List Building

The First Step to Monetizing Your Email List

You started a blog and now you want to make money blogging! But, you’re finding it super hard!

You know a solid way to start generating income from blogging is?

It’s to start an email list.

An email list will help you connect with your readers, form a level of trust and help you monetize your blog.

But, once your start and have a plan to grow your email list, you might be wondering, well what do I do with my email list?

When I started Twins Mommy, I used my email list to connect with my audience and serve them better.

I eventually monetized my list and so glad I did. Your email list can help you make a living as a blogger.

While it did take me a while to begin to monetize my list, the steps to getting there are the same whether you monetize your list right off the bat or several months later.

So, don’t think this guide isn’t for you if you don’t have anything to offer. We will go through the initial steps to getting your list ready to monetize.

Have Your Blog Ready to Monetize

The first step to monetizing your list is having a plan to monetize your blog.

When I first started Twins Mommy, during that first year, I grew my blog from 0 pageviews to over 35k pageviews, $0 to over $2000/month and 0 email subscribers to over 4k email subscribers.

It’s still a progress and journey to monetize my blog, and I’ve realized there are four critical elements you need to position your blog for making money.

And this can help monetize your list.

1. Have a Blog Plan

The foundation of a profitable blog is traffic. You don’t need a lot of traffic, but you do need enough and the more, the better the chances you have for making a living out of all this.

When I set out to grow my blog, list, and income on Twins Mommy, I made a strategic plan to get more eyes on my blog.

I knew I had to create content for my audience, promote my posts on social media and hone my brand so that people can remember my blog.

For your plan to grow your blog, make sure you answer these questions:

  • How often will you publish content per week?
  • What social media platforms will you promote your posts?
  • How often will you share your posts on social media?
  • What methods are you going to use to entice readers to click on your link on social media?
  • What’s your plan for SEO?

Knowing this plan before you start your blog will help you monetize your blog and monetize your list later on.

2. Know Your Blog Niche and Audience

Do you know who reads your blogs? Is it moms? Millennials? Travelers? Entrepreneurs?

More importantly, do you know who is subscribing to your list?

Knowing who is subscribing to your newsletter (and reading your blog) will help you get the right type of emails to serve your audience. This can help you tailor your content on your blog as well.

A simple way to get to know your subscribers is to survey them. Create a survey using Type Form or Google Forms (both are free) and let your subscribers know about it.

I created a survey when I first started my email list using Type Form. These are the questions I created and you can model after it if you want:

From this survey I learned that my subscribers were struggling to grow their blog traffic and email list. They also had no idea how to generate more traffic or subscribers!

From this useful survey I was able to create blog posts and apply to affiliate programs based on their challenges.

So you see, once you understand your audience, you can help to them and serve them better.

3. Network and Collaborate

One of the best things you can do as a new blogger is to network with other bloggers in your industry.

Since I was new to the mom blog niche, I had to find other mom bloggers or other mom business bloggers and connect with them.

Having collaborations like joint webinars, hosting giveaways, or doing a summit can help you not only grow your brand, but your email list and income.

By following others in our niche, joining their Facebook group or Pinterest group, you get to grow your brand and audience.  So don’t shy away from connecting!

4. Be Authentic

It’s important to be authentic and stay true to yourself when you have a blog and email list.

I don’t’ know about you, but when I read a blog post I want to know who wrote it, what the blogger looks like, what their story is and get a feel for their personality.

And you know what?

It’s much more important to be authentic in your emails you send to your subscribers. This is where you can have a more personal relationship with your subscriber.

Even if you aren’t personal on your blog, it’s important to be personal in your email if you want to eventually monetize it.

Other ways to be authentic are:

  • Share your experiences
  • Tell stories
  • Share your failures

Having these four elements will help you start monetizing your blog. To recap:

  • A plan to grow – you’ll have short-term and long-term goals for your blog. You’ll lay out the steps you need to grow your followers, traffic and list. This will help you see how you can start monetizing your blog.
  • Know your niche/audience – by understanding your audience and your niche, you can tailor your content to help be the solution to their problems. When you do this, you can position your affiliates, sponsors and products for your audience.
  • Network/collaborate – by networking and collaborating with others, you grow your brand, audience and eventually your income
  • Authenticity – when your audience knows you, they trust you and then they are more likely to buy from you.

Create a Welcome Series

Giving your new subscribers an introduction to you and your blog is one of the best things you can do for them.

You are welcoming them to you and your brand (and eventually your products).

This is called a welcome series and is an easy way to get personal and get your new subscriber trusting you right off the bat.

1. What is a Welcome Series?

A welcome series is a set of informational and highly-valuable emails that explain who you are, why you are credible, what your blog is about and your knowledge in your niche.

For bloggers these types of emails are usually casual, friendly, and conversational.

It’s up to you if you want a series of emails or just one welcome email.

The benefit to having a series of emails is that a new subscriber is invested in you much quicker since you’ll be in their inbox more frequently.

Typically, welcome emails come everyday or every other day for a period of time.

For Twins Mommy, I email every 2-3 days and then taper to once a week. I have a long welcome series because I’ve also made this a sales funnel.

2. What Goes Into a Welcome Series?

It’s up to you what you want to share in your welcome series. You can have one even if you aren’t promoting or selling anything.

This is just a way to let your new subscribers know who you and your blog are.

