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How to Harness Your Email List to Help Pay Your Rent

Posted By Guest Blogger 16th of February 2011 Blogging for Dollars, Featured Posts 0 Comments

This guest post is by the Blog Tyrant.

Wouldn’t it be nice to send out an email or two and pull in $10,000+ to pay your rent or mortgage payments for the year? It is actually possible using your own products or those of selected affiliates. And while some of you will be thinking that word “affiliates” sounds dirty and underhanded, I’m here to tell you that affiliate marketing is actually one of the most honest ways to make money on the Web.

In this post I am going to show you how you can make $10,000+ a year using your email list and a product or affiliate program. I’ll even do a bit of math to prove it.

photo credit: Esparta

How it works

Let me start by giving you a little overview of how this all works, in case you’re totally new to the idea. I’ll go in to more detail later on.

  1. Use your blog to grow an email list
    If you’ve read any of my other guest posts on Problogger you will notice that I have a pretty (un)healthy obsession with email lists. I’m constantly telling my readers to focus on growing a list of active, engaged, and interested email subscribers. It should be the main focus of almost every blog.
  2. Provide value
    The most important thing to remember with this process is that you need to provide value. You need to enrich the lives of your subscribers. You need to solve their problems. Without this step you will find that your list grows largely unresponsive.
  3. Create a product or find affiliate programs
    The next steps is to create a product of your own (ebook, ecourse, etc.) or find a product of someone else’s that you can promote and sell to your email list. It needs to be highly relevant, valuable, and helpful.
  4. Promote it to your email list
    This stage is actually rather complex and can involve a pre-launch and launch, as well as automated messages and so on. The net result is that you make a lump sum of money during a launch period, or an ongoing stream of income from automated sales that happen over time.

The whole thing can be a very exciting process and, if it’s done correctly, it is an extremely ethical way to make good money while enriching the lives of your subscriber list.

Doing the math

Now, let’s do a little math to see if $10,000 per year is really possible. In fact, if you really catch a hold of this concept you’ll find that $10,000 is actually rather conservative. The possibilities with this type of marketing are endless.

Let’s take a look:

  1. Capture four email subscribers per day
    Let’s assume you are able to capture four email subscribers per day. It is a very small amount that any one can do with ideas like this and this.4 x 365 = 1460 subscribers per year.
  2. Sell a $37 ebook to 20% of your list
    If your followers are loyal and engaged you should be able to sell to around 15% to 20% of them.1460 subscribers x 0.2 = 292 sales @ $37 = $10,804

Now, for those whose lists are significantly larger than this, the estimates are conservative. For those who have smaller lists, this can serve as inspiration to keep going with your blogging work. Remember, an ebook is just one example of the multitude of things you can promote to your list.

How to make $10k+ per year with email subscribers

The wonderful thing about this process is that it can be expanded upon to incredible levels. For some bloggers, $10,000 is a tiny sum of money. My hope is that this post serves as a catalyst for you to learn more about the field and really take your blog to its full potential.

1. Grow the email list

The email list is the backbone of all good blogging income sources. If you can capture a large number of email addresses of readers who love what you write, trust your advice, and look to you for help and new information, then you are setting yourself up to be in a very profitable situation.

I know what you’re thinking: “But isn’t it rude/annoying/spammy to sell stuff to my followers?” This is a very common question. I encounter so many people who don’t want to sell anything to their subscribers but, to be honest, the logic doesn’t make sense to me. Why? Because, like everyone else, you also have bills to pay, you aren’t trying to rip anyone off, and with the right products, you can help your subscribers to better their situations.

Don’t get me wrong: some people abuse their lists. I don’t condone this at all. But guys like Darren, who only sell high-quality ebooks or training courses that can help you grow a bigger and better blog, are helping their subscribers. Why shouldn’t Darren make some money selling a product that has taken him years and years to acquire the knowledge to create—and helps you in a big way?

How can you grow your list quickly?

