A Blogger's Most Important Tool: The Email List



I've heard it for years now (and you probably have, too):  the most important social tool for a blogger - besides their actual blog - is an email list.  Social media algorithms change all the time without warning and it's not uncommon to see your number one driver of traffic completely dry up practically overnight.  Learning new tricks to making social media work for you and keeping up with all the changes can be exhausting, and recovering from a tank in referrals takes time.  You can't keep social media sites from changing their formulas for what they show users, but you can make sure you establish a direct line to your readers with an email list.

So Why Is An Email List So Important?

I've been blogging for years now and not until recently have I even considered the importance of growing an email list.  Even when other bloggers and educators were starting to talk about how you need to grow your email list I always thought, Why?  What would I even do with a bunch of emails from my readers?  What would I send them?  Blog posts?  Aren't they already here and reading my posts?  I'm already on social media - can't readers find my stuff there?  And then it finally dawned on me.  An email list is the simplest way to ensure your content finds its way to your readers.  Tweets are gone in seconds, Facebook and Pinterest want you to pay for your readers to see your content, Instagram isn't known for it's click through rate, and Google+ is well, Google+.  Here are just some of the reasons I think an email list is absolutely vital for bloggers no matter how big or small the blog.

1.  Email is consistent.

Social media platforms come and go, but email remains a consistent form of communication.  Who remembers MySpace?  Friendster?  AOL chatrooms?  HelloCotton?  Google+?  What if you were relying solely on those platforms to provide your latest content to your readers?  If Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram suddenly shut down for whatever reason how would you reach your audience?  Email.  Email isn't going anywhere.

2.  You're in control.

Social media is vital to the growth of your blog, but the problem is that you don't have any control over how your content is actually being shared to, or hidden from, your audience.  You don't own any of the amazing social media sites where you share your content (wouldn't it be nice if you did, lol), so they can change things at any time and you have absolutely no control over what changes are made.  But you do have control over your email list, so if a new algorithm change tanks your site's numbers, it's not as big a deal.  You still have an email list full of faithful readers ready to read your content.

3.  It builds your tribe.

An email list can transform a casual reader into a dedicated fan of your site.  Your email list is full of people who trust you and want to hear what you have to say.  After all, they wouldn't have signed up for your list if they didn't want to hear from you.  Providing meaningful content in your emails builds a community.  An email list builds your target audience (aka, your tribe), and fosters deeper relationships with your readers.  These are the same readers that are going to be enthusiastic to read your content and excited to share it with others.

Are you convinced yet?  If you don't already have an email list, you should absolutely start one, today.  It doesn't matter how big or how small your blog is - if you plan to grow your audience (even if you never want to monetize) and want your audience to be invested in what you write (and keep coming back for more), you need to engage them on a deeper level than social media provides.  Don't wait!  I wish I had started my list years ago!  Do you have an email list?  Are you planning on starting one?



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