Welcome to How to Make Money as a Content Creator, the course that covers everything you need to start earning money online doing what you love. I’m James Caran, content creator at WayAway and Travelpayouts. Next up in our How to Get Visitors to See Your Content module of the course, we’re going to focus on the traffic source: Email! In this lesson, we will explain how you can use emails to build a loyal audience and increase engagement!
With all of the communication tools we have at our disposal, email can seem pretty outdated, right? Well not quite! In the world of digital marketing, it is still very popular, and often one of the most powerful ways to get your content out there to your audience on a regular basis! To start, you will need to build an email list. As you can imagine, this is a list of people who agree to receive emails from you. So of course, this means you collect the consent! You can usually do this by asking your users to enter their email into a form.
If you have a blog, there are tools like Opt-In Monster that allow you to create your own branded popup campaigns and integrate with email automation tools like Mailchimp so that your signups go directly into an email flow where you can create a “thanks for signing up” email that triggers once they sign up!
You can learn more about these tools in our resources section of this lesson – there’s a slight learning curve, so I recommend watching YouTube tutorials and reading the resources to see if this is the way to go for you!
For social media content creators, it’s possible to include links in your Instagram bio, and use the Facebook Call-To-Action button – with these opportunities, you can grow your email list by linking your signup pages here! Additionally, you can get creative with your stories on Instagram or Facebook! For example, maybe you create a series of story slides. First, make a question box asking: “Interested in joining my monthly email list”? Here, viewers can choose “yes” or “no”. And in the second slide, enter a Typeform where they can actually input their email! Be sure to thank them and let them know the type of content they can expect over time!
Building an email list is all about creating something of value for your audience! A best practice is to provide a piece of free content in exchange for the email address, this is called a “lead magnet”. An ideal lead magnet should give an idea of the type of content you produce, but also provide value on its own! If you’re a travel blogger, an example of a good lead magnet would be an itinerary of a specific destination! Inside the email, you could share what the lead magnet will include, for example, 5 Best Museums With Free Admission.
What to bring:
Then, once they receive your hand-crafted itinerary, and you have their email, think of how you can further the conversation and keep them coming back. What additional value could you create? In this case, you could offer them discounts at one of the restaurants you recommended, or give away an item from your packing checklist! Of course, this would mean you’d need to put on your influencer hat and reach out to these places for discounts and samples! We’ll talk about this in our next Module about “How to Monetize your Content” when we chat more in-depth about affiliate and influencer marketing!
After you decide on what you’ll create for your lead magnet, add an automated signup form to your website in order to start collecting emails and sending out the lead magnet. Design the signup form to explain the value of the offer or the benefits they’ll gain from being a subscriber to your newsletter! For example, if your blog is dedicated to road trips, you may promise “Behind-The-Scenes Tips From a Road Trip Guru Who Crossed Over 100 Countries”.
Once the form is online, start sending traffic to it using other traffic generation methods we describe in this module, and your email list will start to grow! As it does, you’ll need to stay consistent with your distribution of these messages and be clear about what you want to share with your subscribers. Let’s explore some best practices to help you keep your readers happy.
Establish how often you will send out emails, and always deliver on this promise: irregular schedules could harm your subscriber base. This means you should create a content plan specifically for your email subscribers. We have an entire lesson regarding creating a content plan in Module 2, be sure to check it out if you haven’t already watched it!
Your content should be actionable when necessary! If you offer a lead magnet, be sure to include a call-to-action at the end of the email. An example of this could be a button with a text link that directs them to further reading on the subject in your blog, or even a product you’re promoting. Call To Actions are enticing buttons or links that encourage a reader to do something.
Deliver unique value in your emails. While it is possible to simply send updates about the new content you posted, offering something unique will make readers more engaged and will increase your returns from emails. For example, maybe you established a relationship with an influencer with a huge following of users in your niche. Pitch something with them like a Q&A webinar, or podcast.
Once you’ve agreed upon a topic and scheduled the event – inform your email subscribers and ask them if they have any questions for you to ask the influencer during your meeting. Maybe you’ll even live stream the webinar, so they can watch and listen to their questions live, if so – include a CTA that shares the webinar sign-up information!
How do you get people to actually open your emails? It’s no good to have a bunch of email addresses, but the open rate is 0%! We can work on getting people to open those emails by creating great subject lines and preheaders, which are the lines of text people see when they look at the messages in their inbox. When writing them, keep these things in mind. Keep your subject lines short, between 30-50 characters including spaces. As a rule of thumb, a preheader’s length should range from 40 to 100 characters.
Your subject lines and preheaders should be compelling and informative. They give your subscribers a snippet of what they can expect to read inside and keep them wanting more!
But how can you figure out which subject lines and preheaders your audience will best respond to? It’s simple. Let’s say you have 10000 subscribers. Before sending your email to the whole list, set up 2 emails that are the same except for a different subject line. Next, choose a random group of 1000 subscribers and split it into two equal parts. One half will get email A, and the other half will get email B. Then, see which version gets more people to open the email and send it to the rest of your subscribers.
As high-quality content strives to serve specific needs and wants of customers, you should consider splitting your audience into different segments as your email list grows. This way you can get very specific about the content you share and increase engagement with everything you send, rather than sporadic clicks here and there! Always include links to your other channels. Most email providers allow you to add “follow” or “share” buttons to your email template, hassle-free! You can also include these in your signature, or CTAs, as we mentioned previously!
As you can see, email marketing takes quite a lot of effort. The good news is, you can automate a lot of tasks related to email. We will be providing links to useful resources for automation below.
Let’s quickly recap ways to increase traffic to your content through email!
In the next lesson, we will learn about gaining traffic to your content through social media! Stay tuned!