You’re at the beginning of your list building journey, and you want to get your first one or two thousand subscribers.
You know that one of the quickest ways to build your email list is to write a guest blog post. It builds your credibility and gets your name in front of a large audience in one fell swoop.
But guest posting is a glaring weakness for many new(er) online business owners.
They drag their feet for a variety of reasons. They don’t know…
- Which blogs to reach out to
- What topic will get the most traction
- How to convert readers into subscribers
If these challenges trip you up, you probably respond by procrastinating. You know you should guest post but you just don’t know where to put your energy.
The result? Your email list is growing slowly—with an emphasis on “slowly.” It feels like it’s going to take forever to get to that magic number you have in mind.
How would your business change if you were able to double your email subscriber list with one powerful guest post?
Back in 2013—following the same formula I’m about to share with you—I went from 205 subscribers to 425 subscribers with one guest post.
Today, I’m breaking down how I made it happen, step by step.
And the best part is, after you do it once, it’s easy to repeat the formula again and again.
How I Doubled My Subscribers with One Powerful Guest Post
Step #1: Make Building Your List a Priority
Most of my clients’ businesses stem from their passion. So for the next 6 to 12 months, I challenge you to channel your passion into growing your list.
In the beginning of your business, it can be hard to stay focused on something like blogging. Blogging—whether on your own blog or someone else’s—is often the first thing to tumble down the priority list.
You might think your time is better spent perfecting your website, brainstorming a tagline, or making your cover photo look good on Facebook.
But your site, tagline, and Facebook photo mean nothing if you don’t have an audience.
Massive list growth doesn’t happen passively. It requires strategy, effort, and focus.
Commit to growing your list.
Start by literally creating space for growth. Create a folder called Guest Blogging, and add blank documents called Host Blogs, Guest Post Ideas, and Blog Posts I Love.
You’re going to need these for your other steps.
Step #2: Experiment on Your Own Blog
When you’re just starting out, it can feel like you’re writing to an empty room. And you basically are. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write.
Maintaining a relationship with the people who are already on your list should be a regular task.
Use your blog to experiment with your voice and connect with your audience. (I actually found that my small audience was very engaged. It felt like a family.)
In the beginning stages of your business, use your blog as a sandbox.
Step #3: Don’t Waste Energy on Your Blog
Even though I want you to play and experiment on your blog, I don’t want you to put your best content there. At least not yet.
Your new blog is about as useful as a billboard in outer space.
Which scenario would you prefer?
Scenario #1: You spend hours writing an epic blog post. You send it to your list of 148 people. Two people share it on social media. One person emails you and says, “Thanks! That was so helpful!” And no one new signs up for your list.
Scenario #2: You spend hours writing an epic blog post. It goes live on a site that has 75,000+ subscribers. 70 people share it on social media, and it spreads like wildfire. 100 new people sign up for your list.
The second scenario is time well spent. Do this often enough, and your own blog will become large enough to contain those epic posts.
Step #4: Choose the Right Host Blog
You can also check the Alexa rank and the number of social media followers they have (if they use social media).
Often times the more successful blogs either don’t accept blog posts or they only accept blog posts from established names.
Sift through the blog to make sure they accept guest posts. And if they have guest-post requirements, follow them!
It’s also important to choose a blog that attracts the same type of clients you want to work with. Take time to research their most popular posts (usually listed in the sidebar) and be discerning about whether or not the content seems like the right fit.
Also remember to assess the engagement of a blog’s readers. Are people leaving comments? Asking insightful questions? Taking the conversation deeper?
To attract engaged clients, write for a blog with engaged readers.
Step #5: Choose the Right Topic
While you’re busy experimenting on your own blog and working one-on-one with clients, you should be paying attention to where the gaps are in your industry.
What misinformation do your clients come to you with? What are they missing? What are they hungry to know?
In my case, my clients were struggling to define their ideal client. Traditional exercises just weren’t working—they felt too theoretical. So I came up with new ideas (which I’ll get into further down).
If you write a post on your own blog that gets a strong reaction from your readers, think about how you can take it deeper for a guest post.
Step #6: Aim for Quality Subscribers
When I was just starting out, I partnered with other entrepreneurs to do interviews and videos for their lists. And while these partnerships got me subscribers, those subscribers weren’t always the right fit.
How can you guarantee that the people who subscribe to your list will be a really good fit? Offer a free sample.
Now, this is NOT the same as your free opt-in offer.
Let me explain.
In my winning blog post, I created an opt-in offer that was directly related to the topic I discussed in the blog post itself.
This opt-in offer had 4 different client exercises in it.
I decided the best way to ensure that the people who signed up for my opt-in were a good fit would be to give them a taste of it.
I included ONE exercise out of the 4 in my guest post. Nobody had to sign up for it. It was just there for the taking.
If people liked it, they had the opportunity to sign up to receive access to all the exercises. If they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to sign up.
In the end, people who decided to sign up would likely be happy (because they had an idea of what was in store) and more qualified to work with me.
Step #7: Tip Conversion in Your Favor
I created an exclusive landing page specifically for Firepole Marketing/Mirasee readers.
If you ever have the opportunity to work with a blog that has a large following, create a special opt-in landing page for those readers.
This does a few things:
- It tells the reader they’re in the right place.
- It improves trust. They trust the website they came from, so when you reiterate the name of that website (even use the logo if you can) you carry that trust over from the original website to your own.
- It makes the readers feel special. You care enough to make a landing page just for them. And only the readers of that website will see this page.
My conversion for this landing page hovers between 60% and 70%.
Things to Keep in Mind
I was able to double my list with one guest post because my original list numbers weren’t very high at the time. It’s not like I magically got thousands of subscribers in a day. But as a baby entrepreneur, those numbers were so gratifying and impressive.
You CAN hit that magic milestone that you have in mind. And you’ll get there a lot faster if you have a strategy behind your efforts.
Choose your guest blogs with intention. Grow your list with qualified clients who are a good fit for your work. Take chances.
And remember to celebrate your victories—big and small.
Do you have a question or advice about growing your list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.