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February 20, 2013, 6:03 am

Part5: Strategies To Make Over $200 With Your Newsletter THIS Year – Various Sources

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: newsletter

Invest $198 and Make Thousands of Dollars; A Case Study on How to Make Money With Aweber And Enjoy Your Subscription For Free


If you want to make money in 2013, you want to bookmark this series 😉

I’ll show you how to make more than $200 with your newsletter and blog to pay for your Aweber subscription


Part 1: Define Your Newsletter


Part 2: Create Killer Content That Makes Money


Part 3: 10 Ways to Grow Your Subscribers Base


Part4: Investment Strategies To Make Over $200 With Your Newsletter THIS Year

Part5: Strategies To Make Over $200 With Your Newsletter THIS Year – Various Sources


Last week, I talked about how you will make over $1,000 in a year with an investing newsletter. To be honest, I’m probably making over $10,000 a year with mine. I have several strategies implemented to increase my chances of converting sales on a monthly basis.


But I’m well aware that not everybody is comfortable running an investment newsletter. I work in the financial industry and didn’t even feel comfortable doing this at first! I had to prove myself with my blog and build a following until I realized one day that thousands of people were following me because I write solid stuff about investing! For this reason, I’m also going to provide you with my tricks on using other kinds of affiliate programs. Overall, you’ll see that it’s pretty easy to earn hundreds, read thousands of dollars from your newsletter no matter what topic you write about.


If you try the strategies outlined in this article, it’s IMPOSSIBLE that you don’t make over $1,000 with your newsletter by the end of the year!


Personal Finance


If your blog is about personal finance, there are tons of ways you can promote valuable affiliate programs. The key here is not to promote hundreds of programs but rather find a few very high value products that you believe will be useful for your readers. Your readership is not dumb; they will know if you are trying to score a quick buck off them or if you are genuinely writing about a good product. If you tried the product, it’s even better!


The method I prefer is to highlight a common problem you see from your readers:

Can’t pay my bills on time at the end of the month

I pay too much interest

I’m sick of being raped by my insurance broker

My personal finances are a mess

I want to buy a house but I can’t afford it

I can’t stand my student loans

Should I invest or pay off my debts?

Couple money management issues

I want to become financially free

Do I need life insurance?


I could probably list another 10 if not 20 problems but I think you get the picture by now. The key is to identify one problem and write about it. If you are able to include emotion in your post, that’s even better.


For example, if you pick the topic “I pay too much interest”, this relates to the burden people feel at the end of each month when they receive their credit cards bill. The fear they have to open those envelopes and the anxiety experienced when they try to pay off these bills but their darn account is still showing a $100 balance. Write about how shameful you felt when you had to borrow on a credit card to pay another one’s minimum balance. How it got worse when you had to borrow money from friends and family to pay off both cards. With such a “dramatic” post, you will engage your readers. You will create a bond between your story and theirs. In fact, most debt and credit card stories are similar. It’s just a matter of coming out of the closet and talking about your story.


Then, once your reader truly feels that you actually share the same problem, you come across with a solution. In the best case scenario, you come with the solution you have successfully used and link to that affiliate program. I know… I’m day dreaming a bit right now. Most of the time, you didn’t use the exact same product because perhaps the one you used doesn’t have an affiliate link.


This is where the fun part begins! You must find a real solution to this real problem with a real affiliate program! Most of the time, you can easily find something similar. There are tons of budgeting software (Ready for Zero, Quicken), 0% balance transfer credit card (Discover is probably the best bet), consolidation loan companies and savings accounts (Ally, ING, etc) that can be used to setup a solid debt repayment plan.


The Technique


My favorite technique is to build an autoresponder series where you will define the problem, explain the solution and guide your readers to a step by step solution. See the chart that follows:


newsletter funnel


I used this technique successfully with one of my newsletters. With less than 500 subscribers, this simple email series generated between $90 and $120 per month out of a single affiliate program: Mint! Unfortunately, Mint’s affiliate program is not offered anymore. It was paying $3 per lead for each free subscription. I’m thinking of switching my funnel to Ready for Zero as they offer a similar affiliate program for a similar product. I just want to play around with it to see how it can fit into my autoresponder series.


This is a simple funnel series but the strategy works with pretty much with any personal finance issues I’ve outlined. You can say how you got raped by your insurance agent and which websites you used to compare rates and get an honest quote for your situation.




