For the next month I will spend a lot of my time reasearching about how to build an email list and making it happen. Go away distractions! ;)
Why? Because I don't have a good email list now, certainly not one with a critical mass of subscribers. I know I need one. I had an "ah-ha" moment recently as an SEO person.
If you have a good responsive list then you can fire your SEO person. Think about that. It's huge!
So often I've read posts by very successful people that say if they had it all to do over again they would have started their email lists sooner.
Sorry to report that the email list journey is a walk on a very hard, rocky road. Having said that, there is an expensive way to build an email list. You can use Google Adwords. This would involve spending a few thousand dollars. I realize that most of us don't have that much money to invest.
But I will use Adwords to some extent because I believe so strongly in a lists's long term value and I have some money to put into the effort. I also think that, in general, the quality of a subscriber who comes through your blog or website is much higher than an Adwords subscriber.
By the way, I do not believe that Twitter followers can substitute for an email list unless you have alreeady achieved guru status. In other words, for 99.9% of us, Twitter is not equal.
Like most things that are worthwhile, building a good email list is certainly not an easy task. But don't let that scare you away since this might be your one and only chance to become self-sufficient on the Internet.
I know the basic routine about building a list. But I want you to realize that building the list is essentially two tasks: 1) setting up your autoresponder to deliver your messages; 2) finding targeted people who want information about your niche and then getting them to put their email address into the all-important email form to subscribe.
These are separate tasks. The first is technical and can be accomplished rather quickly. The second takes a little longer.
Here is a short list of the things you need to do to try to create a good responsive list.
1. But a domain name and set up a hosting account.
2. Rent an autoresponder (Awever and Constant Contact come to mind)
3. You must offer your website visitor a reason to hand over his/her valuable email address and join your newsletter. If you have a lot of people who already trust you (think big numbers of blog comments) your content may be enough to get them to sign on. More likely, you will need to entice the visitor with an eBook or report as a reward.
4. You must set up a landing page, a "squeeze" page that hands over the eBook and puts the person on the email list. This is where you put your "opt-in" form.
5. Then you must advertise the fact that you want people to join your newsletter email list. Usually you do this on your blog or website but you could use social media sites like Twitter if you know how to do it without being shunned for over-selling.
6. That is the easy part. Now you must figure out a way to bring in a lot of people to your blog or website.
So, it looks easy, right. No way. It might take you a year to obtain a few hundred subscribers. Some people do that much faster. I will be writing about various ways to attract subscribers in the future.