A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Free Email List For Authors #4

A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Free Email List For Authors

How to Attract People to Your Email List #2

This is part 2 of ‘How To Attract People Your Email List’. You can find all the parts of this series here:

Adding People Via an Online Signup Form (cont)

Last week we talked about using Incentives as a magnet to attract people to your newsletter sign up. This week, it’s more incentives, but something I like to call:

Added Value (See Also Content Upgrades Below)

A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Free Email List For Authors | How to Attract People to Your Email List

Added value is providing your readers with something more than the original product, or some additional information that could enhance their reading enjoyment. For example, creating PDFs to offer your readers. Some of the things you could consider are:

  • Maps – Perhaps your fantasy epic has large realms. Readers could get fully loaded maps
  • Character bios – If you created these as part of your preparation for your novel, your readers may be interested in learning more about their favourite characters
  • Behind the scenes – What research went into the book? Where did you get your inspiration for a particular character or setting?
  • Timelines – Where does the action in your book fit into a timeline? For example, Post apocalyptic – when did it all go wrong?
  • Alternative covers – Did you consider several covers before you selected the finished product? Share those.
  • Deleted scenes – Were there any sections of your book that didn’t make the final cut? Why did you leave them out?

That leads me nicely onto

Smartbribe (GoViral)

Smartbribe is an amazing piece of software that could potentially double your signups (at least). It works by offering subscribers to your list an added extra, by getting them to share your content (that’s the bribe part).

And the best part? It’s FREE.

I’m not going to say much about smart bribe now, as I will have a post coming up on how amazing this is, and the potential it offers authors looking to build a list or promote their work. I’ll just leave it there by saying I’m very excited about it!

What If Your Blog Gets No Traffic?

A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Free Email List For Authors | How to Attract People to Your Email List | Email list with no traffic

As a new author, it’s possible that your website / blog receives little or no traffic. If that’s you, then you may be asking yourself if it is possible to add people to your email list with no traffic? Luckily, the answer is HELL YES.

There are several ways you can grow your list without having ANY traffic to your site or blog:

Guest posts

If your website / blog receives a low amount of traffic, you should consider blogging somewhere that gets a lot!

If you are active around the blogging community (and I recommend that you are), you will come in contact with MANY helpful bloggers. Look at the sort of content they publish on their blog and consider writing something that will be of interest to their readers. Get in touch with that blogger and respectfully ask if they would be interested in using your post.

Guest posting on more popular sites will put more eyes on what you have to offer with the aim of driving them to your website, where you can entice them to sign up to your list with your awesome free offer!

I’ve not written many guest blog posts as a relative newcomer to the blogging world, but when I have, I have noticed an instant spike in traffic, some of whom may have gone on to join my mailing list.

Guest posting also offers you the opportunity to receive sign ups by offering ‘Content Upgrades.’

Content Upgrades

A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Free Email List For Authors | How to Attract People to Your Email List | Email list with no traffic

Similar to additional content, a Content Upgrade offers your readers something additional, usually to accompany a blog post.

Here’s how it works

Find an appropriate guest posting opportunity and submit your blog post. At the end of that post, you should try to include a Call To Action (some desired action you would like the reader to take). That call to action can be anything, from going to your website, to buying one of your books (although it probably shouldn’t be!). However, as the purpose of this post is to add people to your email list, I would suggest using that as your Call To Action.

You could direct them back to your email signup page, and wow them with your opt in offer, or you could offer readers of your guest post a Content Upgrade, which could act as your opt in offer. Take this post you are reading as an example. Imagine it was a guest post. At the end of this post, I could offer readers something extra:

  • Templates for email newsletters
  • 50 ‘fill in the blanks’ headlines
  • A checklist for setting up your email list
  • A worksheet to assist with writing an effective email newsletter
  • Or
  • If the post were about my latest book, I could offer you any of the Added Value content from above.
  • Or
  • Offer the information in an additional format, such as audio or video (some readers may prefer to listen to this information, or watch me present it).
  • You could offer the information as an infographic, using FREE services like Canva  or Easel.ly
  • How about a Slideshare-type presentation? (See below) Share your topic as a slide presentation, requiring a signup of course!

This example of an infographic is from www.onlinekickstart.com (some great info in there as well):

using infographics for authors  A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Free Email List For Authors

Slideshare is very simple, and if you have ever created a presentation using software like Microsoft Powerpoint, you will find creating your own slideshare presentation as simple as a few clicks of your mouse button. Have a look at a slide presentation I made from my Prolific Works / Instafreebie post I mentioned earlier:Give your readership a massive boost with Instafreebie

Slideshare and similar can be found here:

If I offered that Slideshare presentation as a download at the end of that blog post, it would be a way of driving people to my website (and my signup offer), or it could actually be the signup offer.


I had to mention it again. This will affect your signup form in the way that I mention HERE, seeking consent from people for you to send them your newsletter. People need to know what they are giving their details for, which is why just offering a book for an email is not acceptable. People need to know that by signing up, they will receive their free book AND a regular newsletter and perhaps even how often.

Sites like Prolific Works now give readers the option to opt in or out of your newsletter, which means they can still get your book, but you won’t necessarily get their email address, making list growing using this method just that bit more difficult (but still worth it).


There is no guarantee that doing any of these things will bring you hundreds of loyal followers. That takes time. But NOT doing them is severely limiting your ability to grow your list as an author.

Shameless Plug

If you want to check out my freebie offer, click the ‘Half a Loaf of Fiction’ book cover, or have a look at my website.

My Question to you: what is the magnet that attracts people to your email list?

2 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Free Email List For Authors #4

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