How I doubled my email list doing one simple thing

Okay, so doubling an email list doesn’t sound fun, nor does it sound simple. A few months ago, my email list was growing steadily, but very slowly. I was gaining only a few new subscribers a week, and really thought this is the best it could be for a small blog like mine.


Why is an email list even important?

If you don’t know why an email list is important, or you don’t care about yours, you probably wouldn’t have clicked on the link to read this blog post. But hey, I’ll fill you in real quick on why it’s sooo important to have an email list. Regardless if you have a blog just for fun, or you are running a business, email is the only true and safe way to contact or market to your potential customers/readers.

You (and everyone else) don’t own their social media accounts. Instagram could be gone tomorrow, you could get shadow-banned for a week, hacked and have to start over, or all of your customers could leave the app – you literally can’t control it. Then what? You can’t rely on something you have no control over. If I stopped using Facebook and Instagram, I’d still be able to connect to many of my followers because so many of them signed up for my email list. Make sense?

How I doubled it.

First off, I will not sit here and type out a lie. I did not have a huge email list to begin with. A few weeks ago, I had roughly 100 subscribers. I didn’t start collecting emails in an effective manner until about 6 months ago, so 100 wasn’t too bad for a tiny blog…however I wanted to grow it.

When you think about growing anything (Instagram following, Facebook ad clicks, email lists, etc) you have to put yourself in the other persons shoes and ask yourself some questions:

  • What makes you want to click on something?
  • What makes you feel the urge to hit that “follow” button?
  • What makes you want to give someone your email?

I’ll tell you my answers, and what most people would answer – it’s a selfish answer, but true: You gain something.

When you follow an Instagram account, maybe you’re gaining valuable knowledge from that person. Maybe you’re gaining inspiration. Maybe you’re gaining a new fresh perspective. You don’t typically follow someone just because you can. This holds true for giving your email too.

Build Trust

I’ve given my email and subscribed to many blogs/lists in my life. First thing they did to get me to be okay with giving my email away (because we all despise junk mail cluttering up our inbox) is they gained my trust. That blogger or company had shown me that they have something of value, that they won’t spam me with pointless junk, and that they have information that I need and want.

In the first few months of my blog, the only people who subscribed to my blog were friends and family and some people I developed relationships with on social media. They trusted me. I didn’t have a million likes and followers, but they knew that what I was sharing was quality content and they wanted to be part of it. No one is going to give you their email just because you’re asking them too. Show them that you have something to offer.

So if you’re just starting out, have a place for people to subscribe to your site, but don’t expect the masses to flock there. It’s okay if it’s slow, that is how it should be. Once you gain the trust, once you’re consistently showing up and showing everyone that you have something important to say and share, they will trust you and they will want to be part of what you have going on.

How I actually got those emails

Okay now for the info that you actually came for. How did I capture those emails? One word. FREEBIES.

Does the word free just make you cringe? It does to many people. When you’re starting a blog, the last thing you have is extra resources to give away for free, but knowledge is free, and if you make everything exclusive then how will anyone know you’re the real deal?

Let me take you on my own little timeline with emails:

I started my blog and just had a subscribe button on the side and at the button of posts. This is how friends and family subscribed, and my list was measly. I’m talking like 25 people. I realized that people needed incentive, something they wanted that I had – my expertise. I created a freebie.

I created a Decor Checklist. This is a simple one sheet document I created in Canva that outlines how to decorate a room when you have no idea where to start. I was getting so many questions about interior design that eventually I realized, people really needed help here, so why not just make it accessible? In one day I created this Decor Checklist guide, integrated it with my e-mail and announced it on my Instagram page. It was like a “click funnel”. People saw what I could offer on my Instagram feed, they saw the link in my bio, and then input their email to get it. Simple as that. I gained a lot of new email list subscribers this way.

But that isn’t all..

My focus started to shift from just decor to lifestyle as well, so I needed to capture everyone interests. Not everyone wanted decor advice, so I went back to the drawing board and asked myself again – what makes people want to follow me, give me their email, and why do people trust me? I came up with a list of ideas – and one common factor was my photo editing. A lot of people asked me how I edited my photos on Instagram. They wanted to know something that I have knowledge in, and they were coming right to me to ask. BINGO.

I made a preset with the exact way I edited my own photos. It took me roughly two days to make this preset on Adobe Lightroom, integrate it into my blog and set up an email list for people to download it for free in exchange for their email. I advertised it via Instagram stories, and overnight my email list doubled into the hundreds. It is still growing very rapidly and that was almost 2 weeks ago.

Quick summary

  • Build trust with your tribe – remember this doesn’t come overnight. Consistency and quality of content are key. Give them something they need.
  • Figure out the ??? – why people follow you, what questions do you get asked, what do you know that they don’t?
  • Make something of value and offer it for free. It doesn’t have to be huge, but something good enough to stay around for.
  • Watch your email list grow, and continue to grow trust and give value.

Are just just starting out on a blog? Catch my complete blogging 101 guide here!

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