Now, I know many new mommy bloggers aren’t even THINKING about an email list. There’s just too many other things to focus on like finding your niche or how to promote your post.
I know! It’s lots.
But – and this is a big ol’ but – you should also work on starting and growing your email list.
Especially if you want to monetize your blog and eventually make a living from blogging.
So, how do you grow your email list? If you already started, then maybe you have a subscription box on your sidebar to join your email list. Maybe it looks something like this:
This is not a good way to grow your email list.
Are you in shock right now? I know I was when I started learning about list building strategies.
You want to know something about your audience? They’re not totally hooked on you or your blog yet.
Sure, they visit your blog from Pinterest or see your tweet, but if they only visit your blog once or twice a month, having a box that says “join my list,” won’t entice them enough to give up their email address.
But, maybe you already know that.
I didn’t start growing my Twins Mommy list until I decided I wanted to monetize this blog. See, email list and making money from your blog sort of go hand-in-hand.
Why Having an Email List is Important
I don’t know about you, but one of my most favorite tasks of the day is checking my email. I LOVE getting emails.
But not only that, having an email list let’s me connect with my tribe. I want to grow a tribe of loyal followers that want to learn from me, enjoy what I put out and feel that I’m helping them transition into something bigger and better. And the best way to do that is through emails.
Email is personal.
When someone gives up their email address to join your list, you should treat that blogger like gold!
I get emails all the time of new bloggers telling me their story and I absolutely love it.
I always take the time to answer each question and try to help bloggers who contact me. It’s part of growing your blog, biz and list.
So you see, creating an email list for your mommy blog will help you eventually make money, but the best thing is that you get to know your audience on a different – more personal – level.
If you want to make a business from your blog, an email list is one of the first things you should have. After deciding that, you should start thinking about what you want to offer to entice visitors to sign up to your list.
Just telling them that when they sign up to your list they’ll be notified of your next blog post, isn’t valuable enough to visitors. They want MORE.
And you know what? I have 17 ways you can grow your email list practically overnight. I’ve used a lot of these list building strategies with this blog, but there are a lot I haven’t, and I’ll either will use them or want to in the future.
1. Create a Lead Magnet
Oh, snap! What the heck is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is your main free item you give away in exchange for someone’s email address. People call it an opt-in bribe, freebie or incentive.
For example, an old lead magnet was The Mom Boss Vault. It’s a resource library of downloadables and webinars.
It converted well. How do I know? Because of my analytics that my list building tool, OptinMonster, provides for me.
Right now I’m at around 74% conversion rate which is great for a lead magnet.
Okay. So now that you know what a lead magnet is, what types of lead magnets can you create for your mom blog? Here are a six ideas that you can swipe right now.
Checklists are the easiest way to grow your email list. Caitlin Bacher’s lead magnet is a Facebook groups checklist. It’s a simple checklist to help Facebook group owners have a lively and engaging group.
If you have a dead and silent Facebook group, then this checklist would definitely appeal to you.
Creating a checklist only takes minutes and it’s totally easy to do. My first freebie for this site was a Checklist to Grow Your Blog.
I created this document in Google Docs and my cover image in Photoshop (but you can also use Canva to create a cover image).
Everyone loves free courses. With so many paid courses out there for bloggers, creatives and freelancers, it’s nice to come across a course that’s actually free and totally useful.
Take Monica’s lead magnet from Redefining Mom. It’s a 7-day busy moms building online businesses course. Her course covers seven days of training moms to start an online business. From identifying your audience to putting together a business plan, Monica’s free course packs a ton of useful information.
Remember that visitors that come to your blog aren’t going be willy nilly and give up their email address. You have to give them a reason and the more your lead magnet is full of valuable tips, tools and strategies, the more likely they will subscribe.
And free courses usually are seen as highly valuable to bloggers.
Usually, doing a email course means you need to automate your lessons. If you’re using or going to use MailChimp, you’ll have to pay for automation, but it’s totally worth it since it’s cheaper than using other email service providers.
For my free courses, I usually have an introduction email that explains what you will learn in the next few days. After the course I usually have one or two emails – depending if it’s part of my sales funnel for my paid product – where I pitch or offer more resources.
