Build a List Rich Man, Poor Man List Building

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Build a List: Rich Man, Poor Man List Building

Here we go again with that ‘The Money is in the List‘ stuff. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – the money is not ‘in the list’. The money is in what you do with the list. And if you don’t generate a solid, targeted list to start with, you might as well just hang it up. Whether you’re a Rich Man or a Poor Man you, if you follow these list building tips you’ll never have to worry about being a Beggar Man.

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Tip Number One – Start now!

List of Things You Need to Build a List

Traffic: Obviously, you’ll need plenty of targeted traffic. But you don’t have to wait until you hit a certain number before you start. If you have one visitor a day, you need have enough to start your list.

Incentive: You’ll need something to give your readers an incentive to join your list. Maybe it’s a free guide or a weekly newsletter. It’s up to you, just make sure you deliver on your promise.

An opt-in form: You’ve seen the forms. Put one in your sidebar, above the fold, and on landing pages, your Facebook fan page, and anywhere else you have visitors.

A plan: Before you can start generating a list you need to know how you plan to monetize your blog. Otherwise how will you target your subscribers?

Paid traffic generation

Here’s where that Rich Man, Poor Man thing comes in. If you want a lot of traffic fast, you can buy it. Inexpensive traffic exchange sites will send you tons of traffic but it won’t be targeted at all. You’ll start building a list but who knows who will be on it.

You can pay a little more and use Facebook ads to drive traffic to your landing page. This method really doesn’t cost that much, relatively speaking, and you’ll get better quality traffic.

You can spend a lot of money and use Google Adwords/Adsense Ads to drive highly targeted traffic to your opt-in form. But you better know what you’re doing or you can lose a lot of money.

Free list generation techniques

If you have no list, and no money to start one, don’t fret. There are plenty of free ways to get people to subscribe:

Offer a freebie: There’s always the good old ‘Subscribe here and get this FREE!‘ incentive to get people to subscribe to your list. The better the freebie, the more opt-ins you’ll get. Offer them something like a free weekly newsletter and more people will stick around instead of bailing after they get your one-time-only freebie.

JV with other blogger: Find other bloggers I your niche and offer to do an email JV where you cross promote to each other’s lists. You send your subscribers to his opt-in form and he sends his subscribers to yours. Most bloggers will want to know subscriber numbers before they agree to this and they’ll want them to be fairly equal.

Collaborate: If you’ve already put together a comment tribe or a blogging collaboration, get everyone together and each of you write a post about the benefits of subscribing to another blog’s newsletter.

Sharing: Ask your current subscribers to share your emails with their friends. Just make sure you send them something worth sharing.

Have a contest: I recently tripped over a new site that I think is going to revolutionize on-blog constest. There are websites that allow you to set up a contest where you can require your visitors to join your list, follow you on Twitter, Like you on Facebook, share a link, follow or share other bloggers’ content, or whatever you want them to do. As they complete each task they enter whatever proof you require into the blog that you post on your form and once they’ve completed everything they’re entered in your contest. I opted in to a mailing list just so I could see how this thing worked!

Where to get your opt-in form

You’ll want to use a reliable, reputable email service provider, like Aweber, to handle your opt-in forms and your list. Aweber will require your subscribers to opt-in before they can receive your emails. This protects you legally as well as helps develop a stickier, more responsive list.

Aweber also offers all the customization capabilities you could ever want and you can even put one of their forms on your Facebook fan page. Their service costs a few dollars each month but it’s well worth the investment. You can eve get the first month for a dollar, just to try it out.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Rich Man, a Poor Man, a Beggar Man or a Thief (well, yeah, I guess the ‘thief‘ part does pose a bit of a problem. But you get the idea) – just get started now. Don’t wait until you have time. Don’t wait until you have traffic. Do it now. Before it’s too late.


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  1. Ivin

    I like the analogy here. You can either build a big list fast paying for traffic. Or you can build a list slowly, working very hard and taking a long time to do it. Unfortunately not everyone has that much money.

    1. Joseph

      I think whatever the case both will work. But the only problem with paid traffic is that it can be lesser targeted if you aren’t careful what you are doing and on the other hand you will need ample time to invest in rather than money.


  2. Kamal Singh

    I agree,having a contest is one of the proven way to generate a huge list in a matter of days.

    1. Joseph

      Yes, I do agree with you that a contest can bring in a huge opt-in. But remember you have to give the subscribers a reason for following even after the contest ends – if you don’t you will be amazed a huge percent of them will opt to go away.

  3. David

    Steven, what has been your best niche as far as the pay off monetarily for any of your lists?

    1. Steven

      It’s really complicated to compare niches… In some of them I have very small lists with huge ROI, and some others I have huge lists with lower ROI.

  4. Ade

    A contest might be good incentive for people to engage in your blog but unless you have traffic already coming to the bog it ca be a waste of time. If you raffle a car and only get 10 people then you are up the creek without a paddle. If you know your lifetime visitor or lead value then you could advertise the contest and write the contest cost and the cost of advertising off to delayed gratification.

    1. Joseph

      I think contests also work for blogs with lesser traffic. Your blog doesn’t need to have lots of traffic to qualify in running a content. You can curate a contest that will requires readers to share your blog or even encourage them to shout out your blog on their’s thus building traffic.


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