Some ideas for email topics:

  • Email 1: Welcome email. Introduce who you are and what your blog is about. Give information on when they will receive your emails, what your emails will be about and let them know to whitelist you. Later you can add links to affiliate posts or links to your products.
  • Email 2: Tips in your niche or a quick win – provide a highly valuable win or some tips to help your new subscriber.
  • Email 3: Educational or win – provide educational content (for example: how to grow your Pinterest followers) or another win (for example: a simple hack to get more engagement with your Facebook posts)

From here you can give more tips, educational posts or quick wins that’s related to your niche and will help your new subscriber.

In these emails you can always end in a question as a way to get replies and boost your email reputation. And this also gives you insight into your audience and where their struggles are.

Setting up a welcome series is automated and triggered after someone signs up to your list (usually a freebie you are offering).

Personally I send the first welcome email an hour after they get their freebie.

I want to keep the new subscriber warm and research has shown that after 90 minutes, a subscriber goes “cold.”

I use ConvertKit for my Twins Mommy list, MailChimp for another blog and Drip for my Elna Cain (freelance writing) list!

Yes, I’m an email junkie 🙂

Out of all the email service providers I use regularly, ConvertKit – hands down – is the absolute easiest for bloggers.

It’s intuitive, streamlined and easy to see exactly if you’re growing your list, your inbox open rate and much more!

To get started with ConvertKit, check out my post where I share with you my special link to get a free month of ConvertKit! You can seriously grow your list in 30 days!

Be Strategic in Monetizing Your List

When setting up funnels in your email list to start selling and promoting your affiliate products, there are some tips and elements you should understand.

First, make sure your email service provider allows affiliate links. Many don’t. Second, find out if affiliates allow affiliate links in emails. I know Amazon doesn’t.

For more help understanding how to use Amazon affiliate marketing, check out my video on YouTube (and subscribe to my channel while you’re there!)

Finally, figure out which affiliate products (if you end up going that route to monetize your blog and list) you will have a sales funnel for.

Not every affiliate you have needs a sales funnel. Ones with a high commission rate usually warrant a nurture tactic on your list.

Such affiliates include web hosting and online courses. These typically have a high commission rate.

Once you know what you can and can’t do for marketing now it’s time to nurture your email list. This just means forming a close relationship with your subscribers and priming them to buy from you.

For more information about nurturing your list you can check out my YouTube video on that:

This comes in a lot of ways but the premise is not to come off as spammy.

If you find that you’re always marketing in every email, you might get a high unsubscribe rate.

But, if you don’t market enough, you may lose the opportunity for sales.

The best tip I can offer you is to always give more than you ask. And you can easily do this when you don’t have anything to market! 🙂

Here are some effective ways to treat your list with valuable and “free” content:

1. Create a Freebie and Offer it to Your List First

Creating multiple freebies is a proven way to rapidly grow your email list. But, once you have a list, why not give your next freebie to them first?

I’m not a fan of bloggers telling me about their freebie and when I click on the link, I have to go subscribe (even though I’m a subscriber!) to get their freebie. I’d rather get the actual freebie.

So give your list your new PDF guide or printable and then the following week publish it on your blog.

2. Create a Video

Maybe you have a YouTube channel or have dabbled in Facebook Lives. Why not make a video and share it with your list?

Some great video content you can share with your list are:

  • A Q/A session
  • Walkthrough with a tool (Ex: How to Use PicMonkey)
  • How you started generating income on your blog
  • A niche topic you can talk about

Here are some tips to get started with Facebook Lives!

3. Create a Course

Along the same premise of telling your list first, why not create a course in Teachable and have your subscribers take it and give you feedback?

Creating a course on Teachable is more valuable than doing an email course. You can do video on the Teachable platform, upload an eBook or worksheets and make your  course highly valuable.

Your course can be a beta for your first product or just a free course to grow your email list. In either case, your subscribers are helping you and you are helping them with providing valuable and free content.

Asking For the Sale

Now that you are providing value and free content, when you do “ask” for a sale, your list will be appreciative and want to see what you’re offering.

Here’s a simple funnel to help you set up your first pitch.

  • Email 1: introduce topic and provide a freebie (video, infographic, post)
  • Email 2: Provide an educational tip
  • Email 3: Start poking around about a challenge or problem
  • Email 4: Agitate that challenge or problem
  • Email 5: Introduce the solution to their problem (your product)

Map out your funnel and work on your copy for each email. Don’t make them too long and try to narrow down your tactic in a few sentences.

A funnel is suppose to inform, educate, agitate and answer. When you do this you will get sales!

There Ya Go!

In this guide you learned what you need to have a list that makes money for you. It all starts with your blog and from there it moves to nurturing your list and making your subscribers fall in love with you!

Grow your email list, serve your audience and monetize your list!

Leave a Reply


Hi Elna! So many great tips to monetizing your list. An entire plan really. I’ve been tweaking my welcome funnel on my flight attendant site, and I’m going to go through it again using your tips and see if I can add even more value. Thanks for another great post.Reply to Deanna
Hi Deanna, That’s great to hear! Good luck with your welcome funnel!Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for this! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do to give the people who subscribe to me the most out of their subscription and help it grow. I’m going to have to try some of these!Reply to Rachel
This is very helpful Elna. I am getting started with Mailchimp.Reply to Latha
Hey Latha! That’s great to hear! Glad you want to monetize your email list to start making money blogging 🙂Reply to Elna