Welcome to our weekly column by Blogger Babes co-founder Ponn Sabra. Check back every Monday for the tips and tricks you need to take your blog to the next level!
So! You’ve been blogging about fashion for a little while now. You’ve got loyal readers who look forward to your quality content and images. You even went ahead and got yourself an email list (!!!). But… now you want new subscribers and don’t know where to start.
Worry not, because Heidi and I have already done all the research for you! 😉
Without further ado, here are our top 3 steps to growing your email list quickly as a fashion blogger.
1. Make a plan.
As a savvy fashion blogger, you’ve probably already planned ahead when it comes to your blog posts and photoshoots. And doing so has probably saved you so much time. That’s why you also need to make a plan when you’re trying to grow your mailing list.
When creating your plan, be very specific. Keep in mind that generic plans never go through as well as nuanced ones. For example, make it your goal to build a list as quickly as possible, instead of simply trying to “build a list.”
Start by sitting down and brainstorming:
- Who is your target audience? Is it the fashionista on a budget? Or is it the career woman on the go?
- Where is your audience most active? Do they mainly surf the internet using a laptop or do they mostly use a mobile device?
- What keywords lead your audience to your blog?
Spend some time on this step and get to know your target audience better. The more thought and research you put in, the better your plan will be.
Some tips to get you started on answering those questions:
- Check your blog’s stats. Which pages do your readers view the most? What are your demographics?
- Ask questions. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably already have existing readers and followers. Ask them first, then take the questions to your social media networks and membership sites.
- Check out the competition. Check out their demographics using Alexa.com to see what keywords their visitors are using. Then see if they’re offering a sign-up incentive. If so, pay special attention to what they’re missing. Make a note of this and see if you can provide it.
2. Create a Powerful Sign-up Incentive.
I've talked about email sign-up incentives here before, but it bears repeating because over the years, Heidi and I have both seen a lot of bloggers get stuck here. Why? Because they think they need to create some amazing and never-before-seen product. But! Nothing could be further from the truth.
So what should you create? You should create something your target audience will scramble to download right away. Take our free Blogging Binder, for example — 246 pages of useful tips, tricks, and worksheets. But don’t be scared! Your incentive doesn’t have to be as complicated. Actually, you can create something as simple as a tip sheet.
However, your incentive does have to be:
- Useful. It should help your readers perform a task more efficiently and in less time.
- Unique. It should be a one-of-a-kind incentive that no one is providing (for free) right now.
Ask yourself what you can bring to the table. What skills and knowledge do you have that you can use to create this incentive? Are you a blogger who’s been a clothing stylist for years? If so, you probably have secret tricks up your sleeve. Why not put all the tips together into a tip sheet?
The point is, whatever your skills and experience may be, make sure to incorporate those in your incentive.
Try to come up with at least five possible incentives. Then choose the one that will:
- Impress your potential subscribers the most.
- Be the easiest for you to create and produce or outsource.
Again, you can hop over to this post from a few months ago for more on this tip.
3. Get an autoresponder.
After you’ve created your incentive and it’s ready, you’ll need a web contact form for your potential subscribers to sign-up. Save yourself trouble with complicated WordPress plugins and use a top-level autoresponder.
A good autoresponder lets you send both broadcast and follow-up emails. Even better, it also lets you organize your lists for better and more targeted responses. You can send tailored messages at different segments. That way, your readers will truly appreciate your sign-up offer.
This can come in super handy, especially in cases where your readers are at different steps in their fashion journey.
There are many, many autoresponders out there (and several top ones). However, the two I recommend most are:
- Aweber, which comes with awesome video tutorials and a responsive live chat. The first month is only $1, but it’s $19/month after that.
- GetResponse, which is especially cool because it allows you to send emails based on events (for example, sending out a special message on a subscriber's birthday). GetResponse starts out at $15/month for 1,000 subscribers. There's a free trial if you're not ready to commit just yet.
Both autoresponders are fantastic, so choosing one over the other is entirely up to you and the features you want to have. Visit both websites, shift through the features, and choose one that suits you best. 🙂
These steps are extracted from my and Heidi’s fourth ekit in the Blogger Building Blocks Monthly series, Growing Your Mailing List Quickly. This starter kit includes a mailing list planner, step-by-step tutorial workbook, 2-week calendar, and a getting-it-done checklist.
Did you start or boost your efforts with your email list last May? Any results to report? 🙂