4 Things To Remember When List Building

4 Things To Remember When List Building

So if you’ve been a blogger for even a week I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the importance of list building.
You’ve probably heard that you need to build your list because it’s the best way to ensure your readers stay your readers. That it doesn’t matter how many followers you have on any of your social media account because at the end of the day that platform controls that audience and can take them away or limit your reach at their own discretion. That is true, it’s very true. But focusing solely on getting as many emails as possible without a real plan isn’t going to help you.
So here are a few thing to remember during the list building craze.

[bctt tweet=”It is better to be in front of 10 of the right people instead 100 of the wrong people. ” username=”Diadoll”]

It is better to be in front of 10 of the right people instead 100 of the wrong people.
Before I got out of college I did a little field marketing at an insurance company. One of my duties was to help drum up new business. One tactic we used was attending local events or going to public places like flea markets and try to get names and phone numbers of potential people to reach out to. In theory, this sounded like a good idea. My boss would be ecstatic the following Monday when we would come back to the office with 30 lead forms filled out. He was less elated when those forms only resulted in 5 or 6 quotes and even fewer new policies sold.
The problem? We weren’t going to where our target demographic was. We were just going to people, giving them free merchandise in exchange for their phone number and name hoping to turn them into clients. Half the time the numbers would be disconnected. If we actually got ahold of someone and they let us quote their insurance we would be higher in price than their current insurance or they weren’t eligible for our product. It was basically like we were trying to recruit vegans to attend a barbecue cook-off.
List building is the same thing!
You want to get people on your list but not just anyone. Offering a free workout e-course when your blog is really about photography is a waste of time. After that initial email, they have very little reason to open any of your future emails.
Be sure you are getting the right people on your email list.

Some people just will only want your free stuff.
Even if you do target the right audience, some readers will never want to buy your product, pay for your services or even get your emails on regular basis. Sometimes people will sign up for your email list, get the password to your e-library or download your free e-book and then unsubscribe the next time they get an email from you. That’s okay, it happens. Don’t focus on those people. Don’t toss and turn every time you get an unsubscribe notification or log into MailChimp and see your number has gone down, it just means you have to keep being awesome and someday they might realize how kickass your newsletter is or other people will and it won’t matter.

Make a newsletter worth reading
Be as focused on the content as the list. Yes, you are trying to target a certain type of person for your reading list but once you get them on your list give them a reason to stay there. Your newsletter should have a personal feel and provide some information that isn’t found on your website. If the only thing you are sending is links from your blog to your email list then what is the point of subscribing? They can just go to your website and have one less email in their inbox a week. Make them feel like they are a part of a special club by getting your emails. People love feeling special. Share part of your behind the scenes process. Talk about what’s been going on in your life and what you’re excited about.

It takes time
Unless your opt-in freebie is cold hard cash or free professional massages chances are people won’t be falling over themselves to sign up for your email list.
You have to keep providing great content and insight to get people on your list. You have to have a game plan. You need to know what sets you apart from the other people doing the same thing as you. You have to build connections, create real value and work your butt off.

What are some things you do to build your email list? What are some things you won’t do? What is the best piece of advice you’ve received about list building? Do you even list build, bro? Tell me in the comments.


  1. Candy

    Such an important read. All new bloggers need this information

  2. Fatima

    I’m currently working on revamping my email list and I need to invest time into figuring out what my current subscribers would like to see more of. I love that you mentioned being relevant. As bloggers, sometimes we go for what others want to see on social media that we forget our goals.

  3. cori

    This very much sounds like the 80/20 rule. 80% of your comments and responses come from your core 20% of readers. At least that’s how I’m interpreting the first piece of advice.

  4. Leslie

    These are great tips. I’m struggling with writing a newletter. I don’t know what exactly to put in it. Hopefully during the fall I can get together with a few other bloggers and do a giveaway of a sort. I’m still trying to figure out how to get newsletter sign ups.

  5. Dia

    Resource library, printables or free e-course are a great way to build your list.

  6. Dia

    I think this could really apply to all bloggers. Seasoned or green, since you can’t always count on people to say on your list.

  7. Dia

    YES! So true. Good luck on the revamp!

  8. Dia

    Well I wasn’t really coming at it that way, more about how numbers don’t matter if the quality of them is bad. But you are right about the 80/20 thing.

  9. Sophia

    I am working on my news letter and am starting to realize the important of putting out something that is worthy of reading.

  10. Dia

    Yeah make it count!

  11. Shane

    I absolutely love that first quote. Quality over quantity!!

  12. Mindy@FarmFitLiving

    Great tips! I’m currently focused on building my list. They get my posts each week but they also get a resource packed newsletter with a freebie incentive. I’m going to start sending little motivational emails each Monday morning with helpful tips. I want to start doing giveaways, too. I’m at a comfy 91 subs right now so I’m going to just take it slow and have fun with it.

  13. GiGi Eats

    QUALITY over QUANTITY is SO SO SO true! SOOOOo true! QUALITY = people will come back wanting MORE 😛

  14. Dia

    Thanks Shane!

  15. Dia

    Thats amazing! Sounds like a woman with a plan! 🙂

  16. Dia

    Thanks Gigi 🙂

  17. Kathy

    Very informative blog. Thanks

  18. Clare Speer

    I really need to work on getting my email campaign together – this is such great and practical advice!!!

