When a visitor lands on your site, there are probably only a few minutes before they find what they need and leave your site.
Getting them to sign up for your email list is the only way to get them to come back.
But to convert a stranger to a subscriber essentially means turning ice cold traffic into a warm lead. That won’t be easy.
It requires you to convince and convert that cold traffic fast. The best way to convince people to take action is to give them an incentive. A tangible, specific offer that provides value upfront. This can be a freebie that solves an acute problem immediately.
The first step is to create that valuable freebie like an informational product (checklist), a physical product (samples/testers), or a free consultation. Your freebie doesn’t have to be very complex. But it should be attractive and easy to sign up for. The barrier for people to opt in should be very low.
After capturing new leads, we take them through a sales sequence to nurture for purchase.
Building an engaged email list is super important to monetize online. You need the tech set up, content created, and an email marketing tool to capture and nurture those leads.
In my experience, Convertkit is the best email marketing tool for this.
When I decided to take the jump to purchase Convertkit at $29/month, I was making $0 from my blog.
But I knew that I had to start somewhere. I signed up for the free 14-day trial first and got to work immediately. I built my first opt-in form, created 6 emails and a few freebies.
Within 1 week, subscribers were flowing into my Convertkit account and within 2 months, I made my first sale with 89 subscribers.
So what I want to do is show you how building a solid email list is key to blog monetization and how it is all you need to make your first $1k blogging.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase.
- What will 1,000 loyal email subscribers do for you?
- Journey from 0 subscribers a month to 1,000 subscribers
- Why Convertkit is the Best Platform to Build and Nurture Your Email List
- #1. Create your opt-in form and capture subscribers easily
- #2. Increase subscriber count and maximize sign ups with incentives
- #3. Automate email sequences to nurture your list
- #4. Powerful Email Segmentation with Tags and Rule Automations
- #5. Smart Segments to Organize Your Subscribers
- Building Blocks of Growing Your Email List
What will 1,000 loyal email subscribers do for you?
- Pop into your audiences’ inbox whenever you want. A spot in someone’s sacred inbox.
- Drive a steady flow of referral traffic to your newly published blog post every week.
- Access an engaged audience pool who are ready to buy your products/services.
Most importantly, you own your email list. Facebook or Instagram can block your account and then it doesn’t matter how many followers you have — because the social network owns these profiles.
But your subscribers are your tribe.
Real people with a direct line of communication to your brand. Once they are on your list, it becomes much easier to grow their trust and convert them into a paying customer.
Build your email list early, start gaining more subscribers every month and you’ll hit that coveted 1,000 subscribers benchmark. In this guide, I’ll show you as much as possible how I got my first 1,000 subscribers using Convertkit.
Journey from 0 subscribers a month to 1,000 subscribers
To be honest, when I first started blogging, list building wasn’t my top priority. *slaps self*
I focused entirely on growing traffic but not an audience, which was a huge mistake. Lots of time wasted and missed opportunities later, I finally got my first 14 subscribers.
Growing my list was hard I never thought I’d get past 20-30 subscribers in a month…
Heck, I was over the moon when I got even 1 subscriber a day.
Growth was slow and stagnant for a long while. Then, I explored Convertkit’s features and the key ingredients to attract and nurture my email list.
In under 1 month, I crossed the 100 subscriber mark and was OVERJOYED.
I can’t begin to tell you how valuable 100 subscribers can be for your blog and its monetization potential, not to mention when you hit 1,000 subscribers.
That dream to finally make a real income from blogging started to come true.
Why Convertkit is the Best Platform to Build and Nurture Your Email List
I have tried ActiveCampaign and MailChimp before switching to Convertkit and only wish I found Convertkit first.
Convertkit is built for capturing subscribers. There is a clear pathway from creating an opt-in form, uploading your content upgrade, building an auto-responder and crafting an email sequence to nurture your list.
I have not experienced a better flow in doing this with any other email marketing provider.
All the components of capturing your first subscriber to building an empire can be done in one platform. It is easy to use, has everything a beginner blogger needs, to more sophisticated features such as automation and rules for building advanced funnels.
#1. Create your opt-in form and capture subscribers easily
Easily create your first opt-in form with a ready template. Form fields, heading and description, image. You can personalise your form with your own branding too.
I didn’t have to change much here except for the heading and description text, then uploading an image to the form.
Next, you have to configure the form settings. These next steps are the most important parts to capturing subscribers and you should only embed your form when you’ve got these set up:
- Sequence Settings: Give subscribers an option to opt-in to an email sequence
- Incentive Email
- Embed the Form
#2. Increase subscriber count and maximize sign ups with incentives
One of the most effective ways to gain subscribers is to offer incentives.
Irresistible, high value incentives such as an ebook, strategy workbook or checklist give people a reason to leave their email address behind.