  • Focus on value and quality information
    Your blog needs to publish high-quality content that adds value to the lives of your readers. Every time someone sees a post on your blog, they should leave feeling like a problem is solved. This is important.
  • Have an angle
    There are hundreds of millions of blogs out there. You need an angle. Why should people read your stuff over someone else’s? Without an attached story or angle, you give a person no reason to subscribe to your blog.
  • Use Aweber to add subscription boxes and send a free ebook
    I recently wrote a post about why I switched to Aweber and the reasons are simple: you can add a subscription box to your blog in about five minutes, you can send out a series of automatic follow-up emails and, best of all, you can send out a free ebook automatically. This is a tried and tested method for capturing a lot of email subscribers: write a highly valuable ebook that appeals to your niche, and give it away in exchange for their subscription.
  • Write guest posts related to your niche
    Once your free ebook offering is up and running, get out there and start guest posting on as many of the top blogs as possible. Darren has a thorough post on how to do this, so the only thing that I’ll add is that you should make your posts as good as possible, and in some way relate them to your free ebook. This ensures that all the visitors that trickle through to your site are interested in your stuff.
  • Engage people in email, Twitter, comment threads, etc.
    If you want your email subscribers to be loyal and engaged, you want to make sure you engage them in as many places as possible. As a general rule, I reply to every comment on my blog, and Twitter and Facebook accounts. I work from home so it’s easy for me to do this, but even if you work in an office, you should make an effort to reply to contacts and commenters each evening when you get home.

As a general rule of thumb, the number of email signups you attract is a good indicator of how successful your blog is. You might be getting all the traffic in the world, but unless you can convert it somehow, you probably aren’t making much progress. Capturing as many email subscribers as possible is the first and most important step in affiliate marketing.

2. Create a product and/or find an affiliate product to promote

This section is broken up in to two parts—your two different options. The first option is to create your own product and sell that to your list. I prefer this option because you can tailor it to suit your readers’ needs and wants. The second option is find someone else’s product to promote to your list for a commission (i.e. an affiliate program). Let’s take a look at both.

Creating your own product

The wonderful thing about the Internet is that it allows you to create your own product without much in the way of difficulty or start-up costs. In a recent article on how stay-at-home moms can make money, I said that a product launched off the back of an expert blog is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to make an honest living online. This is true.

Your product could take one of many forms:

  • an ebook
    Creating an ebook is one of the simplest ways to make money from your blog. All you do is brainstorm a concept, write it out in Word or Open Office, tizzy it up with graphics and pictures, and then convert it into a PDF. Instant product. The problem? There are a lot of them out there. People have become a bit blind to them. If you are going to sell an ebook, you have to make sure it is of an outstanding level of quality and addresses a problem that’s massively relevant to your blogging audience. Ideally, it will cover a topic that hasn’t already been heavily written about.
  • an ecourse
    Another popular option is to develop an ecourse that teaches your readers how to do something. It could take the form of a series of emails sent out every week, or it could be an ebook mixed with video and delivered in module form. This is sometimes a better option because, the course content can be created or amended on the go, to respond to the feedback you get from users.
  • a membership site
    This is new black: it seems like everyone is creating membership sites nowadays. A membership site is basically a password-protected area of your blog that people can only access by paying. It could contain tools or courses or a forum of experts, for example. Some of the more successful membership sites are SEOBook and SEOmoz.
  • a physical product
    If you are one of these talented people who have an actual real-world skill like painting or designing clothes, you might want to make your product a physical one. This can work extremely well if you have a big list of people who admire your work.

Whatever you decide to create, you have to make sure it appeals to your readers and continues to add value as you’ve done on your blog. People simply will not pay for something unless they know that it will add to their lives in a meaningful way.

Promoting someone else’s product

If you don’t have the time, energy, or ideas to create your own product, you can start out by promoting other people’s—by becoming an affiliate. For example, if I created an amazing Blog Tyrant ecourse, I would offer people the opportunity to sell that ecourse on my behalf and earn a commission (usually 40% to 80%) on every sale. If you believed in that product (trust me, it’d be awesome!) then you could sell it to your list. Money for jam.

There are a few prerequisites to generating an income through affiliate sales:

  • The product must be relevant.
    If you run a dog-training blog there is almost no chance that my amazing Blog Tyrant product would sell to your list. You need to find affiliate products that are highly relevant to your blog.
  • You must believe in it/use it yourself.
    Personally, I never promote an affiliate product unless I use it myself. My site is all about helping people dominate their niche and grow an online business that allows them to work from home. Why would I risk my reputation (and in some cases friendships) promoting a product that I’ve never used?
  • It must be reputable and safe.
    Some affiliate programs out there really do not offer good protection for their customers. It’s getting rarer and rarer, but every now and then you come across a program that gets people involved with spam, or makes it difficult to get a refund. If you are going to promote something to your list, you want to make sure it comes from a reputable source that you know and trust. Shoemoney says that he never promotes an affiliate unless he has met the owner in person. This is a good rule.

Please do not think that affiliate programs are all dirty. They aren’t. There are some really solid brand names out there who are promoting very valuable tools and information. Darren’s one of them. With a little bit of research and planning, you will be able to find something great for your crew.

