Building an email list is something many of us are striving to do these days. It gives us another platform to publish on and reach our audience. But growing a list is not simple.
In the last few months, my email list has averaged 100 new subscribers every week. Actually, I’m not hesitant to say I believe we are the biggest (and best) side hustle newsletter on Substack.
I’ve noticed a lot of people write about the benefits of owning a successful email list without actually explaining how they got there. That’s now what I’m doing here.
Let me explain my methods.
1) Use Substack to house your email list — here’s why
I don’t get any kind of kickback for promoting Substack, even though I probably should at this point. I think it’s the best for housing an email list because they actively help you find new subscribers. There are a lot of things you can do on the Substack app to get more subscribers.
In the screenshot below you can see that the majority of my new subscribers in April 2022 were directed to me from the Substack Network. It wasn’t always like this. The Substack Network and iOS app are new, powerful features that are great at directing traffic.
After the Substack Network was introduced, I started to see my subscriber count boom.
Substack also started doing newsletter recommendations. It’s a feature that allows readers to see similar newsletters you recommend.
The only account we’ve recommended so far is Blogging Guide, owned by Casey Botticello. We’ve sent more than 100 subscriptions his way, so far. Maybe after he sees this he’ll recommend us back? *fingers crossed*
2) Importing new subscribers
When new writers apply to write for the Side Hustle Club’s publication, they agree to be automatically added to the newsletter. They can unsubscribe at any time, but my statistics say most don’t.
Since our newsletter and publication are bolsters in our side hustle community, most writers are also readers interested in side hustles.
My suggestion here is to start some kind of online community that can run parallel with your newsletter. Whether it’s a Facebook Group, Discord channel or Medium publication, give people in your community a chance to see and do more.
Many followers of our publication head over to the newsletter to see what else we have to offer.
That’s another quick tip: Find more value to offer your readers when you direct them to your newsletter! For us, it’s things like e-books, premium downloads, free giveaways, and resourceful information.
3) Search traffic
My last tip goes back to using Substack. The platform hosts your newsletter as if it were a blog. That means it can be found by Google.
If you look back at that screenshot, 6% of our subscribers in April 2022 came from direct/other. After doing some digging, I learned that’s from Google search traffic. SEO is providing my newsletter with subscribers!
This is such a cool feature for an email list. It gives it another opportunity to be seen by potential subscribers.
Being consistent with your publishing is an obvious tip to succeed with a newsletter. You have to reach your audience and let them know you’re still there.
Also, don’t expect newsletter success to happen in a day. I just got to this point after almost a year and a half of creating my newsletter, it takes time.
Here’s a rundown of final tips before you go:
- Use Substack
- Publish consistently
- Create a parallel platform for your newsletter
- Recommend other newsletters
- Import new subscribers when you can
- Optimize your posts for SEO
- Keep working at it
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