As we have seen in my last post, relaying on Google for your traffic is a dangerous thing – you’re always one update away from being wiped out. I know because I speak from experience.
For those who don’t know, I was banned from the Google search index for THREE YEARS! Yet, during that time, I was able to grow in both traffic and income. The blog and the brand became bigger than ever. I accomplished what many bloggers and SEO “experts” said could not be done: build a site without the help of Google. How did I do it?
The Mailing List – Your Key To Freeing Yourself From Google
The reason I was able to survive and thrive without Google was because my blog’s email list. Because of the list, I had a way to contact all my readers and drive traffic back to the blog. Most blogs don’t 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 protect your blog from big daddy Google, and 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 turn your blog into a real business, 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 five to ten 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!
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 one, the list would be twice the size, and so would the income.
Starting your list from day one ensures that you are building your foundation so that if Google every knocks you down with an update, you won’t be wiped out along with all the other affected blogs.
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 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 (your first month is only $1) 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 means money flying out the window. Everyday you wait means you’re at the mercy of the Google monster. Stop waiting.
Image credit: Computer keyboard with free key by BigStockPhoto.com.
Did you enjoy this post? Get John Chow Dot Com updates via email...
Stay up to date with all of John Chow’s tips for making money online and blog posts by subscribing via email. Your email will be kept private and never shared with anyone.