Have you started trying to build an email list yet? If not, I would definitely hold off until you read this!
And if you have started building your list but aren't consistent with sending out emails and/or you don't get much engagement on the emails you do send out, then you might want to go back to the drawing board and work on a better plan!
Below, I've listed 6 reasons to NOT start building an email list right away as a Christian blogger.
Stop Building Your Email List!
Most Christian bloggers attempt to start building an email list the moment they go live with their blogs. This is the absolute worst thing you could do!
Unfortunately, the blogging world will tell you to do a lot of things from the get-go that really aren't going to be a productive use of your time (and sometimes your $$$).
I'm here to tell you that building an email list during your first year of blogging is most likely NOT going to be a fruitful endeavor for you.
You Are Still Figuring Out All This Blogging Stuff
The truth is that when you first start blogging, it is going to take you some time to figure out how all this blogging stuff actually works. From learning about themes and plugins to learning what SEO is, your first year of blogging is going to be quite busy and stressful.
Most people will tell you that you need to start building your email list (and social platforms) right away. But the truth is that each one of those has its own learning process that takes time to understand.
When you first get started with your Christian blog, just focus on learning and understanding the physical blog stuff before you start having to learn a bunch of other stuff.
You Are Still Working Out Your Target Audience
Most Christian bloggers get started without understanding the importance of a target audience. But this is a vital component! Not only for getting more traffic to your site but also for getting the RIGHT people to your site who will want to join your email list.
If you don't really know WHO you are writing to, how are you going to know what to say to them each week (in email) that will keep them coming back for more?
You Don't Have a Solid Content Plan
If you want to be successful as a Christian blogger, you must learn SEO and create a solid content plan. This plan will lay out all of the blog posts that you should be writing to ensure that you are publishing content for your target audience.
Your content plan is actually the blueprint for building your email list later on.
You Already Have Too Much Blogging Stuff to Work On
I sort of mentioned this already but your first year of blogging is going to be so busy!
- learning how to physically build your blog
- researching your target audience
- learning SEO
- writing new blog posts
- and much more!
The truth is that, once people do start joining your email list, they WILL start replying to your emails. If you are already so busy that you struggle to write a new blog post each week, where on earth are you going to find the time to reply to all of their email responses?
If a reader takes the time to respond to your email, you are kind of obligated to reply back to them! Depending on the size of your list, this can easily take up a good hour or 2 of your day!
You Don't Know What Your Readers Need Yet
The best way to get readers to join your email list when you start building it is by offering a really great freebie.
When you start generating organic traffic, you can look at what the top posts are – or rather what search query brought them to you – and use that information to come up with a really great freebie that relates to that query.
If you just randomly create stuff to use as subscriber optin freebies, you are pretty much just shooting in the dark as to whether it is something they need.
Your blog analytics is a goldmine of information that can be used when you are ready to start building your email list!
You Don't Have a Plan for Building and Nurturing Your List
The worst thing you can do is start collecting emails and then not engage with them right away. I've heard so many people tell me they have “x” amount of subscribers but they only email them when they remember to. Some have even told me they haven't sent an email out in weeks or months!
To successfully build an ENGAGED email list, you need a plan. At a minimum, this plan should include:
- having consistent organic traffic to your blog
- creating the right freebies to get the to sign up
- creating an automated welcome sequence
- what you will email them about each week (and on what day)
One of the most common things I hear from bloggers is they don't know what to send their subscribers each week. If that is the case, you shouldn't yet have an email list!
Just Hold Off on Building That Email List!
During your first year of blogging (or whenever you finally decide to get serious about blogging), forget about building your email list. Just focus on building your site and publishing content weekly. You might even be able to publish more than once per week if you cut out other non-essential blogging tasks!
At the end of the first full year, take a look at your analytics. If your site is starting to generate organic traffic, then take a look at your top organic posts. Use that data to figure out what might be a great freebie to offer readers to get them to sign up.
But before you put that subscriber form on your site, make sure you have a solid plan laid out.
Having a solid plan is the key to being successful with building an engaged list of subscribers who truly want to get your emails and who will anxiously await them each week!
By holding off on building your email list, you will have one less thing to stress about with your blog each week while you are trying to get it off the ground!