Freelance Writers: What to Put On Your Subscriber Opt-in Landing Page to Get More Subscribers and Grow Your Mailing List

Written by Karen Cioffi

I’m always tweaking my websites, determining what’s working and what’s not. I keep in mind that one of the primary purposes of my websites is to entice the visitor into subscribing to my mailing list. FYI, for this, you need an email list management service like AWeber.

As a freelance writer, you and I are competing against thousands and thousands of other writers trying to grab that visitor or potential client or gig. How effective our landing pages and opt-ins are matters.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details.

Why Visitors Might Not Be Subscribing to Your Mailing List

One of the primary reasons for low subscriber opt-in conversion rates is visitor distraction. Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who say YES to your opt-in. So, if you had 100 visitors and only one opted in, you’d have a 1% conversion rate.

Website elements that can cause visitor distraction are: ads, sidebar content, links, busy banners, flashing prompts, busy backgrounds, more than one call-to-action, and other things that aren’t specific to leading the visitor to join your mailing list. To help reduce and even eliminate these distracting elements you need to create a separate opt-in landing page.

Specific website landing pages are custom designed and highly focused pages that have a single purpose. These pages are also geared to a specific target market. This is the page that can make or break conversion.

A subscriber opt-in landing page is the page you direct people to through various online marketing strategies. It’s the page a visitor sees, or arrives at, when he clicks on your link and lands on your site.

Why Freelance Writers Need a Subscriber Opt-in Landing Page

In today’s internet driven businesses, including your freelance writing business, having a subscriber opt-in landing page is a must.

Freelance Writers: How to Get More Subscribers to Your Mailing ListIt’s the people on your mailing who you can develop a relationship with. They are the ones who will eventually buy what you’re offering, which in this case would be your freelance writing services.

Real-life Example of This Process

I can see the results of this process with my own subscriptions and purchases. One marketer in particular offers free weekly ‘live’ instructional webinars.

I love free stuff and I love learning to improve my writing and marketing skills, so naturally I signed up. Through his weekly connection and instruction, I’ve grown to know that this marketer is experienced and knowledgeable. He knows what he’s talking about. I value this and it’s motivated me to buy two products from him so far.

It’s this ongoing communication and information that builds a trusting relationship, providing the content given is valued and useable. This in turn motivates the subscriber to buy. It’s a process that works.

So, it’s well established that as a freelance writer you need a separate subscriber opt-in landing page. Along with having the page up, you need to make it optimized.

More Than One Subscriber Opt-in Landing Page? What You Should Have On the Other One

Think ‘focus and persuasion’ when creating your opt-in page. You should provide a complete explanation of the benefits the visitor will receive if she says YES to your call-to-action.

Depending on what your freelance writing niche is, you might include: tips, relevant information, reviews, news, tools, and so on. Along with the ongoing benefits of subscribing, you also need to provide the immediate WIIFM (what’s in it for me). This would be the ‘ethical bribe,’ your offer.

What to Offer Potential Subscribers to Get Them to Opt In

Ethical bribes or gifts should be perceived by the visitor as valuable, something well-worth giving up her email address for. Types of ethical bribes you might offer include:

  • eBooks
  • Podcasts
  • Instructional webinars
  • Instructional videos
  • One-on-one coaching sessions
  • A free edit
  • Reports

About Images On Your Landing Page

You’ll need to determine which gift works for you. Be sure to include an image, preferably a 3D image, of the gift you’re offering. Visuals are important.

Next Comes the Why

Once you have all the pertinent motivational information in place, you need to include the ‘why should she spend time and possibly money with you.’ This section would be your freelance writing qualifications. The visitor will want to know who you are and what your qualifications are. She’ll want to make sure you have authority in your niche.

Landing pages work. They offer higher conversion rates; you should take advantage of them.

One final note: Keep it simple. You don’t want to make your landing page feel or look busy, or give confusing or complicated steps for the visitor to take action.

Share Your Thoughts

How do you optimize the landing pages you have in place for your freelance writing business? Please share in the comments section below.

About the Author: Karen Cioffi is a freelance writer and online platform marketing instructor with WOW Women on Writing! Need help establishing and optimizing your freelance writing or author online platform? Take Ms. Cioffi’s six week in-depth ecourse, Create and Build Your Author/Writer Online Platform.

How to Get More Email Subscribers — FAST!

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Have Listbuilding Tips to Share?

