How I Got My First 50 Email Subscribers Before Blogging
5 January 2018
Imagine organising your first speaking engagement.
You start by putting your slides together and spending hours every week rehearsing it.
The big day arrives, you’re ready and raring to go, but when you turn up you’re the only one there.
“Perhaps they’re running late”, you think.
15 minutes go by and still not a soul in the room.
It’s happened—you’ve just become your own audience.
Hours spent preparing your slides, rehearsing and worrying about how good it will be, for what?
There’s no one to blame except yourself because you focused on delivering life changing content for your audience, but forgot about making sure people turned up.
It’s similar to blogging.
If you’re going to spend hours upon hours writing heartfelt content, then you need to put the same, if not more, effort ensuring people read it.
That’s why I set myself a target to reach 50 email subscribers before writing my first blog post, to guarantee that someone will be reading my content.
Want to know how I got 50 subscribers before writing my first blog post?
I’m going to show the two strategies I used to do just that.
1. Online Interview
Are you an expert?
If so, then you need to start sharing your knowledge by doing interviews.
There are 4 main types of interviews ideal for showcasing your expertise:
- Podcast interviews
- Facebook live interviews
- Written questionnaire type interviews
- Video interviews (e.g. using Youtube or Vimeo and embedded onto the site)
Besides helping to build your confidence and authority in your niche, interviews can open doors to influencers and their audience.
I’d even go as far to say that building relationships with influencers could actually be the key to unlocking your website traffic and subscribers goals.
What is an influencer?
Someone who commands authority in a particular niche, has people consuming their content everyday and loving their products or services.
In other words, they have the power to influence the behaviour or opinions of other people.
Now, imagine being interviewed by one of these influencers.
Starting to see the power of doing interviews?
But first, you need to start your relationship with influencers CORRECTLY.
Don’t just go pitch them in your first communication.
First, get to know them.
Read their content, complement their efforts, and find opportunities to add value and stand out.
Whether that’s as simple as finding an issue with their website and flagging it to them, or attending their next workshop or event and introducing yourself.
For instance, I met Renee from I Teach Blogging a few years ago through a Facebook community and we got to know each other. We would often ask each other’s opinion on a particular issue or opportunity we were working on.
A year or so later, Renee asked me to do an interview and provide SEO advice for bloggers.
I jumped at the opportunity.
It was good practice for doing interviews and talking about my upcoming SEO course.
You can listen to it here.
I did another fun interview with Alexis who runs Parentpreneur.
We met at a 2-day business growth workshop early 2016, talked through common challenges, and ended up keeping in touch.
A few months later, Alexis decided to launch a podcast and I was more than happy to help his tribe out with some good ol’ SEO advice. Check it out.
Clearly relationships take time to develop, so here’s a strategy to help you gain traction now.
2. Online Communities
In the early days of establishing your authority online, you need to understand one thing:
People are not just going to find your content online by themselves.
Instead, you need to help them find it.
Or, to be even more assertive, put it on a plate in front of them.
If they happen to be looking for your advice, they will consume it.
However, make sure you provide as much GENUINE advice as possible before promoting your content.
And by “promoting your content”, I don’t mean trying to sell to the group or offer a free consultation which then leads to a sale.
I mean provide content that helps your audience save time, save money or do things better.
Here’s an example:
I actually delivered a workshop for this community in June 2017 and most of the interest was around Instagram, so I knew they would find this post helpful.
When you promote quality content that influences your readers, they remember you.
Like the time I was exhibiting my digital marketing agency recently at an event. I met a small business owner who said he knew me from the Facebook group and has enjoyed the content I’ve shared.
It goes to show, just because someone doesn’t like or comment on your post, does not mean they don’t click through to your site.
To help you get started, you can look for relevant communities in the following spaces:
Like I said, share advice, get to know the members and even the group owner before sharing your niche expertise. One thing may lead to another, and who knows, you might just have a new email subscriber. 🙂
With all the different tasks I work online, there’s nothing better than someone reading and sharing how useful my content has been for them.
A bit like…
When you begin to get comments like this, getting subscribers becomes a predictable byproduct.
When I used to work in a 9 to 5 job, I used to consume hours and hours of content each week, and it has helped me become a smarter marketer. I’ve even reached out to some of those authors and worked with them.
I know first hand what quality content leads to in the longer term.
I’ve underlined “longer term” for a reason, so stick with it and enjoy those small wins, even if it’s just a few readers loving your stuff in the beginning.