Last year was a year of growth for She Dreams All Day.
I was able to grow my email list from 400 subscribers to over 4000 amazing dreamers in just one year and in my first year blogging seriously.
It’s been a good year for traffic too.
In total, I got over 1 million organic views in 2019, which is incredible.
I’ve yet to spend money on ads so this growth is all organic, dreamers. ✨
So super thankful.
However, traffic is one thing, getting those visitors to give you your email address and become engaged subscribers is another.
In this article, I’ll share the email list growth strategies I used to grow my list by thousands last year.
The image above shows my email list increase in the last year.
- How To Start A Blog: A Complete Guide For Beginners
- How I Got Over 200,000 Monthly Pageviews A Month My First Year Blogging
- Why You Should Start a Blog This Year
Why Grow An Email List At All?
Perhaps you’re new to blogging and have only just started your blogging journey – in that case, you might be wondering…
Why should I focus on growing an email list? Isn’t email a little old fashioned?
Not one bit.
If you’re serious about blogging and want to grow it to unimaginable heights and eventually turn it into your full-time gig, you absolutely must make your email list a priority from day 1.
If you ever want to sell something online in the future, your email list will be where your most loyal fans and followers hang out and they’ll be the ones who are ready to pull out their credit cards first.
So, it’s important that you nurture and take care of them.
You’ve probably heard many online marketers say this before but the money truly is in the list.
While growing a big following on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook is amazing, what are you going to do if Mark Zuckerberg or the big boss over at Pinterest decides to pull the plug? You will be back to square one, having lost all your valuable followers and connections.
I know this is a worst-case-scenario but it could potentially happen.
Instead of having all of your eggs in Mr. Zuckerberg’s basket, owning your email list is the safest and most secure way to grow an audience and a following long-term.
My Top Email List Growth Strategies For Newbie Bloggers:
1. Start From Day 1
I started collecting email addresses from my readers from day 1.
And I started out simple.
I did this by creating an easy-to-digest download (a checklist, mini-ebook or workbook) that my audience could download in exchange for me getting their email addresses.
I’m so glad I started from day 1, even though I literally had max 50-100 visitors per day in the beginning, I still had my freebies out there ready to provide value for my audience should they choose to opt-in.
Even if you’re just starting out and find yourself thinking why would anyone sign up for my email list I have almost no content out and certainly no traffic.
Let me just say that I highly recommend you start your email list the day you buy your domain.
You will be SO happy you did fast forward 12 months from now.
Now, if you’ve been blogging for a while and still haven’t started growing your email list, fear not – it’s never too late but it’s better to start now than to wait.
I started my email list using ConvertKit.
2. ConvertKit For The Win
ConvertKit is the email marketing provider I use to collect email addresses and to grow my audience.
I’ve used it since the very beginning of She Dreams All Day – and I haven’t looked back.
ConvertKit is specifically designed for bloggers by bloggers.
It is where I create the opt-in forms (like the one below), write weekly emails to my list and send out a sequence of nurturing emails whenever someone signs up for my list.
Here’s an example of a form that I created with ConvertKit:
I chose ConvertKit for 4 main reasons:
- It’s FREE for the first 30 days
- Their customer service is amazing (and quick!)
- It’s super easy and intuitive to set up email series and opt-in forms
- You also have the option to create landing pages in ConvertKit
3. Design Beautiful Landing Pages
One of the main things that have helped me to grow my email list at such a fast pace in the last year is definitely Lead Pages.
Lead Pages is an online service and software that makes it super easy to create beautiful looking landing pages.
Before we get any further, let me explain what landing pages are. ????
Landing pages have one purpose and that is to collect email addresses.
There’s no menu, no links, no other option for your audience than to sign up and get their free download.
When I was just starting out, Lead Pages had me at their easy-to-use template pages.
I was sold, and I’ve been an avid user ever since.
Their pages are highly customizable and so it’s easy to stay on-brand.
You can also easily check up on your analytics (see how well your landing pages are converting by percentage).
The image below is a screenshot of one of my landing pages created with Lead Pages.
ConvertKit also has some really nice landing pages options if you want to stick to one service for all your email list growing purposes.
This is a full screenshot for one of my highest converting landing pages built with Lead Pages.
4. Focus On Providing Value
I want my subscribers and followers to feel like they are part of something special (which they are).
Once someone subscribes to my list, they become VIPs, insiders, and part of a community – the dreamer community to be exact.
My subs (dare I say “subs”?) are my sole focus, my priority and it’s my mission in life to serve them with the most amazing value and to wow them every single week.
I email them weekly to share valuable tips, tricks and always have their best interest at heart.
It’s ALWAYS about them, never about me.
My tip for you is to always offer value upfront and focus on building a longterm relationship with your readers.
By offering value I mean:
- Share a story that will inspire and motivate
- A free downloadable (a freebie, an opt-in, lead magnet – they all mean the same thing)
- Email your list weekly letting them know your new blog post is live
- Show them sneak peeks of upcoming blog posts
- Behind the scenes material that will help your audience to connect with you even more
5. Pay Attention To What Works & What Doesn’t
Pay attention to what is converting and what is not doing as well.
As a new blogger, you’re a one-woman show and you’re most likely doing it all by yourself (like I still am at the moment).
Time is limited so we need to spend it on strategies that are working.
Track your conversion rate for your different opt-in forms and lead magnets, and consider killing some of your darlings if something isn’t converting.
To give you an idea of what is considered a good conversion rate:
- Opt-in form on your blog: 2-5%
- Opt-in form on a landing page: 40-50%
If you have forms that are performing at a lower rate than the above, consider changing it up and try something new.
Blogging is all about trial and error, dreamer.
The conversion rates on a landing page will naturally be higher because they are purposefully designed to get people to sign up and get something for free in return.
The reader has found her way to your landing page because she’s already interested in what you have to offer (given that you have made it clear where the link will take them).
6. Getting Visible
2019 was not only a great year for growth and traffic but it was also the year I finally put my face and name on the blog.
Funny story, from 2018 to early 2019, you wouldn’t find a single photo with my face on it and the story about the person behind the blog, well, it didn’t exist.
My “About” page was pretty much nonexistent and as secretive as they get.
I’m an introvert and to me, in the beginning, at least, I was struggling to gain confidence online.
However, running a personal development-based blog changed my mindset and boosted my confidence and I realized that…
For my online business to exist (and be successful), I have to exist in it too.
I think that me showing up as myself for my audience is truly what moved the needle for my blog and why I was able to grow it so quickly.
My readers wanted to connect with me, especially when I’m someone they sought personal development advice from.
They weren’t going to sign up for a list by someone they didn’t know or could connect with.
And so, in 2019 I showed up as me and told my story.
My list has continued to grow ever since.
I love my subscribers and I continue to love on them weekly. ❤️
Before You Go
I hope this post has given you some actionable insight as to how you can improve your own email list growth strategies.
No matter where you are in your journey – if you’re just starting out or have been blogging for a while – it’s never too late to start growing your list and make it your focus.
Better now than later.
In the end, building an email list is not about the money, it’s about building trust and real relationships with your audience.
Let me know where you are in your email list-building journey in the comments below. ✨