Who never tried to sell a book on his blog via the Amazon affiliate link? But the real question is who really sold enough books to make enough money to get a check from Amazon? Hahaha!


It took me 2 years to get my first check from Amazon…. TWO YEARS! All right, shame on me; I never pushed too many products sold via Amazon. Still, I’m pretty sure that you never log in to your Amazon affiliate program to see your balance. But here’s what I’ve discovered from Amazon after I received my first check:


I generated my first sale on November 2010 and earned a huge payout of $0.48!

I got my first check on November 30th 2012 for $147.65 (yup! Two years for less than $150!)

I got my second check on January 31st 2013 for $113.75

My current unpaid balance shows $117.68 (which means I will receive another check shortly)


Do you know how I went from making $6.15/month on average (24 months to make $147.65) to $61.26/month? That’s 10 times better than my previous average! I started to sell my own products on Amazon!


Here are two twists for selling your own books on Amazon:


#1 You can use your affiliate link to earn additional commission on your own book. This is responsible for a good part of my “new” source of income.


#2 Amazon tracks your affiliate ID with a cookie for 30 days. So everything your visitors are buying will be linked to your affiliate account!


From September 12th 2012 to February 12th 2013, I’ve generated $367.53 in commissions. $205.29 was generated from my own book commissions and $162.24 was indirect sales (i.e. visitors buying anything but my book). So ,if you only consider the $162.24, it means that my affiliate association with Amazon is now generating $27.04/month instead of $6.15. Amazon commissions alone are enough to cover my mailing list fees!


It will take some times before you can make money with Amazon, but by selling Dividend Growth, I have learned that each time you include an Amazon link on your blog or newsletter somewhere, you increase your chances of making money.


Amazon has mastered the art of online marketing and they do all the hard work for you. It’s a solid and well known business. Therefore, you chances of having your visitors buying from Amazon are much better than buying from your own site.


Private / Semi-Private Deals


Another great way to monetize your mailing list is to use private and semi-private deals. By private deals, I mean 1-on-1 agreements you craft with an advertiser. I have done one personally for my investing newsletter. Since I have a strong readership in the investment area, I was “big enough” to contact a company an offer them a deal. Before you can do that, you will have to prove a higher number of subscribers (in the thousands) in a specific niche with good open rate stats. These metrics are easily available through Aweber mailing list services.


Semi-private deals could be easier if you are only starting your mailing list. “Semi-Private” are smaller affiliate programs offered on an invitation base or spread with a word-of-mouth. A good example is the campaigns offered by Only 72. They usually run 1 or 2 campaigns per year offering a huge package of books and online courses for a ridiculous price. The concept is to package enough books to offer a $1,000 deal for only $99. The idea is that it’s only available for… 72 hours 😉 This is a very cool offer to share with your mailing list if the products apply to your niche.


I believe there are several other semi-private affiliate programs like this one, it’s only a matter of finding them. What is very interesting is that you run 1 or 2 campaigns per year so you don’t burn your audience, especially when you offer such high value for such low cost!


Most private and semi-private deals will be good if you run a marketing campaigns instead of simply including them in your autoresponder series. But that’s another topic for my next post for this series 😉 hehehe!

If you liked this articles, you might want to sign for my FULL RSS FEEDS. Then, you will get my daily post to your email and can read it at any time. To subscribe CLICK HERE

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February 6, 2013, 5:00 am

Part4: Investment Strategies To Make Over $200 With Your Newsletter THIS Year

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: newsletter

Invest $198 and Make Thousands of Dollars; A Case Study on How to Make Money With Aweber And Enjoy Your Subscription For Free


If you want to make money in 2013, you want to bookmark this series 😉

Ill show you how to make more than $200 with your newsletter with your blog and then pay for your Aweber subscription


Part 1: Define Your Newsletter

Part 2: Create Killer Content That Makes Money

Part 3: 10 Ways to Grow Your Subscribers Base

Part4: Investment Strategies To Make Over $200 With Your Newsletter THIS Year


When I started this post, I thought I would describe my strategies for each source of affiliate marketing I currently roll all in the same article. But then I realized that you would need the whole week to read this article since it was incredibly long! This is why I’ve decided to break it into several pieces according to different topics. I find it easier this way for you to master the topic you want to write about. You will see that you can make money from about any type of personal finance topic!


Each program will be described and I will also explain my own strategies used to make money via Aweber.


We start today with investment affiliate programs.




