Today I’m going to teach you about some of the list building techniques for bloggers. So if you are a blogger of some sort, if you have a blog and you decide to do it professionally, you have to think about why list building is important.
1. Why it is important?
So basically list building is important because it helps you to connect with your audience. Whenever you write a blog post, you have to chase your readers, if you’re not building a list. But with list building and the way to communicate with your readers through the email subscription service, you can reach your readers easier. That’s why it is very important.
List building is a very powerful tool in today’s marketplace, in today’s blogosphere. Every blogger should use it because if you are simply writing your posts and hoping to be found, hoping that your readers will come to your blog, you are not taking the full advantage of your efforts and that’s why list building is so powerful today.
2. When to start?
The question of when to start list building is probably also on your mind. I suggest you start building a list of subscribers as soon as you start blogging. Basically, your first post should be aligned with the strategy of list building.
Don’t wait to months or years to build a list because you simply will waist an opportunity.
Let’s look at what’s happening in your reader’s mind. When he or she first comes to your website, to your blog, basically you only have about 7 seconds to grab their attention.
If you’re lucky, if your first time reader reads your headline and headline is interesting, maybe it will attract this reader even further to actually read this post.
Through the first paragraph he or she will go the next paragraph all the way to the end of the post.
What will happen next?
Your reader will like your content very much, get useful information because perhaps you have provided enormous value. Then usually the reader leaves.
Think about this scenario. You’re trying to write many posts and if many visitors come to you, what happens next?
You simply write a post and hundreds of people will come to you and if you don’t have any way to connect with them, it’s a lost audience.
Perhaps they will read one or a few articles and they’ll leave. That’s why you have to start with your list building strategy right away.
What are some benefits of list building? Benefits from list building are enormous. Actually, the first one is simply the way to connect with your audience, with your potential customers. You have a very powerful way to connect because in today’s world, email is still the best and most powerful communication tool.
Social media is not as powerful, blog alone is not as powerful. But if you’re taking advantage of the blog and email list, you can actually connect with your direct reader. You can send a message and your reader will reply in many cases. This creates an enormous value to you in the long run.
Another benefit when you want to write some useful information on your blog, you don’t have to chase your readers. You don’t have to look for readers. Your readers will come to your blog whenever you post a new content.
This is absolutely critical, if you want to succeed with your blog.
What are some of the challenges people face today in list building? I saw people struggle with list building many times. Simply because they don’t use it too often on their blogs. I see quite a few bloggers create amazing content, amazing posts regularly, every week or even every day. A lot of people could be benefited by this.
But people sometimes don’t appreciate the value of list building technique. It’s very difficult to believe for people that list building will make changes for their blogging experience.
They are blogging for the sake of blogging.
But we have to think about how to connect with our audience through great content, through great information we provide on the blog.
We do it for free so why would we want to waste this opportunity to directly connect with our audience? It’s a very powerful tool but at the same time it’s challenging because the technology is not always the strongest part for some of the bloggers.
Some of the bloggers think about producing great ideas and sharing them with the world. But they don’t know how the technology works. So that’s one of the greatest challenges people have in building the list.
Another thing to consider is some of the mistakes bloggers do in list building. I think we have to remember that the primary mistake is not starting early enough. Waiting with your list building efforts for months or even years. To say for yourself, “I’m not ready yet.”
Maybe you have seen bloggers do this. They create amazing content, amazing information, amazing posts in audio and video, in text and pictures and all combinations. But they don’t have the powerful way to reach their audience.
They are waiting for the audience to come to their blog. This is the biggest mistake that people make today.
Another mistake is to hope that list building will happen naturally. If you post special email subscription form on your blog, you simply hope that your readers will come and enter their email address into the information box and so they will become subscribers.
No, it doesn’t work this way because simply the readers who will come to you will read your posts, like your content. You will provide amazing value, but if you don’t remind them, if you won’t ask for them to subscribe, to enter their name and email address.
You do this perhaps in return of some great information you’re providing, you are leaving money on the table. This could be a PDF report, maybe video or audio recording you are giving away. Or maybe a mini-course you can create.
This is a powerful way to convince people to give you a privilege to connect with them.
But you don’t want to spam people. This is another mistake.
