Cornershop may have sung “Everyone needs a bosom for a pillow” back in ’97, but nowadays I like to sing “Every Blogger needs a list for protection”
Remember that song? Yeah me neither!
While that song may be about Indian culture, poverty, ignorance and corruption this article most certainly isn’t.
It’s simply about ignorance.
The ignorance of bloggers as to why they need an email list and why it’s so important.
Before I get into it, let’s just get a few things clear.
Starting a list doesn’t have to cost you any money at the beginning, there are free email providers to get you up and running.
It doesn’t matter what you blog or vlog about, bloggers needs an email list.
Stop thinking about “what would I even send out in an email” It’s not important right now. There will be plenty we can do with the list.
Oh and in case you haven’t grasped it yet, from here on in email collection will just be referred to as “the list” or “a list” or “list Building”. Basically anywhere you see the word list I mean “email list”
Ok, so now that we’ve cleared up some of those objections, let’s talk about why you should have a list.
Bloggers Need an Email List
There are many reasons why bloggers need an email list and most of them valid. However, I’ve gone ahead and picked what I believe to be the most important reasons why bloggers need an email list.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of bloggers losing their Facebook page, Twitter account and in some instances their entire blog.
Ask yourself, what would you do if you woke up tomorrow and everything you’d built was gone?
How would you start again?
While there are a number of attractive reasons as to why you should start building an email list, the main reason for me is the security and protection that it gives me.
If we woke up tomorrow and everything was gone, we could start again. It wouldn’t be easy, but we could do it.
With our list, we’d be able to reach out to our followers and tell them what happened and where they could find us.
Without that, they may just assume we’ve fallen off the face of the earth never to be heard of again. So despite all the other reason’s I’m about to go into, this is the main one.
We are all building our empire on someone else’s land. If they sell up or change the rules, we’ll still have our list.
People are creatures of habit. We all know that. So how do we become part of people’s habit?
Well, first you have to be in their consciousness and grow from there. Having the ability to send your thoughts and message directly to someone’s cell phone (let’s face it everyone now checks mail on their smartphone) is a fantastic way of becoming part of their routine and building a connection with them.
During our Fantasy Football days, we’d email every Friday morning with everything people needed to know for the weekend ahead. It became so regular for so many years that people began to rely on it as their alarm clock to make changes to their team.
And if the email didn’t go out on time, then you can be sure we got some less than happy messages from out subscribers. We had become part of their routine and people don’t like when you mess with their routine.
We were able to build a connection between our content and the actual game. While we had no affiliation with the Offical Fantasy Premier League game, yet people associated us with it, which in turn had a big knock-on effect on how we were perceived.
I’ve said it before on the Podcast I wish we had captured the data from before we started sending out regular emails, compared to after.
The boost in our search rankings was brilliant. Having people click links in our email and go directly to our website was a big indicator to the SERPs that our content was valuable and worth ranking.
While Google has said that CTR (click-through-rate) isn’t a “core” ranking factor these slides from Google engineer Paul Haahr, suggest otherwise.
The organic Google CTR does have an effect on your S.E.O as we’ve seen first hand. So from that end, an email list is a great way of signalling to the SERPs that they should rank your content.
For any blogger who has aspirations of making money from their blog, be that today, tomorrow or someday down the line, a list is a must.
Whether you plan on selling physical or digital products or even just making money as an affiliate, your list is your biggest marketing tool.
Just ask Pat Flynn, he states that he made over 60k in affiliate sales from one email broadcast alone.
Which is a frightening amount of money for one email. While results like this may not be typical, especially when you’re starting out, it gives you an idea of where a responsive email list can take you in terms of earnings.
This should always be our number one concern. Are we delivering value to our readers?
Being able to deliver value to our readers should be our goal and being able to deliver that value to their inbox is a fantastic way to serve your audience.
If they have given you permission to email them, then you should and regularly. Sharing your most valuable content with your list is a great way to serve them and bring value.
By doing that you are giving them the chance to consume, enjoy and share your content, without that list, you are reliant on a number of factors before they get to see that valuable content.
Look at it this way. You are doing your audience a disservice by not sending them valuable content that will impact their business, blogs or life in some way.
Don’t deprive your audience of that chance. If they don’t want it they won’t read it, but at least you’ve given them a chance to consume it.
Everyone wants bigger and better numbers these days, they want millions of followers. Yet so many bloggers that I have spoken to who aspire to have a large social following, don’t have an email list, which is ludicrous.
One of the best ways of growing your social following is to convert your list into followers. Having those social icons in your email or even a CTA in your mail converts like nobodies business.
If we think about it logically. You’ve sent them a mail full of value, knowledge and even a little entertainment, then you tell them that if they want this on a daily basis they can “like” your page or “follow” you on Instagram, the chances are, they are going to do it.
Whereas just having these icons and a CTA in a blog post generally doesn’t convert as well. That connection with their email removes the barrier of the unknown.
The thought process kinda goes like this “well they have my email and I’ve got some good stuff, sure I might as well follow them on social.”
People can be guarded about who they follow and allow fill up their timeline, but if you’ve already got their email then you’re half way there.
This is another major factor of having a list. Being able to reach out directly to a person and talk about your topic time after time has a massive effect on how you are perceived.
Only recently Paul was stopped while in a restaurant in London and asked was he “Paul” from fantasy premier league transfers. Even some time after our last email people who were on our list still refer to us as the “Fantasy Football Lads”
Being consistent and valuable will show your readers that you are a “thought leader” in your area and someone who has a lot of knowledge on the subject.
We most certainly weren’t experts at Fantasy Football, but to the 13,000 people who got our email every Friday, our advice was “Gold”, we were in the know, we were the ones to listen to.
This is one of the best parts of growing a list, you can become the personal advisor on your topic to people one email at a time.
So before you try to conquer the world, try to conquer one inbox at a time, it’s far more effective and reliable.
Remember, the end goal for every blogger is to get our content in front of as many people as possible, so why are you noting using all the tools available to you to spread the great work you’re creating?
If you’re still worried about what you would put in your email don’t be. I’ll be explaining all that next week.
For now, all you need to remember is an email list is great for;
- For Protection
- Building Connections
- Making Money
- Delivering Value
- Growing Your Social Following
- Building Influence
There you have it seven reasons why bloggers need an email list and if you’re looking to get started may I suggest Convertkit. We’ve been using them for some time and in our humble opinion, they’re the best providers around.