Just yesterday, I welcomed my 100th email subscriber to my list – and it feels oh so good! When I started my blog in November 2017, I set a goal for myself to reach 100 subscribers by April 1, 2018. And I’m happy to say that I reached my goal 10 days early. I can’t wait to show you how I reached this goal! Below, I’ll describe my approach from two different angles – first, I’ll go over the tactical strategies I used to grow my email list, then I’ll describe my mindset through the process. Let’s get started!
PART 1: THE STRATEGIES
Social Media Marketing
I know it’s easy to get carried away with social media, so I picked just one platform to use extensively. For me, that was Pinterest. I chose Pinterest because I interview 50+ brides and nearly ALL of them said they used Pinterest to search for wedding planning ideas and advice. I learned a lot about Pinterest best practices, I implemented them, and I’ve been growing my traffic and my email list via Pinterest marketing.
I also use Facebook to reach my audience, though I put much less effort into Facebook than Pinterest. My Facebook strategy is simple: I joined three Facebook groups in my niche and I just answer questions. If I have a relevant content, I refer them to a blog article. While I do get traffic and email subscribers from this strategy, I mostly use Facebook to do target market research. I keep an eye out for common questions, concerns, and my favorite: “vent” posts. These are great because I learn exactly what my target market is struggling with. This helps me come up with excellent article ideas so that I never feel like I have writer's block – I always know what to write for my audience, and I know that they’ll benefit from my work.
Writing articles for other blogs has been one of my favorite strategies for growing my email list. First, you get to connect with other bloggers in your niche (or tangential niches). Second, you get exposure to larger audiences without much effort - all you have to do is write an article! Third, you get to build credibility and you’re seen as an expert in your field. Plus, the highest-converting email subscribers on my list have been referred by my guest blogs. For example, at one point my referral traffic from a guest post was converting at 30%!
PART 2: THE MINDSET
Switching gears here – I’d like to spend some time to tell you about the importance of mindset and attitude of going from zero to 100 email subscribers.
I started my email list in early-November (before I even built a website), and I was getting about two or three email subscribers per week. I decided to aim for 100 email subscribers by April 1st. Maybe five months sounds like a long time to achieve this goal, but to me – it was scary. I have a full-time job, a long commute, no blogging experience, and zero help. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but I had to stay grounded. I set a realistic goal based on my current available resources. I’m really glad I set a realistic, attainable goal because now that I’ve reached it, I feel super pumped and motivated to reach my next goal!
I gotta be honest: I’m not a patient person. So, this was REALLY hard for me. Writing articles on a weekly basis, creating social media content, sending guest post pitches, etc. – it all takes time and it’s a very slow process.
There were weeks when I just didn’t feel like writing because the results seemed so small. Like, maybe I’ll spend six hours writing an epic article, and get only two subscribers out of it. Ouch. Other times, I’d spend fifteen minutes creating an optimized image for Pinterest and BOOM! My Pinterest traffic explodes and I get 15 subscribers in a single day.
It’s a slow process. Creating content, marketing it, and growing an email list takes time. Do the work. Be patient.
Eventually, you'll start to reap the hard work you've put into this.
I truly believe that listening to my audience and writing what they need is what truly helped me grow my email list. Remarkable, useful, helpful content makes readers want more – and that’s why they subscribe.