Company: INO

Product: Trend Analysis (technical analysis data for investors)

Affiliate Program Available With: INO Company owned affiliate program

Conversion Difficulty: Easy

Commission Type:  Lead (customer must provide a valid email to get paid)

How Much You Make: $3 per lead

How Many Conversions You Need To Cover Your Aweber Charge: 66

Description: Trend Analysis offers a free technical analysis report on a selected stock. It provides the major trading “trend” of the stock and can help investors to trigger a buy or a sale action. Since the product is free, it’s easy to convince your readers to use it a least once. As an investor, you don’t get a ton of information by using the Trend Analysis report but it is free ;-). After registering with a valid email, INO sends your reader the report they asked for and will eventually contact them to offer more advanced investing products. You get paid once your reader provides a valid email address and receive the free technical analysis report.

Strategy: I do a lot of stocks analysis on some of my sites. I always include a technical analysis part with each article and offer my readers the ability to receive for free a more complete technical analysis report (Trend Analysis).


I also mention that I use this product before buying or selling a stock to see if the fundamentals that I’ve studied are in line with the technical analysis.

Click Here To Open an Affiliate Account with INO


Company: INO

Product: Top 50 Trending Stocks

Affiliate Program Available With: INO Company owned affiliate program

Conversion Difficulty: Easy

Commission Type: Lead (customer must provide a valid email to get paid)

How Much You Make: $3 per lead

How Many Conversions You Need To Cover Your Aweber Charge: 66

Description: This is another great free offer from INO: they provide a list of the top 50 trending stocks according to their “Trading Triangle” analysis. In exchange of a free registration, your reader will get access to a “hot stock list”. The metrics used to define the list are purely based on technical analysis. After registering with a valid email, INO sends your reader the report they asked for and will eventually contact them to offer more advanced investing product. You get paid once your reader provides a valid email address and receives the free technical analysis report.

Strategy: At the beginning of each year, investors are looking for stock market outlooks. Providing a free list of hot stocks is definitely good timing!


I also send an auto-responder where I mention various free stocks lists you can find on the web. One of them is the top 50 trading stocks from INO.

Click Here To Open an Affiliate Account with INO


Company: INO

Product: Free Trading Course

Affiliate Program Available With: INO Company owned affiliate program

Conversion Difficulty: Easy

Commission Type: Lead (customer must provide a valid email to get paid)

How Much You Make: $3 per lead

How Many Conversions You Need To Cover Your Aweber Charge: 66

Description: This is a free 10 email series on investing basics. The subscriber will receive a series of auto-responders made by INO discussing the very basics of the stock market.

Strategy: I used this free course offer with my first dividend investing eBook. It’s a free eBook offering basic information on dividend investing. Offering a free trading course through 10 emails is another great way for my readers to improve their stock market knowledge.

Click Here To Open an Affiliate Account with INO


As you can see, if you only setup 3 auto responders with INO, you will only need 22 conversions per email. Since the three offers are free for your readers, chances are that you will convert over 3% of your readership each time you send an email. With 440 subscribers at a 5% conversion rate, you will get your 22 conversions and your Aweber subscription will already be paid for.


To be honest, a 5% conversion rate is a little bit high even for a free offer. I would continue the math at 3%. With the same 440 subscribers, you will make $39 per offer (13 conversions at $3 each) for a total of $117 for the three offers. At this point, you will still be $81 shy to cover your Aweber email marketing services. The good news is that if every one of your subscribers registers with another product with INO (they have some expensive membership access with high commission!), they will track back the link to your affiliate ID and pay you additional commission. This is how, out of nowhere, I make roughly $1,000 in indirect affiliate marketing sales each year. With 440 subscribers, just expect one additional sale at $150 (yup, you can make that with ONE sale of INO products 😉 ).


But that’s just the beginning ;-). Let’s jump into other offers!


Company: Brokerage Firms

Product: Brokerage account

Affiliate Program Available With: Flex Offer and Commission Junction

Conversion Difficulty: Hard

Commission Type:  CPA (Cost per Action – paid at the account opening)

How Much You Make: $50 – $100 depending on the program

How Many Conversions You Need To Cover Your Aweber Charge: max 4

Description:  Convincing people to open a brokerage account online is not easy. Since this is the account where you will transfer your money and invest with it, most people prefer to open the account with a “real person”. However, the mentality is changing as several companies are moving toward a 100% online model.