Providing videos as your lead magnet can totally help you grow your email like wildfire. Watching a webinar or video training is considered a very valuable freebie you can offer.
Candis, of Smart Mom Blogger, decided to offer 10-minute webinars for a lead magnet. What’s so fitting for her choice of lead magnet is that her audience are time-starved moms. We just don’t have time to watch hours and hours of webinars – although we’d like to!
So Candis decided to offer short webinars that moms can watch while they fold laundry or load up the dishwasher. And you know what? I’m in one of her videos.
If you want to do a video series or webinar as your lead magnet, the best and free way to do it is with YouTube Live.
Here’s a quick guide to using YouTube Live.
You might also need a slide deck to show your webinar. You can use Keynote or PowerPoint to create those slides.
Your webinar is connected to your YouTube account, which means you can now repurpose it for your lead magnet.
Don’t you just LOVE printables and templates? I sure do. They are awesome. Well Joanna from Mums.Kids.Jesus has a great lead magnet. It’s the Cultivate Love Challenge full of 50+ ideas and printables!
If you have a knack with creating printables with InDesign or even Microsoft Word, then you can create lovely printables to give away to your subscribers.
And for mom bloggers there are a ton of ideas for printables. Recipe cards, food and meal planning, a cleaning plan and so much more.
5. Tool Kit
If you’re new to doing something, having the right tools handy can totally help you out. Well, it’s no different online. If your audience are moms running their own business, then something like McKinzie’s Mompreneur Tool Kit is perfect for them.
Depending on your niche, find some tools that helped with your growth and use that as your lead magnet. And you know what? This can also help grow your income.
Well when a subscriber receives your tool kit, you can place affiliate links in your resource and if a subscriber clicks on those links and ends up buying, you receive a commission! Easy as pie.
Guides, workbooks and eBooks are fabulous resources for your audience. They are seen as highly valuable because usually these guides show you a step-by-step approach to helping you out.
I created a video training and added a workbook with it. I find that adding additional resources to your work book like a video training helps with increasing conversions.
Creating worksheets, lessons or guides is easy. You can draft your guide in Google docs or Microsoft Word, create a PDF and upload it to your WordPress backend.
2. Create Content Upgrades
Did you know that I didn’t have a lead magnet for the first four months of starting this blog? Yeah, I couldn’t figure out what my target audience really wanted.
It’s also partly due to switching niches and content early on. I decided to move away from working at home moms and start helping moms who want to become mompreneurs.
In doing this, I had no idea what a good lead magnet would be so I decided to create content upgrades.
These are within-post freebies that are directly related to the post you are reading. Content upgrades are highly effective. My highest conversion rate is 85%.
Why are these effective? Because the blogger is already primed. They are reading a post about the same or similar topic to the freebie. This makes it easier for a visitor to subscribe because they read the post and want to learn more.
While I can’t go into detail about creating and delivering content upgrades – my latest webinar covered a lot about that and I am planning to do a post/video on this – I can give you an idea of what I do to create a content upgrade.
1. Write the document in Google Docs
2. Create a cover image in Photoshop
3. Add my content upgrade graphic to my Pin image
4. Create a graphic with a button for my post
5. Upload my Google doc to WordPress
6. Create a new automation for my content upgrade
7. Draft an email with the link to the free content upgrade
8. Link my content upgrade to OptinMonster
9. Make my within post graphic linkable so that readers can click on the graphic and enter their email address
So, how can you make a content upgrade that your visitors want to devour? By making sure that your freebie upgrades your post.
What I mean is that your content upgrade should act as an extension or supplement to your post. The wrong way to do content upgrades is to write a post with 20 tips, but only offer 10 tips in your blog post and the other 10 in your content upgrade. This will annoy your visitors.
Your content upgrade should also be easy. Checklists, guides, worksheets all work fantastic as a content upgrade.
Most of my content upgrades for Twins Mommy are checklists or guides. I know they were highly effective because within four short months I grew my email list from 0 to over 1,000 subscribers – and I only used content upgrades.
Personally, I feel they are the MOST effective strategy to grow your email list.
3. Guest Posting
Is guest posting on the top of your to-do list for your blog?
I know it is for me!
