List BuildingThere is a lot of misinformation in internet marketing but the number one biggest universal truth is this:

“The money is in the list.”

I’m sure you’ve heard it many times and I can’t stress how important and how valuable having a list is.

Unfortunately, there are too many people who have been interested in making money online for many months (or sometimes) years but have STILL not built a list!

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “Rob, how did you build your list?”.

So I thought I’d answer that in this post…

First Things First

Before reading on it’s important to know:

1. I Have Several Lists
Every other successful person I know on the internet is the same.

When people say, “My list” they actually mean, “My lists”. That is, plural. So there are lists for different niches, products I’ve sold, free gifts I’ve given away and so on.

2. It Takes Time
List building does not happen overnight. Yes, I’ve added hundreds of people to my lists in 24 hours or less on occasions but to get that result I usually had to put in a few days or weeks of…and there’s the taboo word… W.O.R.K!!!

3. There Are ONLY 2 Ways To Build Your List
1. Give something away for free (on a squeeze page or optin form on your site)
2. Sell something (on a sales page)

Both will put subscribers onto your list but the latter method will add buyers which are the best type of subscriber you can get. I recommend you do both though, just as I do.

If you are just getting started you can create a squeeze page or sales page using OptimizePress (fast, cheap and what I use everytime).

Please keep the above in mind as you read on as it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different traffic and list building methods.

Just keep reminding yourself there are only ever 2 ways to build your list. 🙂

How I Built My Lists

Here are the methods that I’ve used, and you can use too…

1. Giveaways

This blog started as a hobby when whilst I was making money in the stock market niche. In fact I didn’t monetize it at all for around 10 months!

However, I did want to build my audience and subscribers so I participated about 4 or 5 “giveaway” events using this site: newjvgiveaways.com

The idea is that you become a contributor and provide a product (which can be sourced online as PLR for free or at low cost, say $5-10) to upcoming giveaway events.

The contributors promote the event (you can do so on social media or get friends to sign up if you haven’t got a list yet) and the people that arrive at the event sign up for your product and also to your list.

Worth Doing? In my view giveaways are not what they used to be but since they are pretty simple to get going with they are something that is worth doing if the idea appeals and you are just starting to build your list.

2. Blog Commenting

You might think blog commenting is a waste of time but I can tell you some of the most profitable joint ventures I’ve done have started with a comment I dropped on another marketer’s blog.

Emails get lost but pretty much EVERYONE reads their blog comments. Therefore blog comments are a great way of getting on someone else’s radar. Plus you’ll also get a little traffic back to your squeeze page too (think of this as a bonus).

Worth Doing? Yes, it only takes a few minutes, a few times per week to do it.

3. Blogging

I made my first few dollars online in the collectibles niche. Regular readers might know it was in fact in the “Collecting metal lunch boxes“ micro-niche.

I still have this niche site (see here) and you’ll see that it has an optin form on the sidebar. This blog you are reading now has one too and it is always a good idea because it acts as another “on ramp” for visitors to join your list.

Worth Doing? Yes, having a blog is a great platform for building relationships with your subscribers. Remember that the money is also in the relationship with your list too!

4. Solo Ads

This is where you pay another marketer to email their list and promote your squeeze page. Costs vary by niche but this is one of the fastest ways to build your list using paid traffic.

Worth doing? Yes, and especially so if you wish to “kick start” your list from zero. But obviously it does cost money.

5. Joint Ventures

This was is how I drove 99% of the traffic in the stock market niche. You have a product, you get others to promote it in return for a commission. We’ve talked a lot about how to do this before and in the members area but the key is to build relationships first and treat it as a marathon not a sprint.

Worth Doing? 100% YES, super powerful!

6. Content Syndication

Content Syndication encompasses many different traffic and list building techniques that are all about “getting your content in places around the web where your target audience will see it”.