Most brokers have their own affiliate program and they usually work with Flex Offers or Commission Junction to manage their program. It’s pretty rare that you will deal directly with the brokerage firm. When you apply to the affiliate program through Flex Offers or CJ, make sure to send an email to your account manager so he can help you get an approval. I suggest opening an account with both Flex Offers and Commission Junction if it’s not done already!


Strategy: The most common strategy used is the broker review. You can write an in-depth article about the brokerage platform and highlight pros and cons. You won’t generate much conversion this way but once the article is written, it’s easy to send it as an auto-responder through Aweber and generate passive income!


The second strategy used is to highlight promotions. Most brokers will offer a number of free trades or cash to pay for the transfer. By sending a quick email telling your readers that there is a promotion going on with a broker, you can trigger one or two sales. If you can link to a previous review you wrote, it’s even better as your subscriber will get more information on top of just receiving a promotional email.


The third strategy is something we should all do; tell your readers which broker you use and why. By being transparent, you create more credibility. Readers go to your blog and read your newsletter because you are bringing quality information to the table. They trust you because they have been following you for a while. So if they wonder which broker to use and you tell them which one you use personally, chances are that they will follow your advice. It’s exactly the same thing as going to a good restaurant that your friend recommended.


The fourth strategy to sell more brokerage accounts is to go with specific needs. You have brokers offering specific services such as option trading, forex, or US/Canadian accounts. These specific features will reach a very small audience and increase your chance of converting with those readers as they are specifically looking for these services.


Click Here To Open an Affiliate Account with Flex Offers or Commission Junction.


Company: Various

Product: Investing Newsletter

Affiliate Program Available With: Private / directly with companies

Conversion Difficulty: Medium

Commission Type:  CPA (cost per action – usually a registration)

How Much You Make: Variable (could be anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the price of the newsletter).

How Many Conversions You Need To Cover Your Aweber Charge: Variable

Description:  Investors are usually looking for sound investment tips and stock picks. There are plenty of investment newsletters that exist on the market. Some of them are very good while others approach the scam definition! It’s important to register for the newsletter and determine if it’s a good fit or not for your readership before signing-up with an affiliate program.


These programs are usually private deals done directly with the company. I didn’t notice any such programs through Flex Offers and CJ but you might find some through Click Bank. Depending on your market (day trading, long term investment, dividend investing, options, forex, etc), you will find plenty of newsletters covering specific topics.


Strategy: I would suggest you promote only one type of newsletter and go all-in. Most investors have already had a good or bad experience with a paid newsletter and will be skeptical about your offer. If you can provide an example of the newsletter to your reader before they sign-up it will not only increase your chances of conversion but will also keep your buyers happy. You don’t want to sell crap to your readers as you will lose them forever. By offering a copy of the newsletter, they will know exactly what they are buying.


Another strategy is to go with a limited time contest. You can offer a free subscription or a significant rebate (to be negotiated with the company) for a limited time. It’s a win-win strategy as the company will gain new customers and a part of them will renew their offer at a higher rate the following year. It’s also a win for your readers as they benefit from a rebate because they follow your blog. Do I have to mention it’s a win for you? Hahahah!


With a Few Articles on Investing You Can Make over $1,000 per MONTH!


As you can see, the investing niche is full of products and techniques you can use to make well over $200 per year. In fact, I believe that if you run an investing blog, you should be able to make over $1,000 per month on average. It won’t happen overnight but you can easily do it within a year.


It took me about 18 months before I reached 5,000 subscribers to my main dividend investing mailing list. During that period, I was hit by Google twice on various sites that were directing to this newsletter. However, because I concentrated on gaining readers above anything else, I was able to gain over 10 subscribers per day… everyday!


I like the investing niche for 2 main reasons:

#1 people who read investing blogs have money (if not, they would not think about investing)

#2 people who read investing blogs see investing products like an investment and not an expense. This is why they are more likely to pay for what you offer  .


Stay tuned as I will continue this series and cover pretty much all the personal finance topics for affiliate programs ;-).

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January 9, 2013, 5:00 am

Invest $198 and Make Thousands of Dollars: A Case Study on How to Make Money With Aweber And Enjoy Your Subscription For Free 3

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: newsletter

If you want to make money in 2013, you want to
bookmark this series 😉

I’ll show you how to make more than $200 through
your newsletter with your blog to pay for your
Aweber subscription

Part 1: Define Your Newsletter

Part 2: Create Killer Content That Makes Money

Part 3: 10 Ways to Grow Your Subscriber Base

The ultimate goal of this series is to guide you step by step from your $198 subscription to Aweber services to the day where you will receive your first check that will pay for your subscription and leave great profits in your pocket.

