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List Building – The Three Real Magic Mega-Moneymakers…Part 3

There is magic in a list only if it’s a targeted list, a list specifically interested in what you are offering.  The oft-repeated “The money’s in the list” should say “The gold is in the targeted list.”

The next most-heard comment is, “I’d rather have a targeted list of 100 than an untargeted list of 1000″… and that’s the voice of experience from  successful marketers, most of whom will agree that driving traffic, however you choose to do it, should be at the top of your priority list.

The phrase ‘driving traffic’ doesn’t mean much unless you know where it is that you are driving it, why you are driving it there, and what you are going to do with it when it gets there.

Enter your autoresponder.

I use Aweber and, yes, if you use that link to subscribe to their service, I will receive a commission.  (I know you knew that, but the FTC doesn’t respect your intelligence as much as I do and demands that I tell you).  With that out of the way, on with business.

You might call your autoresponder (where) your lifeline.  It is the ultimate destination of your traffic.  It provides the main connection between you and your buyers (why), but you can only keep that connection intact and profitable by giving your list members regular and quality content (what), both in your blog posts and in your newsletter emails.

To keep your list happy…remember:

  • their time is valuable – respect it.
  • their interest is focused – remember why they signed up and stay on topic.
  • they like the informality and friendliness of a list – keep it that way – friends first, customers second.

Now that we know how to collect those sign-ups using an autoresponder, let’s talk about how you’re going to get them.

First, you have to find them, so you go where they hang out.   We are looking for the best of the best, the mailing list gold:  the targeted list.

The three easiest sources, although not the fastest, are:

  • forum participation
  • commenting on blogs
  • writing articles.

Finding the Right Forums (or fora, if you prefer)

Use your favorite search engine to search for “forums (your niche)”.  Example: forums soup recipes.  Look at a few of them, checking for activity and quality of posts.  You don’t want to waste your time posting to an inactive forum, nor to one more interested in trivia than in business.  (Hint:  use the Alexa search bar to determine how much traffic the blog gets.  It shows that for each search page entry.)

After selecting a promising few, just read a while, maybe answer an easy question if you are sure you know the answer.  You might then ask a question, and finally, when you have established yourself as a non-spammer, write your signature with a link to your blog, nothing flashy, and be sure to follow the forum rules about signatures.  Many forums won’t allow using a signature until you’ve made a given number of posts, typically ten.

A bit later, you can add a line with a link to a TLD (top level domain) sales or squeeze page that contains your affiliate link..  Never add an affiliate link in a forum signature.  Most, if not all, forums don’t allow it, and if they do you can take it as an indication that it’s a spammy forum that you don’t want to participate in under any circumstances.

Just use discretion and good judgment, don’t be pushy, and  you’ll get some traffic from your efforts.  If you’ve picked good forums, you’ll be learning useful things, too.

Commenting On Blogs in Your Niche

Use the same search techniques as you did for forums to find blogs in your niche (including Alexa).  Choose a few, and begin reading posts.  When you find one that you can add value to by commenting, then write and post your carefully crafted comment.  If you expect to get traffic this way, you have to say more than “Great post!.”  Your comment needs to suggest to the reader that there’s probably even more good stuff on your site.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t compliment the post writer, too.  In fact, here’s a good rule:  ‘Complement the post and compliment its writer.’

Article Writing

This is my favorite list builder because I think it’s the most useful, and because an article is mine to control:

  • I can post it on my blog
  • I can rewrite it and post it to as many article directories as I choose
  • It’s out there on the internet forever, not buried when forum threads or blog posts get old and lose their audience

Because of it’s importance, because it is the main subject of the next post in this series, and because this post is already lengthy, I  won’t discuss writing articles any further here.

Note that I haven’t mentioned buying links or link swaps.  The first is untenable. The second isn’t much better but at least does involve your own niche.  Neither is organic, and organic is best.

***

Blog Traffic Made Easy by John Robinson of SiteFever is a 22 page no fluff e-book well worth reading, as is a lot of other stuff on his site.  Nice guy – doesn’t even ask for a sign-up.

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4 Responses to “List Building – The Three Real Magic Mega-Moneymakers…Part 3”

  1. Michael Pedzotti Says:

    That is a well structured article. Thanks. You’ve obviously done a bit of research. Do you have any recommendations for commenting on other blogs. I can get carried away with it sometimes and end up at a blog without knowing how I found it – usually by following the blogroll links :-)

  2. Jody Says:

    Thank you for commenting, Michael. I don’t know that I have any recommendations for commenting on other blogs, but I can offer a reminder: a comment should do more than offer praise or criticism; it should offer something additional. Personally, I find that hard to do when a post is really good, but I always try to say something more than ‘great post.’

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