Now, I know many bloggers don’t really intend to make a business out of their blogs. But even those bloggers want to connect with their followers and build a base of support in most cases.
Network marketers typically use their blogs to create some personal branding for themselves, and in the process, collects lists of highly qualified leads and prospects.
List Building on Your Blog
Probably the single most strategic aspect of blogging is list building.
Once you’ve attracted readers to your blog, you want to have an opportunity to build a deeper relationship with them. You do this on site, of course, in terms of the content you give them.
Let’s face it though. Most visitors are here today, gone tomorrow. So, you need to have a mechanism for following up with them.
Collecting their email address while they’re on your blog, ensures that you can continue a conversation with them, even after they’ve click away to something else.
The people who give you permission to email them by opting in to your invitation, become subscribers to your “List”.
What Do They Want?
Forget about what you want from your subscribers.
This is where many email marketers go wrong.
They start writing a bunch of emails to give their subscribers by going through this mental process:
- What do I want this guy or gal to buy from me?
- What can I say in my emails to make them know, like and trust me?
- What sort of subject lines will make them open my emails?
- How should I structure my messages to entice them to click on the links?
I give them (which will take them to some sort of sales page)?
This sort of thinking is all about you… the emailer.
Forget about what you want.
What do They want?
Maybe some things like this:
- Engage in conversation with someone who really cares about the struggles I’m experiencing.
- Obtain some good content that will really help me out.
- Develop a relationship with someone who I can trust.
- Be encouraged as I work toward my goals.
- Know that I’ll be making progress just by reading these emails.
- Look forward to the next step in my journey with a “tour guide” I’ve grown to like… almost a friend.
What Can You Give?
Give your readers the sort of content and messages that will make them feel like they’ve just made a friend, not turned on a commercial.
Engage with them, sincerely.
Let them know you have the same goals and desires they do.
Relate stories and accounts of how you’ve “been there” too, and the things you did to overcome your own struggles.
Assure them that their goals are not beyond their reach. You did it, they can to. This thing is “do-able”.
Show them that you will make the solutions to their problems simple enough, if they’re willing to listen carefully and take action.
Give your subscribers leadership, first and foremost.
- Valuable content
- Strategies they can actually implement
- Mentorship as they move forward
- Community they can connect with for continued support
Best Email Marketing Strategies for Bloggers
I think the first things bloggers ask themselves, when they actually get subscribers on their list, are these:
- What do I write in my email messages?
- How often do I send out messages?
- How long should the messages be?
- How do I ask them to buy stuff?
What do I write in my email messages?
Think of why they opted in to your list. What did you promise them?
There’s your answer. Whatever you promised to give them, now it’s time to do it. If you said “sign up for my free ebook about email marketing”, and they opted in… they want to know about email marketing. Don’t start talking about your business opportunity, or trying to sell them the latest, greatest Facebook marketing course.
That’s now what they asked for, so that’s not what you should be giving them.
To take it a step further, consider what the biggest challenges are for people who are looking for more information on your topic. What do they typically struggle with. Help them out with those things and they’ll look forward to opening your emails.
How often do I send out messages?
I was talking recently, to a copywriter who was making the point that stories are the best way to write to your email list.
I told him that I couldn’t write good stories, and that was why I only sent one email a month to one particular list.
Now once a month is crazy. You’ll never build a business emailing a list once a month. But this particular list was one I had decided to use the story-telling method with. Because I got severe brain freeze every time I tried to tell a story… I just put it off. Over the course of about 6 months, I realized I was only averaging one email a month to this group.
This “story” (hey, I just told one!) should tell you 2 things.
- Don’t try to write the way someone tells you to. Even if your way is not the “best proven way”, it is still your own voice. Use it. Be yourself and people will appreciate what you say far more than if you try role playing someone else.
- Don’t expect to build a business or earn commissions by sending one email a month. I will typically send my new subscribers an email a day for the first week they’re on my list, then maybe 3 a week for the duration of the first 2 months, then once or twice a week after that.
You can change that up, but the point is… email often, but don’t be ridiculous. People have other things to do than to read your emails.
How long should the messages be?
I know very successful email marketers who repeatedly send out messages that are 3 or 4 word doc pages long. I know others, equally successful, who send a paragraph.
The answer to length is, it should be as long as it needs to be to convey your message. That said, I don’t think too many people will read extremely long emails on a regular basis.
I like to make my message 3 to 8 paragraphs, with a maximum of 2 sentences per paragraph. That’s my comfort zone for relaying my message without boring folks to tears.
You need to establish your own comfort zone. That comes with practice, for sure, but also through testing.
Send long emails, short ones, medium ones… see which ones are the opened the most, receive the most click-throughs and convert best in terms of your target action (ie., making a purchase).
How do I ask them to buy stuff?
The email marketers I’ve worked with that struggle the most, are those who just can’t bear to ask people to buy stuff.
I don’t suggest you use your email list like an “ATM”. Remember what I said to start this article. Forget about what you want. What do they want?
Your subscribers want solutions to their problems and answers to their questions.
As often as you can supply GOOD solutions that are truly going to help them reach their goals, is the frequency with which you can and SHOULD ask them to buy something.
If your solutions are good (make sure they are), and if they will help your subscribers reach their goals (make sure they can), it is your obligation to offer these products and services for sale.
Your subscribers want you to come up with answers, and they’ll be willing to pay for them if they are serious about achieving their goals.
If you withhold these solutions because you’re too timid to ask for the sale, then email marketing may not be the best method for you to employ in your business or on your blog.
If, on the other hand, you get excited about being able to help your subscribers along the way by offering them products and services you know will serve them well, then you are well positioned to build a super business by building a list on your blog, and employing the email marketing strategies I’ve just outlined for you.
Need some help with any of this?
Struggling to turn your blog into a thriving business?
(I promise it’s not what you think).
How big a part of your blog or online business is email marketing? What strategies have you found useful, or what challenges have you run up against?
I’d love to hear your comments below, and thanks from the bottom of my heart for your social shares 🙂