Getting email subscribers is a challenge for many, especially bloggers who don’t have a unique selling point. Even after creating quality content consistently, they fail to convert their readers into loyal email subscribers. It’s a slow and arduous process that not many bloggers are able to survive.
Most of the popular bloggers who managed to build a huge list of targeted subscribers didn’t do it overnight. It took them years to reach where they are today. However, things are no longer the same in the blogosphere. They’re rapidly changing, for the better.
Blogs that started five years ago didn’t have access to social media and other smart tools that bloggers have today. Which means that as a blogger, it should be a lot more easier for you to grow your mailing list — if and only if you think out of the box. And how do you do that?
According to Paul Graham — “a startup is a company designed to grow fast. It needn’t be a tech company, or anything to do with the Internet.”
If you look around, you’ll find that successful startups have no problem attracting users. They build massive email lists within no time. How they manage to do this isn’t rocket science. They simply focus on giving real value to their users that their users can’t find elsewhere. Right from giving a great user experience to solving a real problem, they do it all.
When you stop thinking like a typical blogger and start thinking like a real startup, you automatically start finding unique ways to give more value to your readers. You start providing workable solutions to problems that your readers are facing. You start working like an entrepreneur who’s ready to go to any lengths to grow his company.
A successful startup is defined by growth, and so should your blog. Everything that you do on your blog should take you towards growing your readership and your email list. Just like a startup is user-centric, your blog should be reader-centric. Only then will you start converting more of your readers into subscribers.
Time and again, startups have followed a very successful pre-launch strategy. They created signup driven homepages with only one single mission: get more people to join their email list. What does this have to do with your blog?
When you start looking at your readers as users, and your blog as a startup, you do things that get you more “signups”. With a signup driven homepage, your blog’s only focus is to get people on your email list — nothing more, nothing less. Everything else comes later.
Your homepage is where you sell your blog’s vision, mission and direction to your potential subscribers. You motivate your visitors to join you in your blogging journey. You create a positive connection with them that makes them want to jump on your list.
Growth hacking is a fancy new term which simply refers to finding new and innovative ways to grow. While it’s been proven that you can growth hack to grow a web app, the question is, can you apply growth hacking to your blog? Of course you can.
Dropbox growth hacked its way to startup glory in its early days with a signup driven homepage. The website had a simple layout without many distractions. It laid the foundation or the groundwork for the Dropbox product with a two minute (above the fold) explainer video. There aren’t many options on the homepage. It’s clear that Dropbox wanted you to watch the video and sign up.
When you create a signup driven homepage for your blog, you obviously don’t start a viral revolution like Dropbox. However, what you do is start converting more of your blog visitors into email subscribers — even before they start reading your blog.
Your homepage shouldn’t have distractions. Just like Dropbox, it should have a one single purpose, to get more signups. The more clear it is, the better.
By now, it’s clear that your signup driven homepage should have a video. But what kind of video should it be? Since you’re not signing up people to a web app, your video should tell your story. Everybody has a story, and everybody likes stories. They’re powerful and they help you tap into emotions.
People who are visiting your blog for the first time will be able to connect to you better after watching your video. They’ll be able to trust you quicker after seeing that you are someone real, and not just a faceless blogger. But it doesn’t stop there. When you tell your story and ask your visitors to take action, they’ll be more comfortable to give their email address.
Getting your visitors to subscribe to your email list is one part of equation. The other part is to start giving them value right away. This helps you build a relationship with them and live up to their expectations.
A great majority of bloggers miss out on this relationship building part. They only focus on sending out updates to their new subscribers whenever they have a new blogpost. But giving them value without making them wait can and will make them stay on your list. This can be easily done by creating an educational autoresponder series with Aweber or MailChimp.
Being a blogger, your job is to create more value for your readers on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot get them on your email list first. By creating a signup driven homepage you move your focus towards creating a list of subscribers who regularly read your blog content, rather than getting one-time readers who quickly leave.
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