Your primary reason to build a list is to build relationships. If all you do is write to everyone on your list with an offer to buy whatever the product of the day is, people will get tired of hearing from you and possibly hit the unsubscribe button. You need to send out information that is valuable to your readers and makes them look forward to your emails. It does not mean that you can never make offers to them. In fact, that is one of the main purpose of your list. You want to create products that will either help solve your customers problems, or entertain them.
When the product is intended to solve a problem and it does what it says, people will gladly want to buy that product. That type of service makes your subscribers look forward to your email. Your open rate will go and stay high if you have a market hungry for the next thing you have to offer.
Some Steps to Kick Off Your List Building
Simply adding a “sign up” box to your website probably won’t be hugely successful. Everyone I know gets way to many emails to just give you their email address. Offering something that will help them can do the trick. I don’t mean junk, that will ruin your chances of developing a good customer relationship with them. You need to wow them and make a great first impression. Let me give you an example. If you are an expert on making jewelry, offering a special technique or trick you use would be enticing to other who want to learn how to make jewelry.
Once someone has signed up, you want to send regular emails to them to continue to build your relationship with them as well to stay in front of them. If you ignore your list, they will forget all about you and likely unsubscribe when you do send something to them. You don’t want to be too aggressive, but you need to find the right balance for your particular list. In the beginning, a rule of thumb I have heard is to send to your list weekly. If you have something exciting you want to tell them about, you can send a broadcast in between.
Getting things in place to start
Lets start at the very beginning. The first thing you will need is a website for your business. WordPress .org makes that really affordable. First you will need to get a hosting company for your website. I have two favorites. Bluehost lets you host unlimited domains for $5.95 per month. I really like them, but I do have to tell you that the tech help they offer is a bit limited. The other hosting company I recommend is MomWebs . They offer great tech help and specialize in providing support to tech challenged people. They are a little more expensive, but they are worth it. I recommend that whatever hosting service you choose, buy your domain name through them as well. It will save you time and effort. You can literally purchase your domain name from them and install WordPress in a flash. Five minutes and you are up and running.
The next step is to sign up with a good email marketing company. I love AWeber because they are considered by many of the teachers I have had to be the best. They offer all the services you will need, including templates, auto-responders, email newsletter templates, list management, and more. There are free services, but they have a limit on the number of subscribers you can have. The problem with that is you can not easily switch providers because they all require a double opt in process. They cannot accept a list form another service because they have to have record of the opt in requirement. If you have to ask your current subscribers to opt in again because you switched providers, you will like lose a substantial part of your list.
I know that if you are just getting started, it may seem too early to start working on building your list. The truth is it is never too early to build your list. As you build your website, you should put your opt in in your sidebar from the very beginning. If you are just starting, here is a short video that will help walk you through getting your website up and running. The opt in box will go in the widget area.
Using Blogger Blogs
One of the best things I like about blogger is the fact that it is a free platform. You can’t get much better than free. So you probably are asking yourself, should I use blogger and why? Well I can definitely say you should use it. Lets cover the positive and negatives of Blogger.
First of all, blogger is free which we already mentioned. Second is that its operated by Google. With that being said you know it can definitely rank for terms. It is alsofast to set up. Blogger blogs can make you just as much money as a regular wordpress blog. I have been using blogger now for a couple of years, and I can tell you that they can rank just as well as wordpress sites. The other great part is that a lot of people have made custom themes for Blogger.
What are the downsides of using Blogger as your content management system? Blogger is not the easiest to customise. You have quite a bit less control than you would with wordpress, and you are starting fresh with each new blog, so you can’t start like you would with a preowned domain. This is what will tend to put you in a sandbox state for a while when you first get your blog going.
There are other uses for Blogger, and here is what I would suggest should you decide you want to go the blogger route. You can always build blogger blogs and if they seem to fail, you can use them to give links to your other sites. Not all blogs will be 100% successful in terms of making money. So if this is the case, you may want to just test the waters until you find a niche that you can work and make money with.
Since blogger is free I would tell anyone that wants to get into blogging, but isn’t sure if they want to jump full fledged into it to go ahead and test out the free tools like blogger first. Then make a decision.