Many freelance writers are expanding their streams of income by writing and self-publishing their own ebooks, developing e-courses and seminars, and doing radio shows/podcasts. What makes these income streams so viable? In a word, subscribers. If you don’t have them, it’s hard to make consistent money. And …
What worked before isn’t working now!
Why Old List-Building Strategies Are No Longer (As) Effective
I recently attended a webinar by online marketer Clay Collins. It was about the new strategies for successful list building.
As with most marketing strategies, once they become overused they become old and tired. What used to work becomes less and less effective. This is what is currently beginning to happen within the marketing arena and it could affect your freelance writing business.
As an example, you might have been adding a bit of text at the end of each post suggesting the reader get more valuable information by opting into your mailing list. Or, you have your opt-in very visible with “Subscribe Today,” or similar wording. Well, these strategies are all overused and as mentioned above, becoming less effective.
According to marketing research, this is happening across the board. Readers and visitors are becoming savvier. They know exactly why you want their email address – to sell them products or services. So, you better darn well have something of REAL value to give them if you expect a YES response.
Keep in mind that just about everyone online is offering something and they all want that visitor as a subscriber. To get visitors on a mailing list, the FREEBIE is offered.
Should You Offer Freebies to Entice Prospects to Subscribe?
You and I and a million other people offer free reports, free ebooks, free podcasts, free videos, and even free coaching sessions. The freebie has become so prevalent that it too is losing its appeal. This prevalence has made the freebie less valuable.
In addition to this, there are just so many marketers bombarding everyone’s email with ‘pie in the sky’ promises. Promises that you can make $5,000 a week, or even in a day; promises that if you give him $197 he’ll give you the step-by-step method of creating your own million dollar business. Or, if you join his program or membership site, you will become an expert and make money, just like him.
The emails are unrelenting and everyone is overwhelmed by them. So, can you blame the visitor for being leery?
In recent months, I’ve seen a drop in subscribers to my list. And, my email inbox is so cluttered I have to delete mail I would like to read, but there just isn’t enough time.
In fact, a number of people are now using ‘spam’ emails, or emails they use just for subscribing to get freebies. Or, they sign-up and after they receive the freebie, they unsubscribe. This has happened to me also.
While this may seem like a bit of doom and gloom, there are newer strategies you can put in place to move forward and continue to build your list with quality subscribers.
The Single Most Important Strategy to Keep Your List Building Moving Forward
You must use the major platforms.
You may be reluctant to jump on the ‘major platform’ bandwagon, but if you don’t, you can kiss your list building away.
Let’s look at the three heavy hitters:
The most effective conversion marketing tool around now is video. If you haven’t learned how to create a simple video (and it can be simple), you need to invest the time and do so then get it up on YouTube.
If you’re intimidated by video, you might start with Slideshare.com. You create a slide show with a PowerPoint document. It plays like a video and is simple to create. You can check out one I did at:
10 Website Landing Page Must-Have Elements
The drawback to Slideshare is the lack of audio. While you can add music to it, there is no talking. This lessens the personal effect for the visitor. I’ve been procrastinating about getting videos on YouTube, but know I must and have recently invested in a how-to program to get started.
Another major player is iTunes, which is the world’s number one music store. Creating a podcast an uploading it onto iTunes is a great marketing strategy.
I’m working on getting podcasts on iTunes. I have them on my sites as a welcome and introduction, and will hopefully get some up on iTunes in the near future. You can check out my one of my landing page podcasts at: http://karencioffi.com
If you’d like to get an idea of how to create a podcast and how to upload it onto iTunes, you can check out this three-part video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdyJPsa4qe0.
And, then there’s Amazon. Not much needs to be said about Amazon, aside from you need to write an ebook and get it on Kindle. Or, you might write a book and self-publish it with CreateSpace (also from Amazon).
I have ebooks on Kindle and a book through CreateSpace, with more to come. Depending on your niche, decide which platform will work best for you.
To be in the game today, you need to be on at least one of these platforms, preferably on all three to be an effective marketer and to get your freelance writing ‘out there.’
Share Your Thoughts
I’d love to know what you think. What makes you subscribe/unsubscribe to a list? Have you tried list building? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t?
My Next Post on InkwellEditorial.com
Email Marketing for the Freelance Writer – Best Days and Times to Send Your Emails Out: You’ve created a great article that offers your readers tips, help, or other valuable tidbits. You took the time to create an ‘on the mark’ title to help entice them to open your email. You’re a great freelance writer and you’re doing everything right. But, what if your subscriber’s inbox is flooded with other marketers’ emails? This happens to me every day. The invasion of emails can cause subscriber anxiety and will definitely affect your email’s ‘open rate’ and thus its ‘click rate.’ Stay tuned for this post on Sept 18th.
About the Author: Karen Cioffi is an author, freelance writer, and online marketing instructor with WOW Women on Writing! Need help establishing your freelance writing or author online platform? Take Ms. Cioffi’s in-depth ecourse, Create and Build Your Author-Writer Online Platform (http://www.karencioffi.com/author-online-platform-ecourse).
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