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Do’s and Don’ts of List Building

Where to startSo where do you start when you want to build a list of subscribers to your site? Step #1 , I’d suggest, is to give them a way to subscribe!

Your WordPress blog comes with an RSS feed built in which allows people to save that ‘feed’ to their News Reader so that they get your latest posts.

But not everyone understands how RSS¬† i.e. ‘Really Simple Syndication’ works so having a Subscription Box on your site is a must.

Telling somebody that they will be informed via e-mail when you post new content is easily understood by everybody so that subscription box is a must but, thanks to all those spammers, people are wary of giving out there e-mail address willy nilly.

That’s why you see all those ‘get your free e-book here’ offers. Give me your e-mail address and I’ll send you a cool gift – getting something for apparently¬† nothing appeals to us and you are more likely to get a sign-up when offering an ‘ethical bribe’. Nothing wrong with that per se!

Makes sense that the free ‘report’ is something that will be of use to your, hopefully, long time subscriber!

Now obviously we are working on the premise that our site is going to be a success. Consequently we will get lots of subscribers and physically noting their names and e-mails, sending them their cool report, and getting back, one by one, to them whenever you’ve got something new to say on your blog is not realistic.

That’s where auto-responders come in as they automate the whole process. You can use them to send your subscribers a regular Newsletter or a weekly roundup of your posts – into which you might choose to place an ad for a product you like ( which will get you a commission should they purchase it). Or just send them an email ‘out of the blue’ every now and then.

But don’t overdo it – once a week is ample!

Don’t you think that if you give your blog subscribers something cool and unique for free that, maybe, they’ll become avid fans of you and your blog/site?

Used well and wisely, sending your ‘list’ cool info for free, on a regular basis converts to ‘brand loyalty’ – never forget that YOU are the brand!

That said, Aweber is definitely something to consider investing in, just under $20 a month, if you’re serious about building a list of subscribers to your blog(s) and communicating with them on a regular basis – even if that only means sending them a weekly roundup of your blog posts.

You can use their Blog Broadcast option so that your sign-ups get, say, a weekly summary of your Blog posts ( with links to said posts) and if you choose to do so you can add other links too – maybe for some products/companies you are affiliated with or just other extra cool info.

The point is that that you want to turn your first time visitor into a recurring visitor and finding a way to get them to ‘opt in’ to your feed is the way to do that.

Simply put: no matter how cool and informative your content is, people will forget about you unless you find a way to ‘remind’ them when you have something new to say!

Aweber are currently offering a 30 day free trial. Give it a free test run using that sign up box over there in the right hand sidebar.

Sites, tools and plugins related to this post:

  • Aweber
  • Feedburner
  • GetResponse
  • WordPress Auto Responder Plugin – there is a free and Pro version of this plugin that allows you to control your list and sequential emails from your WordPress dashboard. I have the Pro version as it looks very interesting for those of you wanting to dip your toe in the the world of Auto-responders. I will report back when I have tested it on a new blog and let you know how I got on.
  • Here’s the link to that method I referred to of using Feedburner to send, say, a weekly/monthly Newsletter to your subscribers. It does involve fiddling with code which is a little challenging for beginners.
  • Here’s another version of the method but using a WordPress plugin

Clive

Clive

Managing Director at Big Buzz Projects
Clive McGonigal is a full time Web Developer, Marketer, WordPress Evangelist and all round Decent Chap. He lives between London and France ( on a tiny rowing boat with an internet connection) and spends his offline time wining, dining and conversing with his dogs. He loves WordPress ( themes, plugins and tweaks) and blogs about them whenever he can.
Clive
Clive

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