How to Build an Email List as a Content Creator

January 25, 2022

I’m Tara.
 I'm an influencer strategy expert, the host of Project Influence the Podcast, and the founder of Creator Cube™, a co-creating space for content creators. 
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Gimme that

Let’s talk about the mystical “email list” – the emails that you get from your readers or followers to keep them updated on your latest offers, blog posts, and just general news regarding your niche. It’s easy to say “I don’t need that” but, as I mentioned in the 10 Things You Need Before Launching a Blog (highly recommend reading it first) an email list is EXTREMELY important as a content creator. 

Your email list is a direct line of communication between you and your readers – no secondary platform between you and them (like Instagram or Pinterest). And, unless email suddenly stops functioning which is HIGHLY unlikely, email is more reliable than social media. Social media platforms crash, create new restrictions, and change every day – email stays!

Plus, it’s a much better platform and communication method if you decide to sell your own products or services in the future.

Tara Carr, Content Creator, teaching how to build an email list

How Does Email Marketing Work?

Basically, you get started by picking an email marketing platform. Popular platforms include Convertkit, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact. Personally, I use Flodesk – while it’s not free at the beginning like the others, it offers additional features like customizing your lists, delivering freebies (we’ll get to that in a sec), and unique template designs for your emails.

Email marketing typically starts when a reader or follower subscribes to your list. Most of the time, this is thanks to your freebie (also known as a lead magnet or opt-in) inciting them to sign-up. Then, you’ll send out emails to subscribers weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, depending on your preference. 

Picking Your Freebie

The perfect freebie is one that connects with your target audience and relates to the content you create. For example, fashion bloggers promise to frequently send deals & discounts, offer a lightroom preset, create a checklist, etc. Here are some of the freebie ideas I recommend:

  • Newsletter: This would include giving access to exclusive content like discount codes or first dibs on flash sales – or content that doesn’t make it to social media.
  • Free Download: This is a “traditional” freebie. This could be an Amazon Favorites List that you update each month, exclusive tutorials, checklists, guides, etc.
  • Weekly Giveaways: A more expensive, but highly effective offer, you can choose to do a weekly giveaway for your followers. This could be as small as a $5 coffee or as big as a $100 Gift card to Nordstrom – you decide! Just make sure you clarify that a condition of winning is that you’re a subscriber.

Tips for Building Your Email List as a Content Creator

You have to do a little more than just put a subscription form (or offer a freebie) to turn your readers and followers into subscribers. Here are my top tips for building your email list as a content creator:

  1. Share your sign-up link in your Instagram stories often and talk about the exclusive content, gifts, codes, etc., that you give your subscribers.
  2. Make sure you stick to giving them something special, so they feel like it’s worth it – even if it’s just a quick note from you about something you didn’t share on social media (just make them feel special!).
  3. Change out your opt-in freebies when they start to get stale. This is when you start getting fewer subscribers – the more exciting or interesting you make it, the more people will sign-up.
  4. Make sure you think about the people you are adding to your list as future clients/customers. For example, if your goal is to eventually open a boutique because you love fashion, make sure you give them fashion-centric content. If you want to launch digital products for influencers, make sure you’re growing that type of audience by offering things they want.

Ready to take your business as a content creator to the next level? Join the waitlist for the Influencer Blueprint launching soon!

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