Finding affiliate products to promote
There are so many different places to find affiliates out there—some good, some bad. What you often find is that it is best to locate the product you want to promote first, then figure out what company that product creator is using to sign up affiliates. Some of the main ones you might want to look at include:

A lot of the larger companies run their own affiliate programs. In this case you want to visit the sites of the sellers themselves, scroll down to the very bottom and look for the Affiliates link that will direct you to the signup page.

3. Sell the product to your email list

The final part of this post is all about selling your product, or your chosen affiliate product, to your email list. This topic could be studied for a lifetime, but here, let’s look at a rough game-plan.


The first step is to generate some interest among your subscribers around the product launch. You want to prepare your readers for the big sale day. There are lots of different ways to do this, and many different schools of thought as to what works and what doesn’t. Some ideas include:

  • a free give away
    Having a free give away that is related to your product launch can be a good idea because people circulate the free part to their friends and on their blogs. It can also help you capture more email addresses to use for the actual promotion.
  • a time-sensitive signup area
    Something else that can work is to have a time-sensitive signup area. For example, if you are releasing a membership site you might only want to release it to 100 members. Having an earlybird signup area on the blog a week in advance can get people motivated to join, rather than risk missing out.
  • create an affiliate program
    Around this time, if you’re selling a product you’ve created yourself, you also want to set yourself up as affiliate seller so that other bloggers can sell your products. Email your list of high-profile blogging contacts, letting them know about the product launch and the affiliate program, and ask them to help you out.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it really does generate some buzz. The idea is to get as many people talking about the product, and sharing news about it, as possible.


The launch stage is where you actually send out the email to your list promoting your new product. You should also do a post on your blog to ensure your RSS readers hear about what’s going on. Make sure your launch email:

  • has a strong call to action
  • details all the specs of the product
  • uses social proof
  • focuses on benefits, not features.

As I said, this is only supposed to be a rough game-plan. There are some amazing articles out there that give you specific details on this process. I’d recommend starting with Copyblogger’s landing pages tutorials, Darren’s video on product launches, and Yaro’s article on creating an ebook.

Automate follow-ups for affiliate products

One thing to remember is that if you’re promoting someone else’s product you don’t have to do all this launch stuff. You can actually just set it to be entirely automatic. How? Well remember we talked about Aweber’s automatic messages earlier? What you can do is create a series of follow-up emails that go to every subscriber that you get on a sequence of set days.

For example, let’s say you subscribe to my Dog Training blog. On day one I might send you an automatic email thanking you for subscribing. Then on day three, you get an email with a highly useful dog training tip or tutorial. A week later, you get another training tip and then, maybe a day after that, I send you an email with an affiliate product that relates to the tips and tutorials, and really helps you solve the problem. It’s all automatic, and it works extremely well.

Remember, don’t flood your subscribers with emails, and don’t send anything out unless it’s highly valuable and useful to your subscribers. Don’t risk compromising your relationship.

Have you done it? Will you try it?

I’d really like to open up the comments now and ask you guys for any advice from your own email campaigns. Have you tried these kinds of approaches before? Did they work well? I’d also really like to know whether you will give this a try on your own blogs. Do leave a comment and let me know.

The Blog Tyrant is a 25 year old guy who makes a full time living from blogs and online businesses. He has sold several blogs for $20,000 plus and answers every comment he gets on his blog. Subscribe by email or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or RSS.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. Some would say that email lists are falling by the wayside while other points of contact are taking their place, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. What say ye?

    • This is an excellent all round post and I believe in what the author says. E-mailing lists are on of the best ways to build your online business. U~nless you have a lot of traffic it is very hard to make a living straight from your blog. In regards to your comment Tim I would have to say that I think the emailing list business model is still just as important now as it ever has been. Visitors from places like twitter and facebook are incredibly fickle. If people have given away their email address to you then it tells you that they trust you (at least a little!). Also it is a way to get into your customers lives rather than waiting for them to come to you.

    • Hi Tim.

      That’s an interesting questions.

      To be honest, I don’t think email marketing will be replaced by Facebook or Twitter any time soon. It is still the most personal medium available online and until someone (maybe Zuckerberg) finds a way to kill email and replace it with a new service I think it will remain.

      I work with a lot of brick and mortar businesses to develop email campaigns. I had one client sell $40,000 worth of wine in one day from an email list. There is no one FB or Twitter could do this.

      The thing about email is that if people allow you access, they already really like you.

