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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0128: Is It Worth Starting an Email List, Even Though I Don’t Have Many Visitors?

AP 0128: Is It Worth Starting an Email List, Even Though I Don’t Have Many Visitors?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat Episode 128 Transcript

Pat Flynn: What up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 128 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. Today, we have a question from Claudio.

Claudio: What’s up, Pat? I just started a podcast called Summer in Brazil which has to do with the World Cup. Today my question was about an email list. I know you said that one of your biggest regrets was not starting an email list earlier. But if I only have an email list of about ten people, and I’m not getting a lot of traffic yet, is it really worth it to put in that time to email those folks, even though it’s such a small number? Or should I just wait til I’ve got a bigger audience? Thanks for everything you’ve done, and I hope to hear from you.

Pat Flynn: Claudio, thank you so much for this question, and this is probably one of the most common questions I get. Is it worth starting a newsletter? Building an email list right at the beginning? Or should you wait until you have at least a few people coming to your site, visitors increasing the number of traffic to your site?

One-hundred percent, yes. You should absolutely be starting your email list right from the beginning. I’ve mentioned it time and time again: One of the biggest mistakes I made was not starting to build an email list right from the beginning. I mean, not only is it a great way to look like a professional site . . . You don’t want people who come to your site for the first time to think, “Wow, there’s not really much here. There’s not much value that this person can provide.” No. You want to give as much value as you can, and a great way to provide value to your visitors, whether your blog is brand new or your blog has been around for a while, is to have people join an email list and provide value, and connect with them in that way.

Couple of important notes here. Actually, three things I want to mention. One is the cost. A lot of people worry about the cost of starting an email list right at the beginning. Well, the cost is actually proportional to your list size. Now, when you start out, you’re going to have to pay a little bit of a fee, but I’m paying hundreds of dollars a month to AWeber, and there’s a lot of other great email service providers out there. In addition to AWeber, there’s MailChimp, there’s Constant Contact, there’s iContact, a number of other ones as well. I use AWeber and I recommend AWeber. If you want to go through AWeber, and you don’t yet have an email list, go to AskPat.com/aweber, and you’ll get hooked up there. When you first start out, there’s a little bit of a fee, and I’m paying hundreds of dollars a month, but you won’t have to because your list size is small. So that’s great, you don’t have to worry too much about cost.

And it is worth building that list up front because number two, you will make deeper connections with your audience than if they were just regular readers of your site. You want to know exactly who’s reading your site, or those who have chosen to tell you that they want more from you. You want to know who those people are, and when you’re just starting out, that’s the advantage that you have. You have the advantage of being able to pay more attention to everybody who subscribes to your list. So, Claudio, you mentioned you have ten visitors a day. Even if it’s ten visitors a week. Let’s say it’s ten visitors a week, which isn’t very much, but it is a great start. Especially if you’re in the first few weeks of blogging. I mean, when you first set up a blog, only you and maybe your mom or some friends or roommates or whatever would know about it. Imagine forty people in a month coming over to your house and saying, “Yeah, I want to know what you have to say.” That’s a significant amount of people! Forty people different people in a month, ten per week. So don’t discount those ten readers that you have, and when you can understand who those readers are by allowing them to subscribe to your email list for more information from you, you know that those are warm/hot people that are on your side. Not “hot” like physically, but “hot” as in, they want more from you.

And that’s your opportunity, especially . . . again, like I said before, your advantage at the beginning is you have the ability to reach out to all of those subscribers and ask them, “What is it that you’re struggling with? Why did you want more information from me? What value did I have to provide to you? What did you like about what I had to say?” Those are things that you should absolutely be understanding right from the beginning, so that you can do more of that. So you’re not blindly just driving your car of a blog just whichever direction you feel like it, but it is based off of some type of feedback from people who are a part of your target audience. And the only way, the best way, to do that is through email because it’s still a very personal way to make these real connections with people. You can also get great feedback for the future of your site and direction on what to write about. And they’re going to feel like they get special treatment because they’re probably reading other sites too, and it’s doubtful that a lot of those other sites, especially sites that have been around for a while, are paying that much attention to them. So these people who you connect with at the beginning, this X number of subscribers right at the top of the life of your blog, they’re going to feel special. They’re going to become the raving fans that will support you, that will always share you’re stuff because they’re getting that special treatment from you that they can’t get anywhere else.

And thirdly, and finally: Building your email list can exponentially grow your blog, can increase traffic to your site. Especially when you’re first starting out. When you come out with a new blog post, you want to mention that there’s a new blog post to all of your email subscribers. So what happens is people on your list who have given you permission to send them more information, more great information, and great content, and great value that you have to provide to them, you send that link to all of them who have subscribed. And they go to your site, it’s right there in their inbox. A lot of people check their email first thing in the morning or at all times, and whenever an email comes in, they can’t not read it because it might be important. So, again, they’ve given you permission to do that so you send them this link and they go to your site, that counts as traffic, right? But more importantly than that, these people are likely going to be sharing that content. They’ve given you that permission, they’ve told you that they love your stuff. And if they love it enough, and you give them permission to, and even ask them, give them a call-to-action to share that content, they’re going to share it. So what happens, their followers, their fans, however many that there are, will come to your site. If it’s something relevant to what they have to do, or something going on in their life and those people will subscribe. A certain percentage will subscribe to your email list.

And then the next time you come out with a blog post, you have more email subscribers to send that link to for that new blog post that you came out with, or that new piece of content. And then more people who are going to potentially going to share it, which means more people likely coming to your site, which means more people likely subscribing to your email list. So on and so forth. And so that email list is a key, crucial component to the growth of your site. So don’t discount the fact that you’re just starting out. It is not a waste. It is a waste if you don’t start your email list. I guarantee that if I started my email list right from the beginning, and I used it in a very smart way, that my blog would be much bigger today. That I would have much more momentum right out of the gate than I did. It took about a year and a half to really gain some momentum with a smart passive income blog, and even a number of my other blogs as well. But if I used those email lists wisely, by first collecting those emails and then sending emails out to my audience, and also getting feedback and gathering information from my target audience, I would be that much more ahead.

So Claudio, I hope that answers your question. Thank you so much for asking it because I know a lot of people have that same question on their mind. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. For those of you listening, if you have a question, like to potentially be featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there from that webpage.

Thanks so much, and as always, I’m going to end with a quote, and today’s quote is from another unknown person. There’s so many unknown quotes out there. I wish we could always give credit to those who said it. There’s a lot of brilliant phrases and quotes out there, but actually a lot of them are unknown like this one: “If you do what you need, you’re surviving. If you do what you want, you’re living.”

Live a happy life, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat.

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