Email Marketing Guide for Bloggers – Why Your Blog Must Have An Email List

I’m going to start a guide on Email marketing for bloggers in the coming days and weeks. This is part 1. Email Marketing is something that most bloggers overlook. They’ll work on building their RSS, Facebook, Twitter and all other forms for social media contacts but do nothing about email. Most blogs don’t even have an email list. And yet, this is the biggest factor separating the big money making bloggers from all the little guys – we have a mailing list. And if you truly want to make the big bucks in this business, you absolutely need a mailing list.

You Email List Is Your Foundation

Many bloggers think their blog is their foundation and everything else (twitter, facebook, RSS, etc.) builds around that. This might be true if you’re just a blogger. However, if you’re a blogger looking to make a pile of cash, your foundation is your email list and everything else builds around the list.

When you have a big email list, you have a foundation that is so strong that not even Google can break you. The main purpose of my blog is to capture the leads coming to it. This is why new readers are hit with a big light box hover sign up box the first time they visit. I am building my foundation.

Email Marketing Makes The Most Money

Email marketing may seem very old school and not as glamorous as the latest social media craze. However, email marketing has one huge advantage over social media channels like Twitter and Facebook – Email marketing makes the most money.

In my post on Email marketing vs. blog marketing vs Twitter marketing, Email came out on top by a wide margin. Email is still the most responsive medium for getting your offers in front of your readers. I know that if an offer does well with a blog post, it will do three to five times better when I send out an email about it.

Don’t let all those social media marketing experts fool you. Email is still where it’s at. Hell, most of those social media gurus use Email marketing to sell you their social media course!

Your Email List Can Leverage Other Sites

The nice thing about email marketing it its versatility. You can use it for pretty much anything. My blog email list was used to launch Twitter Follower. Yes, I blogged about it to get people to sign up but the sign ups really started rolling in when I sent out an email to the list about it. Twitter Follower is getting over 100,000 page views per month now and it’s largely thanks to the email list.

Twitter Follower is already making money yet there are no ads on the site. Guess where the money is coming from? With a mailing list, it is possible to have a completely ad free blog and still make a lot of money.

Start Your List From Day 1

My biggest blogging mistake was not starting my blog mailing list from the get go. Because John Chow dot Com was a personal blog back then with no intentions of ever making money, I never applied my normal marketing tactics to it. Had I started the Email list from day 1, this blog would be making over $100,000 per month instead of only $40,000.

You Must Choose The Right Email Provider

Choosing the right email marketing solution is even more important than choosing your blogging software. When you switch blog software, say from Blogspot to WordPress, you can port over all your post without losing any.

However, switch email host providers and you’ll stand to lose up 80% of your subscribers. This is because the provider will require your subscribers to opt in again. This was my second Email marketing mistake. I was hosting my own list and decided to move it over to Aweber because they’re simply the best in the business. Because of the Canspam rule, Aweber required everyone on my list to re-opt into it before they can host it. Those subscribers were already double opted in but that doesn’t matter. If you change providers, your subscribers need to opt in again. Only 20% of my list did that when I switched to Aweber. Had I gone with them from day 1, my list would be twice its size now.

Don’t Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

This is a mistake I see new bloggers make all the time. They try to save some money by hosting their own list on some free software with the hopes of moving to Aweber at a later date “after they’ve made some money.” I guess they’ve forgotten my point about email marketing being the biggest money maker. At any rate, this is just being penny wise and pound foolish. You can build a list for free but the instance you try to import that list to a service like Aweber, you’re going to lose 80% of the subscribers because they won’t opt back in.

Big money bloggers treat their their blogs like a business. And businesses have expenses. Hosting the email list is one of them. And if you do it right, there is no way you can not make the $19 a month that it takes to host your list on Aweber.

If your blog doesn’t have an email marketing list yet, RIGHT NOW would be the time to start one. Everyday you wait is money flying out the window. In part 2 of my Email marketing for bloggers guide, I’ll show you how to get readers to subscribe to your list. In the mean time, go take a free test drive of Aweber. Remember, the money is in the list!

58 thoughts on “Email Marketing Guide for Bloggers – Why Your Blog Must Have An Email List”

  1. Phil says:

    I would recommend anyone serious about email marketing to speak to a provider and get themselves a dedicated IP and email address. Email deliverability is all about reputation and this takes time.

    Any business should be capturing it’s propects and customers email address and communicating with them regularly

    1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

      I agree with you, communication is what we should have with our client or potential business buddy, then we may get some sales from the subscribers. It may take some times to build up the list and we don’t know how many % of the subscriber in the mailing list is quality 1. Anyway, get as much as we can is the best thing ever.


      1. One more Important thing unless you have a large e-mail list base, aweber or anything else will not be fruitful venture.

  2. I suppose you’re right, but what if one doesn’t blog about a specific topic but more “general” topics like how to make some money online, a little bit of SEO, some facebook/twitter and tech news – and some personal blog stuff too …

    What would you e-mail your subscribers about, in that case? Just a 2-3 times a month email with a list of recent posts to get some more traffic / attention to your posts?

