Can we throw a party?
Last month, we passed 1,000 subscribers on the blog’s email list.
One Thousand Subscribers.
I can still hardly believe it when I press send on the email newsletter and realize that it’s just landed in the inboxes of more than 1,000 amazing readers.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to each and every one of you who has subscribed. Since starting this crazy blogging adventure last year, I’ve been overwhelmed by all of your kind comments and messages.
Growing an audience for your writing isn’t easy. At the beginning of last year, I didn’t really know how to find my audience online. My email list grew slowly, and sometimes it felt like hardly anyone was reading my work.
But in late March 2016, I won a contest for a year of blog coaching with bestselling author Jeff Goins. Thank you, Jeff! This included access to a course by email marketer Bryan Harris which I began working through in June when I had about 100 subscribers.
With Jeff’s and Bryan’s coaching and a lot of hard work, I soon discovered the most effective ways to reach a wider audience with my writing.
In today’s post, I’m looking at why every writer needs an email list, and I’m sharing the top five strategies that brought me the biggest number of subscribers.
Note: This is an in-depth guide at over 2,200 words. If you’d like to save it to read later, you can get the PDF version by signing up for access to the members-only content library.
Why You Need an Email List
Here are four reasons why every writer needs an email list:
1. An email list is 100% owned by you. Your following on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram could disappear overnight if your account gets suspended or the social media site shuts down. Not so with email.
2. Email is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your readers and let them know when you publish a new post. Social media feeds are cluttered with hundreds of updates, and your readers might miss yours. Since email feels more like a private conversation, it’s a great way to build relationships with your readers.
3. If you ever want to promote a book or sell another product or service (like copywriting or editing services), emails have far higher conversion rates than promotional posts on social media or announcements published on your website.
4. Many book publishers will want to know how big your email list is before they give you a book deal. Often, they’ll give you a bigger advance the bigger your email list is. If you’re self-publishing, an email list is essential for marketing your book and organizing a book launch team.
Entrepreneurs like Jeff Goins and Bryan Harris point to 1,000 email subscribers as the base number to start making substantial revenue when selling a book or other product to your email list.
Read New York Times bestselling author Kevin Kelly’s essay on why every creative needs 1,000 true fans.
You Can Grow Your Email List Even If You’re Busy
Now, I know a lot of us writers are short on time. Often we’re juggling our writing with our day jobs or spending time with our families. We don’t have a lot of extra time to spare on growing an audience.
Don’t worry. Depending on how fast you want to grow your email list, the five strategies I’m sharing with you today don’t require a huge amount of time. This past year, I sometimes only posted on my blog once or twice a month, and yet I was still able to grow my list to over 1K subscribers. (If I had posted more frequently, I probably would have grown my email list even faster.)
Without further ado, let’s jump into the five list-building strategies.
(To implement the strategies in this post, you will need an email marketing service. MailChimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers. I use MailerLite which is free up to 1,000 subscribers. ConvertKit is an even more powerful service that starts at $29/month. It will be easier to implement the strategies below if you use MailerLite or ConvertKit. Note: these are affiliate links. Check out my guide here for tips on how to get your website set up if you don’t already have one.)