A newsletter list is essential to building your community outside of social media. Earlier this year I wrote a post sharing 3 Reasons a Newsletter is Essential*. One reason is you own your list and the contacts that you have collected. Now I’m expounding upon that by sharing with you 5 ways to build your newsletter list.
*Linked at the end of the post.
Figure Out What Platform To Use
Newsletters come in all shapes and sizes and there are a lot of platforms you can choose from. I’m only going to tell you about Mailchimp, which I currently use and ConvertKit which is a really popular contender. They are both great for different reasons that I will let you research on your own, BUT I personally have found Mailchimp to be user friendly and easy to navigate once familiar. The free option offers a lot in the early stages of growth and I personally have not felt limited by it, but we’ll see how I’m feeling at years end.
ConvertKit is free for a trial and then after that it is paid. There is no one platform fits all, but Julie Solomon and other well respected players in the industry swear by it. Whatever you choose, your goal right now is to build your newsletter list and grow your community, you can always switch platforms at a later date all because you own your list.
Decide What Type of Content Will Be Shared
The type of content that goes into your newsletter is far more important than which platform you choose and that is actually something I’ve learned and struggled with a bit in the beginning. Your newsletter content should be unique and/or an expanded version of things you currently share. People subscribe to newsletter lists when they are being drawn to a solution that helps with a pain point they have, it’s really that simple.
If you’re like me, you’re not signing up for everyone’s newsletter, you only sign up for the freebie or something that is directly answering your question.
I’ll go ahead and also say that your newsletter is not for you; it’s about your community. This is how you will grow it and create that longevity you desire. I’ve included some questions that can help you start identifying the type of content you will create.
- What Type of Content Does the Best with My Audience?
- What Type of Content Does My Audience Constantly Ask About?
- How Can I Expound and Go Deeper with said Content?
- Have I learned any new information about that content?
- How Can it be Turned into a Newsletter?
How Often Will You Share
I’m a firm believer in starting what you can keep up with. Be real with yourself about your newsletter and how often you plan to really make sure it’s out. I have consistently done twice a month, but I have not been consistent with my content. It took me a couple of tries to really understand how I could be of value in your inbox, but the one thing that I have not changed is the bi weekly posting.
If once a month is all you can do for now, start with that and continue to build everything around it so you can increase from once a month to twice a month or whatever your goal is.
A Landing Page That Converts (and a Pop Up Box)
My biggest conversion from blog reader to newsletter subscriber is my landing page. My newsletter has continued to grow even in my absence and that is a blessing.
A landing page speaks to the pain point of your reader and usually includes some form of solution which causes people to subscribe. If you have a freebie to offer, offer it through the form of a subscription because you are now trading information for information. You want someone’s email and they want your freebie.
In addition to your landing page, it is essential to have a pop up box on your website. As a WordPress user there are two ways that people can be directly linked to your website. They can follow you from their own WordPress login/site as a follower of your blog or they can subscribe to your newsletter list. It’s much more important to get people on your newsletter list. The pop up is a continuous call to action that will show up as people move around your website.
Having both* is essential to building your newsletter list, the pop up is more passive, while the landing page is a bit more direct.
*One tip that helped me build my list before my official launch was asking people for their email address in advance by letting them know my newsletter was coming.
Have Solution Based Content in Your Newsletter
Once you’ve gotten everything set up, you know what platform, how often you plan to share and the type of content you share, your goal is to make the content you share solution based. What problem are you solving with your content? If your content doesn’t completely solve a problem, how is it guiding your audience and reader to the change they are seeking?
This was truly one of my biggest struggles with my newsletter, the very beginning I was just planning to expound upon blog posts that did well. The second time I re-vamped, it was going to strictly be about blog building/influencer stuff, etc. which I will always bring ya’ll, but it does much better on the blog or on the feed, SO this third time around, well you’ll just have to subscribe and see. The purpose behind it though is to help improve your mindset so you can be in the space and position to provide the value that the world needs, but also receive the things you are desiring.
If you’re like me and didn’t feel like you really needed a newsletter, I’m letting you know, you do. If you want security around your community and want to begin to really build your tribe of people that you can share product launches and growth with, it is going to come from your newsletter list.
If you have not had a chance to read my post 3 Reasons a Newsletter is Essential, click the link to go back. Also make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter because we are kicking things off at the top of year.