If you are new to blogging, you may be interested in researching how to build a list. Having a list is a good way to reach your audience with a call to action. It’s not just for sales, but also for reminded them about updates to your list, new features on your blog, and just to keep in touch. But first you want to learn some techniques on how to build a list.
What is a Mailing List
First things first, there’s no point in learning how to build a list unless you start at the very beginning and learning about mailing lists. If you’re new to blogging, many of you may think of mailing lists as spam. The very thought of spam just makes you shudder, and maybe you’re thinking why would I want to learn how to build a list to mail out spam?
Hold your horses with that thought!
A mailing list is just a tool.
Like any tool, it can be used for good or evil.
Think of spam as the dark side of the mailing list. You, on the other hand, will represent the good side… The power of positive communication!
In the right hands, a mailing list can be a powerful tool to make a special connection with your audience.
Think of a mailing list as a list of people who’ve visited your blog with whom you have a special relationship. In some way, your words have resonated with those people and they’ve opted in to hear more from you.
These are members of your audience who have actively told you that they want to you send them your writing via their email. They are willing to hear more from you.
When you think of a mailing list that way, you begin to see the value in the names on that list. You don’t want to mistreat those members of your audience by sending them useless sales letters over and over again until they hit unsubscribe in frustration. You want to nurture your audience. Build them up and give them reasons to come back to your blog.
This is why you want to learn how to build a list.
How to Build a List
So, you want to build a mailing list. But where do you start?
Your first step will be to set up a newsletter service to help you automate the process. While you can conceivable collect emails manually and do it all by hand, it can turn into a huge time consuming procedure as your list begins to grow.
There are several newsletter services that are popular and robust for the aspiring blogger. If you’re starting to earn an income from your blog and you have money to invest into the growth of your blog, then you can take a look at aweber or mail chimp.
I would say if you are new and just starting out learning how to build a list, you don’t need to go with a premium service. You can upgrade later. I personally use a combination of a free service through your mailing list provider and mail chimp. At this time, mail chimp has a forever free plan that allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers and send out 12,000 mailings a month. If they had that plan when I first started out, I likely would have started with mail chimp and remained with them. Right now, I would say they are probably the best option for a new blogger as you can go with their free plan and build your list for quite some time before you ever have to upgrade.
One you’ve decided on a service, then you can start practicing your techniques on how to build a list.
Here are a few effective techniques on how to build a list:
Design an Opt In Form That Stands Out
The first step is to create your sign up form. The majority of mailing services provide easy to use tools to create your own opt in form. Create your form and make sure it stands out. Your opt in form doesn’t need to be overwhelming, but it’s should look attractive and easy to use. Keep it simple. You don’t want your readers to have to fill out too many fields to opt in. Generally asking for their name and email is enough.
Place Your Opt in Form in a Visible Location
The same tips for ad placement work just as well for your opt in form. You want to place it above the fold as close to the header of your website as possible. I like to have a simple form at the top right of my sidebar. I also have one at the bottom of the content, so readers that like a particular post can opt in for future updates without having to scroll all the way back to the top. Many blogs use pop ups to build their list. I don’t personally like pop ups, so I don’t use it on my blog. However, it can also be an effective method to build a list.
Write Good Content
Ok, you may think this is a generic tip, but it’s effective. Just take a look at the tip I put right above. One of the places that you can put your opt in form is after your blog posts. I’m sure you’ve seen that design on other blogs as well. Generally, this is an opt in for that says, “Hey, if you like this post, subscribe for more!” If you think about it, that sales pitch works more effectively when you have better content. If I see a poorly written post, I’m less likely to sign up for more.
Give Your Readers a Reason to Opt In
Tell your readers what they will get with a subscription. This can easily be done in one line. “Subscribe to hear about some of the great special deals available only for our special readers!” “Subscribe for future updates about our latest posts!” Let them know they will get regular updates. In some cases, if you have a strong connection with your audience, you can outright tell them that when they sign up for this list, they will get special offers. That way they will know to expect a call to action. More than that, you’ve given them a reason to opt in.
Give A Free Gift
You can write a short ebook, create a video, or even purchase a PLR book to give away. It’s a quick thank you for joining your list and your audience will appreciate it. I would recommend putting together an image of your free giveaway and putting it in your sign up form so that it’s visible to your audience.
Start with these techniques and learn how to build a list effectively through your content. You will have an established connection with your subscribers. As your list grows, you can then begin some small marketing campaigns to continue building up your list.
There are many effective techniques that you can practice to learn how to build a list. However, I recommend learning first by building a connection through your content.