When I first started building my email list I had quit my job at a law firm and decided to take some time off to travel.
I traveled around SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and quickly realized that staying fit and healthy on the road was NOTHING like it was at home… No gym, no routine, no protein shakes etc. So I went online to look for help, but didn’t really find anything.
That’s when I decided to build an email list around the topic of staying fit and healthy while traveling. I named the site “Travel Strong”.
Fast-forward three years and I’d built a list of 33,323 subscribers.
I’ve launched my members area and have sold over 370 spots for a total of $39,720!
How did you do it?
My first 100 subscribers came from a free opt-in on my site called The Bodyweight Workout. I began offering this in September 2013, and by September 2014, I had my first 1,000 subscribers just by this offering this.
Currently my list is at 33,323 subscribers.
I went from just over 1,083 to 33,323 subscribers by doing two things: 1) guest posting and 2) Content Upgrades.
In October 2014 MyFitnessPal (the world’s largest health and fitness community, this is before they were sold to Under Armour) published a guest post of mine on squats. This was around the time that squat challenges were all the rage.
If you know anything about exercise you’ll know that 99% of fitness ‘challenges’ online suck and are downright dangerous. So my idea was to create a different kind of challenge, ‘The Squat Challenge That Works‘.
I gave MFP the ‘beginner’ version to post, and then linked back to my site where I had an intermediate and advanced version, plus a planner people could get if they subscribed.
I almost didn’t bother with the planner because I honestly didn’t think anyone would click through to my site. But the challenge blew up, and in 1 week I added over 10,000 subscribers. My site crashed. My bill with my ESP went through the roof. All good problems to have 🙂
That article on MFP continued to bring me traffic for a long time, and has added over 20k subs in total to my list.
The rest of my subscribers come from articles that rank fairly highly in Google (all thanks to Brian Dean’s advice on Backlinko). For my most popular articles I have content upgrades and capture email addresses using SumoMe.
Here is one example: 18 Proven Weight Loss Tips You Can Use TODAY.
Here is the content upgrade on that page:
I’ve also sold access to a members area that includes 60+ workouts for any set of circumstances, recipes, meal plans and private forums.
In hindsight I wish I had tried to create a specific solution to a specific problem (such as nutrition course for people who travel), but I suppose there was some pent up demand in my list because I sold around 370 spots at $77 each for lifetime access… So roughly $27,720 in total. Since the launch I’ve added another 110 members at various amounts, bringing in just over $12k, for a total of $39,720.
I also just launched a new online coaching program with one of the most passionate and talented people I know.
What has building an email list changed in your life and allowed you to do?
Personal: It has given me the freedom to choose how I spend my time. But it has also enabled me to work on something I care about; helping people live stronger, healthier lives.
Business: I know that I have the potential to earn more than I ever could have in a 9-5 job, and enrich the lives of people around me… Even if I don’t have all the sales stuff figured out yet!
What’s next for you?
Moving forward means focusing on three things:
Me + Girlfriend
The thing that sets Videofruit apart from all the other online business blogs out there is how insanely actionable the advice is. The Sidestep Formula is the best (and might be the only) post I have ever come across that explains how to actually make money from your list. If I had heard "the money is in the list" one more time I might have been sick. I had 24,000 subs before I figured out how to make money from it, and that was all thanks to Videofruit's post. Since then, I've been able to invest in myself and learn more about how to serve my audience by solving real problems (and grow my business in the process).