The Mailing List – Your Key To Freeing Yourself From Google

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.

$1 Aweber Offer

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16 thoughts on “The Mailing List – Your Key To Freeing Yourself From Google”

  1. Caleb says:

    Another point abut having a list is that it gives ppl an INTIMATE place to store your content. They may not always be able to act on the recommends you give but being able to email them gives them more chances to act upon it besides, we already know it takes multiple repetitions before the average person acts on your message anyway. For example, I recently made a sale from a guy who has been on my list since last December yet he just now finally bought something!

    Although I am sort of new at it being that I’ve been email marketing since the latter part of last year, now that I am experiencing the sales coming in I could talk about email marketing for days while most of the other methods were hit and miss and SEO just takes way too long to see any results plus as already mentioned in the post it becomes nullified when Google makes an algo change.

    Big props to you john for pointing ppl in the right direction 🙂

    1. John Chow says:

      Great point about the intermit place place the people needing to be hit multiply times before acting. Email is ideal for those situations.

      1. Lovely post. I think yours may be the only blog that can continue to grow while being banned by Google.

  2. Graham says:

    I get good traffic form Google, but wouldn’t DARE relying on it. My list is getting fatter and fatter and most of my traffic comes from elsewhere anyway. I’d rather have referral traffic, myself.

  3. Whitney says:

    I agree that an email list is essential. You really CAN’T rely on Google for traffic, you’ll always lose some of it at some point. I personally use Getresponse and it seems to work very well for me.

  4. I didn’t even make my first post on my blog until I had Aweber forms on every single page (and set the code for the bottom of each post and comment box), plus a sidebar form and a lighbox popup. I still need a footer and feature form but I am no coding expert.

    I guess my point is that I know the importance of a list (I was able to make a few hundred per month with just a squeeze page and rebranded plr product) and I wouldn’t think of blogging without one.

    If people are looking for a business and not just a blog, what other business can you start up for under $17 and keep for under $30/month? Obviously, there are other tools that can really help, but are not completely necessary.

    Thanks a bunch!

  5. Rich says:

    Great article John. I’ve had an AWeber account since day one and although my list is tiny, I would never ever skimp on the essentials and take the DIY approach. Anything I get from Google is and always has been the cream on the cake and never the cake itself!


  6. JamesW says:

    Really good post, many people make the same mistake, including me, starting with the free service then going to paid one like aweber.
    and we loose a lot because of that one mistake
    thanks for sharing

  7. faisal says:

    Well email is important but again its the mix of everything, you need a blog to get the list!

    1. John Chow says:

      No, you don’t.

  8. Caleb says:

    Just check out Gabe’s comment above as he “was able to make a few hundred per month with just a squeeze page and rebranded plr product”…

    There are so many marketers making a killing doing just that without ever touching a blog… in fact if I knew what I know now there is a chance I would have never started a blog to begin with. I would have just kept buying solo ads to a squeeze page that had an oto and a high converting followup email series!

    Now I know blogging can get free traffic due to its structured nature which in turn can be funneled to a list building mechanism but it isn’t absolutely necessary to make good money online.

  9. Erik says:

    Think that by empowering something like Aweber and not encouraging competition, you’re actually “google”-fying them, pardon the ad hoc expression.

    Also, and this is an important point, it takes a completely different set of skills to be excellent at e-mails than to excel at blogging.

    Kudos for anyone who’s got both skills, but you can’t turn a blogger into a mailer overnight. Moreover, his visitors trust might take a turn for the worse if instead of writing posts and focusing on SEO and social promotion, a person tries to do the same on e-mails.

    What do you say?

  10. Paulo says:

    Hi John

    Love your posts. as always.

    I have realized also years ago that the money is in the list and I have been building mine constantly.

    I was wondering if you could please give your opinion on his new site called “High Traffic Academy” regarding driving targeted visitors to any website?

    The author claims he can drive 364,000 visitors per day to any of his websites?

    I would love to see your review on that.


  11. Toddjir says:


    What a great post once again. So many newbies are caught in the trap of blogging and Google. I get new clients all the time and all they ask about is Google and I tell them Forget Google. At this point they open their mouth and start to speak and nothing comes out. They are like a deer caught in headlights.

    Email is so so important like you say. And the biggest thing reason is because it takes several times for someone to see a message before they even begin to think about it. Email is great for this.

  12. meka says:

    i loved the post title so much
    i want to break free from Google as soon as possible
    thank you

  13. Lois says:

    That is true the money is in the list. Always start your email list before your blogs. You can capture email address with you blog. Ebooks, reports, and ecourse are also a good way of getting email address. Everyone likes something that is free. For more tips and strategies visit my site.

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