How Can You Turn a $198 Expense Into a Profit?

The math leading you from an expense of $198 to a profit is quite easy to figure out. With a $198 annual subscription, you are allowed to send an unlimited number of emails to a maximum of 500 subscribers. Let’s say that you can grow your newsletter base to 400 in the first year (this is a very attainable number by the way). A rule of thumb says that you will convert roughly 3% of your subscribers into an affiliate or product sale. I have personally tested this rule and can tell you that low converting offers will score at 2.25% and good offers will reach the 3%. So here’s the magic numbers you need to reach for your offer:

So if you send only 1 email to your 400 subscribers, you will need to generate the meager amount of $16.50 in commissions or net profit per sale to get your $198 back. If you send 2 emails during the year, then your commission target becomes $8.50… or you double your investment in the Aweber email marketing service by keeping a target commission rate at $16.50. But we will work out the monetization in another article. For now, we will focus on how you can grow your newsletter up to 500 members within 12 months. Believe it or not, this is a very easy step to reach. On average in 2012, I increased my main investing newsletter by 326 subscriptions per month. Don’t tell me you can’t increase yours by 42 every month in order to reach 500 subscribers by December 2013!


I decided to separate this section into 2 types of techniques: the free ones and the paid ones. The best part is that if you use all free techniques, you will easily get your 42 new subscriptions per month to finish the year with 500 subscribers.

Design Your Own Subscription Form

There is no need to hire a professional designer and pay near $100 to get your newsletter subscription form. You can easily setup a professional looking one for free with Aweber tools. They offer a variety of free customizable templates that you can modify to fit your blog style and color preferences

The above picture is the current template used for a blog that I follow, look how he was able to modify the template to make it look like it’s part of his own site template:

If your subscription form looks like it’s part of your site, your readers won’t have the feeling of giving their personal information to a third party. With all the scams and spams, we have all become more cautious about to whom we give our email address to.

Quick Tip: Make sure that you add something like “we respect your email privacy” and link it to a policy. This will also reassure readers that they are not going to receive 10,000 “enlarge your …:)” emails.


If you have ever received a nice email from one of your readers, now is the time to pull it out and show it to the world. Testimonials are great because they reinforce your credibility. Since it isn’t coming from you, it also adds more power to the message. I know bloggers who just made up their testimonial but I think it’s better if you can get something real from a reader. Plus, that specific reader will be touched that you selected his email to use as a testimonial!

You can add the testimonial within your form or on a page where you explain what your newsletter is about. I used a short testimonial right on top of the subscription field:

I didn’t want to put a huge testimonial since this form is part of my template. It’s short and clearly states what I want to offer to my readers: high quality info J. I guess this is also what investors are after when they subscribe to a newsletter!

Quick Tip: You also have the option to add the number of subscribers. When your number is over 50, you can add it. It gives more credibility and people want to follow someone who is already followed.

Define Your Offer

Each time I started a newsletter, I wrote an article about it. The first goal is to let my regular readers know that there is a way to get more info from my site. The second goal is to tell them what they will get if they subscribe. After getting a few spammy emails, we tend to get very cautious about where and to whom we give our email address. This is why it’s important to detail what kind of emails will be sent once a reader subscribe.

It’s a good exercise for both your readers and yourself. In fact, it brings you back to the first chapter of this series “Define Your Newsletter”. You don’t want people to subscribe to your newsletter and unsubscribe after 2 emails. You are better off with a lower new subscription rate and an even lower unsubscription rate! If your message is clear, then you will create a real relationship with your readers through your mailing list.

If you have additional testimonials or want to provide examples of content that will be sent, this is the place to do it. Having a full article on your newsletter enables you to go into heavy details and give more info to your potential new subscribers.

Quick Tip: I usually highlight the newsletter article on my homepage so new readers can also check it out prior to subscribing.

Add the Subscription Form to Your Site

In addition to highlighting your newsletter article, the best way to get new subscribers everyday is definitely to include your mailing list form into your blog template. Make sure your form is above the fold so each visitor sees it within the first 5 seconds they are on your site. I personally try to put as much emphasis on the newsletter form in my design as possible. I would rather make less in Adsense but increase the number of subscribers.