+ Interviews (Giving and Conducting)
If you go through the archives of this blog you’ll notice a lot of posts where I interview experts. Interviewing experts is:

1. One of the fastest ways to create content or a product
2. One of the BEST ways to build relationships for future Joint Ventures
3. A great way to get FREE consultancy and learn a lot about your niche 😉
4. Become percieved as an expert through the “Power of Association”

As you go along you might be surprised that people want to start interviewing you. I’ve done a lot of this including one a couple of weeks ago and another scheduled for this Thursday. Again this takes time but gets you traffic and builds your list with passionate buyers who really like your stuff.

+ Guest Posting

Write an article, get it posted on high traffic websites in your niche. A LOT easier than you might think.

This was one of the key things I did to get my first hundred or so subscribers on my list for this blog. And it’s not a “mickey mouse” strategy either, I still do this today and as with all these list building methods you will find the best places to guest post as you do more of it.

+ Bonuses For Other Marketers
Love this one.

Create a small product (article, MP3 expert interview, video tutorial, eBook etc) and offer it FREE to another marketer so they can use it as a bonus for their product. To get your product the other marketer’s customers need to sign up at your squeeze page.

I used this a fair bit. It puts BUYERS onto your list and involves virtually no work once you have your product. Better still you can syndicate your product to lots of different marketers again and again! 🙂

+ Press Releases
I haven’t done this yet but in the next 7 days I will have.

From what I hear it’s a great method of syndicating content and getting your message out there but I can’t comment on results as yet obviously! The big daddy is prweb.com but there are many other free press release sites you can use too.

UPDATE: Please click here to see the results of my press release

Worth Doing? In my experience, Content Syndication is one of the most powerful and best quality traffic sources you can get. You may only generate a few visitors sometimes but these people often buy again and again (seriously it’s incredible!).

Not only that but all of the methods above are free (unless you pay for a press release) and only take a little time on your part to implement. Can’t recommend Content Syndication enough!

7. Affiliate Recruitment

You create a product and get other people to promote it.

This might sounds identical to joint ventures but it’s slightly different in that most of your affiliates are people you don’t know and never speak to.

I’ve had well over 30,000+ visitors sent by affiliates this year, all for free. For more information check out this previous post or Gain Higher Ground members can see the sessions in the members area.

Worth Doing? Heck, yes! The numbers speak for themselves, it’s an evergreen strategy pre-dating the internet and will always work in the future.

8. Forums

The common method people talk of here is to put a link in your signature and get involved in the forum helping people. Some other members will click your link and sign up for your page.

This is a bit manual though so if, like me, you are not the “chatty” sort that likes to frequent forums then a better thing to look for is promotional opportunities.

Many forums have dedicated promotional areas (either free or paid) and often you can purchase text or banner advertising. The obvious example of course is the Warrior Forum but there are many other forums in many other niches which allow this too.

9. Pay Per Click (PPC)

I have probably added only about 20 subscribers using this method in my life! I used Adwords and 2nd-tier PPC networks, especially 7 Search.

Worth Doing? From this you can probably guess I didn’t get on well with it. However, in reality I gave up and it is something that I’d like to pursue further going forward.

Experts in PPC tell me that if Google Adwords is too expensive and restrictive for you try Facebook ads or another 2nd-tier network such as Miva.

10. Live Events

I’ve been to 2 in the last 2 days and am at another this evening!

You don’t need to attend that many in reality but try to attend one at least once per month. Live events are a great source of joint ventures as nothing beats face to face contact. You’ll also be able to get new subscribers if you hand out business cards with you squeeze page URL on it.

Please Remember…

There are many other methods which you can use but remember you don’t need to do all of them.

The main reason I’ve done so many is that I LOVE experimenting! If you don’t then just stick to 2 or 3 methods. The most powerful ones in my experience are Content Syndication, Joint Ventures and Recruiting Affiliates.

These 3 methods alone will allow you to drive thousands of visitors to your squeeze and sales pages in any niche.

Did you find this useful? Please click LIKE and Tweet if so – I’d really appreciate that. Please also let me know your comments and questions below… 🙂