The Money is in the List: How to Build a Profitable Email Community

Build an email list

Building an email list is one of the most under-utilized ways of making money from your blog. It is a lot of work to build and maintain, but the rewards are hugely beneficial not just to your wallet, but to your community. And you know, the stronger the community, the more money you will make anyways.

Most of the money you do make from creating these email lists are through affiliate links, but affiliate marketing will be talked about tomorrow.

If you were to ask an affiliate marketer what one of their biggest mistakes was when it came to making money through their blog, they would most likely say something like this:

The biggest mistake I made, and still regret today is how long it took me to build my email list.

The sooner you get around to starting your list the better. Unlike ad banners, a newsletter signup form is something you want on your blog from day 1. The more time you have a newsletter available, the more people who will join it.

But just because you have a newsletter doesn’t mean people will automatically signup and start making you money. You have to build that list of subscribers. The hard part isn’t building numbers up, it’s actually very straightforward to market your newsletter to your dedicated blog readers.

The hard part is building a list of readers who will actually take action and one day make you money from it.

Bulletproof Plan to Build a List

If you have never built an email list before, you may be a little intimidated by all of the options and possibilities there are to it. Most don’t know where to start, and most think all email marketing is is putting a signup form on a blog, writing some good content with some affiliate links, and making money just doing that.

There is so much more to it! Your list needs to compete with the other lists in your niche just like anything else on your blog. So, because of that competition I did my research. I even had a consulting lesson with a great email marketer myself who earns 4 figures a month from his newsletter.

This is the bulletproof plan for building an email list. It was what I was recommended to do, and what I have done for the very course you are reading now.

Step 1: Use Aweber

I’m telling you this right now: if you are serious about building a list you need to use Aweber (not an affiliate link). There is no other feasible alternative.

Aweber will cost you $19 a month ($1 for your first month), which is very affordable. The service Aweber offers is very professional, and the options are simple to use. Setting up an email campaign is a breeze, and even setting up your account is easy thanks to easy-to-follow walkthrough process Aweber has for all new customers.

If for some reason you don’t use Aweber to build your list, you can still follow these steps to build the best newsletter possible.

Step 2: The Opt-in Form

The opt-in form is just a fancy word for “signup form.” The way you present the opt-in form on your blog is important for how many people signup to your newsletter. A good opt-in form should have the following 3 characteristics perfected:

  • A high position, or a very noticeable spot on your blog
  • A beautifully designed form (don’t be afraid to create good-looking input forms and make them stand out).
  • A very short, but very powerful pitch explaining why someone needs to opt-in to your newsletter.

It also helps if you create a page and really write out what your newsletter is all about. A type of sales page but for your free content. Of course, slap a giant opt-in form right towards the top of that page.

Step 3: Offer an incentive too good to pass down

A simple newsletter is boring to most. People want more; give them a reason to sign up for more than just a 700 word email in their inbox every Sunday.

Offering things like a free eBook, a sneak peak to something big, or even a free web guide (sort of like From Planning to Earning) to get their interest.

But one thing that works surprisingly well is creating a free eCourse. As in, a “free 10 day course to help you make money blogging.” That’s what From Planning to Earning is, and that may be the reason why you’re reading this article now. It worked didn’t it?

Writing up a free eCourse is so beneficial because it keeps people from unsubscribing, and if by the end of the eCourse they’re satisfied with what they saw – they’ll stay on your newsletter. So when you start busting out the emails where you are promoting an affiliate product, they might actually listen up and buy it from you because they like you so much.

You can make your eCourse about anything that relates to your niche. As long as you teach people something, you can have a successful eCourse.

It is recommended you make your eCourse at least 5 days, or a full 7 day week. Blogussion just over-delivered and offered 3 extra days, but there is a lot to be said in this course.

Step 4: Setting Newsletter Patterns

If you decided to create an eCourse, which again – I cannot recommend enough, you have to worry about sending readers content once they are finished with your course. You should send out a newsletter at least once to twice a week, but no more. Never send subscribers too many emails.

It is important to create a kind of schedule for yourself in order to keep your readers happy and so they know what to expect. This is a pattern I recommend you follow for your own newsletters when you do send them out:

  • Week 1-2: Content
  • Week 3: Affiliate product
  • Week 4-6: Content
  • Week 7: Affiliate product

…and so on. You can even follow this pattern with your eCourse, but the main point is you always want to have more pure content emails than affiliate link emails. By following a process such as this one, you will have a list full of readers with a little more trust in you since they know what you will deliver.

An important thing to note, no matter how small your list is, ALWAYS promote an affiliate product (within the limits of your email patterns). You need to have a readership that knows what kind of content you will deliver, and how frequently you plan to deliver it. They won’t hate you for it, you will only hate yourself for not doing it.

Step 5: Market, Market, Market

You can never stop marketing your list and trying to make it bigger. The more awareness you can create about your newsletter, the more interest that will be shown in it.

It is important to make every single person who visits your blog know that you offer a free email newsletter, that you plan to teach them about something critical to their own well-being, and that you have this great incentive for them to join. Who passes that up?

Building your list is like building a powerful community on your blog. After all, the people who are in your newsletter are just one of the many communities that thrive in your blog. Continuously deliver quality content, and over-deliver every thing you produce.

The Money is in the List

There is no doubt that you can make great amounts of income from your list. I myself am still tapping into its full power, and I am making sure I’m doing more than I need to to make it a huge success for me.

Building a newsletter takes a long time and is not something you can just do in a single day. You may have to spend many days, even weeks to perfect it. In the case of Blogussion, about a month and a half. But it is going to do amazing things for the blog, and the way people perceive it as one of the best blogging tips blogs in the entire niche. And it can do the same for your own blog in your own niche.

How does Affiliate Marketing tie into a list?
Tomorrow, day 6, we are going to go over affiliate marketing. Affiliate links are basically how you make money from your list, and a confusing concept for many people to grasp. Affiliate marketing will be covered in both day 7 and 8, because we have quite a bit to say about them. See you tomorrow.