These 9 Tactics Will Take Your Blog from 0 to 1000 Subscribers
So in part one of this MAKE MONEY BLOGGING series, we began to talk comprehensively about starting a blog that makes you money. We specifically discussed how you can pick a profitable niche, test your idea, choose a clear domain name, set up your own blog, and the reasons why you should start a blog.
In this second part, we'll focus on the strategies and blogging techniques you can apply to go from nothing to your first set of email subscribers.
WHY BUILD EMAIL LIST?
Many beginner bloggers have yet to realize that the most effective way to make money off of a blog is to build an email list. Many established bloggers have said it again and again that “THE MONEY IS IN THE LIST.” In fact, for most established bloggers, when asked what they would have done differently from the onset of their blog, they've always said that they wish they started building an email list from day one.
List building is a long-term important asset for any online business. Without a subscriber list, your site visitors will come, read your content and head back, without you ever benefit from them.
An industry study reveals that about 70% of people who visit any site won't be coming back to the site. If you don't have a conversion strategy in place for collecting their details, you’ve definitely lost your visitors forever. In fact, 85% of retail professionals say email marketing is the greatest driver of customer retention.
Additionally, list building helps site owners to build relationship and trust with their audience. These days, business is not just transactional but relational. Meaning that before people buy from you, they'll try to get to know you first.
Email is an evergreen strategy to grow a business online. When you collect your readers' email addresses, you'll get to reach out to them subsequently to establish a relationship. And soon, you present your product to them. So if you're ready to take your blog from rock bottom to your first 1000 subs, these are the strategies for you.
1.IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Before you carry out any action on your blog, you must first know who you are looking to attract to your subscriber list. Serious blogs that want to make money don't target everyone. They go for a specific target audience.
So, asking just anyone to sign up for your email list won't get you your desired result of making money on your blog. Why? Because you need a well-defined, specific type of people to sell them a well-defined, specific type of product or service.
Even as email subscribers have been confirmed to pull in the highest conversion rates for sales, you can only benefit from it if your email list is gathered from a select audience. You aren't starting a blog to talk about everything but a specific topic. So, it's important you know who you are trying to help or reach out to with your blog. Know their age, status, income level, location, interests, and most importantly, their problems.
This will also help you know the kind of content you'll be creating and how to promote your stuff to them. Let’s take for instance the health and fitness niche. It’s a broad niche and has many sub-niches like weight loss, skin care and hair loss under it. It's best to focus on a sub-niche versus talking about everything health.
That way, you get to identify and solve specific problems for your audience. In other words, this helps you deliver exactly what your audience needs. And once you nail it, other strategies to building your email list will fall into place.
2. CREATE *HIGH-QUALITY* CONTENT REGULARLY
Now that you know who your target audience is, you would want to create relevant content to draw them into your site. By now, you are most probably familiar with the marketing phrase "content is king.” It explains it all — without kingly content, your blog won't go anywhere.
Why? Because not all content is king. Low-quality content and content irrelevant to your target audience can't work their way into becoming king. And they won’t generate your desired results. Creating high-quality, long-form content will attract your target audience and convert them to subscribers.
So what's the best content like?
Well, it turns out that the most effective content is often high-quality and super relevant content. That's the type of content that draws readers in, keep them stuck to your website for long, and eventually convert them into subs. You ought to make this type of content available on a regular basis if you want them to keep coming.
There are billions of blogs online. Since you are just starting out on your blog, you need great content to convince your target audience that you can actually provide the answers they are looking for.
Go for long-form content versus short-form. Long-form content allows you to provide thorough and in-depth information on a topic than a 300-word content does. Your readers will appreciate it and stay longer on your site, rather than looking elsewhere to get the complete information.
Long-form content is great for SEO, too. Backlinko reports that the top ten pages on Google all have content of about 1850 words on average.
Additionally, be sure to make your headlines catchy and attractive to grab the attention of your audience. If you can, ADD IMAGES AND GRAPHICS IN YOUR POSTS. Blog posts with relevant images have been found to outperform posts without images.
3. PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT
Now, when it comes to blogging, creating high-quality content is getting half of the job done. Put differently, successful blogging is not only about creating content. It also about getting it into the hands of more audience.
That's where content promotion comes in. You can create the best content on the Internet, yet no one will get to read it. But when you promote it, the readers (subscribers) start trooping in. To start with, find out the platforms your target readers are on and promote your content there. It could be emailed, LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, or Instagram.
When it comes to content promotion, we often recommend following the 80/20 rule. That is, put in 20 percent of your blogging time into creating useful content and 80 percent time into promotion. That's how serious you should take it!
4. DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE CONVERSION STRATEGY
Most blogs make the mistake of not establishing a clear conversion channel. But hey, from creating relevant content to promoting it, how do you actually convert visitors when they start trooping into your site?
The thing to do is to come up with a strong strategy for converting them. It typically involves setting up an email opt-in form and placing it on strategic points on your website. To make it really pop, you can create a valuable incentive and offer it as a bait to entice potential subscribers to opt into your list.
When adding a signup form, make it short. Just their email address and maybe their first name will do. Don’t make it difficult for readers to sign up by requesting for too much information like last name, phone number, country, etc., to avoid losing them.
5. HAVE A SUBSCRIBER LANDING PAGE
Apart from placing opt-in forms, we recommend creating a special landing page that is solely dedicated to persuading visitors to subscribe on your email list.
It should explain the benefits visitors stand to gain when they sign up. Remember to add lead magnets such as a free eBook or free trial of your products to increase signups. When visitors fill the form to get access to the freebie, they automatically opt into your list.
6. RUN GUEST POSTS ON RELEVANT BLOGS
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to drive traffic and grow your email list. It lets you become more visible to your target audience, helps to build your influence and also positions you as an authority in your niche. But beyond these, you also get to increase your revenue through guest posting.
Here's a great example:
Gregory Ciotti, marketing strategist at Help Scout was able to get 36,733 subscribers on his email list with guest blogging. This is proof that guest blogging works for building an email list.
So, which blogs should you place your guest posts on?
Well, turns out it's always better to target blogs that already have influence in your niche. That is, blogs with an established following so that you can tap into their connections and traffic. To easily find established blogs, use Alltop or Feedspot. While Alltop collects headlines from top sites on key topics, Feedspot lists the top 100 blogs in every niche possible.
Go over to any of the sites and check out the blogs related to your niche. Then, select the ones with a massive following. Find out their guest posting guidelines or simply send a polite email to make your inquiry. And get ready to create irresistible content as a way to get their readers into your email list.
7. DRIVE TRAFFIC WITH SEO
The more traffic that comes to your website, the more people that'll subscribe to your list. And one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to a website is through search engine optimization (SEO). That's why you need to pay special attention to your site's SEO. We have a bunch of highly helpful SEO tools here on SmallSEOTools.com you can use for completely free.
Additionally, you can read our blog where we share useful SEO tips and tricks so every often. As a guide, here is an on-page SEO checklist you can start out on already:
Create good content. Content is the foundation of a successful SEO strategy. Without awesome content on your blog, Google won't bother ranking your pages on the first pages of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Make your URL SEO-friendly. Include your keywords and keep it short. Also, if you use WordPress, change the default permalink to post-name.
Your title tag should contain your keywords. The title tag is an HTML element that describes the title of a web page. It is often displayed on SERPs as the blue clickable headline for a given result, and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing.
Use your keywords on the first paragraph. For your first 100 words, mention your keywords to help Google understand your content better.
But don't overstuff your content with keywords. Make them come in naturally in the content.
Structure your content properly. Use the h1 tag for your title and h2, h3 tags on subheadings to make your content easy to understand for users and search engine.
Use meta descriptions effectively. Your meta description should summarize the content while including the keywords as well.
Apply internal and external links. Link up to other pages on your blog and link out to other relevant authority sites.
Optimize the images you used. Fill up the image alt appropriately.
Use Schema markup. Structured data gives the search bots more details about your pages, making it easier to understand what your content is about and thereby increasing the chances of ranking higher.
8. PROVIDE A SOCIAL SHARING BUTTON ON YOUR EMAIL
Each email you send to your subscribers can help grow your email list if you include a sharing button on it. When you send valuable content to your subscriber list, they will likely want to share it to their friends as well, who may sign up after reading your content. Always make your content relevant and include a CTA such as asking your subscribers to share your content.
9. ASK FOR THE SUBSCRIPTION
Many bloggers do not ask readers to subscribe to their email list. They don't include a call-to-action at the end of their blog post or ask for the sub on social media. And most times, visitors only end up reading valuable content and leave your blog without taking any action.
But only if you'd ask, you'll be amazed at the results.
Growing your email list is the most important and effective strategy to make money on your blog. With your email list, you'll be able to build relationships with your audience, promote your content, launch and sell your products. So go ahead and create that opt-in form and ask for the sub. Remember, people naturally love subscribing to useful lists. And talking about subscribing to useful stuff, don't forget to join our newsletter to receive the best of SEO tips, tricks, and latest happenings. You'll also be the first to get to know it when we release new SEO tools.