If you’re not sure what guest posting is, it’s when you have a blog post published on someone else’s website. Usually it’s a more popular and highly trafficked site.
A popular site that a lot of bloggers want to guest post on is Huffington Post. This site has a ton of traffic and pretty much every blogger knows about it.
I recently landed a HuffPo contributorship and am crossing my fingers my post will be ready soon.
But, why would I want to guest post on HuffPo or some other popular site like Scary Mommy? Because of one thing: your author bio.
Your author bio is a little blurb about who you are (your credibility), what you do (what you offer) and where people can find you (your social media links and blog).
Here’s my author bio for my Twiniversity post on picky eaters.
Depending on the blog you guest post, you can be playful in your author bio or more professional. As a contrast from my funsy Twiniveristy author bio, here’s my standard bio for my freelance writing clients.
Having an author bio can help you bring traffic to your blog, but it can also help you grow your email list. My freelance writing author bio links to my free email course. When people click on that they are directed to my site an they can sign up to my free course and be placed on my email list.
And, not only can your author bio help you grow your email list, but your post can too. Depending on which blog you guest post on, the blog owner might be okay with you promoting a freebie in your post.
For example, Jackie Jade of Jade&Oak guest posted on Mariah Coz’s blog, Femtrepreneur. Her guest post was about the legalities of running a joint venture webinar.
In her post she offers a freebie – a JV Webinar Contract Checklist.
When you click on this button, it takes you to Jade&Oak’s landing page. Jackie made sure to personalize her landing page by mentioning Femtrepreneur.
And you know what? You can even put content upgrades in your HuffPo article! I know!
I had no idea.
Check out Candis from Smart Mom Blogger and her freebie on one of her HuffPo posts.
So, guest posting can totally help you grow your email list by putting a link to your lead magnet or other freebie in the post or in your author bio (or both).
And what’s awesome is that you can even get paid to guest post. So, get to it mamas!
4. Host Webinars
Maybe you’re afraid to actually host a webinar, but mamas! let me say that webinars are totally awesome, fun and can help grow your email list (as well as make you some money!).
My first webinar was for my freelance writing site. It was on landing gigs with job boards. Since it was my first, I had no stinking idea what the heck I was doing. But you know what?
I sold like almost $1000 worth in courses! Wha-what? For my FIRST ever webinar? I couldn’t believe it!
So, when I started Twins Mommy, I knew I wanted to try webinars again. Since I don’t have a product to sell….yet… my webinars are totally pitch-free and full of valuable information.
And that’s okay. A lot of big bloggers host webinars pitch-free. It’s one of their ways to grow their list, brand and followers. People who see your webinars become invested in you. They want to know more about and will become loyal subscribers.
This can help you grow your income in the future when you decide to launch a product or service.
So far I’ve done two webinars and I will continue to do more – both solo and joint – as I want to help a lot of mama bloggers become mompreneurs!
5. Use a Landing Page for Your Lead Magnet
What the heck is a landing page? I’ve sort of been talking about it already, but I haven’t really explained it.
If you’re unsure what a landing page is, it’s just a page on your site that is free of distractions and usually only has one call-to-action.
You’re only giving your readers one choice on your landing page. So, for example, if you want to sign up to a webinar, the link you click usually takes you to a landing page where you sign up.
You can do the same thing for your lead magnet.
Some people set their web address to a landing page. For example, Brie Beeks of Blissful Bosses has a landing page of her lead magnet set to her homepage.
While this is a great way to land new subscribers, if you think this is too forceful, you can create a landing page on your blog and then just link to it on your blog.
6. Pin Your Lead Magnet on Twitter
Do you have a Twitter account? You should! It’s just another platform to grow your brand and tweet out your posts multiple times a day.
One way to grow your email list is to just pin your lead magnet to your profile. For example, here’s Kelly from Take Action WAHM’s pinned tweet on her profile.
People who view her profile will immediately see this tweet. It’ll send you to her lead magnet and when you fill out your name and email, you get sent this awesome checklist.
To pin your lead magnet, create a tweet and then click on the three dots of your posting. It will open up a list of options. Choose “pin to profile page.”
