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!
Over 6000 people have downloaded my free ‘step-by-step blogging guide’.
The e-guide has over 90 pages of text, screen shots and videos and the feedback has been great.
You can get your copy by providing your details below.
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
Great Idea – Half way down your side bar – so visitors see it again as they scroll down
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 One: How To Make A Blog: Getting Your Niche Right Is Crucial
Part Two: How To Make A Blog: Finding The Best Keywords For Your Chosen Niche
Part Three: How To Make A Blog: Monetizing with Affiliate Products
Part Four: How To Make A Blog: Monetizing with Digital Products
Part Five: How To Make A Blog: Choosing a Domain Name and Hosting
Part Six: How To Make A Blog: The Tools I Use To Make A Full-Time Income
Part Seven: How To Make A Blog: Are you Content with Your Written Content?
Part Eight: How To Make A Blog: Perfect Your SEO Habits
Part Eightb: How To Make A Blog: 12 Steps To Boost The SEO Of Your Blog Posts
Part Nine: How To Make A Blog: How To Get Hundreds Of Backlinks Every Day
Part Ten: How To Make A Blog: How To Market Your Blog To Generate Income?
Very useful, however I missed the blog about “how to build backlinks automatically”, is this located in part 9? Just wanted to read it. Also, check your code…at the comment section on this page, there is a lot of garble where you put your twitter name. Thought I would let you know.
Yes part 9 covers back linking.
I couldn’t see any problems with the Twitter area.
Great article. But to build an e-mail list one needs lots of traffic first. I am focusing on building traffic, got any articles related to that.
I agree, the more traffic the better but also the sooner you start building your list the better.
Many web owners wish they started to build their lists much earlier than they did.
All previous parts in this ‘how to make a blog’ series has an effect on traffic.
Interesting article as I’ve haven’t tried email marketing up to know. From what I’ve seen this method looks pretty lucrative if you use the right techniques. Nevertheless, I think that we should first focus on SEO to bring traffic and then to monetize it with email marketing.
You may want to read my response to Barry – above.
When building a list for email marketing purposes, it’s important to respect your subscribers. It’s just as easy for them to un-subscribe. Keep all communication relevant to a particular topic and segment the list if necessary. Once you have subscribers, the goal is to keep them, and to keep them engaged.
Man how much you’re right when you say that many bloggers abuse their list, 90 percent probably? Just to push products or affiliate links?
That’s why I’m always been more or less against having a list outside the normal advising on new posts; but given the road big G has taken slashing everyone it doesn’t agree with it’s probably a good idea to develop a list just in case your site gets caught and slashed to pieces. Just in case.
Great idea to put a second subscribing box half the sidebar, I’ll do it now. 🙂
Start a list and be in the 10% that don’t abuse it.
I see you have added the second subscribe box – excellent.
Hi Andrew, thought I’d stop by and learn a thing or two. I’ve downloaded your free 12 step check list, so looking forward to some great top-notch advice.
Any feedback on the SEO report would be great.
You can also use your autoresponder to create a step by step tutorial. One thing you can do if you don’t want to create an entirely separate digital product is you can create a series of blog posts. Your blog posts can be a step by step tutorial. Then you set up your autoresponder to send out a link to each post in the series in a step by step manner.
That’s a great idea on how to use your autoresponder.
You culd always segment your lists as well. I have numerous ‘blog posts’ series on different subjects so I could invite my main list to join a segmented list as well.
Once you are able to gauge if the campaign was effective or not, you need to either maintain or improve the strategy. Scrap ineffective techniques and maintain or develop the good ones.
Couldn’t agree more with the importance of building an email list and KEEPING it. A solid subscriber base is a priceless asset for any business.
Thanks for sharing Andrew!
Even though list building takes time, you will gain much more in the long run. It is a solid foundation for your evolving business. You should ensure that you will get quality contacts which is vital for growth in the long run.
Building an email list is very hard for me and it takes a long time to do it especially if you only have a handful of traffic to start with. I’ll be spending most of my time on building relevant traffic before I get into building my e-mail list.
I have missed lots of your “how to make a blog” series. What intrigues me most right now is how to build backlinks automatically. I guess I’ll have to start reading them all! Thanks for sharing!
Personally I would build your list frmo day one – no matter how much traffic you are getting. Creating the sign-up process is aone off piece of work…getting traffic is always on-going.
I hope you like the ‘how to make a blog’ series!
Hi, Yeah some people are abusing autoresponder. And it appears spam and annoying. Instead you develop their trust and relationship it may end up of hating your site. Thank you dude, very inspiring and lots of juice.
Good commentary on managing email list.It is very essential to send email with regular interval and your power of communication should be so strong that they should wait for your next email.
It’s a big help that the SEO is free to download. Much cheaper for us to the ones who is just in a good start of making blogs. I am so curious, How would you know whom to trust with? One of the biggest problems of bloggers.
Now that’s a completely different subject!
A few things spring to mind:
Do they have a contact page?
Do they have an ‘about page’ with pictures of themeselves?
Do they use a real image for their gravatar?
Do they respond to comments?
Is the blog updated regularly?
Of course they could do all this and still be out to ‘scam’ you!
Email marketing is important but link building is more important than email marketing. Through link building we can increase traffic.Building an email is very difficult for me as I don’t have any experience in it.
I think they are both important.
Backlinks = traffic.
List = relationships and increase in income.
One is not good without the other.
i am also dislike trust…
because this is the most dangeous thing in this world
Very powerful tips to make a good online community.By adopting all of your tips a visitor can be changed into customer.
To make a list it very necessary to have something for the visitors and there is no alternative to unique knowledge.