Why You Need An Email List Now If You Are A Blogger:
I typically get around 40-50% of my daily traffic from Pinterest. A few days ago for some random reason, my Pinterest traffic took a nose-dive.
I’m not sure what happened and it only lasted two days, but those two days were enough to shock me into action.
I’ve read over and over again that successful bloggers need to build their own email list.
However, I’m lazy (and short on time) and have been putting it off.
I know that ultimately my email list is the one source of traffic that is entirely mine.
As much as I love Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, I know I’m using leased property. If I violate their rules or do something stupid, they can easily kick me off.
Even if you follow the rules and don’t get kicked off, small algorithm changes can have a big impact on traffic. More and more of the social media companies are pushing for ad revenue and more bloggers are having to pay to play.
Organic traffic is dependent on the whims of Google, Bing & Yahoo and their SEO algorithms. I know a lot of bloggers that lost big time with the most recent Google Algorithm changes.
Because of these factors, I’ve focused a lot of my efforts on diversification recently. I’ve been gradually building my presence on Pinterest and Twitter and will be focusing on Facebook and Instagram next month.
I don’t want to have one main traffic stream that suddenly dries up.
I spent so much time focusing on the social media aspect that I ignored my most important traffic generator – me!
And by Me, I mean my email list.
My email list is 100% my property.
The more I grow my email list and market myself through personal content the more successful my blog is going to be.
I’m sure many of you are like me and have had tons of excuses for not building your list:
- Putting together an effective email campaign was a lot of work and very time-consuming
- I feel awkward emailing people and don’t want to be one of those bloggers who sent out the most annoying emails ever
- I wasn’t sure how to set up an effective drip campaign
- No promotional items to offer in exchange for email addresses
- I wasn’t sure how or even where to start – I think I had a bit of paralysis by analysis.
I’m sure most of you have similar lists.
I decided that all of my excuses were meaningless that it was time to take the plunge. I don’t want my traffic to be dependent on the algorithms of other companies.
In the past, I’ve used Mailchimp, which is a great platform for beginners. Your first 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month are free and their email templates are simple and easy to master.
I’ve loved their services, but to be successful with emails as a blogger it is necessary to be able to use drip campaign type systems.
Drip campaigns allow bloggers to automate their system and categorize their subscribers into different buckets based on interest.
So for example, on my personal blog Daily Successful Living, I write about Personal Finance, Parenting and Self-Development. I know that a lot of my readers are single people who have no interest in the parenting posts I share.
Why would I want to market parenting related information to people who aren’t interested in that content?
Yes, there is cross-over, but the crossover needs to be on my reader terms, not my terms.
By using a drip campaign system I’m able to segment my readers and in theory, provide content that speaks to them rather than filling their email box with useless information.
For work, we’ve been using a program call InfusionSoft. It is absolutely amazing, but at $250/ month way above my price range.
I did a ton of research and finally decided to try out a program called Convertkit. Although still slightly pricey at $29/month, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and try it out.
My current subscriber base on my personal blog is only 73 subscribers. I had a simple email subscriber box at the end of my content and am honestly surprised I’ve gotten that many subscribers in the last year. Of course based on the email addresses at least 1/2 of them are family and friends.
My theory is that if I can get that many subscribers with limited marketing and promotion, I should be able to double my numbers in the next 60 days.
I’ll let you guys know how it goes!
Here are the current steps I’ve taken to achieve my goal:
- Signed up for ConvertKit, watched a ton of videos and read articles on how to set up an effective drip campaign.
- I set up my email subscription button on my site. It is programmed to only pop-up after the reader has gone down 70% of the page.
- This pop-up will not show up for readers who have already joined my list.
- I was able to easily incorporate my site colors using Convertkit and with the Convertkit plugin had the opt-in and pop-up set up in less than 15 minutes.
- I’m in the process of redoing my 72-hour kit list which I’ll be offering to my readers as an incentive to provide their email.
- I’ll also develop a few additional checklists that match some of my more popular posts and do individual opt-ins for those pages with the relevant content.
- Eventually, I’ll develop a product that I can use as an upsell, but that is a few weeks down the pipeline.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. Am I missing any steps? Should I be looking at other email systems? Do you have any recommendation on free printable you would be interested in downloading?