This is the first post in a series of 5 posts, where I share list building tactics to help you get your first 1,000 subscribers in 90 days.
To keep everything nice and tidy, here’s the link to the other posts in the series:
- Month 1: How to Get Your First 100 Subscribers in 30 days
- Month 2: How to Grow Your List to 500 Subscribers
- Month 3: How to Hit 1000 Subscribers
- Round up post: What The Experts Say
** This post contains affiliate links
I’m going to be straight up honest with you here.
This will only work if you EXECUTE! Reading about how to do something doesn’t count as doing it (no matter how much we might wish this was the case).
You’re going to have to get your hustle on, put your head down, and get the work done. But if you do? You’ll be surprised by the results.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at what we’ll be covering in today’s post.
We’re going to get the foundational stuff in place, by:
• Creating your lead magnets
• Optimising your website
• Setting up an email autoresponder
Next week’s post will break down how you can get your first 100 subscribers, the following week we’ll look at how to ramp it up to 500, and the 4th post in the series will be all about how to push on through to 1,000.
The final post will be a roundup of advice I’m getting from some industry experts. How would THEY go about building their list if they were starting over today?
Sounds good? Awesome!
Let’s dig in.
Why 1,000 subscribers?
When you’re just starting out, the idea of getting 1,000 subscribers onto your list seems pretty daunting. Particularly if you’ve already tried a few things, and all you’re getting is a trickle.
But why focus on this number?
When you hit 1,000 people on your list, it’s genuinely a milestone. You’ll have gained enough traction to start seriously thinking about making money from your products or services.
People start replying to your emails, and so you’re beginning to develop real relationships, as well as getting a sense of what the people on your list are truly struggling with. It’s no exaggeration to say that it’s a real turning point for your business.
At this point, you either have a very small blog (or no blog at all), or you have some content already and need some ideas on how to leverage it to grow your list. Either way, I’ve got you covered.
So, you already have a blog?
Awesome. You’re ahead of the game already.
What you need to do at this point is:
• Take stock of your content
• Optimise your website
• Create lead magnets
• Start raking in the subscribers!
How does that look? Let me tell you what you need to do.
Hopefully you’ve got Google Analytics installed, so you can see which posts on your blog are the most popular. These are the ones you’re going to concentrate on for now.
Go through those posts, and tidy them up if they need any editing or updating. If you haven’t installed Yoast, do this and make sure your posts are optimised for your target keywords.
READ THIS!! >> DO NOT CHANGE THE SLUG ON YOUR POSTS (this is the URL) particularly the ones that are generating any decent traffic.
Create images for Pinterest, and pin them to your account. If you haven’t set up your Pinterest account, you can follow steps here on how to do this.
Create lead magnets for existing blog posts
All that blog content is awesome, but you need something special to entice people onto your list. You need to create an opt-in or freebie – also known as a lead magnet.
HACK ALERT!! >> If you have groups of posts around the same topic, you can use the same lead magnet across all of them.
Depending on how much blog content you have, you’ll create between 1 and 5 lead magnets.
Don’t panic, creating lead magnets doesn’t have to be a huge arduous process.
Keep it simple with things like:
- Quick video tutorial
- Email course
If you’re stuck with the ‘how’ of creating your lead magnets, my free email course Lead Magnets for List Building walks you through the process.
No blog posts yet?
If you haven’t got a blog yet, or haven’t got much content on it, you might need to start by doing some research.
Research your market – the competition
The best way to find out what’s working, is to see what others in your niche are doing. Snoop around your competition, and see what they’re offering as lead magnets.
For some in-depth info on sussing out your competitors, I go into it in much more detail over on this post. It’s about doing research for building a website, but even though you’re creating a lead magnet here – not a website – the research process is the same.
Research your market – Facebook groups
Facebook is THE best place to get relevant information directly from your target audience. Join 5-10 FB groups (if you’re not a member of some already). Look for bigger groups with at least 2,000 members.
There’s a search bar in all FB groups, so you can dig around and see what:
- Common questions people are asking
- Major problems that people are having – their roadblocks, issues and concerns
- Find the gap. There will be a space between their issues, and an overall solution. THAT is where you can come up with ideas for your freebie
Create one lead magnet that you’re going to promote for the first month
Keep it simple (worksheets, checklists) and use a free online tool like Canva to create the PDF.
If you need more help, you can take my free Lead Magnets for List Building email series. That walks you through the process in more detail.
Optimise your website
Now you’ve got an idea for your lead magnet(s), you’ll need to optimise your website for your forms.
Or you can create a landing page to send your website traffic to. Ideally, you can do both.
On your website, you can put opt-in forms in the following place:
- Across the header of your site
- Blog sidebar
- Footer of website
- Your about page
- Above your blog posts
- Below your blog posts
- Within your blog posts
- In your navigation menu
- On a custom designed 404 page
You can read in more detail about this in this blog post.
Create a landing page
If you are tech-savvy or have a web designer to help you, you can create a custom landing page yourself.
If you use a website template such as Divi, it’s really easy to create your own custom landing pages.
Other options, are using dedicated software such as
Sign up to an autoresponder
If you haven’t already got an email autoresponder account, you need to sign up to one. I use ConvertKit, and think they’re pretty fab.
Their starter plan is $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers, and its got loads of features that make working with your email list a much easier process than it could be (here’s looking at you Aweber!).
Other options you could look at are:
Inside your email autoresponder, you need to create an introduction email, and include the following:
- A quick thank you for signing up
- The link to the freebie
- A little bit about yourself
- A little bit about what they can expect from you – how often you’ll email etc
- Links to any social media profiles that you want them to follow
- A link to your FB group (if you have one)
Test everything is working
Before you start working on sending traffic to your website, check and double-check everything is working properly.
It would be awful if you went to all this effort to set everything up, and one piece of the puzzle wasn’t working properly.
Phew! OK, that was pretty epic.
I know it seems like a lot of work, so let’s break it down so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
Here’s what you need to do at this point:
- Make existing blog posts keyword friendly
- Create at least 1 lead magnet to start promoting
- Sign up to an email autoresponder account
- Add opt-in forms to your website
- Create a landing page for your lead magnet
- Start pinning to Pinterest
And do you know what? Even if you do nothing else, these steps will start generating traffic to your website anyway. And some of those website visitors will opt-in to your lead magnet.
It’s a numbers game though. So, if you’re hungry for more subscribers, you’ll need to ramp up your efforts to increase your traffic numbers.
And that’s what we get into in this follow-up post.
Sign up here, and I’ll keep you in the loop!