1. SEJ
  2.  ⋅ 
  3. Content

How Bloggers Who Provide Free Content Make Money

Have you ever wondered how bloggers who provide nothing but valuable FREE content are able to make a living from their blog? I know I wondered the same thing when I first started blogging. I kept saying to myself, how are people able to keep taking the time out of their day to write awesome content, without having to worry about paying their bills? Finally I realized how….

The Power of The Email List

These bloggers are not making enough money from just a few banner ads in the sidebar of their blog. It is not from throwing up adsense all over their site to make it look unappealing and spammy. It is from getting people to Opt-In to their email marketing list. Once a blogger is able to get you on their list, they have the power to be able to control when (within reason) and what they say to you in a message that gets directly sent to you in your inbox.

Bloggers are making money off the backend, not the frontend. Building a list means that bloggers are able to do things like Affiliate Marketing by promoting other relevant products and earning commissions for anyone they refer. They can promote their own products, paid webinars, premium memberships, live events, etc…

So if you are a blogger you are probably wondering how do I build my own list? Here is how.

Offer a Free Piece of Content

The best way is you offer a free piece of content on your blog, which people need to opt-in or provide their name and email address to access. Typically the higher the perceived value is of the content you are giving away, the better the chance you have of exchanging contact info for your free offer.

To increase your list even faster, try offering multiple pieces of free content. For example, offer a free PDF, access to a previous webinar you recorded, and a 7 day free trial to your premium membership forum. This will help cater to a larger audience, instead of hoping that the one piece of content you create will cater to all of your readers.

Add Opt-In Forms in Key Areas of Your Blog

You will need to make it easy for the visitor to Opt-In, so placing opt-in forms in key areas of your blog will drastically improve your subscriber rate.

Top Sidebar:

Probably the place where you will get the greatest conversion rate is going to be at the top of the sidebar. This will ensure that no matter what size computer screen or resolution the reader has, they will be able to see the Opt-In box, above the fold.


At the End of Each Post:

After someone finishes reading a blog post, what do they do next? Have them opt-in to your list. Add an Opt-In box that is shows up immediately after the end of your post.



Many bloggers don’t like using this method, but the fact is…it works! Having a pop-up display when the reader gets to your site, will put your free offer front and center. It is important not to have the popup show up every time the reader visits your site, so if you are using something like PopUp Domination, set it so the reader only sees it once every 10 times.


The One Caveat

In order for this strategy to work, you need traffic! So it is important to understand that without visitors, none of these tactics will matter. Keep in mind that it will take time to build up an audience, but for the traffic you are currently receiving, you need to capitalize on it. Each visitor is a possible customer in one form or another. Even if you don’t have a product offer, you could be marketing to them affiliate products and making money that way.

The biggest mistake I made was not building a list from day 1…so don’t make the same mistake. Create a free piece of content, make it easy for people to Opt-In, and start building your list!

BONUS: Advanced List Building Tactics

Now that we have discussed the basics of building your list, I wanted to talk about a few advanced tactics that can help you rapidly build your lister MUCH faster.

List Swaps

A list swap is basically where you partner with another person in your industry that has a similar size email list as you and you mail out something for each other to your respective lists. It works best when you request your partner to send out an email that promotes a free piece of content. This way you can get their email list to opt-in to your list as well.

One thing with list swaps is that if you don’t have a list at all, you may have to bribe them by paying a fee for them to email their list. However as you start to build up your list, it works best when you partner with others who have around the same size list as you. If they have double the size, you can offer to email your list twice to compensate.

If you find the right list swap partners, you can double or even triple your list over night!

To get you started on the right foot, check out these list swap resources. Each of these sites are communities where people are looking to swap lists with others in the same industry as you.


Interviews & Webinars

A really effective way to build your list super fast is to do an interview or webinar with an authority in your space. You better believe that the person you interview will tell everyone on their list and blog. Immediately you are gaining access to their list indirectly.

In order to take advanage of their list, you need to make sure you have some sort of call to action in your webinar that gets them to sign-up for something. If they just click a link to the webinar, you are not getting their information. Offer a discount on a product you are creating or put an opt-in form on the webinar page to download some free content.

Use List Eruption

A brand new list building wordpress plugin called List Eruption is something I have been working on for over 6 months now. It integrates seamlessly with your email provider and allows you to leverage EVERY subscriber you get, by enticing each subscriber with social sharing options and referral bonuses. This system allows you to setup referral bonuses which will give people a reward for telling their network of friends about anything you are having visitors Opt-In to. I have personally been able to increase my email list by 257% after I started using this.

The plugin is ALMOST ready to be released to the public. To learn more about its features and what it can do for your list, sign-up for notifications. You will be the first to find out exactly when this new WordPress plugin will be released.

Sign-Up Here

Category Content
Mark Thompson Co-Founder at PayKickstart

Mark is co-founder of PayKickstart, a Shopping Cart and Affiliate Management solution, empowering online Entrepreneurs and digital publishers with the ...

How Bloggers Who Provide Free Content Make Money

Subscribe To Our Newsletter.

Conquer your day with daily search marketing news.