      Just my two cents though. I could be wrong.

      • One thing to remember: the blogger should always be continually trying to overdeliver to his/her audience. Unfortunately, I think new bloggers sometimes aren’t quite ready to handle the demands to continually provide new, and valuable, information. If an email list is built on weak information, or deception, don’t expect that email list to be very responsive in the long run and short run.

        I agree completely with the last comment, from Blog Tyrant: “The thing about email is that if people allow you access, they already really like you.” In the general scheme of things, they do GIVE UP their email address before they actually receive a free product…so, it’s up to the blogger to meet those expectations…errr….exceed the expectations of the reader.

        Don’t forget, also, to subtly promote products on the back-end of your free product, as well.

        • Excellent points Howie!

          I think either Brian Clark or Sonia Simone said that if you think you’ve given away too much, you probably are just starting to give away enough.

          It’s a lot of work to continuously provide valuable content, and that’s why so many probably “cheap-out” or stop altogether like you said.

          There’s a whole romance thing to getting your email list to trust you and then buy your stuff. So many rush or abuse the process.

          Oh well, there’s a ton to say on this topic…

          Thanks for the great article Blog Tyrant – Theresa

      • I agree as well. Though Facebook and Twitter enables people to express their interest in each other, the platforms don’t really provide the same type of direct access that the email platform provides.

        In addition, and I hate to bring it up, people will also be careful about what they like or who they follow because of what their friends or following might think, so there’s an aspect of “what will they think if they know I’m interested in [enter weird interest here].” Email enables you to subscribe and stay updated without having to worry about what others will think.

        • Huge aspect right here, people are much more personal with their email accounts, and Facebook privacy scares and general concern with “presenting” yourself on Facebook might limit interactions of this nature.

          Not to say that social networks can’t be great ways to keep certain users updated (who may not wish to use email all that much) but in terms of selling related products, I think email will stay the clear winner here.

    • From what I’ve heard from the marketers and other bloggers I’ve talked to it seems like most of them are using email lists in addition to social media, instead of switching completely over.

  2. I have never tried sending out a sales pitch by email and fall into the category of people who shy away from it. I don’t think twice when I receive those types of emails myself, so why am I so leery of doing it myself? Hmmm.

    I appreciate your comments and how-to list – especially info on Aweber – and will put some though into it.

  3. I been doing this for years my friend..I been able to gain about 400k subscribers over 7 seven years of hard work and when I send out a email..then money just starts rolling in. Give away something free if you want people to join your list..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  4. Email is a great way to promote products. And you can definitely do it without being spammy. This is a great post. Covers a lot.

  5. Hey BT
    One of your usual detailed and practical posts … they always make me think and act.

    Our blog is relatively new and there’s a long way to go to build a big list. I’m focussing on developing quality content and engaging with every person who leaves a comment on the blog or our FB page.

    We have put in place a free product and are working on an online course … we really need to spend time getting out there and engaging more with other blogs … and doing all the offline living stuff like tango and taichi and drinking bubbles!

    I think the FB/mailing list divide is a red herring … I’m into FB and building an email list … different strokes.

    Thanks again BT for sharing your experience … and thanks Darren for asking him to guest post.


  6. Very useful and elaborate post Tyrant. You have dug so deep and brought out new insights. I completely agree with your notion about list building (that is, it should be every blog’s main focus) and selling to lists.

    E-Course is something I have never thought of.

    Thanks again for the great post,

  7. Spam your way to a better day and $10K? Well, I would think that you pretty much get one bite at that apple before your list starts dwindling.

    I’ve always thought that the tried and true way of providing solid, irresistible content and allowing readers to click a site’s ads without additional pressure is the best way to go. This approach to sales seems to not only keep your readers happy, but adds credibility to your Internet presence and builds confidence over time that the stuff your selling is really a product you trust – and all that seems to bode well for future sales. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t sell stuff through my site, so what do I know. However, I do buy stuff on the net and I would never make a purchase through spam – in fact, I’m less apt to purchase a product that has been exposed to me through spam.

    And attempting to force a decision through spam just makes you look craven – that you’re in it solely for the money. Of course, if that’s the only reason you blog…then I guess you really won’t care about readers anyway – but I can’t see that approach enabling you to build a sustainable business model and winning over long time readers/customers.


    • Hi Brad.

      I’m not really sure what your comment is implying. I spent a lot of time talking about why this isn’t spam and why value and good content is important for this method.

      Sorry if I mis understood.

