Today's challenge is to begin (or accelerate) collecting subscribers to your email newsletter.
Most experts in marketing agree that you need a base of 1000 followers. How do you accomplish that? You have to provide content that draws them. A sample of your writing (an excerpt from your book, a short story, a poem, or if you write non-fiction, an article about your subject will interest them. Your first impressions post or article on your site is another example of that content.
Even with great content, they might not find you unless you have a means of contacting them - your email newsletter. Even if you don't have a newsletter yet, begin collecting the names and email addresses that you will send it to. Reassure them that you'll only send out 3-6 a year (there is no magic number, you decide how often) and tell them a little about what you intend to put in it.
Building an email list is one of the two most important tasks your website should accomplish. (The other, of course, is selling your books). The reason building an email newsletter list is as important as selling your books on your website, is because a link on your website to where your book can be purchased is tied to your website. People have to come to your website to use it. An email newsletter, on the other hand, lets you reach out and take the link to them, whenever you have a new book out. It also lets you keep in touch with and build a relationship with them, so when you have a new book, or you're speaking somewhere, they'll want to know.
To build your email list:
- Every page on your website should have a clear, highly visible and easy (one-click) method of signing up to receive your email newsletter. Seth Godin calls this The Big Red Fez .
- Consider including a landing page on your website. A landing page is a separate page on your website that motivates your reader to do one thing only. Most pages have multiple calls-to-action (buy this book here or that book there, comment on this blog, plus sign up for my email newsletter.)
- Take a sign-up sheet with you whenever you give a talk, a workshop or a book signing, on which members of your audience can write their name and email address.
- Offer valuable incentives to encourage people to do so, such as the PowerPoints for the talk or workshop; a background story about your characters that's not in the novel; additional tips or worksheets not included in the non-fiction book; a book giveaway, etc.