If you have been following this ‘how to make a blog’ series by now you will have:
- Found your niche
- Picked the best keywords
- Checked you could monetize your site via affiliate and digital products
- Chosen a domain name and reliable fast hosting
- Installed the tolls and plugins that generate income
- Written the best content you can which your visitors love
- Optimized your site for SEO
- Downloaded my free (no-opt in) SEO guide for publishing your blog posts (If you missed this you can download here: 12 Steps To Boost The SEO Of Your Blog Posts)
- Understood how to build backlinks…automatically
- How to market your blog
Now we want to move onto another way to generate income.
How To Make A Blog and E-mail Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand
If your aim is to generate an income via your blog, you’ll want to start an ongoing e-mail marketing campaign.
What is Email Marketing?
In simple terms you want to start building a database of email addresses that you can ‘market’ to.
But before you start thinking ‘marketing’ is just selling…it’s not!
We’ll discuss more later in this post.
But to start building your list of email address, you need to give something away in return.
Your blog visitors won’t just give you their email address – you have to give something of high quality and high value in return.
Your free giveaway could be an e-guide / a set of videos / some audios / your time / a review…
Whatever you decide to give away, it is paramount it is worth something to the visitor. You want to wow them with your free stuff!
Once you have created your free giveaway you want to start getting those emails and to do that you need to sign up with an email service provider like Aweber.
Once you sign up with such a service, you can design your lead capture box (i.e. the box where people give you their email address for your free giveaway), copy the code and place it anywhere on your blog.
When someone enters their e-mail address into your lead capture box they will automatically be sent a confirmation message to be “Can Spam” compliant.
By confirming, they will be added to your email list and the next email they receive should be a welcome message and details of how they access your free giveaway.
All this is automatic when you sign up with Aweber and add the ‘lead capture box’ code onto your blog.
Where To Place Your Lead Capture Design
In most cases, the lead capture box (also known as the opt-in box) is placed at the top of a sidebar. This is the prime spot.
Other places include:
At the bottom of every post
As a pop-up
What an Autoresponder Does
When you sign up with Aweber, not only can you capture emails and build your list, you can also set up an autoresponder series.
The autoresponder series allows you to set up a series of emails to be sent out to your list. Each email in the autoresponder series can be sent out ‘x’ number of days after the visitor signed up.
For instance, you could set up an autoresponder email ‘thanking them for downloading your free guide and ask them if they had any follow up questions’. You could automatically set this up to be sent out 5 days after a visitor opts-in.
That means no matter when someone joins your list, 5 days later they get the ‘thank you’ email.
Keeping your Subscribers
You can see how easy it is to build your autoresponder series. You could add 5 follow up emails or 105…it’s up to you.
But the problem is many bloggers abuse their list.
Don’t be one of them.
You should be able to quickly build a list of subscribers and once you have that list, remember those e-mail addresses are real people and you want to retain them by keeping them engaged, interested and coming back to your blog regularly.
E-mails can build relationships and trust – people buy from those they trust.
This is how you can build trust:
- Send out emails with at least 5 days gap
- Ensure you send advice type emails…following on from your great free giveaway
- Tell your list a bit about you – something that has happened to you
- Make the emails sound like you are speaking to your best friend
- Don’t send a ‘sales’ type email within the first 10 emails you send out
- After the first 10 emails, only send a sales type email for every 5 educational/advice/personal type emails
- Ask for their input within your emails – get a response and build relationships
As I say above, you can compose five autoresponder e-mail messages or 105…it doesn’t matter. Just be sure you follow the guidelines above.
Monitoring your List
Check on your e-mail list at least once a week to see how it’s growing and whether you’re getting an unusual number of unsubscribes which will be an indication that something is going wrong.
If you suspect you know what it is then fix it.
A useful feature of some autoresponder unsubscribe e-mails is people can leave a reason why they’re unsubscribing. Most people won’t, but if they do pay close attention.
Personally I hate it when I subscribe to someone’s list and dozens of e-mails arrived from people I’ve never heard of. I will unsubscribe to all of them.
It seems those words that go something like “we will never share or sell your e-mail address…” doesn’t mean a darn thing to some, and I’ve found that many internet marketers are guilty of sharing lists with their buddies, despite what the fine print says. Guess what, now I don’t trust them and I certainly don’t trust their friends!
So never be tempted to sell your list.
In the next post on the series, “How to make a Blog” we shall cover the topic of “building an effective squeeze page”
The previous blog posts in the ‘how to make a blog’ series:
Part Eight: How To Make A Blog: Perfect Your SEO Habits