  8. David says: 02/16/2011 at 2:07 am

    Overall, great post. I’m quite likely to refer to it in the future.

    Two questions:
    1. Is 15 to 20 percent conversion from the email list typical, or even realistic?
    2. Can you give me some good examples of an ecourse (specifically, an email course), as I’m interested in offering one of my own?

    • Hi David.

      It seems a lot of people don’t think that 15% is realistic. To be honest though, it all depends on your Blog. Over at Blog Tyrant I have hyper loyal readers and that figure is quite achievable. Others seem to think less than 5% is about right.

      As for great courses, check out Yaro Starak.

  9. Very helpful.
    Can you blog about collecting money. PayPal’s methods frighten me and I’m looking for a non-expensive alternative. I will be selling a subscription service, launching son.

    • Hey Mark, can you expand on why PayPal’s method frighten you? I think it would help a lot of people out to hear what some of your primary concerns are, so we can take steps toward addressing them.

      Anyone else have issues with PayPal they’d like to mention?

  10. Although I like the idea, I doubt that 15 to 20% of any list will buy something that costs 37 dollars, however good and helpful the product may be.

    • I think it depends on what type of list you spend time building. Sure, you’re not likely to find much success if you play the numbers game, but if you spend time building a list that focuses on quality subscribers rather than the quantity, you’re sure to attract the people that are actually interested in what you have to say or offer.

      What do you think Tyrant – quality or quantity in terms of email subscribers?

  11. I don’t understand how you can charge $37 either. Ebooks of real novels go for $2.99 on Amazon. This would be a great topic for a post, “How to write an ebook for $37 that people will actually buy.”

    • I see your point. A lot of people feel like that.

      But when you create a massively loyal following the price really doesn’t matter. Perhaps it needs to be more than an eBook though and include things like video and membership areas. A lot of sites charge hundreds of dollars a year for that kind of thing.

      But a straight out eBook – maybe $37 is too much for some people. That being said, if someone who has 500k subscribers and makes millions every year launched an eBook for $97 showing me exactly how to do it, I’d buy it.

      Its all about the relationship and the offering.

      • I agree.

        There was some recent discussion about this after Darren posted a link to an article Chris Brogan published, which was about pricing your digital content.

        The discussion turned to debate pretty quickly, as many felt digital content should be cheap, even though Chris provided the idea that content should be priced based on the time it required to produce as well as the value it offers.

        I see both sides of the argument, and think there’s room for a wide range of pricing. There should be digital content available for practically nothing, in order to reach as many as possible and compete with the other books on the topic. And there should also be digital content more along the lines of a trade book or text book … a book published for a specific reader in mind – that reader is the person interested in taking the topic or niche seriously and perusing it professionally.

        A lot of the content we see in our niche tends to lean toward the latter. Tyrant’s right – it’s about the relationship between the content publisher and the reader.

        • I did not mean to say that 37 dollar is too expensive per se. Maybe it’s the right price. I know I would spend that kind of money on an ebook if I really wanted to read it. I would probably want to pay more too. Simply convince me that I need it and I would pay whatever the price is lol.

          What I did meant to say though, is that – since the higer the price the less people are going to buy it – the numbers are unrealistic. If you want 15 to 20% of the people on your list to buy your ebook, the price should be a lot lower. And if you want the price to be 37 dollars, that might work out great, but you should not expect that 15 to 20% of the people will buy it.

          So I think paying that rent might be pretty difficult after all ;)

          • Oh, definitely! If you’re interested in reaching the most eyes … definitely reduce the price as much as possible.

            Speaking of which, I just saw CopyBlogger mention Seth Godin’s new book … going for just a dollar for the Kindle (correct me if I’m off).

  12. Great post! The comments are as interesting and informative as your article. Thanks.

  13. This is really getting into the deep waters of making a career out of blogging. I love how you do this, Blogging Tyrant. You’re a master at explaining how this works in a straight forward, no-nonsense way.

    Getting opt-in email addresses is the key. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Yeah, Maaike, you’d definitely need a passionate audience to convert one in five subscribers. I’ve seen it happen though.

  14. Your article has the same value with a short report that has some value. In fact, I learnt a lot from you, Tyrant. That’s why I sincerely subscribed to your list. But what do you have to say about someone with no capital to pay for an auto responder or pay for even a domain? I mean someone who’s trying to survive from a free blog like blogger.com, how does he apply your techniques effectively? Thank you.

    • Like everyone else working with a shoestring budget you have to build your capital slowly and surely. Then you can afford to purchase a little more marketing power bit by bit. And along the way you may just have a lucky break, but don’t bank on this.