Asking someone to sign up to a weekly newsletter won’t quite work. Offering a freebie provides a clear, tangible benefit upfront to convince them to subscribe.
Convertkit allows you to send your incentive or content upgrade directly in the confirmation email.
So when someone signs up for your opt-in, they receive their freebie immediately upon confirmation.
The process of creating opt-ins with incentives delivery is so easy and seamless on Convertkit. You can quickly create multiple checklists and content upgrades, add them in your opt-in form and get ready to capture subscribers.
I would say that Convertkit is build for the purpose of capturing leads. It is a subscriber-centric platform that is geared for list building.
With MailChimp previously, this was rather cumbersome and costed me quite a few new subscribers in the beginning. ):
#3. Create email sequences to nurture your list
After creating your opt-in form, the next step is to connect your form to a sequence.
I usually do both of these, create a new form and a new sequence in the same day. There has to be a journey you’re taking the subscriber. Don’t just create a form and content upgrade, and bid them farewell.
After capturing subscribers, putting them through an automated series of emails is key.
Automate Email Sequences in Convertkit
You can create email sequences in Convertkit using its simple text editor interface.
The first email in your sequence is triggered by a subscription. You can set this to immediate by setting the number to 0 in the “days after subscription” part in the editor.
The rest of the emails will send out after the previous email, in an ordered fashion. So you can set how many days “after the last email” in the setting at the top.
For educational sequences, such as an email course for instance, I would set this to 1 day.
For pitches and promotional sequences, I would set that to 6-8 hours instead to be more present in my audience’s inbox.
Don’t do this for every sequence though, you don’t want to be too overwhelming and spam your subscribers. Do this sparingly, perhaps for 1 or 2 product pitches.
Another powerful feature in Convertkit’s email sequence is the ability to exclude subscribers. You can exclude them based on tags, segments or forms. This is very helpful when you have a sales pitch and want to exclude subscribers who have already purchased your product.
#4. Powerful Email Segmentation with Tags and Rule Automations
I gotta say I’m in love with Convertkit’s powerful email segmentation capability. You can segment subscribers with tags and better target your email content for each subscriber based on where they are in the buyer journey.
This differentiates an email list that converts and one that goes radio silent.
Generally, I have two subscriber segments:
Newbie subscribers are people who just signed up to my opt-in form. They downloaded my freebie and are beginners at a particular marketing topic (e.g, SEO).
I would send them an introduction email sequence that is at most 3-days long. Just to teach them the fundamentals of SEO and gain their trust.
Pitchy-ready subscribers are bottom of the funnel people who have at least undergone a 6-day sequence. So subscribers who have signed up for my 6 Day SEO Email Course for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs.
These are engaged, warm leads who already know who I am and trust my content. This pitch-ready segment are highly likely to convert into a paying customer.
I would send them a product promotion sequence and guide them through the final purchase funnel.
This email segmentation capability has helped me increase open rates, maximize conversions and reduce unsubscribes. So if you are looking to build up your email list and actually monetize it, Convertkit is really the way to go.
If you’re ready to take your list building efforts to the next level, then do give Convertkit a try. Feel free to click on the image below and start a free trial. You won’t regret it!
#5. Smart Segments to Organize Your Subscribers
Segments on Convertkit lets you group subscribers who have opted into multiple forms and tags in one bucket.
As your blog scales up, you might write about multiple content topics and have 10-20 forms created. You want to separate subscribers of different content topics and nurture them differently.
For example, I write about SEO, Pinterest Marketing, Blog Monetization on my blog. In my Convertkit account, I can use Segments to group subscribers from the “SEO” forms, tags and sequences in one bucket. Then nurture this segment with the right content asset such as an SEO Masterclass.
Also, if you have multiple forms and opt-ins, you don’t have to worry about duplicate subscribers. Convertkit automatically de-duplicates segments so you won’t send an email to the same person twice. This was an issue I had encountered with MailChimp before.
Each subscriber is counted once only. So you will only be charged once for each subscriber count even if the same subscriber signs up for multiple forms!
Building Blocks of Growing Your Email List
Now, even if you don’t use Convertkit, the fundamental building blocks of list building are the same. You’ll need at least:
- great opt-in form to capture subscribers
- high value freebie or incentive to attract subscribers
- automated email sequence to nurture your list
- consistent traffic flow to your blog and opt-in forms
I know investing in your blog and online business is a huge undertaking. Spending money on a project that is not yet making a full-time income is not easy.
But if there is only 1 thing that will give you a positive return on investing in your blog, it will be your email list.
I got my first sale with under 100 subscribers and it paved the way to my blogging journey.
Let’s help you do the same. Got questions about this post or Convertkit? Drop your comments below!