I don't need an email list..... said no one ever.
Seriously, if you aren't building an email list for your business, what are you waiting for?
Email marketing is crazy effective. Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn't wait another day to start building your email list:
A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook
Email is 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter
You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet
An average of 4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media. (Above stats pulled from this article)
Email marketing works.
Notice how stores ask for your email address at checkout?
Email Marketing Conversion Rates
Average conversion rates for email marketing are ~ 1-5%
What does this mean? It means if you have an email list of 1,000 subscribers, 10 to 50 subscribers will make a purchase via your email marketing message. (Note, email marketing is most effective when a special discount is offered).
You run a sale and send an email to your list.
You expect to make $100 from each conversion (based on average order value (AOV) or cost of your single product)
If your email list has 1,000 subscribers and your conversion rate is 3% you can expect your sales driven by that email to be $3,000
( Subscribers x conversion rate ) x sale price
(1,000 x .03) x $100 = $3,000
Not too shabby for a single email, eh? And your ROI should become consistent once you've figured out what emails convert best with your audience. Remember, the same 3% of customers don't have to convert each time (although repeat buyers are a +++++) a different segment of customers could convert each month for a year and you'll still have customers who haven't purchased from you yet. I say this because business owners are often afraid of sending too many emails and annoying their subscribers but most sales don't happen until a subscriber has been contacted a few times.
How to build your email list
Put a signup form on your website
Create a pop up box signup form
Include a signup form in your blog posts
Put a signup form on your Facebook page
Collect email addresses at vendor events
Which email platform is right for you?
As your business grows you'll need more capabilities. You'll want to automate your email sequences, segment customers into groups, tag to customers based on an action, etc.
You need an email system that can help scale your business quickly.
If blogging is your main business I recommend Convertkit. You'll be able to create a separate email sequence for each of your opt-ins and move people between sequences easily.
If you own an online shop or other business give Aweber a try. They have hundreds of attractive templates for your website and brand. They also offer a 30 day free trial!
* This blog post contains affiliate links. I only share products and services I've verified and/or use in my business.
Blogging changed my life. I never thought I could grow a blog to six figures in a year, but I did it and the freedom of working from home is amazing. If you own an online business and you aren't blogging, you should be.
Straight-to-the-point steps for starting a profitable blog
Step 1 - Choose a niche
Decide what you will blog about. Choose something you are knowledgeable and passionate about.
Step 2 - Start your blog
In order to start a blog that will make a full-time income you need to have your own website. Skip blogger/blogspot and create something you own and have control over. There are many options out there for starting a blog. I use Squarespace for mine. Wordpress is suggested by many professional bloggers but it will take some time to learn the platform.
Squarespace is easy to use. Cost is $12 - $18 per month
You can start a blog on Wordpress for $2.95 per month
When you start a Wordpress website you have to choose a hosting platform. You can start your website with Bluehost for as low as $2.95/month and you get a free custom domain.
Step 3 - Create Content + Share your content.
Start writing blog posts relevant to your niche. Share your posts on social media using relevant descriptions and keywords. My favorite place to share my blog posts in Pinterest- my content receives 30,000 impressions each day on Pinterest.
Every blog post you write should have a few key components: an attention-grabbing headline, an eye-catching photo, valuable content, actionable tips and at least one call to action.
Step 4 - Build your Audience
When someone visits your blog, you need to keep them interested. There is so much content on the internet and someone could easily visit your blog, read a post, leave and never come back again. Building an email list ensures you can stay in touch and continue to offer value to your audience. The most effective way to quickly build an email list is to offer something of value for free in exchange for an email address. This could be a digital download, ebook, coupon code or something else your audience would want to snag. Embedding an email signup form is a great way to capture emails and automatically send a freebie to each person when they subscribe. Convertkit is the email system I use and I highly recommend it. Convertkit's capabilities helped me grow my email list to 20,000 targeted subscribers in only 6 months.
Step 5 - Monetize your blog and business
If you are going to be in the business of blogging- you have to treat it like a business. Monetize your blog with affiliate marketing, digital products and online courses. Every person who signs up for your email list should automatically be put into a sequence of valuable emails followed by an automated sales email. A percentage of your audience will convert and purchase whatever it is you are selling. Again, Convertkit can help you automate all your email marketing.
Start a blog for less than $100
Host your website with Bluehost and get a free domain - as low as $2.95 per month
Start building your email list. I use and recommend Convertkit for $29 per month
Create a digital product or online course. I use and recommend Teachable's basic plan for $39 per month
Total cost to start a blogging business - $70.95
* This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through my link. I only promote products and service I have verified and/or use in my business.
This is my first blog. Coming into the blogging world, I never expected to grow my income so quickly. I educated myself a ton before diving in and it definitely paid off. Before this I owned multiple businesses. A wedding rental boutique, an online boutique, an etsy shop... in fact, I still sell on etsy and in an online shop.
I didn't want to stop at online selling. I believed that I could find a way to bring in multiple streams of income online. I educated myself like crazy. I did constant research and invested thousands in online courses.
