If you want to make money in 2013, you want to bookmark this series 😉
This is the first of a series on how to make more than $200 with your newsletter and blog.
In 2012, I focused on diversifying my sources of income. My biggest success so far has been the monetization of my newsletter. I wrote about 2 great examples of what I did and how much I made:
I made $463 in 15 minutes thx to this monetization strategy. In less than 15 minutes, I made almost $500. I used a monetization strategy offering free stuff called Make Money From Free.
Then I made $2,788.50 in 31 days using this strategy. For the past 6 months, I’ve been building momentum with my mailing list subscribers by sending them high quality emails every 3 weeks or so. This is what I call an email funnel.
With only these 2 emails, I made $3,251.50. And this is only considers the 2 campaigns that I’ve been tracking to the penny. It doesn’t take into consideration the following:
As you can see, there are tons of ways to monetize your newsletter. In fact, it’s easier to monetize your newsletter than to monetize your website. Why? Because newsletter subscribers are engaged! They believe in you and your stuff. If you don’t abuse their confidence, you will make money and your readers will be happy. Isn’t it the perfect scenario?
The biggest problem I notice when I talk about how I manage my newsletter and making money is that most of you find it “amazing” but still don’t register to a mailing list management system such as Aweber. The reason is quite simple; Aweber costs at least $19/month. With the size of my network, my Aweber cost is $130/month (yup, I have over 10,000 mailing list subscribers across my network!). So why do you think I’m paying $1,560 annually for an email marketing system? Because I use my newsletter enough that the service is free and I make money on top of it. With only 2 emails I was able to not only cover my cost but to get an investment return of 108% (($3251.50 / $1560) – 1 *100).
I can understand that paying $228 for a full year subscription at Aweber is quite expansive for a new blog. But I’m a firm believer that it’s the first thing you should do right after buying your domain name! And because I’m not writing any bull shit on this blog, I’ll prove to you that you can grow and monetize your newsletter within the first year of your blog, plus you will make over $228.
You sure could start your blog with a free email marketing service such as Mail Chimp. They offer you up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails sent per month for free… forever. This is a great deal! However, you are losing out on some invaluable features (offered in a paid subsbription to Mail Chimp or Aweber):
Autoresponder (communicate automatically with your subscribers – a great way to create bond between you and your readers)
Schedule Emails (you can decide when to send your email in advance – crucial for any marketing strategy)
Social Media Tools (you can send your newsletter via social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn Facebook while you are reaching your own subscribers!)
And what’s going to happen once you reached the 2,000 subscribers limit? You’ll have to pay on a monthly basis anyway.
So get Serious, get Professional and register with Aweber for a 1 year subscription and pay only $194 instead of $228. See? You are already saving $34 and you haven’t started to write your first email ;-). Trust me; by the end of this series, you’ll make a lot more than $200 per year with your email marketing service!
For today, we won’t do something super exciting like making money but it’s darn important that you go through this step before you start anything else. I personally didn’t do it at first when I started my email marketing strategy and it took me several months to make things right and start making some serious money with my newsletter.
The goal is to decide which kind of content you want to send your subscribers. Give them a reason to subscribe! Here are a few example of what can be sent:
The first thing I do with my newsletter is that I pick some of my best content from my blog, reformat it into an email, add a few links with referrals to other articles and send it as an autoresponder with a schedule. The problem with blogs is that you eventually bury some of your best content under new articles. Since most blogs update their content on a weekly basis, some of your best stuff written in January is already nowhere to be found 3 months later. TFB is 6 years old, can you imagine what you have been missing?
Timeless content can always be read and commented. This is why you can send them to your new readers no matter when they subscribe. By adding a few other links, you ensure to improve your direct traffic and get your new readers to read even more about your blog. This is a great way to engage them and it eventually lead to some Adsense earnings if you direct them into posts on your blog with ads.
I don’t like to do weekly updates such as “the best article of the week” or “the best articles of the month”. I think that most people get annoyed by too many emails. However, if you are tracking a specific topic that requires weekly update (such as stocks for example), then visitors may want to receive weekly update. If you add significant resources on a weekly basis, the newsletter is the perfect means to make your reader aware of your update. Just don’t fall in the easy “hey look at this post I wrote this week”. Your readers will get tired fast enough of these kinds of email. For the record, I using this technique with my Dividend Stock Analysis newsletter. Since I’m adding new stocks each week, it’s a great way to communicate my updates to my readers.
If you are looking to build a special funnel where you build momentum with readers in order to have them take an action (hopefully register with an affiliate product 😉 ), creating a special series is the perfect way to achieve your goal. Your special series could be ideas like:
The important part of this strategy is to define the specific number of articles in a specific order that will lead your readers to follow your method step-by-step. Within this series, you can include affiliate links, additional blog references or even your product(s). But we’ll get to monetization another day. Just think of how you can help people with a step-by-step program for now.
You can offer special contests and giveaways to subscribers only. This is a great way to make your subscribers feel like they are “VIP” to your blog. However, this is obviously quite expensive if you plan on doing a monthly giveaway. A great way to make sure that you don’t ruin yourself is to offer book reviews giveaway or partner up with a sponsor to offer your prize. Most people like entering contests and it’s another great way to engage your readers. This is also a great way to promote your site and newsletter.
The creation of small eBooks is probably more demanding than writing simple articles but it’s a great way to spread the word about your blog and newsletter. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income started his newsletter by giving away his eBook on how to…write an eBook ;-). The eBook is free and it is definitely a great resource! He could have easily sold it and made money off of it. Instead, he preferred to give it away for free and “sell” his website and branding. Most people will stay registered to his newsletter and come back to his blog from time to time because of that eBook. ran into great success myself with my first Dividend Investing eBook. This was the first step to a great brand and people who liked the first book (that is free) are more likely to buy your other products.
You don’t have to write a huge piece. Instead of writing a series of posts and send them through an autoresponder, you can package them up and build a 20-30 page eBook. This will be enough to become a great product offering and invite readers to sign-up for your newsletter.
Quick tip: inside your free eBook, you can ask your readers to forward it to at least three of their friends. This is a great way to spread your book and gain more readers.
Finally, questions & surveys could be sent from time to time to get feedback from your readers. Your subscribers are your most important followers and their advice is worth gold. By asking them for feedback, you also engage your readers at another level. When I’m building a new site or making modifications to an existing blog, I always send an email reaching out to my readers to know what they think of it. They often reply back with great ideas and I can really make the modifications that matter.
I also use it for eBook creation. It helps me to address the right concerns and use my readers’ words for it. There is nothing better than answering the right questions with the right words. It’s a perfect match! For my last book, Dividend Growth, I used questions to build momentum and I’m now at 395 copies (as of December 17th!).
I’d like to know if you are thinking of creating a newsletter for 2013? Which kind of content will you send? Tomorrow, I’ll have a piece dedicated to how to write killer content… and make money out of it 😉
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