One of the biggest regret that many bloggers have is that they didn’t start their email list sooner.
To be honest with you I’m in the same boat myself. It wasn’t until this blog that I started focusing on building an email list. Over the years I’ve let millions of visitors slip from my grasp. I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t plan on letting that happen anymore.
In this post want to talk about how to get your first 100 email subscribers. This is one of the biggest milestones of list building and if you can get 100 subscribers then there’s no end in sight.
When you first start blogging it can all seem so overwhelming. There are so many different strategies and tactics out there getting thrown into your face. It’s hard to tell what’s legit and what you need to avoid at all costs.
Some of the different strategies you try are going to fail. Others are going to work out for you in the end. What’s most important is that you continue along with your blogging journey and don’t give up when something goes wrong.
You might be wondering what this has to do with email marketing and building your list.
Trust me, when you first start trying to get new subscribers it’s going to seem impossible. It’s going to be a trickle at the beginning and you’re going to constantly wonder if you’re doing everything correctly.
This is normal and this post I want to share with you the steps I took to get my first 100 subscribers. You can use these steps as well and before you know it you’ll be building a list of people that want to read your latest content.
Let’s just jump right into it and take a look at how you can start building your list.
How to Get Your First 100 Email Subscribers: List Building 101
Still wondering how to setup your email list or why you even need one?
Open this post I wrote in a new tab, read it, and then come back to this one. Don’t worry – I’ll still be here.
Having your own email list is something you need to focus on right when you start blogging. It’s going to help you make more money and connect with your audience better than any other platform.
In this post I want to share with you the helpful strategies that I used to grow my own list to more than 100 subscribers. It’s still growing and I plan on building it up as long as I keep blogging.
With these strategies you should be able to start getting your first few subscribers right away. Over the next few days and weeks your list is going to grow into something you can be proud of.
Let’s get started shall we?
Step 1: Create Content That People Want to Read
The most important foundation of building your email list is focusing on creating helpful and engaging content. This means you want to build up your blog with blog posts that people actually want to read.
I hate to say it but most people aren’t interested in your daily stories.
I see too many bloggers writing about themselves and wondering why they’re not able to get any blog traffic or email subscribers. The reason is because they’re focused on themselves instead of helping others.
No one is going to read your content or sign up for your list if you’re creating content that nobody wants.
So how do you know what your audience wants to read?
For starters, take a look at some of the top blogs in your niche.
- What types of content are they producing?
- What information are they focusing on in their blog posts?
- What kinds of questions are they answering?
In your blog posts you want to be solving problems that your audience is experiencing. Try finding out what their pain points are and create content that helps them out.
As for creating good content there are a few strategies that you want to keep in mind.
Strive to provide as much information as possible in your blog posts. You want your content to view relevant to your audience. It needs to be informative or entertaining if you want people to read what you’re sharing.
I recommend coming up with 1500 to 2000 words before you hit that publish button. If you can’t come up with this much content then try to combine some blog posts. Anything too short isn’t going to provide the value that your readers are looking for.
This is just the first step of building your email list. It’s the single most important foundation of your blog structure and with great content it’s going to be easier to get subscribers.
Step 2: Start Driving Traffic to Your Blog
If you’re not doing so already you need to focus on getting blog traffic once you have some content up on your site.
Without traffic it’s going to be difficult for you to get any subscribers. Conversion rates for subscribers for most blogs are between 2% and 5%. This means that out of 100 visitors it’s likely that less than 5 of them will subscribe to your list.
The way to offset this somewhat low conversion is to drive as much traffic to your blog as you can.
How do you do that?
Start off by grabbing my super helpful blog traffic ebook down below. It comes packed with 25 actionable block traffic strategies that you can implement right away. Go ahead and download it then come back to this post.
When it comes to driving traffic I like to focus on two things – social media and search engines.
For social media you want to be sharing your blog posts where your audience is hanging out. This could be on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, or anywhere where people in your niche spend time online.
Personally, I’m a fan of Facebook groups. When used effectively they can drive hundreds of new visitors to your blog everyday without much effort. Feel free to take a look at my guide on how to drive traffic using Facebook groups.
The other thing you want to focus on for driving traffic is SEO, or search engine optimization. This is when you optimize your blog posts and website to show up higher in search engine results.
As a new blogger it’s difficult to get do SEO properly right out of the box. It also takes 6 to 12 months for SEO to kick in. This is why it’s a good idea to focus on social media when you’re first starting out.
At the same time you want to be implementing proper SEO techniques from the beginning. This way you can take advantage of search engine traffic in the future while you continue to work on your blog.
Feel free to check out my post on SEO tips for beginners for a more in-depth look at this strategy.
Step 3: Lead Magnets, Opt-Ins, and Freebies
From here on in I’m assuming about you’ve already signed up for an email marketing tool.
If not, I recommend going with MailerLite. Head on over to MailerLite.com to sign up and get everything ready if you haven’t done so yet.
You’re going to need a form as well as a automation workflow so that people visiting your blog can sign-up and enter your email series.