When you think about it; if someone clicks on Adsense, you make money. Chances are that you will be making something between $0.10 and $2.00 (if you are darn lucky) with that click. But the visitor is leaving your site. Chances are that he won’t come back. If the visitor doesn’t click on Adsense but subscribes to your newsletter; you don’t make money right away, but you just acquired a new subscriber and potential loyal reader. This is not only great because you increase your chances of making money with affiliate websites but because you also increase your number of visitors that are not dependent on Google.

Exchanging Newsletter Subscribers / Guest Posting

If you are close to fellow bloggers with similar topics to yours, you can ask them to guest post about your newsletter or even better, exchange newsletter subscribers. Warning; you can’t just buy or ask for an email list of subscribers, but you can have a guest post highlighting your newsletter that will be sent through your fellow blogger’s newsletter.

It’s a touchy thing as some bloggers may be protective of their own newsletter and may not want to swap visitors if they don’t get anything in return. But you can surely do it with someone with a similar newsletter size. For example, if you and your friend have roughly 200 subscribers each, you can swap guest posts and maybe end-up with 250-300 subscribers each!

Pop-up Plugin

There is an interesting debate with regards to the usage of pop-ups on blogs. Some people hate it and will never come back to your site while others will blindly follow what the pop-up says. The pop-up technique is quite simple; you install a plugin that will generate a pop-up on your site after the visitor has spent X amount of time on your site. For example, you can decide that the pop-up will show after 10 seconds. Then, a form (the pop-up) will appear requesting the visitor’s email for a subscription.

I don’t know about you but I don’t really like getting pop-ups on my screen and tend to search for the “X” button as soon as I get one. But that’s just my 2 cents ;-).

The Pop-up technique definitely works though. I’ve tested it in the past and I was getting a lot more subscribers with it. The downside is that my unsubscription rate was also higher since people were subscribing without really knowing why they were doing it! Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it and I’ve found something better right here…

« Subscribe to My Newsletter » Plugin

Instead of having a huge pop-up that blows off your screen, there is another plugin that you can use to get more subscribers. At the end of your post, you can include this form that will invite your readers to subscribe to your newsletter. Here’s an example of Pat’s site, Smart Passive Income:

As you can see, there is nothing intrusive with Pat’s technique but still, you get three great reasons to subscribe:

#1 Being part of a crowd over 25,000 (so you know you’ll follow a leader)

#2 Knowing what you get (weekly online business and blogging tips)

#3 Getting an eBook for free

If the post that you read was great enough that you a) read it to the bottom and b) are about to comment on it, you are probably ready to sign-up for the newsletter as well. On top of that, you get a confirmation of authority (having over 25,000 subscribers) and get a freebie (the eBook). What do you want more? No wonder why Pat has so many followers ;-).

Offering a Freebie

I’ve discussed this technique on The Financial Blogger previously (read here). Without a doubt, this is by far the best tip you can use to grow your newsletter. Giving a free eBook pushed my subscriptions through the roof instantly. I never thought it would have been easy to gain subscribers!

I could have easily charged a few bucks for my first dividend investing eBook. But I decided to give it out for free. This was a unique opportunity for me to offer highly valuable content to my readers and prove my authority in this domain. After you read that book, you know that I know my stuff about dividend investing and you are most likely tempted to follow my blog.

The eBook shows a lot of power to attract subscribers and also to build a bond of confidence with them. Each week, I receive “thank you emails” from readers telling me that I’ve helped them setup a sound investing strategy. That’s awesome! When it’s time to offer them a product that I believe in, they are my most loyal customers!


If you really want to go all-in and you don’t want to wait 12 months before hitting 500 subscribers and make money with it, you may want to boost up your subscriptions with paid techniques. Honestly, I think you can do an awesome job with the free ones, yet the paid techniques will work as an “accelerant”.

Pay for a Professional Subscription Form

If you suck a designing and you can’t tell the difference between purple and red, you might want to hire someone who’s good with images and colors. You can find awesome designers from 99 Designs that will build an original and catchy subscription form. What I like about 99 designs is that you put the designers in competition against each other and you get various choices. Then, you only pay for the logo you like! I wish I could do that with my home and have a dozen designers offering me their ideas before I pay one! Hahaha!

