When I first started building my list I had a full-time job at Chick-fil-A in Columbia, TN.
I decided to create an email list around the topic of using Michael Hyatt’s WordPress theme. The reason I picked that was because I had recently bought Michael’s theme and noticed a lot of others were having problems getting the theme installed and set up.
So I just started helping people.
Fast-forward a few months and I had become active in several forums for the theme and my list had grown to just over 200 subscribers. At that point I decided to build a course that people could go through in order to learn how to properly install and configure the theme on their sites.
I launched the course and it did $10,541 in sales.
Just a few weeks back (January 2016) I was able to quit my job as a manager at Chick-fil-A and focus on my business full time!
How did you do it?
I got my first 100 subscribers by doing two primary things.
First, I used my existing email list for my main blog (which at the time had around 300 subscribers) and told them about what I was working on. This got around 75 subscribers to the Get Noticed Theme Unlocked email list.
Second, I worked the forums hard. I spent 2-3 hours a day in the forums for the theme, helping people. Answering their questions, jumping on Skype calls with people and being as helpful as I could.
At the bottom of all my posts in the forum was a link to the “Coming soon” page for the course where I collected emails. This added just over 150 subscribers to the list.
Since them my list has grown to 1,150 subscribers.
I went from 100 to 1,150 subscribers by focusing on content upgrades and similar niche resources. I would write content about a specific software or system on my blog and then include an optional download of a checklist using a LeadBox or ConvertKit modal form.
My most popular content upgrades were:
Most Popular #1: $10k Launch Strategy Guide (129 subs)
Most Popular #2: Get Noticed!™ Theme Checklist (77 subs)
I also experimented with free email courses towards the end of 2015, which went surprisingly well:
Incidentally, in that same time frame my site-wide ebook download brought in 104 subscribers, and my generic post footer brought in 25.
What has building an email list changed in your life and allowed you to do?
Having an email list has allowed me to quit my full-time job as a manager at Chick-fil-A and spend more time with my family.
It’s also taken all the guesswork out of the burning question “Will anyone read what I write?” each week. That’s allowed me to be more confident in my writing, and focus on creating compelling, genuinely helpful content that means my audience grows every month, and revenue grows right alongside that!
I’ve quit my day job, got myself an office on the square in my town, and built a team of part-time rock stars who help me run a blossoming online business.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What’s next for you?
We’ve recently launched The Centrifuge, which is the learning library we’re now using to host paid courses and free video tutorials for entrepreneurs.
Wife + 1 Kid
My whole life I've wanted to start my own business. But it wasn't until I started focusing on my email list that I finally started to get traction and see significant progress.