People sometimes spam their readers. We have to remember that they’ve first signed up for the updates from our blog. And in order for them to trust what we have to say, we have to keep this promise.
We have to do this very honestly with people and never spam.
6. How to do it?
How do you do it, how do you build a list with your blog? The way you do this, you have first to sign up for email newsletter service, such as Mailchimp, Aweber or other companies.
I use Mailchimp because it’s reliable and it also has a free plan for up to 2000 subscribers. If you’re just starting out, you don’t even have to invest anything because it’s all free unless you have more than 2000 email subscribers of your blog.
The way it works is simply when you sign up for this service, you insert a special email subscription form. Perhaps you have seen it on some blogs where you could enter their name and email address.
Sometimes you just only need your email address to enter and people who like your content and want to know more about you could with their free will enter their email address.
This is called permission marketing because you have the permission to connect with them. They are doing this themselves and you’re not spamming them. As Seth Godin says, you are delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who want to get them.
This is completely honest way of marketing. In the best cases it actually doesn’t even feel like marketing.
7. Where to place the form
You have to have some strategic places where to put this subscription box on your blog or on your website. You have to put it in a few places.
A footer would work, a sidebar would work, a header would work.
Maybe you could also insert at the end of each post a link to the subscription form in a way of text link where they could click, enter the information and become subscribers.
It’s all very ethical. You don’t spam people because spamming is the worst mistake you could make with your blogging efforts.
You’re doing this for the long term relationship with your readership, with the people who trust you. And one of the most powerful ways to do this is through list building.
I found that it works best when you place it in a few places: header, footer. Maybe use a pop up form.
A pop-up form is when somebody visits your site, a very first thing they see is this invitation to become an email subscriber. Before they’re even reading the blog post, before even visiting your site further, you have the way to communicate with them.
Ask them to enter their email address in exchange of some valuable information you will be providing on your blog.
8. How I do it
Here’s the way I do it on my blog in a few places.
On the right sidebar at the top of the page I have a very simple email subscription form where people can enter their email address and their name in exchange of great information they will be getting through my blog.
And I know this because people get enormous value from my training and advice so I do this in completely honest and transparent way. I even tell people how many other subscribers there are because people like to know if they’re alone on the list or not.
I do this very honestly and say that they will get a mini course on how to do something in my niche. Like me, you could give a free PDF report on how to do something in your own niche as well.
So think about what you could offer to your subscribers in return of your power to connect with them through email.
Another place to put an email subscription form is on the separate page which is called “Start Here”. You literally create the so-called Squeeze Page. You create a specific place on your website where your visitors would land for the first time and you meet them there.
Yes, you would need your picture there. You would need a powerful way of communicating your main message. Why should they provide their email address? What would they get in return?
So on my organ training site, Secrets of Organ Playing, I state that they will get a free 10 day mini-course on how to play the organ. In addition to that they would get a one-hour video of how to master any organ composition.
Is it a compelling enough reason for people to join my email list?
Yes, it is because I know from experience, from the feedback I get from my regular subscribers that this mini-course of how to master any organ composition is a powerful way for them to start looking at their organ playing efforts differently. A powerful way to jumpstart their organ practice. That’s why they want results.
That’s how you communicate. That’s how you connect with your audience.
On another training site, Vidas Blog Academy, in exchange for reader’s email address I offer my free PDF report about what kind of challenges beginner bloggers have to overcome.
So I created this document, wrote a very extensive report with 12 challenges beginner bloggers have to overcome, and converted it into a PDF file.
I uploaded it into my Mailchimp account and added a subscription form on the blog, on vidaspinkevicius.com. People can find it on the side bar and on the separate page “Start Here”.
So you could literally do the same in your own niche. In whatever way you are thinking about sharing ideas on your blog and teaching people, you could provide a free gift for them in exchange of their email address.
And that’s how they will become your subscribers and will start reading your blog. That’s how you will have a powerful way to communicate with them for a long time.
Dr. Vidas Pinkevicius is the creator of Vidas Blog Academy where he teaches creatives to empower themselves one post at a time. If you want to become a successful blogger, download his free PDF report "Overcoming 12 Challenges Beginner Bloggers Face".