Are you struggling to grow your email list?

Do you stare blankly at the screen anytime you go to write an email to your list?

Do you have a list of one, which is your mom (that was my email list for the first 6 months of my blog, but boy was she a loyal reader!)?

Have you not even started growing an email list because the whole concept makes you want to curl up under your desk and call it quits?

Who really has time to add email marketing when you are trying to crank out incredible content week after week?

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you purchase a product through one of my links I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

how to grow your email list

One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is waiting to get a solid fan base through growing an email list. Then, once they have them, nurturing these fans in a way that will keep them coming back again and again. Providing amazing resources through email is just as valuable as the content you create for your blog. They go hand in hand if you want a successful business. 

There really is power in growing your email list and building a loyal following.

I am assuming you are reading this because you want your blog to be something more. You want a thriving business that allows you to work from anywhere you want on your own schedule. That is what I want for you too!

Let’s start with what it means to grow an email list and why it is so beneficial to your blog and your business.

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What is an email list?

An email list is just a list of people who have given you their email in return for something on your blog. It may be a free printable, a free webinar, a service, or a number of other things. Whatever the opt-in/lead magnet is, you have now gained access to someone else’s inbox because they liked something you are doing. If they like what you are doing, they will most likely enjoy what you do in the future as well. This is a precious resource so treat it kindly. 

Why do you need an email list?

Your email list is like your own private customer/client list. With any new information/blog post/product you want to share, you will have a list of people to share it with.

Now, you have probably heard that social media is the place to share all of your great content and get traffic to your site or products, and while social media is a fantastic place to get your brand seen, your followers on social media are not yours (and likely not your true fans). You could wake up tomorrow and lose them because Facebook decided to block your page or Pinterest thought you were a spammer. Your email list, however, is yours. You own it and can decide just how you want to use it (legally of course!).

You may also notice that you can share and share on social media and it can be hard to reach a large audience, even if you know what you are doing. You may only reach 1 person and the rest of your amazing followers won’t even know you posted something new. The average open rate for an email is between 20-40% and if you really work on titles and getting to know what your audience wants, you can increase that percent tremendously! Promoting your blog posts and products through email will give you a better chance of reaching a larger audience.

So, how do you build and grow an email list, especially if you are just starting out?

This is something I struggled with for months when I started my blog. I knew it was important, but I just couldn’t get people to sign up. I tried countless opt-ins that I was sure would be successful and they weren’t.

Before we get into creating the perfect opt-in, I have to tell you that I learned everything I know about growing an email list from Meera Kothand. She specializes in email marketing and has a gift for teaching others, just like you and me. I decided to take her class, even though, at the time, I had a really hard time spending money on classes. I was blown away with how simple she made everything seem. Within a week after her class, I was able to set up two different email sequences, create an opt-in that actually converted and develop a sales funnel for a course I had created.

Meera’s Class, Email Lists Simplified, changed the way I think about emails.

Emails no longer take me hours to write. Like you, I don’t have hours to write them. I need to focus on developing great content for you!

If you are looking for something that will teach you the ends and outs of growing your email list, nurturing your subscribers, and making an income from these true fans, then I highly, highly recommend this course. You can check it out here.

The other single most important thing I did to get my email list to work for me was to transfer to convert kit. I have tried Mailchimp, MailerLite, and now Convertkit. Even if you are brand new, if you hope to turn blogging into your business, I suggest starting with convertkit. The features of convertkit blew me away when I first started with them and it has made email marketing a breeze.

Getting people to subscribe to your email list

As you start to build your blog or think about building your email list, you need to think about how you will get people to subscribe to your list. This will come through opt-ins/lead magnets on your site. Most people will not sign up just to get a newsletter from you. You need to earn the access into their inbox. Give them something of extremely high value for free and start proving yourself as an expert. 

  • Ask yourself these questions when deciding on your opt-in: What is a problem my reader has? How can I solve it?
    • For example, if you are in the parenting niche, a problem might be coming up with healthy family meals on a budget and the solution could be a list of 50 easy family meals under $10. This is extremely helpful because it is ready to use and solves a problem for your target audience.
  • Provide TONS of free value when creating an opt-in and make sure it attracts the people you want on your list.
  • You may want to look at your most popular post and figure out an opt-in that would fit with that post. This way you can try to capture the traffic that is already coming to your site.

Once you have your opt-in(s) ready, place your opt-in forms all around your site.

Use the header section, side bar, within your posts, at the end of your posts, right at the top of every page, and anywhere else that makes sense. Some people have great success with pop-ups and there are a lot of options to how you can do pop-ups, so you may want to play around with that. Just make sure to keep your readers experience easy and seamless without too many distractions or disruptions. If your site is hard to read, then your readers won’t stick around.

Lastly, make sure to email your list regularly.

If you are sending them great content, you don’t have to worry about being a nuisance. On the other hand, if you only email once every other month, you will be a stranger to your list and most people will not open your emails. One of the best ways to do this is to create email sequences in convertkit. A welcome series is a great way to foster the relationship with people when they first sign up.

Meera goes in depth on email creation in her course, Email Lists Simplified, and gives you an amazing outline that will make creating these sequences super easy.

No more staring at your screen or feeling overwhelmed at the thought of emailing your list. 

Top 5 suggestions for growing your email list

  1. Take Meera’s class
  2. Sign up for Convertkit or another email provider.
  3. Create an Opt-in for your most popular posts (something your audience needs and will solve a problem for them) My highest converting opt-ins are my free photography course, my free literacy development activities ebook, and my One Year to a Successful Blog Workbook.
  4. Email your list every week
  5. Get sign up forms throughout your site

Growing an email list is a daunting task at first, but having the right people on your email list can make all the difference for your blogging business. Reach out to me or comment below if you have any questions regarding email growth.

You can do this!

Jenna

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