Would you love to be standing in front of a huge crowd of loyal subscribers waiting patiently to engage in the community you are creating through your blog? The process is actually quite simple as long as you seek first to add value and deliver on your specific promises. I have put together five surefire strategies to ensure you become a crowd souring expert by following my actionable advice.
List Building Strategies #1. Make Your Content Relevant
One of the biggest mistakes I see newsletter and e-zine publishers making is writing about non-congruent topics that their readers may not be interested in. Sourcing a crowd of loyal readers requires a certain sensitivity to why your readers chose to subscribe in the first place – what was your promise?
I recommend surveying your readers from time to time and rewarding them for taking the time to respond with a high value e-book, audio file or video. Provide a few topics that you are thinking about publishing on and ask them for suggestions of the topics they are hoping to learn more about by being a subscriber to your list. This will provide a sense of ownership among your readers and you will inspire a sense of community among your subscribers.
List Building Strategy #2: Add A Subscriber Opt In Box To Your Blog
I know, this sounds like a fundamental step and you are correct – it is! It is surprising how many people actually fail to do this and many who do provide an subscriber opt in web-form do it incorrectly. Let’s fix that!
My recommendation is to offer the opt in in three specific ways:
1. Create a web-form using your auto-responder service so that your subscribers are actually opting into your primary list – not just registering to your blog list. The major auto-responder services like Aweber and Traffic Wave offer simple plug and play form creators and tutorials on how to do this in a few simple steps.
Once your web-form has been created it can be integrated anywhere on the site that adds to the overall functionality of your site design and navigation which usually would be on your side bar near the top of every page.
2. Offer RSS (known as “Really Simple Syndication” or “Rich Site Summary”) allows visitors to subscribe to a subscription to receive a summary view of your site containing your articles each time you post. The visitor opts into a subscription and can choose to either receive notification by email or gain access using a RSS reader. Here is an example of the RSS for my site AskJamesHolmes RSS
Most blog themes automatically integrate RSS into the design on their templates. However, there is an option to use a free third party service such as Feed Burner – my personal choice. You may also want to add an RSS plug in that will allow you to post a subscription form at the bottom of your pages or post.
3. E-Mail Opt In is an option but not one I would recommend as your primary method. The process is simple and involves subscribing your readers to your auto-responder by having your reader send a “blank e-mail” to a specific e-mail address within your auto-responder. By taking the action of sending the blank e-mail your reader is subscribed to that specific list.
List Building Strategy #3: Offer An Outstanding Bonus Or Gift
I always assume that I must provide exceptional value to my subscribers before I can expect to gain their loyalty to my list and I strive to deliver value through quality content, bonus offers and gifts.
It is critical that your gifts be given with the right intention, you are not trying to build a list of “freebie seekers,” so view these gestures as loyalty rewards – not as bait to gain their opt in. Now this is quite different from an ethical bribe, which is the gift you are giving in exchange for their initial subscription.
List Building Strategy #4: Use Free Viral E-Books To Gain New Subscribers
Viral marketing is powerful and using viral e-books will allow you to attract thousands of subscribers to your list by giving your books away. You can create the e-books yourself, heavily edit private label rights products, or claim a free subscription at Viral E-Book Explosion – this site will work for you.
So what makes theses e-books viral? The answer is comes down to the quality of the content and the number of relevant links embedded into the book. Be sure to provide recommendations for products and services that relate to the content contained in the text and place links to your websites, blogs, newsletters and affiliate programs.
When preparing your e-books for distribution, keep your primary goal in mind – you are using these tools to build your list not to make a sale. Be sure to promote your e-books to other marketers who can help you launch your book virally.
List Building Strategy #5: Use Pop Up Windows at EXIT
I have seen many bloggers use pop up opt in boxes with great effect over the last few years. I do recommend this method but I would only recommend using these scripts at exist. I am annoyed when I arrive at a website or blog and I am immediately greeted by a pop up subscriber form before I have even had a chance to derive value from the site.
Remember what I said at the beginning of this post – “I always assume that I must provide exceptional value to my subscribers before I can expect to gain their loyalty to my list…”
Deliver your pop-up after you have delivered value and make sure that your opt in offer, your “ethical bribe” is congruent with the content of your site. As I write this post, I am using “List Hero” on my blog – although that may change from time to time as I split test and revise my messages.
The exit pop up is an excellent way to deliver additional value to every visitor to your site and the process of setting a pop up on your blog is very simple.
I recommend the following:
1. List Hero – This is a turnkey solution, a complete system for building your list.
2. AWeber – Build instant pop up forms with custom features.
3. Now Sell Script – This is more advanced if you need a techy solution.
So there you have it, a completely actionable set of strategies to engage your crowd of readers and build you list. Keep in mind that your purpose is to add value and build a community of subscribers that will grow with every visit to your websites and blogs. Chose one method and work with it through to completion, then add an second strategy and do the same. Over time implement all five and you l be well on your way to growth in your online business.
Be sure to leave a comment and let me know how this post has helped you and share an idea or two of your own.
I am here to help you succeed and wish you a blessed day!
(c) Copyright 2008-2010 James A. Holmes. All Rights Reserved.
James Holmes, Global Team Builder, Coach and Trainer, combining online and offline techniques to help you grow your business. To request a free 30 minute consultation contact James by phone at 303-523-9503 or email at james@AskJamesHolmes.com
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