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Do you have an email list?
You probably do. By now most bloggers and online entrepreneurs realize the importance of email marketing.
Now let me ask you, how do you use that email list?
I feel you. I’ve been there.
I’ve had an email list for a LONG time. I was one of the first bloggers to preach the power of email marketing back in 2006, and I still consider it the smartest addition I ever made to my online business.
The problem I had, like most bloggers have today, is not really harnessing my email list for what it can be…
…An automatic money-making machine, which runs behind your blog, all on autopilot.
That might sound like a pipe-dream or scam, since any time you read the words automatic + money together it’s probably spam.
Let me rephrase this into another question for you, one with more business-systems language…
Do you have an automated email marketing funnel that operates behind your blog, delivering specific solutions to the problems your audience has, and sells your related products and services as a byproduct of helping your subscribers?
Or to put it even more simply – do you have a series of automatic emails that sell your products for you?
Chances are you don’t. For most of my blogging career I didn’t either.
Then I finally decided to grow up and build a mature blogging business and test my theory… Could I build a ‘money making machine’ behind my blog?
The old way of blogging had us all slaves to our statistic counters. I call it the “old way” because I left it several years ago.
Unfortunately what I call the old way is still very much the common format most bloggers attempt to follow and are taught when it comes to making money too.
If you search for how to be a problogger or how to make money blogging chances are you will find articles about how to make money from advertising or sponsors and how to increase your pageviews to earn more money from ads.
I call this the ‘pageview slave‘ method of blogging because you are literally a slave to how many pages you can deliver to eyeballs (people viewing your blog), getting paid a few pennies per visitor from the ads displayed.
Under this model, your content has very little value. It’s all about volume.
What was fresh content today quickly disappears into the archives tomorrow, never to be seen again.
This makes you a content production slave, because if you stop producing daily fresh content, you’re out of business.
I diverted from this blogging model in 2007, the day I decided to sell a product of my own creation, but it wasn’t until 2012 when I finally cut the cord and left the world of advertising behind.
That was also the day I started to build “the machine” – the system that runs behind my blog and means I am a lot less dependent on how many visitors came to my blog or how many articles I published.
I’m about to state something obvious, but it’s important I remind you of this…
The internet is incredibly crowded.
There’s too much information fighting for attention. As a result, attention spans have decreased significantly.
With so much content to consume, everyone exists in a mild state of agitation, feeling as if we are missing out on something because… well, we are!
It’s a guarantee that every single day you are online you miss most of the best content because no human being can possibly consume it all.
This is why we bounce around looking for quick ‘hits’ of entertainment, barely paying seconds of attention to any one piece of content because we have to get to the next article, video, or funny animated gif (it’s channel surfing taken to the next level!).
This is why Google has risen to so much power. They specialize in helping us to find the best content and came up with a way to make money from providing the service.
I want you to imagine a scenario…
You go to your local news stand and instead of finding five, ten or twenty magazines to choose from, there are ten thousand.
Besides the obvious physical challenge of displaying 10,000 magazines, it’s pretty clear that deciding which one to read suddenly became a whole lot more difficult.
This is what we face every day online. Your blog (and email list) is just one publication sitting on the virtual shelf along with thousands of others.
How can you stand out?
What’s the point of working so hard to produce all this content, publishing fresh blog posts and publishing an email newsletter if you are lost in the sea of options online?
Thankfully there is a better way, but it requires you make a strategic shift…
The first choice is to adopt the mindset that your blog and email list are NOT a source of entertainment, of helpful tips or generic advice.
It’s time to get SPECIFIC.
The one time when you can capture a person’s attention is when they are desperate to solve a problem or meet a need they feel strongly. This is when they stop channel surfing and start paying attention long enough for you to make an impact.
You have to make the commitment to focus on a group of people with a specific need, which you are going to become a truly great solution to.
Most bloggers today, even though they try to help people, throw random advice, generic tips, and ‘feel good’ ideas that don’t specifically address anything.
This is like reading an inspirational quote as a cure for chronic depression. It’s not going to help.
The problem with blogging and email newsletters is they have their roots in content distribution platforms that are akin to the magazine and newspaper.
These are regular periodicals of light content. They create awareness and entertain, but they do not solve problems in any meaningful way.
Your blog, and in particular your email list, must go deeper. People should walk away from your content with real tools to help them make real change.
When I say you have a ‘machine’ behind your blog, I mean you use a sequence of followup emails that are designed to solve a problem using evergreen information. This means your content helps people whether they sign up today, tomorrow, next week or next year.
It’s a simple choice – instead of producing a random ‘newsletter’ you produce an ’email course’ that has a specific sequence with a start and an end.
Take people through a process that genuinely helps them, that solves a problem, that is focused and sequential and delivers real value.
Set up that course so people can join any time and let your email autoresponder do the work delivering your content (I used AWeber as my first email autoresponder).
Once set up you no longer have to worry about constantly sending a fresh newsletter week after week, thus reducing your workload, yet increasing the long term value your email list provides.
How’s that for an improvement!
The final piece of the puzzle is to make sure that your email course has a related product offer.
This is a next step offer or a related tool or service they can buy from you to continue the process your email course helped them start. This should ideally be your ‘front end’ product – see the Blog Sales Funnel for more details.
Note your email course must offer standalone value.
It’s not just teaser content like a carrot you dangle in front of your audience to get them to buy your product. Your blog and email content provide a solution, and your product helps even more.
By embedding several offers for your product in your email course you make sales on autopilot.
Just as you make offers via your newsletter with specials and deadlines to drive sales, you do the same with your email course. The difference is that you automate the offer making process, hence the ‘machine’ works even when you are not.
The three steps I’ve just broken down for you are how you should do email marketing today.
You create a process that runs automatically behind your website, not something that increases your content production demands and has no specific strategic purpose beyond simply giving more content.
This is a light introduction to the core principles I teach inside the Blog Mastermind 2.0 course, where I teach you how to create your first ‘Blog Sales Funnel’ (blog + email list + product).
When you build out a full-scale Blog Sales Funnel you offer multiple email sequences like I just described, as well as followup sequences that drive people to your various front end and back end products, all on autopilot once set up.
If you’ve ever wondered how people create true lifestyle freedom businesses with a blog, I’ve just handed you the formula.
This is a completely different way to look at a blogging business…
It’s important you realize most of the blogging advice out there is not like this.
Other people will have you working your butt off creating all kinds of content all in the hope of building a large enough audience to make a living from advertising, sponsors or selling affiliate products.
That is not a smart path because it does not contain leverage, it lacks a sound strategy and it’s not sustainable.
If you stop working, you stop earning.
If you’re interested in taking the next step with me, learning the exact emails I recommend you include in your email course, and how to build your blog as a true money making platform, then I invite you to join the new Blog Mastermind 2.0.
Right now I’m running a new-members discount special for two weeks. The discount is $500 off the full price of the program.
To claim the $500 discount, go to this registration page, where you can learn all about the program:
Take my program, gain knowledge of a blogging strategy that actually works, and then apply what you learn to build an online platform that sells your products on autopilot.
I’ll see you in the program.