If you own an online business and you aren't blogging, you should be.
If you think it's impossible to make money from a blog, you're wrong.
I'm doing it. Five months into my business I hit my first $8k month. Since then it's continued to grow.
The key to successful blog?
Create content. Create valuable content. And never stop creating valuable content. I have several free downloads available on my site. I offer free online courses. I write informational blog posts and tutorials that are valuable to my audience. It's important to give value to your audience so they come back to your blog, share your content, and subscribe to your email list.
Where does the money come from?
My business has multiple income streams. I make money from affiliate income, digital products/courses and physical products.
How to monetize your blog
By month 6 of my business I had grown my affiliate income to about $3k/mo and it has continued to be consistent. Affiliate marketing continues to make up about half of my monthly income.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote products and services on your website. When someone clicks your affiliate link and makes a purchase through that unique link, you make a commission of the sale. Promotion may be done through relevant banners/ads or in a blog post about the product/service. The key to affiliate marketing success is promoting relevant, high-paying affiliates.
Digital downloads such as ebooks, printables, fonts, and stock photos are a great way to add an income stream to your business. The best thing about digital products is once it's created you continue to make money from it. This passive income model is a time saver. With the right systems in place, you can make digital sales on autopilot while away from your computer.
If you own an online shop, I suggest connecting it with your blog. Use your blog to drive traffic to your store or feature your products directly on your blog with a buy it now button. Starting an online boutique or dropshipping business are both great ways to make an income online.
The online education industry is blowing up. The online learning industry brought in $107 billion in 2015. It has continued to increase and is projected to triple within the next decade.
You can create your own online course. You have something to teach. You have a skill others wish they had. Creating your own online course is arguably the most successful way to monetize your blog. I use Teachable for creating online courses and highly recommend it.
How I quickly grew my blog income
Monetizing your blog is only one step of turning your blog into a business.
You also need people to read your blog. You need to grow your blog traffic and you have to continue giving your audience valuable content.
Growing your traffic
It's not just about getting traffic. It's about getting the right traffic. You have to attract your audience. The majority of my traffic comes from Pinterest. Pinterest has done amazing things for my business and I now get 30,000+ impressions on Pinterest each day!
Building your audience
Once someone stumbles onto your website, you need to keep them. Building an email list gives you a way to stay in contact with your people. Offering freebies in exchange for an email address is a great way to build your list of targeted subscribers. Your email subscriber will be your biggest fans and supporters. I use Converkit for email marketing and highly recommend it.
This post contains affiliate links. I only promote products and services I've verified and/or use in my business.
Need help writing your blog posts?
Download the blog post template & write posts that convert
Have you been wanting to learn how to make money blogging?
Affiliate income is an excellent way to monetize your blog and make money online. The key is finding the right affiliate programs.
I grew my affiliate income to more than $2k per month in my 6th month of blogging . Here is a look at how the affiliate income from my blog has grew in the first six months:
September 2016 - $58
October 2016 - $253
November 2016 - $1,085
December 2016 - $931
January 2017 - $1,660
February 2017 - $2,752
My affiliate income continues to grow each month and now makes up about half of my monthly income.
Last year if someone would have told me I would have been making that much just in affiliate income I would've thought they were crazy. It has continued to grow consistently and I see more leads coming in each day.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when a website owner includes referral links on their website to drive traffic to a retailer's product or service. The retailer will then pay the affiliate (website owner) a commission for all sales made from the traffic that came from their unique referral link.
How to join an affiliate marketing program
Affiliate marketing programs are listed on affiliate network websites. These websites are like directories of merchants looking for affiliates to promote their products or services. Once you join as an affiliate you will be able to apply to the affiliate programs that interest you. It will usually take a few days to be approved as an affiliate but sometime you will be approved instantly.
Sometime a merchant will deny you from their program. This might be due to the content of your website not aligning with their target market. If you believe there was an oversight, you can usually reach out to the merchant directly and have them reconsider you for the program.
How do affiliates get paid?
The most common way for affiliates to be paid is by receiving a commission for all sales they drive through their unique partner links and banners. Some companies pay a flat rate for sales driven and some pay a flat rate for new leads.
Affiliates can be paid via PayPal, check or direct deposit.
How to make money with affiliate marketing:
Affiliate marketers make money by including their affiliate links on their website. Here are a few great ways to include affiliate links on a website:
- Write a blog post about the pros and cons of the product or service
- Include affiliate links on a resource/recommendations page
- Include banners at the top and bottom of your website pages or blog posts
- Put a skyscraper banner in the sidebar of your website or blog
It's important to choose affiliate marketing programs that are relevant to the niche of your website or blog. Apply to join programs representing products your target audience will like.
High Paying Affiliate Programs
WP Engine *- $200 per sale
Freshbooks *- $5 per lead, $55 per sale
My Theme Shop *- 55% per sale
DropshipDesign *- 40% per sale
Mouseflow *- 10% recurring monthly
Cyber Chimps *- 40% per sale + bonuses
Microbiome Plus *- 50% per sale
* These are my affiliate links <3