Every now and then, I keep seeing this question in forums, people struggle to monetize their blog.
They are fed up of using Google Adsense, or any other Ad network, and are on the verge of quitting blogging. They do everything fine, a nicely designed blog, great content, and a humble userbase.
One of the common answers given by other experienced forum members is Build a list, it’s the best way to connect with a reader and pitch a product or service (it could be your own or as an affiliate).
It has worked for those successful people, it has worked for me and it works for anyone who puts their efforts in building a list.
But, building an email list is tricky, it’s not just the hard work but the smart work as well. You really need to think of smart ways to grab your reader’s attention and make them subscribe to your list.
One such method, that has worked too well for me is,
Offering a Freebie to new subscribers
This method of getting subscribers is a little controversial, some people say that the list comprising of subscribers who get on the list for a Freebie, as not loyal to the list and have little or no interest in the product/service provided by the blogger.
They claim that it merely increases your subscriber base but reduces the conversions.
What I’ve found that offering a freebie attracts a reader and works very well, it is the power of the word ‘Free’ that gets them on the list, but this ‘Free’ stuff is another chance to impress them with what you’ve got for them.
Create a freebie has tremendous value in it and people really benefit from it, so much that they remember you as a great person who shares super amazing knowledge.
What kind of Freebies you can offer
The kind of Freebie you choose to offer depends on the type of blog you own. If it’s a food blog, you can create a PDF Book picking your best recipe that can be cooked under 10 minutes, or 10 recipes that help lose fat, or 10 recipes for kids, 10 lunch box ideas for kids. etc
If your blog is about Dogs (any Pets of all kinds) you can create a report for first-time pet owners, what to do and what not to do, how to train your pet etc.
Your freebie is a way to help your readers from getting overwhelmed with your content. It’s your way to tell them, Relax, now that you are new here, here is an easy report/ebook you can download to get started.
Your readers will not only give you their emails but will also be thankful for the free stuff. You both win.
How to create a PDF report or eBook
I’ve actually written an eBook about it though it covers a wide topic of creating an eBook as a product and then deciding the pricing and selling it. Check out the Guide to create an eBook
You can use Microsoft Word to write and insert images, do a bit of formatting and then save it as a PDF. You can then upload it on your blog, just like you upload photos.
You can use Canva to create a nice cover for your report or eBook to put it in the sidebar of your blog. You can also create banners for it using Canva.
How to deliver the Freebie to new Subscribers
If you are already using an email service like MailChimp, Aweber, iContact etc, these services let you send a welcome email to the newly subscribed readers once they confirm their subscription.
You can put the link in the welcome email asking them to download it. And also telling them what they can expect from your newsletter.
If you haven’t started using any email service, I suggest you go for Mailchimp. Here is how to get started with MailChimp and create an email list.
Increase your Subscription rate up to 300%
Once you are done creating your freebie, and setting up your email service. It’s time to put that in action on your blog.
Many people simply put the eBook cover in the sidebar or below the posts followed by the Subscription form codes below it.
While it will get the job done it won’t be much effective. I mean, what if they do not notice it?
This is where Subscription box plugins come in, there are few awesome plugins that claim to increase the subscription rate by up to 700%, but I’ve got 30% increase so let’s called it 3x the improvement. It is still very impressive.
I’ve been using WP Subscribe Pro on my blogs, it’s the simplest plugins that let you get started quickly.
There are many others, which are little expensive but offer more features like A/B Testing to find the best performing Popups. If your blog is getting a lot of visitors, A/B testing can really help you increase your Subscription rate even further and you might take it to 700%.
I’ve listed out the Best Subscription Popup Plugins in the Market earlier on the blog, You can check it out.
But, I find WP Subscribe less confusion and affordable solution for this problem. And Recommend using it if you are just starting.
Plan of Action
It’s just a recap and plan of action for getting started.
- Create your Free Report
- Set up an email service to deliver the Free Report
- Use a Popup plugin to increase Subscription
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