Simply put, write articles you would be excited to read.
I love Tim Ferriss’ blog because it’s filled with uber practical posts like this.
Depending on your personal preference, you can write short, snappy posts (like Seth Godin) or long, detailed essays (like Paul Graham).
The writing process can be painful at times, but don’t sacrifice and publish a sloppy post.
I remember one particular post that just wasn’t coming together. It was late on a Friday night, and I wanted to have it finished before the weekend. Growing more and more frustrated, I continued banging my head against the keyboard until I fell asleep under my desk at 3am.
Ultimately that post became one of my most popular yet – but only after I rewrote everything I did that Friday night. If things aren’t coming together, give yourself the freedom to simply delete and restart.
4. Create a strong incentive to subscribe
Think back over the dozens of subscription forms you’ve seen this week. Chances are, most of them said something like “Get our latest posts!”.
Chances are also pretty good that you didn’t sign up.
If you want your email list to stand out (hint: you do), take the time to create a massively valuable subscription incentive.
Here are a few incentives you can use for your email list:
The best news is, you don’t even have to spend a lot of time slaving over your giveaway!
Simply take something you’ve already written and edit it as needed to transform it into something else!
For instance, if you have a really long, detailed blog post, you can turn it into a valuable ebook by simply editing it into the right format and adding a bit more information.
Bonus tip: Noah Kagan has recently found a lot of success by creating article-specific incentives. For instance, on a recent post about data mining, he gave away the exact spreadsheet using a LeadBox.
5. A/B test key elements
Conversion rate testing is only for big companies selling expensive products, right?
Actually, A/B testing can be a powerful yet simple tool to help you grow your email list much faster!
Say about 5% of your visitors currently subscribe (that’s a fairly average rate). For every 1,000 visitors, you’ll see about 50 new email subscribers. (1,000 x 5% = 50)
Now, say you’re able to increase that conversion to just 7% with testing (conservatively realistic). (1,000 x 7% = 70)
Suddenly, that same batch of visitors gives you 70 subscribers – that’s 20 extra people who have joined your blog community!
Does A/B testing require you to hold a PhD in statistics or be a real-life hacker?
Not at all. WIth the testing platforms available today, you can easily run A/B tests without ever editing a line of code.
Dozens of new email subscribers eagerly run to join your list every day.
Time to declare success and stop working so hard, right?
Actually, the real work has just begun.
Numbers on your newsletter statistics page are just that. You can’t build a vibrant community on a stack of dry email addresses.
Each new subscriber is like a conference goer at a tradeshow booth. You’ve got their attention – now you need to keep it.
Out of all the thousands of email lists I’ve joined, only one remains forever etched into my memory.
Derek Sivers transformed me from an email subscriber to a true fan.
Sometime in 2011 (I can’t find the original email), I subscribed to Derek Siver’s email list (the founder of CD Baby). I can’t remember whether his first email was a personal welcome email or an automated welcome email. Either way it was enough to get me to reply, and we exchanged a couple emails.
Suddenly, I wasn’t just subscribed to a blog I enjoyed – I was following a person I respected.
Three years later, I’m still excited to see his latest posts, and that personal touch has left me with an emotional connection to his blog.
Whether you create an automated email flow packed with world-changing information or personally greet each new follower, find some way to make your emails essential.
Your readers shouldn’t just read your emails, they should be excited to see your name in their inbox.
Start with something
This post is chock-full of tactics that will dramatically increase your email list, but with this many options, you’re at significant risk for a common ailment: analysis paralysis.
Don’t worry about doing everything perfectly.
Just take action.
Go do something (email one of your newest subscribers?) right now.
Just start today, and you can do more tomorrow.
Guest author: Nate Desmond works at SumoMe helping other bloggers see massive growth with free plugins like List Builder (the popover plugin from above) and Image Sharer.
I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.
I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 230,000.