If you plan on launching any kind of information product (whether that’s audio, video, or an e-book) or paid for services down the line on your blog, having an email list is absolutely essential. People who have subscribed to an email list are usually much more responsive than random readers of your blog, and are more likely to take you up on offers you present to them. Plus, an email is easy to spread around with word of mouth, making it easy for happy or interested subscribers to share information with their friends.
The first thing you need to do is already have an email list. I’ll assume you’re past that point for the purposes of that post – if not, start doing some research into the various list providers and decide which one to sign up for. (The most popular choice being Aweber.)
I would advise you to use Aweber because they are definitely the best mailing list manager. Also, they currently have an exclusive offer allowing you to test their service for only $1 for the first month, no strings attached. This is truly a bargain because their service includes a lot of great features. This is actually the reason why I am using Aweber on Dukeo. If you want to start building your own mailing list right now, click on the following banner:
The most popular places for opt-in forms include:
- In the upper right hand corner of the page. This is the most popular choice, and is supposedly the place where readers’ eyes are immediately drawn to. You’ll want to have the opt-in form and a short description of your email list and why readers should sign up (more on that in a minute).
- At the bottom of posts. You can code this yourself, or use a plug in like the MaxBlogPress Optin Form Adder plugin.
- When they leave a comment. They’ve already entered their name and email address, why not, right? This can be done by having a check box by the comment form that says something like “Sign me up for the mailing list. (It’s free!).” Again, you can code this yourself, or you can use a plugin to do so – there’s a paid version of the above MaxBlogPress plugin that can do it.
There’s also the Hello Bar which can be used to drive traffic to your email list – see this post for more information on that.
After adding opt-in forms, but before publicizing your list, make sure readers have a good reason to sign up for it. Reward them for signing up for the list with “cookie content”. You’ve probably seen offers like this before, where you get a free e-book or something similar for signing up to a mailing list. Create something like this for your mailing list, and make it very high quality content – you want to impress your subscribers enough that they’ll be willing to pay for even better content later along the line.
All you need to do now is talk about your cookie content and your email list – consider mentioning it a few times on Twitter, or maybe even dedicating a blog post to it. Don’t do it an obnoxious amount, but make sure people know it’s there.
There! You’re all set up to grow your mailing list using your blog. Kick back and watch your email list grow as a result of your hard work.