To become an authority blogger you are going to need to focus some of your energy on list building (or audience development as I prefer to call it).  Why build a list? Because not everyone who visits your blog will automatically want to buy something from you, they will need some time to figure out who you are and what you can offer, and the best way for them to do that is to join your subscriber list.

Here are 10 list building tips that every blogger needs to know if they are going to build a quality audience of potential buyers:

  1. Provide value. As someone working towards becoming an authority blogger you will already understand the importance of showing your audience that you are an expert in your niche. People have signed up so they can hear more from you and having your own list is an important way to do that. You can either plan to send them regular information through an ezine and/or send them links to your latest blog post(s).
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  2. Show them you know what you are doing and saying. Providing your list with helpful hints and guidelines will not only help them but it will also give you an opportunity to continue promoting what you do. Helpful hints with a compelling call to action that says “this product can help you solve your problem” will encourage people to take a second look at what you offer.
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  3. Ask your readers for feedback. Just because you have an autoresponder sequence set up does not mean it has to be a one-sided conversation. You can get a lot of valuable information simply by surveying your list members every so often and asking for input. Give them some sort of incentive for filling out a survey for you (free report, audio, video, discount coupon, or free service), and you’ll gain access to what they really need and want from your list. This helps build your relationship with your readers because they feel like they are valued and that you really care about them and their needs.
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  4. Forget the hype and over exaggeration, just be honest. If you start feeding the people who join you hyped up stories of what is possible if they buy a product you may find yourself on the end of some nasty emails when the product doesn’t live up to its expectation. You may be eager to promote your product and earn some money but avoid making something look too good to be true because you will only end up with a large number of refund requests and unsubscribes.
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  5. Use social proof in your emails and offers. Social proof is another amazing way to boost your sales. Nobody really likes to make the first move, in case we make the wrong one. The same can be said when people are buying an offer. They don’t want to take the risk of it being a bad buying decision. If they see that other people have already purchased and have enjoyed the product, they will be a lot more likely to buy it themselves.
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  6. Free, free, set them free! It is important you let people leave your list as quickly and as easily as possible. Making it difficult for people to leave does not mean they will stay, it will just mean that you damage your reputation online and end up with spam complaints.
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  7. Use linkbait. Link bait works best if you have a blog and are in a niche that has a lot of other bloggers. Linkbait is simply a way of talking about something controversial or having a controversial opinion. When other bloggers and webmasters notice your post they may link to you because they want to share their opinion as well. You’ll likely get a lot of comments from readers agreeing and disagreeing with you. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to like what you have to say, and you might get some flak. As long as you can back up what you’re saying, you’ll probably gain respect from both those who agree and those who disagree. At the same time, you may see an increase in your sign-ups!
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  8. Develop special offers with other list owners. Creating special incentives and offers can help you to make sales. Your list members will be thrilled to get discounts just by being a member of your list. This strategy also makes being a member of your list special and exclusive – something they can’t get from the competition.
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  9. Add your signup box in as many places as possible. Don’t limit your signup box to your blog. Add it to any of your social networking sites that allow html/scripts to be added. If you use feeder/remote blogs add it there too. Stop and think about the many different places you can include your sign up box, if you can’t add the code just add the image of your free giveaway and a link back to your blog to sign up for it.
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  10. Use a popup or pop under as well as the code in your blog. Not everyone will notice your signup box on your blog so make it obvious by adding a pop under (a web page comes up with your signup box after they leave your site) or a popup (an offer appears to sign up while they are on your blog). These are great ways to catch anyone that has not noticed your signup box.

As a blogger who may only just be getting started with list building it is important you follow what has proven to work, in time and as your list grows you will find other ways to ensure people remain a happy subscriber and frequent blog reader. Over the years you will build many lists and your relationship will be different with them all. You may have some subscriber lists that you just promote product after product too, others that buy high end products and lists that include people just getting to know you – it is important that you understand the needs of each one.

Promote your product or affiliate products is easier with a list of people to send an email too so seriously consider building your list and using your blog as one of the ways to get people to sign up.