Once you have all of that ready to go you can now start to capture some subscribers.
The best way to get email subscribers is with something called a lead magnet (also known as a freebie or opt-in).
This is something that you offer your blog visitors in exchange for their email.
Try to think of something that your audience might want or that they would find useful. You want your lead magnet to be able to help your visitors out with one of the problems that they’re experiencing.
For example, in some of the posts I’ve written about driving traffic I include an eBook as the lead magnet. It comes with 25 different strategies for driving traffic and helpful checklist that makes the strategies easier to follow.
This is something that somebody looking for blog traffic tips might be interested in and likely to download.
Other examples of lead magnets include:
- Stock photos
- Templates and planners
- Swipe files
- Case studies
- Free email course
- Resource library
These are all different things that your audience might be interested in if it’s going to help them out. The reason why lead magnets work is because people don’t mind giving you their email in exchange for something that they’ll find useful.
Creating these lead magnets takes time but once you have them up on your blog they’re there forever. Try to come up with a few different ideas for opt-ins and freebies that you can offer your visitors. Then put up a few forms with whatever email marketing to order using and share the lead magnet you created.
This alone is a practical strategy that many bloggers overlook. Having a lead magnet is going to be more effective than simply relying on a “subscribe for updates” form placed randomly on your blog.
Step 4: Have More Than One Lead Magnet
Regardless of your blogging niche it’s a good idea to have a variety of different lead magnets.
People are visiting your blog looking for information. You want to have something available that each visitor can take advantage.
On some pages you might have a checklist while others might benefit from having a ebook or stock photos as the lead magnet.
Try experimenting with different opt-ins on different pages to see what happens. This will give you a better idea of the types of content that your audience is hungry for.
Having different lead magnets can also make it easier for you to develop a product in the future. Certain opt-ins are going to perform better than others so you’ll be able to tell where there’s a hole in the market that needs to be filled.
Yes, it’s going to take some extra time to make all of these lead magnets. It’s worth it in the long run once you start getting new subscribers everyday.
Step 5: Use Multiple Opt-in Forms on Every Page
Along with having a variety of different lead magnets you also want to have more than one opt-in on every page of your blog. Having a general one in your sidebar is a good start. However, these days people tend to ignore the sidebar so it likely won’t convert well.
On each blog post I recommend having 2-3 opt-in forms. You don’t have to use the same lead magnet in each form but it’s important that they’re on the page somewhere.
As for positioning, having an opt-in form in the introduction is an effective placement. Your next one should be halfway down the page.
You can also consider using a pop-up or a welcome mat although some people might find this annoying.
The more that your visitors see the lead magnet the more likely they are to sign up. You’re increasing your chances of getting new subscribers without having to do too much extra work.
I see that a number of bloggers have an opt-in form on the sidebar or on the top bar but nowhere else. This is a great way to never get any subscribers and make it harder for yourself to grow your email list.
Step 6: Guest Post on Other Blogs
There are two benefits of guest posting on other blogs when it comes to building your email list.
The first benefit is that you get a link back to your blog. This is going to help drive traffic to your website and give you better rankings on search engines.
The other benefit is that you can promote your lead magnets in your guest blog post. This exposes your lead magnets to a new audience that you might not otherwise have been exposed to.
Depending on the blog you’re guest posting on this can get you a number of new subscribers.
For this strategy to work effectively you want to make sure that you’re posting on blogs that get more traffic than yours. The access to a larger audience is what you’re after.
You might not able to include your own lead magnet in the guest post. In this case, make sure that there is at least one opt-in form on any page that you are able to link to.
This way there’s still a high chance that anybody visiting your site from the relevant blog you posted on is going to be interested in your lead magnet.
Step 7: Share your Lead Magnets on Social Media
After you’ve done all the work of creating your lead magnet it’s a good idea to go ahead and share it on social media. I recommend joining Facebook groups in your niche and sharing it in those groups whenever you’re able to.
This is going to bring visitors to your blog that are interested in your content, specifically the lead magnet. Since there is so many people participating in Facebook groups this can bring you a lot of new subscribers quickly.
If you’re active on Twitter you can share your lead magnet or highest converting posts there as well.
People are always looking for something that will help them out with their problems, especially if it looks like it’s full of valuable information. Twitter users in your niche will be more than happy to subscribe in exchange for an actionable lead magnet.
When you’re first starting out social media can be helpful in getting you your first 100 subscribers. I would recommend being active on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms until you start getting a suitable amount of search engine traffic.
So there you have it!
I hope that I’ve given you a few good ideas on how you can get your first 100 email subscribers.
With the different strategies and tactics that are covered in this post you should be well on your way towards building your email list. As long as you keep working at it you can have a decent list before you know it!
Be sure to stick around. I’ll be covering a lot of helpful email marketing tips and strategies here on the blog.
If you want to stay in touch feel free to join my Facebook group – the Blogging Den.
Otherwise, you can contact me if you just want to say hello!
One more thing:
Have you tried any unique strategies or different tactics to build your own email list?
Let me know down in the comments!