    • I have not used it myself, but I know there is a service called MailChimp that is free. It is a list building service but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Aweber. And although a domain name is better, you can do this through blogger.
      All is possible, just might take a little more work.

      • I use MailChimp and love it! I did use Aweber in the beginning but was frustrated paying each month while my subscribers were tip toeing in here and there.

    • First, move to WordPress ; )

  15. I wanted to say this is exaclty the plan I am using. I am currently up to over 300 subscribers aand started in late November. I am currently writing my first ebook, but believe my market and topic will only justify around $15. I will be launching 2nd week in March. Then I will begin working on an ecourse with video and modules that I can hopefully sell for $30-40. It is not easy, but it is doable. The one thing that helps me is that I am passionate about my topic, personal development and self improvement. Therefore I don’t mind spending hours on end working on my business!
    Reach out and take a hand

  16. Selling other people’s products and services as an affliliate is often easier than selling my own.

    To be good at this, you must have a high level of trust with your email list and regularly provide them, like you said, with helpful content that shows them how to solve problems.

    The steady stream of emails from Internet marketers and others to “Buy this, buy this, buy this…” becomes tiresome and just adds to the noise. People with whom I spend the most money are also those who regularly send me free content and explain how I can solve my most pressing problems.

  17. In my experience I sell my ebooks to less than 1% of my list. I find 20% not a realistic number. To begin with not the 100% of the people open the emial you send, estadistics of many blogger shown that 50 to 70% open de mail.

    I agree is a great way to make money, I use this method, but I can bet no one can sell $10,000 bucks to a 1,500 list.

    Darren post he make $72,000 with one ebook the first week or so, and he doesent have a list of 10,000 people, its a lot more….

    • Hi DForce.

      Remember that it is not just one sale were talking about here. You have the follow up emails promoting other affiliate products, etc. It doesn’t have to be done all at once.

      The other thing that I do is build a general list and then squeeze them down to a loyal sub list. So if someone wants to get in on a product I get them to subscribe to another squeeze page and by doing so can convert much high numbers by priming them with freebies and pe-sale material.

      Yaro has a video of a lady who made $30,000 off of a tiny list. Its all about the relationship, the buzz it creates and the offering.

      Hope that helps.

  18. I built 25,000 subscribers in 2010, looking to launch a product soon and my affiliate banners do ok!…

    Great post!,

    David Edwards

  19. I have used the services with MailChimp and I have to say they are fantastic! The templates they provide to members and the backend administration panel curve is astounding. I would highly recommend this over Aweber, unless you are vitally against change.

  20. David, what was the secret to getting so many subscribers in a year?

  21. Some great ideas here Tyrant. I agree that building an email list is important. Whilst Facebook, Twitter etc are good ways to build an audience, you have more control over your email list.

    I don’t believe that bloggers shouldn’t promote products or services to their subscribers. The idea of having a few links on your page for people to click is ok, but what’s wrong with promoting something you believe in? If I’m going to devote a certain amount of time each week to my blog, and give away good ideas for free, I don’t see a problem in promoting products to my subscribers. If they all unsubscribe, I’ll know I’ve done something wrong.

    Also, there’s these comments above about paying $37 for an e-book. Stop comparing them to the ordinary books you get from a bookshop. The long tail is our friend. If I can provide you with ideas that will make you thousands of dollars, what is that worth to you? If I put those ideas in the written form and sell them, are they any less powerful?

    Just my 10c.


    • I like that you value your opinion 500% more than the average person. I’m going to visit your site right this moment (after I post my actual comment below) because you sound like me…and I’m rather fond of me. :D

  22. This sounds like a great idea. Get people to sign up on your email list. Offer an product, they buy the product and the money keeps rolling in. The problem comes when you have to determine what kind of e-book or product to sell.

    How do you determine what type of products or affiliates you should sell?

  23. I think a lot of internet marketers undervalue the benefits of Facebook. (Whereas, professional writers “get” it.) If I were to offer a product tomorrow to both my subscribers and my FB peeps, I guarantee FB would outsell the mailing list – at least at this stage of the game.


    On my site, people know Positive Piper Jen. On Facebook, people know *Jen* Jen. Basically, the two Jens are the same person because I don’t know how not to be the authentic me, but FB (personal wall and fan pages) gets updates at least daily. Website…thrice weekly. (Yeah…I said thrice.) People get to look at my wall (or pages) and go, “Golly gee…Jen and I both love Fight Club, Linkin Park and Fable 3. She *really* is like me, so I bet she could help me flip my attitude.” On website: “Yeah…Chick says she’s a real person like me, but is she? Really? Yeah…I’m watching you, Red.”