What have you done to grow your email list? I’m all ears! Share in the comments section below.

P.S.: Drive 10,000 to 100,000+ monthly visitors to your blog using Pinterest — in just 30 minutes a day. You’ll learn how to …

P.P.S.: How I First Learned about the “Magic” of Pinterest

I first learned about how effective Pinterest marketing can be when I took the “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” e-course. It has a really good strategy that’s included as part of the course. But if that’s not your cup of tea, the system above works great too.

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    1. Thank you Karen for sharing your marketing knowledge! You are absolutely right about having a separate opt- in pages. I have one on my primary website, and then I have a few on some pages I built with my premise theme by Copyblogger. This post reminded me that I need to invest in LeadPages, which is an easy to use landing page software site that integrates nicely with WordPress and most of the most popular email marketing systems. I do a little bit of advance strategies though. Since I direct most of my traffic from Facebook, I send them to my landing page for a FREE 20 minute audio. ( I noticed a short 20 minute audio works best for my clients). However, when they opt in, they go to a One time offer page /upsell page. So they get the audio for FREE, plus they have the option to purchase more content right on the spot. I do it this way because different people are at different levels, and some may be ready to buy. I know I am most of the time! That’s what gets me in trouble 🙁

      @Anne- If I am correct, it seems like you may have some technical challenges with landing pages set up. I would recommend looking into LeadPages or Premise Theme by Copyblogger, they are both super simple to use. If you don’t want to deal with that, I would find somebody on http://www.fiverr.com and see if they can integrate that for you at an affordable rate. I hope this helps! 🙂
      Nina recently posted…The Real Reason You Don’t Have The Money To Invest In Your BusinessMy Profile

    2. Hi Karen,
      You always give me something to think about. With my new site layout I have lost my sign-up button–not that it did much good anyway. Have been sitting on the same number of subscribers for a year.
      So if I have this right, I create a front page that is an incentive to sign up/follow my blog? I need a few incentives–e.g. free reports/mini course — and an email newsletter? Is once a month okay for that? And I assume it needs a focus–e.g.writing software of the month/best new sites for writers/ etc etc
      This new page then links through to the blog article I’m promoting on my social networks?
      Landing pages always sound so professional and I’m just muddling along but need to get my act together fast, lol
      Thanks as always for all your help and advice,
      Anne Duguid recently posted…The Benefits of Hosting OthersMy Profile

      • Anne,

        Creating a freebie is one of the best things you can do to grow your subscriber list; I can attest to this from first-hand experience.

        Back in 2011, I wrote Living the Freelance Life, the free ebook subscribers receive when they sign up to Inkwell Editorial’s mailing list, and it’s paid off handsomely in subscribers. So it does work — but the best thing you can do is continually put out great content.

        I still struggle with building my subscriber list – but it’s all learning, testing and tweaking; tweaking, testing and learning.

        Thanks again Karen for such an informative post. You know how to “nail it!” 🙂

        • Annie, for the best results, a separate website should be used for a landing page. It’s this site that you would lead readers to in order to give them a clear call-to-action.

          The reason for the separate website is to avoid distraction. It should have nothing on it except for effective copy explaining why a visitor should subscribe and the call-to-action. You can check out http://thewritingworld.com as an example.

          If this is too daunting, then have a very clear and simple call to action on the landing page of your website.

          Yes, you’ll need a valuable ethical bribe (freebie) to motivate visitors to sign up for your mailing list. And, you’ll definitely need a newsletter to keep in touch with your subscribers.

          The frequency of your newsletter depends on its purpose. If you’re promoting your services or selling products through the newsletter or using it to bring traffic to your website/monetized posts, then once a week or more often is advisable. An easy way to do this is to simply link to your latest post in the newsletter.

          If the newsletter is used to promote your new books or keep readers in the loop, then once a month may work. Testing is an important aspect of marketing.

          Your newsletter should be an extension of your website – the same topic/niche.

          I think I got all your questions, if not just let me know!

          Thanks so much for stopping by.
          Karen Cioffi recently posted…Selling Online – Ecommerce Shopping Cart BasicsMy Profile

        • Thanks Yuwanda–so encouraging to hear what you found helped you in the early stages.
          Anne Duguid recently posted…Weekly Writing ResourcesMy Profile

    3. Glad to be back, Yuwanda!
      Karen Cioffi recently posted…Selling Online – Ecommerce Shopping Cart BasicsMy Profile