  19. Tiffany

    I really need to work on my newsletters. I just can’t seem to make it happen the last several months. That’s my summer project!

  20. Courtney

    Thank you for this post! I have seen SO many posts on list building and you are the first to look at it objectively!

    La Belle Sirene

  21. Cait

    These are some great tips that any blogger can benefit from! I love your quote about being in front of the right ten people. It takes time!

    – Cait | http://www.prettyandfun.com

  22. Jenny

    I have been working on building my list with freebies but haven’t really sent out anything to my readers other than a welcome email. I don’t know why but I am so nervous to do this for some reason.

    xoxo, Jenny

  23. Mary

    Always Quality over Quanity! Important information that I will be re-reading. Thanks.

  24. Teresa Caruso

    What great tips! I’m in the process of growing my newsletter, because I’ve recently learned just how important it is. It’s something I never thought about when I first started blogging.

  25. Amber Starr

    I loved the quip about the newsletter. I’ve been meaning to work on mine, but want to make it worthwhile for my readers and incentivize it in some way.

  26. Erica @ Coming Up Roses

    That first tip is CLUTCH. It’s better to hit fewer of the RIGHT people than many of the wrong. Always!


  27. Rebecca Swenor

    This is indeed great information for any blogger. It is so important to be different from others or to offer your audience what that want to bring them in as well as to keep them. List building is essence to any blogger. Thanks for sharing the info.

  28. Georgiana

    True confession: I haven’t done ANYTHING with an email list yet. LOL…well, my blog is still new (love that excuse!) You’re right about social media platforms being able to change the game anytime they want, so it is important to have access to people’s in-boxes. It really is on my to-do list to create an amazing opt-in…just not sure what it should be.

  29. Sixtina

    Thanks for the tips. I think the hardest one is to have patience and wait. Nothing will happen over night and you are right about the fact that some people will always just want the freebies…but that”s fine as well. I guess the main goal of every blogger is that their content gets read. 🙂

  30. Ashley

    I think making a newsletter relevant is key to list building. I agree that incorporating content that isn’t found on your website is essential. Thanks for these tips!

  31. Dia

    Thanks for stopping by. You have to make it worth it 🙂

  32. Dia

    Thanks Alix!

  33. Dia

    I totally see where you’re coming from, I mean at a certain point you might want to create a business from the blog but it’s great just knowing people are reading it.

  34. Dia

    Right! Know your target!

  35. Dia

    I can’t wait to see what it is. I love your blog!

  36. Dia

    Thanks for stopping by Rebecca!

  37. Dia

    Yeah you don’t have to worry about it right out the gate but on the other side I know some bloggers who started before they published their first post lol

  38. Dia

    I totally understand. I’ve made it now that my newsletter isn’t weekly because I don’t have news every week.

  39. Dia

    Awe thanks Mary!

  40. Dia

    Thank you Cait!

  41. Dia

    Girl your blog is great. Don’t be nervous. Think of it this way, we are human, if you mess up its normal and you can learn from it.

  42. Dia

    Awe thank you Courtney 🙂

  43. Dia

    I appreciate it Clare!

  44. Dia

    Thanks 🙂

  45. Dia

    Best of luck Tiffany!

  46. Debra

    I didn’t know list building was a craze but I love your tips for email newsletters. Brainstorming tonight!

  47. Crystal // Dreams, etc.

    I’m planning to start building an email list soon, so this was helpful to read! Thank you!

  48. Star Lengas

    sigh! chugging away can be so blah but I always have to remind me self, to look at the end-goal! great post, I needed to hear this!

  49. Victoria Stacey

    I volunteer as a Director for a not-for-profit and am just learning more and more about the value of list building and databases and how valuable they are! Our membership is based off newsletter subscriptions, so thank you for these tips as we get going!

  50. Amanda

    Such a great and informative post! Loved this list. 🙂

  51. valmg @ Mom Knows It All

    After blogging for well over 10 years I have seen and heard a number of different viewpoints on listbuilding. I only want a list with people who want to be there and who can benefit from something in there. Big numbers of inactives are useless.

  52. Marcie W.

    I am definitely a list maker and blogging is no exception. From business goals I want to accomplish, to posts I need to complete, it is all there. Thanks for the tips!

  53. Dia

    Do you list build not make to do lists?

  54. Dia

    Thanks for stopping by Summer!

  55. Dia

    I couldn’t agree more. Quality over quantity.

  56. Dia

    I hope they are helpful 🙂

  57. Dia

    It’s all over, “How to grow you list” “how to get more subscribers” it’s important but you have to be smart about it.

  58. Dia

    Good luck Crystal

  59. Dia

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it Star. Yes, sometimes the only thing I want to chug is wine.

  60. Dia

    Thanks Amanda!

  61. Kayla

    This is everything! You’re so right! Totally better to be in front of 10 of the right people than 100 of the wrong. I’m just starting to build my list and I’m definitely trying to do it the right way. Thanks for sharing!


  62. karissa Ancell

    Great advice! I’ve been blogging for awhile but only recently started really trying to build my list. Wish I started sooner.

  63. janella panchamsingh

    These are some really helpful tips, its so hard to build a list and have people stick around.

  64. Dia

    It seems like you have a great following so I’m sure you will crush it.

  65. Dia

    Thanks Kayla!

  66. Dia

    Thanks Janella!

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