    1. John Chow says:

      That will be cover later in a later guide when I talk about creating content for your email.

      1. Amílcar says:

        I am looking forward for this guide. I saw your terrific video on and it gives us a pretty good idea about what you do regarding your specific niche. Other guidelines would be great. By the way, I cant recommend the video I mentioned highly enough. After seeing it, I dont know how one can consider John Chow “evil”. You show exacly how your system works to the public. Fantastic!

  3. You’re right John. I think most bloggers go for the free email service because they don’t want to pay that much yet, since they don’t know the power of it yet.

    Most of us plan for now, not for the future. That’s our biggest mistake. Damn, when am I going to start a list!?

    1. Moralde says:

      Right on the mark Faisal. The first mistake with newbie bloggers (me included) is that they launch their blogs without a plan, without a targeted niche.

      So, even though building a list is a profitable fact, we can’t go ahead and subscribe to a mailing service like Aweber because it costs considerably and we are not sure we can get the money back we spent sooner. What if it takes a year for our list to begin to become profitable? We’d have already spent our kids’ school allowance allotment for 2 years.

  4. Doug Dillard says:

    Looking forward to reading the entire series John. I have been taking about this quite a bit on my site lately and different ways to “BRIBE” your readers into subscribing to you list.

    I swear by Aweber myself as well. I have been using them for many years now and they are worth every penny!

    1. Bribes are of course the best way to build a list. Once I get my board games launched I plan to be giving away free stuff on my personal blog monthly or weekly.

      Of course, the only way that you will be eligible for the free stuff is to be a suscriber to my email list. I have no idea what I may promote with my email list yet other than my own products and blog, but at least the list will get into place.

  5. John Pope says:

    I’m using MailChimp, but I’m thinking of switching to a somewhat more advanced email marketing service, because of the lack of options.

    I will be sorry tough about their great admin interface.

  6. Thanks for informative guide John. I never tried to use an email marketing. I might try it now

  7. Ghostwriter says:

    Never try to host your own autoresponder for sending emails. If someone reports you for spam, you could be shut down.

    As John mentioned, aWeber is the best solution to go for.

  8. Greg Ellison says:

    I have a aweber account also. There interface is very easy to work with from Day one. It also helps that a lot of people are signed up and have guides written for Aweber. Thanks Greg Ellison

  9. redviewpoint says:

    I’m excited to read your guide on creating content for email. Thanks a lot for sharing John. Very helpful. 🙂

  10. I also use the email list to promote my blog but I use the free one provided by Yahoo groups. I will think about using Aweber because I think it can boost my traffic. Thanks

  11. David Walker says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for blogging about this because it is a subject I need to learn more about. I have only recently come to appreciate the “money is in the list” and my own blog has been set up to attract subscribers.

    Any help you can provide on this highly important topic would be greatly appreciated. I will wait by my RSS reader for updates 🙂


  12. Hi John. I guess you will earn some small coms from me today. I spent a couple of months setting up the blog in the way I liked and getting some decent content on there.. now it is time for the Aweber stuf to go on there.

    I am interested to know, however, should I place the Aweber form in a similar postion to yours or would somthing similar to the footer sign up form you have be sufficient?

    1. John Chow says:

      I’ll cover that in a future guide. But the key is to hit the readers many times until they subscribe.

      1. Yes we are also looking for your suggestion towards the placement.

  13. Amílcar says:

    Hi John,

    Feedburner has an email subscription service as well. However, it will only send the blog content to the readers. Since most bloggers dont write newsletters, what do you think of this feedburner feature?


    1. John Chow says:

      It’s pretty much worthless.

  14. hospitalera says:

    Funny that you started this little series just now as I was looking into this whole list building business. I am still sitting on the fence with this one, so I am looking forward to the rest of your posts. SY

    1. If you want to be off the fence about why you should have an email list, I suggest that you watch the video of John Chow talking about the blog income.

      Set aside an hour of time, and pay attention to the video… There is a lot of quality information in there, especially in relation to email marketing. I imagine much of this upcoming series will be taken directly from that presentation!

  15. nyegik says:

    is my first time to visitign here, wow ur blog is so very very nice…and ur articles to, i’m glad to be here and i think maybe i found something to learn in here….thanks my friends

  16. EarningStep says:

    i really agree with you , even i don’t have too much number in my list .

  17. Albert says:

    E-mail marketing is no doubt one of the factors that Internet marketers should consider. Anything to bring back those visitors is a must in this online industry.

  18. I didn’t realize that email marketing is the biggest cash cow out there.

  19. Would Twitter Follower be making money by requiring people to sign up for your email list to use the service?

    Then when people sign up for your email list, they go through the auto-responder sales funnel…

    So if this is correct, you have used your email list to launch a site that requires people to sign up for your email list to use. Genius….

  20. Debo Hobo says:

    hmmm I register for Twitter Follower, but it is saying the twitter username and password are inccorect. I supplied the info I use to log in everyday.