    Then there’s the obvious benefit to being friends with hundreds of writers, some of whom are willing to read something you say and turn around (unasked and within minutes) to tell their thousands of contacts that you know what you’re talking about, they dig you and all of them should too. Long term, email probably beats out FB, but marketers who blow it off as unworthy of their time ARE missing out on something.

    Or that’s just me. I don’t really do “normal,” so take some salt with that…

  24. Tyrant

    Thanks for the replay. That video you comment, where can I find it.

    I have a little over 30,000 subscribers to my list, and last year I make $12,000 for selling my ebooks. Now I think this is low, will have to improve my conversion and your post motivate me to do it.

    Cool post and thanks

    PS Still find hard to believe that 1,500 suscribers can make 10k jejeje you know someone who make it? I guess you?

  25. I’d really like to open up the comments now and ask you guys for any advice from your own email campaigns. Have you tried these kinds of approaches before? Did they work well? I’d also really like to know whether you will give this a try on your own blogs. Do leave a comment and let me know.

    • @Lazer.
      I was using Google Feed burner for getting email subscribers. This was in my earlier days and was hardly getting any subscribers. But in those days , I just had a subscribe page and a subscribe box in the sidebar assuming that people automatically subscribe. I was wrong.

      Thanks to my information seeking habit, I slowly gathered useful tips from veteran bloggers and did many changes to email subscription model.

      1) I introduced Email subscriptions options after each post – With the help of a word-press plug-in
      2) Created a 22 page eBook that I now offer for Free – I created separate one page web page for this eBook and people can enter their email address in that page to get this book
      3) Enhanced my sidebar email subscription box by integrating Free e-Book offer.

      Aby doing these 3 above changes, I saw my email subscription list growing steadily. Wonderful results. Note that I still use Feed burner.

      You can take a look at my single page web page which I solely created for the Free ebook


      • @Lazer
        Forgot to mention – Replace your Subscribe Button Text with “Free Sign-up” or ” Get Free Updates” or even “Get this Free eBook”
        Words make difference :-)

  26. Sounds really good. But the problem is how we are going to reach the high # of subs!?

  27. Great post and really useful – thank you. Now all I need is the confidence to get on with it – all about committing to value really I think! By the way thanks to the other people who have commented as well it is great to learn from their experience. I’d been thinking about Aweber and it is really useful to have your recommendation – just a the right time for me!

  28. Another great blog post – thanks so much.

    Perhaps one of the biggest lessons as any of us starts a blog is that we need to focus to a narrow group: a niche, as many of us call it. When you know the tightly-focused group to whom you are writing, it’s much easier to deliver the kind of information that group wants AND it’s easier to write in a “voice” that that group will understand and connect with.

    We often start our relationship with a new reader (and let’s face it: we are all in the relationship-building business) by giving away some content in return for a name and email address. People value their names and email addresses more and more as spam overruns us… so make that giveaway content valuable to your niche.

    We then often put people into a multi-step ecourse (again free) where we share even MORE information. And in the emails or on the WordPress pages we share, we make offers of additional information (like a CD) at low cost. Then when someone has raised his/her hand to say she/he is interested in the type information we provide, we up the ante and offer more-in-depth information that carries a higher value and price.

    Some of us say that if we did NOT offer this additional information we would not be fair to our readers – they read us because they like our information and simply to hold back because there is a cost is not fair. Offer it: they can take it or leave it.

    And if you’re looking for examples, go here to see how we do it… remember, it’s free information first before we get to something for sale. Free on the front page, free ecourse upon entering your name and email address, an offer right away, but then several weeks of emails (once a week) with additional information, both free and at cost: http://bit.ly/VideoBrandIdentity

    Charlie Seymour Jr

  29. I have a very helpful idea for an ebook for my site. I just have to write it. I think that would make 4 people a day sign up for my site. Is that realistic? Not sure… I’m in a pretty narrow niche.

    So if you price your book at $5 instead of $37…you are short changing yourself.

    Your rabid fans, will ask to beta test it as soon as they hear something’s up.

    I’ve had people ask me to teach, speak, come to their house and more. One lady I know is charging people $199 per half an hour talk in my niche.

    About 2 months ago I clicked on my very first affiliate link and got hosting at bluehost because I like BT and for no other reason. Then, I went crazy and bought 31 Days book from Darren.