As for example, Financial Mentor obviously paid for this great newsletter subscription form:

It makes the page unique and very professional. This is another great way to build authority and attract new readers. Again, this form is not only custom made, but did you realize that it offers a free eBook? I’m telling you, this is the best way to grow your subscription rate.

Run a Contest

Another paid technique is to run contest. If you have a good reader base, it could be a good idea to both reward them for their loyalty and have them to subscribe to your “new service”. If you want some coverage, you can increase the value of the prize (up to an iPod Touch for example) and give additional entries if they tweet or post it on Facebook.

For a few hundred bucks you can build a 100 to 200 subscribers list in one week and already start to make money off them in less than 6 months. You will increase your target from $198 to $398 but you get more subscribers in a heartbeat. If you have a killer content strategy in place, you may recover your dollar faster than you think!

The downside of this strategy is that a lot of visitors will subscribe only to get a chance to win the prize and will unsubscribe right after they know if they won or not. Therefore, you might have a lot of people unsubscribing after a month and end up back at square one. It’s up to you to convince them (in a very short period of time) to stick with the newsletter because the content is awesome.


As you can see, I’m not too big on paid techniques. I have run a few contests in the past with some success but I’m not quite sure it was worth the money. Talking about my newsletter all the time and everywhere on my blog while offering a free eBook was definitely the best technique I have used so far. If you know about other free or paid techniques, I’d like to hear about them. I’m sure we can all learn from them!

The next article will be about the real reason why you are reading this; making money with your newsletter!

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December 19, 2012, 8:37 am

Invest $198 and Make Thousands of Dollars: A Case Study on How to Make Money With Aweber And Enjoy Your Subscription For Free Part 2

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: newsletter



If you want to make money in 2013, you want to bookmark this series 😉

I’ll show you how to make more than $200 with your newsletter through your blog and then pay for your Aweber subscription


Part 1: Define Your Newsletter

Part 2: Create Killer Content That Makes Money


Writing is one thing, writing for a blog is another and writing for your newsletter is a completely different ball game. I’ve been struggling with this issue for a long time: how do you make your newsletter content different than your blog content? A post is a post, right? So how would you know when to publish it on your blog versus when to publish it on your newsletter? Here’s my answer: you gotta write killer content that makes money. This is the question we will try to answer today, sounds cool, isn’t?


5 Rules to Write Killer Content That Makes Money


There is a specific set of rules when it comes down to writing killer content that makes money. Writing epic stuff is cool but it doesn’t always bring in the dough. And if you are simply writing content with the obvious purpose of making money; you will upset your readers and won’t make much money. Sure there are always going to be some freeloaders who will be offended by the fact that you are using affiliate links or that you are giving a good plug on one of your products. But hell, they just have to get their free information elsewhere ;-).


Rule#1: TriggerONESpecific Action


I’m sure you have tons of great ideas and tons of great products to talk about. But you have to keep your mind focused on the 1 single action per post you want to trigger from your audience. Here are a few actions to choose from that you may want a reader to do:

Subscribe to another newsletter

Click on an existing article on your blog

Submit their email for free software (like Mint) or free information

Buy your own product

Buy someone else’s product (using an affiliate link)

Vote for you in a contest

Answer back and provide feedback

Forward your email to one of their friends

As you can see, there are tons of actions that a reader could do when you send an email. The thing is that most people are trying to achieve 2, 3 even 4 goals in the same email. What do you do when you get an overload of information or choices? Yeah… you close that window because it’s too much info at the same time. So here’s where your email goes when it’s not targeted:


Rule #2: Find Out Why Your Reader Would Take That Action


Ok… I’m sure you have your reason already. But if it’s part of the following list, just scrap it and start over:

It’s a good product

It has so and so feature

I recommend it

I use it

You always been helpful and it’s a good way the reader can help you


Instead, answer this simple question:

It’s a simple question with a tough answer. You need to find how the email that you send will help your reader’s life. How will it solve a problem, simplify their life or resolve a fear. For example, the series I’m currently writing could definitely fit this criterion as this article shows you how to make money. If you are a TFB newsletter subscriber, you ultimately want to make more money. So this series is a perfect fit with it.


Rule #3: Have a Story to Tell


People LOVE stories. They want to be told about that one time… they want to be able to picture your story in their mind so they can clearly understand what you are saying. Telling you that I’m making money with my newsletter is easy. But you can’t really put yourself into my shoes and imagine that you are making money with your newsletter. Hell, you don’t even have one!


