Want to create an email list for your blog?
If you’ve been blogging for a while now or even just got started, you probably hear this …”the money is on the list!”
I know it sounds like a broken track record already but here’s the thing – if you really want to grow your blog and turn it into a business, your number one asset is your email list.
Why do you need an email list?
Hear me out on this. If you have an email list of people, you found your tribe and yes, you own it. Unlike social media channels where you didn’t have any control, Facebook or Twitter can shut down anytime soon or change algorithms but you can’t do anything about it. Right?
Another thing, when you have people on your list, it is the best and direct way to communicate with your audience on a more personal level.
Just to be clear, I am not referring to an “RSS Email Subscription.” That is when someone signs up to receive an email every time you post, with the actual post in it. I am talking about an actual Newsletter subscription. This is an email that you create and is sent out to people signed up for your list. They are totally different. Okay?
When you create a newsletter, it’s as if you’re handpicking who you’d like to reach. You get to be specific about how someone opts in, unlike social media. It’s proven that newsletters help you gain more traffic and are more likely to take action on your offer. Meaning, they sign up for your freebie, buy your products, and so on.
Choosing an email marketing provider
There are a ton of platform out there, but for the sake of the sake of this post I’m gonna recommend what worked for me.
I’m currently using ConvertKit, this is not free but it was the BEST investment that I’ve ever made ever since. It is very easy to use, straightforward, ton of functionalities, great support.
To help you decide, here’s a comparison post on MailChimp vs. ConvertKit features.
When choosing your email marketing platform, consider these:
- Is the platform easy to use?
- Does it have the functionalities that you need?
- Does it have a landing page? *this is a huge bonus in ConvertKit
- Will it help you grow your email list is many ways?
- Does it provide great support?
- Will it help you strategize with your list?
Create a Newsletter for your blog
Before you create your newsletter, you need the following:
- A blog (here’s a guide to help you set it up in 20 minutes!)
- Email marketing platform (such as ConvertKit)
- A way for people to subscribe
- An Email subscription
P.S. I highly recommend you to focus on the item #3 because you need to have some sort of a freebie for people to subscribe to your list. For example, below is my 15-page planner where people can download so they can track their blogging progress.
Setting up your newsletter
Stick with me right here, I’m gonna help you get everything up and running. If you think I miss anything, please feel free to drop a comment below so I can get back to you. 😉
First off, sign up to ConvertKit so you can follow the next steps
If you already have a list, you can easily import them later.
2. Create a form
Next, go over to “forms.” Here, we’ll create a form where readers can sign up. On the top right, click ‘Create form‘. Then click “a form” .
3. Next, decide on what kind of form style you want.
4. Next, you’ll get a preview of what your form will look like. So click on “Settings” to edit the content of the form.
5. Create an incentive
Click on “Incentive Email” on the left side. If you want to send someone a cheatsheet, ebook, or anything downloadable, you can do this by uploading it inside ConvertKit.
You can then choose to embed the form inside your blog (so that users can sign up) or utilize the Convertkit WordPress plugin to embed the form on your site.
If you don’t want to create an incentive, just unclick “send incentive/double opt-in email to confirm new subscribers” and no such email will be sent. Instead, you’ll just collect the email addresses.
Anytime you want you can edit the style and the information inside the form. Create a tag to easily organize your subscribers. Click “Subscribers” at the top. Then click “add a tag.”
6. Create a tag
I have tags for all sorts of subscribers, based on how they subscribed. For example, in the form above I have “email-cheatsheet” tag. This is my favorite feature of ConvertKit as it helps you organize your subscribers based on their interest and needs.
7. Create Automations
Once you create a tag, you’ll go to “Automations” to create a rule. Once someone signs up for a form, we want to add a trigger rule that adds a tag based on the form that the subscriber sign up. Here’s what the rule looks like when someone signs up to receive my email cheatsheet.
8. Send Email to your Subscribers
Now that you have everything setup, it’s time to send your first email! Simple click on “Broadcast” then “new broadcast” and choose who you want to send the newsletter to.
Then compose your newsletter. To make sure everything is working properly, send yourself a test email.
ConvertKit released a new feature called: AB testing – this is amazing because you can analyze what subject lines your subscribers want and make them open your emails.
Use the “modern” email template to make your emails readable and use the “personalize” feature to directly address your subscriber name instead of generic “friend” which doesn’t make them connected to you.
Then hit the “Send Broadcast” button or you can “schedule the broadcast”, to have it sent at a specific time.
Make sure to look at reporting for how your email did (open rate, unsubscribes, number of clicks) directly inside each broadcast.
That should be it! This post is jam packed of everything that you need to create your newsletter using ConvertKit. I want EVERY blogger/business owner to know how to do this because it is SO important!
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