7. Promote Your Freebie Daily on Twitter
What’s so great about Twitter is how frequently you can post. It’s no problem to post multiple times a day. It’s actually encouraged because if you don’t tweet multiple times a day, your audience isn’t seeing your lovely tweets.
But wait, you definitely don’t have time to tweet all day. I mean who does?
Instead, use an automation tool to schedule your tweets throughout the week. You can totally use Buffer or Hootsuite to do your tweeting for you.
But, it’s a pain in the butt to have to re-do it every week. So, you can use another tool to help you loop your tweets.
How? With IFTTT. This tool lets you connect two apps or tools to work together. For me, I connected Buffer with my Google Calendar. I created a recipe that said if Google sees an event called, “Buffer this,” then to send a tweet.
When I go to my Google calendar I can see the events IFTTT created for me.
I scheduled my free course for freelance writers to tweet every day at the same time. This helps me gain more subscribers to my list every day. You don’t need to tweet your lead magnet three times a day, but doing it every day won’t bother your followers.
I also use IFTTT to schedule posts on my Twins Mommy blog and my other blogs. It’s totally been a time saver for sure!
8. Pin Your Landing Page on Pinterest
Did you know that if you only had one platform to grow your email list, you should choose Pinterest? Pinterest is an easy and free way to grow your email list.
Pins last more than a tweet or Facebook message. According the the Tailwind blog,
Perhaps due to the news feeds cluttered with irrelevant information, the lifespan of content on Twitter is only 5-25 minutes and Facebook content only lasts 80 minutes. The lifespan of content on Pinterest? More than one week.
Yes, a freakin’ week! I still get saves on pins that are months old. It’s amazing! So, just imagine your pin of that fabulous lead magnet of yours circles around Pinterst and Pinterest groups for weeks or months?
And then imagine those pinners actually click on that pin and sign up to your list? BAM! Every day that can happen.
Here’s Summer Tannhauser of Ladyboss League’s pin of her lead magnet.
This takes a pinner right to her landing page with her lead magnet. Doing this is highly effective because once a pinner lands on that page, the only option is to sign up to grab that list or to close their browser tab. It’s very cut an dry and makes it easy for the pinner to decide.
To accelerate your email list growth, you can make multiple pins for your lead magnet, making them look different from the original.
Then you can use an automation tool like Tailwind to schedule your lead magnet to pin multiple times a day to multiple group boards.
9. Link Your Freebie in Your Pinterest Bio
One of the first things I did when I decided to grow this blog was to optimize my Pinterest bio. For my bio, I placed a link to my free email course on my other blog. Now Pinterest doesn’t do live links in your bio, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your URL in your bio.
When pinners read your bio you can let them know of your awesome freebie!
10. Incentivize Your Pins
You see how Pinterest can totally grow your email list? There are so many ways to use your pins and profile to grow your list. One other way is to incentivize your pins.
What the heck does this mean?
It means that you add a little graphic of your freebies. So if you are using content upgrades or want to promote a webinar, you can create your pin for your post and then add a graphic of your freebie that you’re offering with the post.
It looks something like this:
You can use Canva to add these arrows and pages of your freebie. Personally, I just take a screen shot of my Google doc pages and I create a cover image with Photoshop. Then I group them all together and create my graphic.
Before I started Twins Mommy, I didn’t incentive my pins at all. But, as soon as I did, I started to grow my email list overnight. And it continues to grow.
11. Add a Sign Up Button to Your Facebook Page
Do you have a Facebook business page? You might want to consider having one to help you grow your followers, brand and subscribers.
There’s a sign up button on your page that you can link to your lead magnet.
It’s highly prominent and can help you grow your list on auto pilot.
12. Add a Visual Call-to-Action on Your FB Daily Prompts
Do you have a Facebook group?
I don’t…yet, but want to once I find some time! I do, however, have a paid Facebook group for my students of my freelance writing course.
But, if you are thinking about hosting a FB group, one thing I recently learned from Caitlin Bacher, is to add a visual call-to-action to your daily prompts.
Usually a FB group has daily discussions like Motivation Monday or Throwback Thursday. Well, you can add your freebie to your daily prompt graphic! Ingenious. Here’s Caitlin’s image and visual call-to-back for her Facebook group.