  21. Cam Birch says:

    I have been considering e-mail marketing but the major problem is if you don’t have sufficient traffic to the blog. So first thing is to get valuable traffic then I will be implementing the e-mail list.

    1. Another problem is that without something existing to make people sticky once they go to your blog, then you have to drive 10 or maybe 100 times the traffic you have to make it.

      If you can get a certain percentage of every visitor to sign up for your email list, then you have a way to keep that same percentage of visitors.

      It has been approximately one month since I started blogging seriously to support my board game publishing. Since then, I have had approximately 707 unique visitors. If I was capturing emails with a hover box and awesome offer of free games, then maybe as much as 5-10% of each new visitor would sign up for the list.

      Now with the list I can keep that 35-70 people occassionally coming back to the blog. Over time, that seems to be an awesome way to build an audience to me!

  22. Vincent Woon says:

    Appreciate this post ….I’m building my blog now, what a Great timing. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  23. John, this is so true.

    When I started my blog on African Cultures a couple of years ago I did not set up an e-mail list right away – it was up for 1 year before I figured that I should probably start to collect e-mail information – once I did I saw the huge benefit of having a list –

    Back then I always heard the term, the money is int he list, the money is in the list, but until I finally added a subscription form,I did not understand what it really meant, everyone should have their blogs set up to build that very important list.

  24. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    I’ve not been building any mailing list by using paid autoresponder, I’m planning to get Aweber to build my mailing list since so many people recommend it. I’m going to read more about that. 😀


  25. aansa says:

    How would you compare Aweber with Icontact? You feedback will be appreciated.

  26. Brad says:

    well, i’ve started my aweber account, so far i’ve got 25 subscribers.

  27. S.K Sharma says:

    Thanks John,I had 400 Forums members and my site is closed forever but after your advice I activated site and sent
    Mass mail to all my old users app.400 mails at ones.
    I am planing to send my daily blog post in short with link to them.
    How is the idea?

  28. seospidy says:

    what a nice post …..
    good job done.

  29. farouk says:

    sadly i lost 20% of my email subscribers because of technical problem with my content management system

    thanks for the post, i need to know how often to send mail messages

  30. Email marketing is critical to the success of your business.
    It doesn’t matter if your business is online or off, marketing by email will save you money, drive traffic to your website, build customer loyalty, increase brand awareness, create sales, and increase your

    1. Let us not forget, once you have a large and powerful email list, it will open doors of opportunity to relationships in your industry. If your list has a history of a 10% purchase rate on new product launches, then you have immense leverage in partnerships.

      Walking into a deal with an email list of 10,000 / 50,000 / 100,000 will give you some huge confidence when you can say… With one email I will sell 1,000 / 5,000 / 10,000 copies of a product.

  31. I still am amazed to the fact that email marketing continues to be one of the best ways to make money online…


  32. Leah Waddill says:

    Love the tips for the interview. I may use that with models, photographers, mua’s, hair stylists etc for my guest blog on

  33. Leah Waddill says:

    Your idea on creating an interview is great, and an excellent way for me to head with my guest spot on this new blog. I was thinking to go with model’s, photogs, mua’s, hair stylists, wardrobe stylists, etc…. and write about their work (of course some of which would be people that I would be working with as I am in the modeling world), but I think this is an excellent route to go with! They would want to link to the blog on their sites of course as well which would create thousands of extra hits per person. Love it! 🙂

  34. Jeremy Palmer makes about $1 million a year and he doesn’t have an email list, at least not one that’s geared to his blog.

  35. Amazing thing to no the fact email marketing continues the best way to make money money online.

  36. Custom Essay says:

    I have found that less than 2% of your subcribers becomes your active members through your e-mail list. Other people just joint and forget. 🙂

  37. really? I don’t think so.

  38. I still believe in E-mail marketing is a great tool for driving traffic into your sties.

  39. Joe says:

    And I have found that about 1-3% of your subcribers becomes your active members through your e-mail list. Especially for new sites! Other people just joint and forget you!

  40. BLOGERCISE says:

    I have had no problems running my own extensive mailing list and am happy to help out anyone who wants to avoid charges. I think that actually the monthly fees asked are quite expensive for new starters who might not be earning anything for a year or two.

    There are services that allow you to upload an existing email list and retain the current optin status. For example Email Vision supply a software suite that allows you to manage your list in the way that you want. I’d suggest bloggers have a look elsewhere if moving to Aweber could lose you 20% of your subscribers as suggested above.

    Although I do note Aweber has a nice looking affiliate scheme which makes it attactive to promote ;)!

  41. This is going to be a great guide. It dawned on me a couple of days ago that I didn’t have an email list of my readers and frequent commenters. I have started running several sponsored contests a month and would like to utilize email as an additional way to let them know about my contests.

  42. ensuesShurf says:

    yeh right.. great post, Thank You

  43. B.B.Goyal says:

    aweber is pretty costly for start ups. they have not given any pricing for newsletter posting.

  44. Ed Harvest says:

    This is the advice that I’m looking for. Thanks

  45. i have searched on google and have found that there are various bulk emailing software available. please intimate me whether these are successful or not?

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