Expand Your Platform by Growing Your Email Subscriber List
Guest Blogger: Michael Hyatt
For an author, one thing is becoming increasingly important in today’s publishing world.
It’s a PLATFORM. Don’t get me wrong, great content is still primary but great content + a great platform is the recipe for success that you really need.
Publishers are demanding it and even if you’re considering self-publishing, you still need a platform if you expect to get seen or heard.
So let me say this… stop worrying about growing more traffic for your blog or website. You only need to focus on growing one thing—your subscriber list. Why? Because your subscribers are your hardcore fans; they are your brand evangelists. They are the difference between growth by addition and growth by multiplication. Here are a few tips.
7 Strategies for Growing Your Email Subscriber List
1. Generate content worth reading.
I’ve said it before, but I can’t emphasize it enough. No one will subscribe to anything they don’t want to read. You have to write quality content—and leave readers wanting more
2. Use a dedicated list subscription system.
You can use Google’s free FeedBurner service. In fact, I do use that for RSS. But it doesn’t provide the same level of control you get with paid services like MailChimp or AWeber. I use MailChimp. It’s a little pricey, but I love the control.
3. Make your sign-up form highly visible.
At the very least, it should be “above the fold” (on the upper half of the page) preferably in the righthand sidebar. Take a look at how the sign-up form is positioned on the CopyBlogger or ProBlogger sites.
4. Offer an incentive for subscribing.
This is where creativity comes in. A good example is Hugh MacLeod, who draws cartoons. When his doodles became popular, he started expanding his reach through his blog, gapingvoid. If you subscribe, you get to start five mornings a week with “Hugh’s Daily Cartoon” absolutely free. Hugh describes it as “a wee chuckle in your inbox, to start your day off on the right foot (so to speak).” This “free” concept was huge for me. I wrote an e-book called Creating Your Personal Life Plan and offered it free to anyone who would sign up. If you want to consider doing something similar, you could start with a series of posts you have written. Just format it as an e-book.
5. Design a branded e-mail template.
For my purposes, I hired a developer to design an e-mail template in MailChimp. If you do the same thing, remember it is important that the branding elements match your blog. Built-in social media buttons are a must, so people can share your posts with their friends and followers. You want your subscribers to feel they are getting a high-quality product.
6. Follow up with your subscribers.
I use MailChimp’s auto-responder feature to send out a welcome message after they confirm their subscription. This is where you thank them for subscribing and tell them what to expect. After three weeks, send out another message, again thanking them and inviting them to share your posts with their friends. By this time, hopefully, they have found value in what you write.
7. Remind your readers to sign up.
My pop-up disappears after the first three times a reader visits. (I think it gets annoying after this.) I recommend you insert a sign-up form at the bottom of each post. This serves as a reminder once they have finished reading the post. It may take some people several posts before they get comfortable subscribing.
Do you have an email list? Are you maximizing your opportunity with it?
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Michael Hyatt is not only one of the top bloggers in the world, he is also the Chairman and former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He knows publishing inside and out, and what it takes for an author to create a platform that matters (he’s done it himself).
Check out his new book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Michael is currently offering a special in which he is offering valuable bonuses if you order the book by May 25th.