Your blog can be a powerful engine that gets you email subscribers and helps you rock your business goals.
Yet many (if not most) bloggers struggle to build their email lists. If you’re one of them (as I was for YEARS), you may be making these mistakes.
Avoid them and watch your email list grow daily.
1. Writing random blog posts without an end-goal in mind.
When you build an email list, you want to attract a list of people who are potential customers – people who really need what you are offering.
Your blog posts are a great way to draw interest – but if you are drawing interest to things that don’t connect to your business offerings, you’re doing a lot of work without getting a return. And that sucks.
Do you write random blog posts just for the sake of “getting something up there”? If so, stop. Every post you write should have a purpose.
When every post connects to your larger business goals, the email addresses you get will be from people who really care about what your business is offering.
2. Not having opt-ins that are directly tied to your blog posts.
Many bloggers fail to get email subscribers for an easily fixable reason – they don’t create opt-ins that are directly tied to their blog posts.
Here’s what I mean: I recently read a blog post about how to use Scrivener to blog. And at the bottom of the post, the writer offered the template he uses to blog with Scrivener. I immediately opted-in, and am happily using the template for this very post.
If he hadn’t offered that template, but instead, offered a vague opt-in offer like a PDF of “10 Ways to Become a Better Blogger”, I would probably have passed. But because the opt-in was addressing the EXACT SAME topic as the blog post, I didn’t even think twice before subscribing.
(Also, having a “subscribe to get all of my posts by email” sign up form doesn’t cut it these days. You need to give them something they can ONLY get by subscribing to your list. But you probably knew that already.)
Do you take the time to create specific opt-ins for each of your posts? If not, you may be losing a lot of potential subscribers.
3. Failing to factor opt-ins into your editorial calendar.
When you write your editorial calendar (and if you do, you are miles ahead of most bloggers already), do you include opt-ins? Or do you just list out your blog topics?
Even if you have every intention of creating specific opt-ins for each post, if you don’t actually put them on the calendar, you won’t end up creating them. (Believe me, I share this from personal experience.)
So when you sit down to write your editorial calendar, put the opt-ins in as well as your blog posts. That way, when you sit down to write your next post, you’ll already have created an opt-in gift that you can easily offer at the end.
4. Jumping all over the place with your blog topics.
Writing about all sorts of different things makes it REALLY HARD to have a specific opt-in for every blog post. Because, let’s face it, creating opt-in gifts takes a lot of time and energy.
What if you could use THE SAME targeted opt-in gift for multiple blog posts? Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Well, you can, if you write your blog posts in clusters that focus on the same topic for a few weeks or a month at a time. Then you only have to create one opt-in gift for a handful of posts, instead of making a new one each time.
5. Putting too much pressure on yourself to create the PERFECT opt-in gift.
If you’re like I used to be, you make each opt-in gift with great care and deliberation. It sometimes takes you hours to create the perfect PDF worksheet for your blog readers.
Even as I write this, I feel a gnawing sense of unease, thinking about all of the hours I spent creating opt-in gifts that looked beautiful but took me WAY TOO LONG to create.
If you put pressure on yourself to create the perfect opt-in gift, you will dread making them. And you won’t want to create different ones tailored to each post.
So instead of trying to make your opt-ins perfect, try to make them usable instead. You don’t have to create a gorgeous PDF every time. Why not make a Google Doc that they can fill in, instead? It’s way more usable. Or make a quick video tutorial without doing heavy editing, or an audio-file of your post?
You can also make a template on Canva or whatever design program you use that you can reuse for each opt-in gift. That way, you can ensure that your gifts are beautiful, easily recognizable as yours, and don’t take hours to create.
Then create a page containing all of your opt-in gifts so that you don’t have to make a special flow each time you put up a new opt-in. How’s that for an answer to the dreaded opt-in setup time suck?
6. Having too many calls to action.
I’m sure you’ve read this MANY times before, but I feel like it needs repeating.
Your post should only have ONE call to action. That’s ONE thing that your readers should do when they are done reading your post. If you ask them to make a comment, send you an email, contact you, and opt-in for an awesome worksheet, they will most likely do none of the above (or default to the easiest option).
If you really want people to join your email list, make that the only call to action. They will be far more likely to actually do it.
To get more email subscribers:
1. Make sure that each post has a specific purpose.
2. Have a specific opt-in gift for every post.
3. Put your opt-ins on your editorial calendar.
4. Write about the same topic for multiple posts so that you can reuse your opt-in gifts.
5. Simplify your opt-in gift creation process.
6. End with ONE call to action.