If you’re like me then you’ve at times allowed your focus on writing to inadvertently shift to building an email list. Who can blame us? It seems like every podcast, blog, and video out there tell us that our email list will be our greatest asset. The truth is, that is a valid statement.
An active, engaged list of subscribers can do wonders to your business. The problem is, when and how should we begin building a list? Answering the first part of that question is what this article is all about. The second part (the how) will also be touched upon, but it is important that you know that there are countless books on this subject and adequately covering the range of list building strategies will not be possible in this post.
Don’t fret though because one specific strategy special for authors will be provided momentarily.
To put it very simply, my rule of thumb is not until you’re averaging at least 3 ebook sales per day. This may mean you write one great ebook that is selling around 3 units per day (which would likely be an Amazon Best Sellers Rank of 50K to 70K). This could also mean that you have three ebooks that sell approximately one unit each per day.
Once you arrive at three units per day, then you want to create a squeeze page where you can direct your readers to subscribe. This part answers the question of how to begin creating a list.
After the squeeze page is complete then you go back to the books and figure out where you can sporadically insert a link to the squeeze page. It goes without saying that the quality of your content should not suffer in any way, so if you find yourself hindering your message by inserting a link to your squeeze page then just add it towards the beginning and the end of the book before and after the readers experience the greatness that is your words.
Just a note for those that do not know, you’re going to need some sort of lead magnet to provide a reason for your readers to subscribe. You could offer your book in audio format, or you could offer a cheat sheet of some sort that might add value to the content from your book. If you’re not happy with either of those then just try google searching the term “lead magnet ideas”. Something should come up.
Lastly, you’re going to need some sort of email platform. I personally use aweber.com, however, that is about $20 per month so if you’re starting from scratch and don’t want to invest the capital, try mailchimp.com. It is free of charge with certain limitations, but still very appropriate for somebody starting out.
To bring it back to the answer of when you focus on developing your email list, I stated once you achieve regular daily ebook sales of 3 units per day. If your readers enjoy your book and you offer a valuable lead magnet then chances are you get a new subscriber every couple of days or so.
Once you have everything set up and running it is time to get back to writing. Moreover, use this list building time as a break from writing, but don’t let yourself get too far away from writing.