Your email subscribers signed up specifically to hear what YOU have to say, so you definitely have their attention. Your email list, over any other strategy, will almost always lead to more sales.
Your email subscribers are loyal followers.
If someone is allowing you to show up in their email inbox whenever you want, then they probably trust what you have to say and enjoy listening to you.
This is a great way to grow an audience and to grow a loyal audience at that.
Email is a great way to deliver other forms of content.
With my email list, I am able to also create free email courses that can automatically be sent out to my subscribers.
This makes life easy because all a reader has to do is sign up, and then the email marketing company sends out all the information that they need and drips out the content day by day (or whatever timeframe I choose).
So, how do you create an email list for a blog?
First, you’ll want to find an email marketing service. There are many out there, but one that I recommend checking out is Constant Contact.
And, yes, you need an actual provider to do this the correct way.
A great email marketing company to check out is Constant Contact. They have great customer service and a free 60 day trial (no credit card required). Constant Contact will allow you to:
- Send new subscribers a welcome email automatically
- Trigger email series based on where contacts click
- Segment your email subscribers based on their interests (this is a feature that I highly recommend using!)
- Automatically resend emails to non-opens
- Grow your email list with powerful list-building tools that they offer
One other reason why I really like Constant Contact is because they are very affordable. They have a risk free trial, where no credit card is even required. So, you can test it out and see if you like it first.
Please click here to try out Constant Contact.
Do you have an email list? Why or why not?
Liton Biswas says
An Email list is a very valuable asset of bloggers.
I often ask my readers to start list building as soon as they start a blog.
It is better to focus on growing email subscribers than to build social followers. Because social media can change their terms and conditions anytime and you’ll lose all your followers. Recently, We’ve witnessed G+.
But email subscribers is yours. You can take them anywhere with you. No one can take them from you.
However, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
This is some really helpful advice that I’m looking forward to implementing on my blog!
Absolutely right, an email list is important for every blogger. Because it helps to get and engage with a new customer. Nice article Michelle. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Aaron Petrovsky says
For a brand new blog do you still think it’s advantageous to prioritize a mailing list when I don’t even have many viewers yet, or is my time better spent on content and promotion at this stage?
Any 10 commandments on making sure you dont “spam” your email list so they dont unsub?
This is very true. And a great way to avoid paying for the same e-mail list some companies sell to everyone else.
an email list is absolutely important, if not the most important aspect of building a profitable business. We have seen in the past that social media can be shut down instantly. FB & IG were down 2x in the last quarter as far as I know. Pinterest can also suspend your account which happens to a lot of people, so traffic is cut off almost immediately. As I have just started my new blog, I hope to grow an email list as well. However, so far no one has subscribed 🙂
This might be due to having low views on my blog too. But I still think having an opt-in with a freebie from the get-go is valuable. Who knows, there might be one person who will sub at some point, so not having a service in place would make you miss out on that potential reader/follower/customer. I also like the personal touch of sending out Newsletters. You get to interact on a much more personal level with your audience.
Which service do you like better, Constant Contact or ConvertKit? How does Constant Contact differ from ConvertKit for example?
Thanks for sharing!
You’re absolutely right Michelle, email is gold for bloggers. Starting an email list seems pretty straight forward with a service like Sumo. Growing the email list seems to be the hard part for me.Any ideas?
Jennifer McCarthy says
I’m a new blogger and I’ve had an email list from day one. My problem is I’m not sure if people are clicking to confirm their subscription after they’ve signed up for the list because a few of the people I’ve spoken to who said they’ve subscribed apparently never got the confirmation/opt-in email. (It went to spam) Is that a common thing and how can it be remedied? Thanks!
I’m not sure which email automation software you’re using, but with most of them you could sent them to a thank you page.
So I would recommend to create a specific thank you page, where you can explain the next steps. And here you can say that if they don’t receive your email within 10 minutes, they should check their spam folder.
It sounds like one of the major catalysts for generating a list and taking it more seriously was having a way to your course.
Were you using Constant Contact or some other service at the time?
And in terms of priority, is it better to continue to work on content?
Fred Jumayao says
Haven’t seen a response to this topic yet. Are you still using contact contact. I know starting an
email list with a provider like Constant contact, Aweber or Mailchimp is a critical decision. I know it’s hard to move between providers so I’d like to make the best choice at the beginning. Guess my primary criteria is cost and then functionality. Anyone recommendations?