What if I tell you that I started with a 0 subscriber mailing list and that I first wrote a free eBook to convince people to subscribe. Then, I started to write timeless content to send to my subscribers once in a while. Each month, I saw my newsletter subscribers increasing by 300 or more because I was doing a lot of promotion around my free book. One day, I got an email from a paid newsletter network asking me if I wanted to run a campaign for them. I setup four emails to be sent over a month each one week apart. Each week, the guy was sending me a report telling how many subscribers I generated. If I was able to reach 100, I would get an addition 15% commission. I was at 80 after three weeks and there was no way I was ending under 100 and miss out on that 15% commission bonus! I sent emails to my blogger friends and used all my newsletters (even the ones that are not about investing) and spread a massive (borderline spammy 😉 ) email to everyone and finally got the final report showing… 110 sales!


Now you can picture yourself in my shoes, working on your computer, hoping to crush the 100 bar and finally get that big fat check of $2,788.50. This is the kind of story that you want to write about! It makes it easy for your readers to want what you tell them about:


Buy their first house

Be debt free

Tell their boss to take his job and shove it

Make money online

Become their own boss

Tell their wife they can quit their job

Have the vacation of their dreams within budget

Learn a new language in 30 days

Lose 30 pounds and look like Bradley Cooper (I can’t… I’m bald! Haha!)


My best posts on TFB are often about my own real stories. If I want my readers to react, I have to pull out a story and tell them about it.


Rule #4: Be Darn Creative – Stand Out From the Crowd


This is probably the hardest part of your email. How can you be original and creative with your email? How can you shine from the thousands emails your readers receive every day? Once again, easy question, tough answer! There is one thing I know though: it starts with the title of your email.


I once read that Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, would change the title of an article 10 times before publishing it. Why? Because she was constantly looking for a catchy phrase. Something that would make anybody click on that line instead of skipping to the next news item. Working on your title will definitely be a key point to your success in your newsletter. With Aweber, you have the option to send split messages. This means that you can either simply change the title or the whole email. With this feature, you can send the same email to all your readers but 25% of your readers will receive the title A, 25% will get the title B and so on.


From my experience, you can get some big differences in the opening rate and clicking rates by the way you present your email.


Don’t be afraid to try new concepts, make analogies, and write thought provoking stuff. This is how you will get the attention from your readers and as long as you are making sense, they won’t think you are just doing this to draw some attention to your site!


Rule #5: Hammer Your Message


So you found which kind of action you want your email to trigger from your readers. You found the reason why they will do it. You have found the “button” to push. Then, you wrap it up with a nice story that will engage your readers and have them follow you on your path. What’s missing? Ten thousand opportunities to trigger that action!


All right, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But if you only suggest the action at the beginning of the email or at the end, you only get a fraction of people who will take action. Unless you are a marketing genius, chances are that you don’t know exactly when people are ready to click and take action. This is why you need to hammer your message over and over again and offer multiple opportunities to take action. You should at least put three links in your email: one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end of your article.


Trigger happy readers won’t even finish your email and click on the first link they see (you would be surprise to see how many readers click on the first line of most of my mailings that says “Hey it’s Mike from The Financial Blogger”. Unfortunately, this is never the exact action that I want them to do, I just want to tell them that I’m not a spammer and they have registered to my newsletter ;-). Then, you will get some people that will be easily convinced and click in the middle of the article. And finally, you will have to do a bigger job for some readers and leave a link at the bottom of your email that could reach them.




After reading the past 2 sections, you should have a better idea of where you are going with your newsletter. I suggest writing a “content plan” where you define at least the next 10 emails that will be sent to your subscribers before opening your mailing list up to your readers. These 10 emails will be the core of your newsletter and it will give you some room to create another series of 10 emails.



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December 17, 2012, 6:10 am

Invest $198 and Make Thousands of Dollar A Case Study on How to Make Money With Aweber And Enjoy Your Subscription For Free

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: newsletter



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.


Part 1: Define Your Newsletter


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:

income from newsletter


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 Im a firm believer that its 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:




Timeless content from your blog


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.


Weekly updates


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.


Special post series


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:

special post series


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.


Contests & giveaways


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.


Small eBooks


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.


Questions & surveys


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!).


What’s Next?


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 😉

If you liked this articles, you might want to sign for my FULL RSS FEEDS. Then, you will get my daily post to your email and can read it at any time. To subscribe CLICK HERE

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