    Keep in mind that not everyone’s as penniless as bloggers, and if they like and trust you they’ll buy your stuff and stuff you recommend.

  30. Overall a great post. I guess the phrase ” the money is in the list” is an undeniable fact after all. So it seems to me that the main profit does not come from the blog itself but rather from the back end sale where you try to recommend products and services to your subscribers…

  31. Wow, timely advice and a fantastic post. I am 7/8th of the way through this process on one of my sites. Free ebook, free map, free magazine = great list and potential to share excellent products, affs and paid adverts.
    We launch early next week , been a stack of work but I think it will be beneficial …….. btw, the site is http://cradlemountain.net/

  32. @ Blog Tyrant

    One of the best posts I’ve read from you, and I’ve read a few both here and on your site.
    Solid info that works, though I disagree with your numbers.

    I’m able to get between 10 and 20 per day with less than 500 uniques per day and think anyone aiming at 4 a day is selling themselves short (in my opinion). On the return side, most people I know aren’t getting a 15 – 20 % return on those numbers though. (including a colleague with a 300k list) and find this number is usually around 5 – 10 %

    @Brad you might want to look up the definition of the word “Spam” before posting something that isn’t related to this post, or this site. It’s called an Opt In meaning the individual receiving emails and offers from us, made a conscious choice to receive that information. Spam would fall into the unsolicited emails we all get daily. Huge difference.

  33. How would you compare an email list to a twitter following? Do you think a bulky email list is better than a ton of followers on twitter?

  34. Oops! I saw my question was already addressed. My apologies.

  35. I agree with you that “the most important thing to remember with this process is that you need to provide value. You need to enrich the lives of your subscribers. You need to solve their problems. Without this step you will find that your list grows largely unresponsive” but the conversion rate is between 1.5% and 3.5%, not 20%.

    Even with realistic conversion rates of 1.5% to 3.3%, it’s still worth doing.

  36. Email marketing is very powerful, but I can honestly tell you I maybe purchased 1 product via an email marketing letter over the past 5 years. Most times if I buy a product it will be based off of a site review or me searching for something, I am not the masses though. Email marketing is indeed very powerful and helps many form a 2nd income basis, but I have also seen it abused quite often.

    I also agree with Russel, from my various affiliate marketing conversion rates hover around 1.5% average for virtually any medium of marketing.

  37. This is great post and I have to say with my internet marketing career that as long as you provide value for your subsribers that bigger potential or chances you have to make money with your list.

  38. Very helpful post Blog Tyrant. I really appricate how you spelled out the steps so practically. You made an overwhelming topic feel a bit more manageable.

    I do have a question. As a relatively new blogger, I am curious about when you would suggest starting this process? On the one hand I want to give adequate time to building readership and developing a base of solid content. On the other hand, this is my full time job (plus graduate school), so I would like to be contributing to my families income sooner rather than later. I have some exciting ebook ideas, and hope to begin writing soon; however, I am unsure of where I should be focusing the majority of time. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.

  39. Great post ! You write it really well.
    I am a 3 month old newbie in this arena and your post is really informative.
    I was at first hesitant for aweber monthly fee. Anyway it is definitely a must have.

  40. Blog Tryant.
    Thanks for this post. It helped me with lots of inspiration.
    As you mentioned, an email list can be your potential subscriber base when you launch your own new product. While Aweber helps one to build a mailing list, eBook helps to perfectly monetarize the blog.

    At the end of the day, blogging is writing, plain writing. If one is a great writer, chances are that he will succeed eventually as a blogger.Technology only assists him (aweber or CMS).

    Just to answer a question asked by Angeli’o within the comment thread, if one wants his e-Book to sell, he must establish himself as an expert or authority in his chosen niche. Before buying an e-Book, people see the authority. A great (actually the only way) way to achieve authority is to create wonderful content (solution) or an on line product that solves people’s problems. Once it appeals the audience, you can go ahead with your own product and launch it straightway.

    @BlogTryant – Correct me if I am wrong.

    Thanks again for this awesome article

  41. Yes, Great post Blog Tyrant! Many folks (like me, blush) have paid alot of money for this information that you so clearly laid out for free!

    This direction if being preached by many many internet marketers, but I find that the biggest challenge is driving traffic! The traffic techniques are either really time consuming (social sites) or techy (SEO) and really that is the fuel that feeds the furnace – a list is great, free offer is great, product/affiliate is great – BUT if the traffic is not coming in steadily all this is not of much use. I’m open to all the help I can get – but I can’t live planted in front of my computer screen permanently;)

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