13. Host a Giveaway
Don’t you love getting free stuff? I do. That’s why hosting a giveaway can not only satisfy your readers, but it can also seriously grow your email list.
Over at Brilliant Business Moms, Beth Anne and Sarah hosted a giveaway and gained 5,000 targeted subscribers in 1 week!
Whoa! That’s right. Giveaways have the potential to grow your list exponentially. But, if you decide to do a giveaway, what sort of things do you actually give away?
It all depends on your target audience, but try to find things that will help your audience to move to the next level or give them that upper edge to succeed in what they’re doing.
So, those can be courses, eBook, subscriptions, tools, apps and more. Okay, but where do you get these items to give away? Do you have to buy them?
If you have an established connection with brands you can reach out to them and ask if they are willing to give away a free trial or product.
And, if you have been diligently networking with other mama bloggers in your niche, you can always ask them if they are willing to give away a seat in their course or give you an extra copy of their eBook.
Once you have a nice bundle of awesome goodies, you can start creating promotional graphics for your giveaway. You can do a blog post about it and start promoting it all over social media.
While Beth Anne and Sarah paid for some of their traffic, you don’t have to do that. You can do a giveaway for free and pick up a couple hundred subscribers doing it!
14. Place Your Lead Magnet in Your Header
One of the easiest ways to start getting subscribers is by placing your lead magnet graphic on your header. This is exactly what I did once I finally had a stinkin’ lead magnet!
Placing your main freebie at the top of your site can totally help you generate more subscribers than if you placed it on a sidebar or somewhere else.
And the bigger it is, the more prominent it is, making it easier to grow your list! This is what I do for Twins Mommy and it helps grow my email list every day!
You can’t miss what she’s promoting (which is her paid course, Fab Facebook Groups)
15. Place Your Lead Magnet at the End of Your Blog Posts
So you have your lead magnet on your header, another place you can have it is at the end of each blog post. And since most people from social media will be directed to a blog post, it only makes sense to promote your main offering there, right?
But, why the end of the blog post and not the side bar?
Besides the fact that practically every one has banner blindness and sees nothing on the sidebar, having your lead magnet at the end of your blog post reaches your target audience.
Those are the readers that actually read your post! If they finish it, they’ll see your opt-in form and most likely sign up!
16. Offer Multiple Lead Magnets for Your Audience
One sure way to grow your email list fast is to offer multiple freebies. That’s why content upgrades work so well. But, if you aren’t doing content upgrades, you can just create multiple pages for your multiple lead magnets.
Jennifer Snyder of Women Winning Online offers five different lead magnets on her blog.
Wha-what? Yeah, five freebies that all lead to a landing page. She can promote each of these freebies all over social media and land a whole lot of email subscribers.
What’s also great about creating multiple freebies is seeing which ones are converting better. Maybe one of your freebies is a flop and barely anyone subscribes.
That’s okay! You have four other ones to promote.
Doing this doesn’t have to be fancy either. I created pages for my two popular content upgrades and while I don’t have a link on my site to those pages, I do have pins of them, which help bring in subscribers daily.
17. Add an Author Bio to the End of Your Blog Posts
One of my pet peeves is going to a blog, reading an awesome post and when I comment on the blog I have no idea who wrote it.
There’s no author. So, I have to hunt. I go to their About page, but they don’t say their name there either! I look on the side bar, nothing there.
Finally, I look at a old blog post and see the bloggers response to a comment and that has their name (but sometimes that doesn’t work because the blogger uses the site’s name instead! Grr….).
A way to help your readers know who the author of the blog post is and see your face is to have an author bio at the end of your blog posts. It not only tells your name and shows your face, but it also tells a new reader who you are and what your credentials are. And, if your savvy enough, you can even promote your lead magnet too!
Krista Rae does a kicks ass job with her author bio at the end of her posts. She has a nice graphic under her little bio telling readers to sign up to her free course.
Wow! You made it to the end!
Really, I don’t set out to write epic long blog posts, but I LOVE me some digital marketing topics and I can write forever! Growing my email list is something I enjoy doing and love to help other mama bloggers do the same.
Have fun using all these different ways to grow your email list!
Let me know in the comments which strategy you’re going to use (or, already using)!