Beginners Guide to Email Marketing As A Blogger

beginners guide to email marketing for bloggers

*This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my affiliate disclosure here.

Email marketing seems to be the one thing that new bloggers put off over and over.

And I understand why. If you've never done it before, it might seem super complicated and you find yourself wondering, "Do I really need to do this now?" 

Spoiler alert: The answer is yes!  

This is going to be a long post, but I think it will really help you understand why you need to jump on the email bandwagon, what it will do for your business, and exactly how to start. 

What Is Email Marketing? 

First things first. What on Earth is email marketing? 

Email marketing is simply how online businesses, or brick and mortar businesses with an online component, connect with their followers, advertise to them, build a relationship with them, and stay top of mind.  

It's an important part of helping new people get to know you and your business, trust you, and eventually want to buy from you. 

beginners email list bloggers

Why Do Bloggers Need to Do Email Marketing? 

One question I get pretty often from newer bloggers is, “Why exactly do I need to start an email list and market to that list? Can't I just make money by placing affiliate links and links to my products on my blog posts?” 

Here's something you probably don't know (and that I didn't know for a long time!)... 

The vast majority of your blogging income will come as sales from your emails.  

The number of sales you get directly from your blog posts is very, very small compared to those that come through your emails.

There's a few reasons for this, but one of the big ones is because readers really need to get to know you and trust you before they will buy from you.

A blog post or two just doesn't cut it!  

This is why I tell new bloggers over and over to start their email lists now, even if they don't have anything to sell. The relationships you build with your email list is the heart of your business, and your business can’t thrive without it’s heart!  

Another reason you need to start an email list stat is because your email list is the only thing you really own. You don't own your traffic unless you convert them to an email list!  

This is why it's so dangerous to rely solely on Pinterest, Google, or social media for your traffic.

Those platforms can change their algorithms and rules at any time, and they do, regularly.

It is very common for bloggers to wake up and find that their traffic has dropped in half or more overnight, several times throughout their blogging career.  

This is just the nature of the game, so you need to prepare yourself for it! Converting as many of your readers onto your email list as possible is the best way to make sure that your business continues on even when you have traffic hiccups.

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How Does Email Marketing Work and How Do You Make Money From It? 

So you know you need an email list, now let's talk about strategy. How exactly does email marketing work? And how do you make money from it? 

Let's first talk about what this looks like in practical terms. There are three parts to a successful email marketing strategy. 

Part 1. The Freebie-  

If you've ever come across someone's blog and seen a pop-up or sign up form that promises you a fun free download in exchange for your email address, that's an email freebie! This is the number one way to encourage readers to sign up for your email list.  

In the old days of blogging, you used to be able to encourage people to sign up just by promising to send them updates about your blog.

Nowadays things are totally different, and no one cares about updates and things like that.

To convince someone to sign up for your email list, you'll need to give away something for free that they really want. 

It could be a PDF, a video, a webinar, a free course, or pretty much any digital item that would strike their fancy. 

This is also your first chance to leave a good impression. Your freebie should be well designed, branded to your blog, and showcase the kind of quality people can expect to get in the future if they decide to buy any of your paid products.  

Now all that being said, know that your freebie does not need to be something huge and complicated. Your best bet is to answer a particular pain point with your freebie. For example, I have a couple of freebies that do really well: 

#1. Profitable Blogging Blueprint 

My first freebie is my clickable Profitable Blogging Blueprint. This freebie addresses the pain point that bloggers have of getting overwhelmed and not knowing what to do next. This blueprint is a complete checklist of what every blogger should do, in the correct order, to build a successful online business. 

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#2. Blog Post Checklist  

My second freebie is a simple one, but it's so useful! This blog post checklist is for bloggers of all skill levels who need a simple clickable checklist to help them make sure that every single one of their blog posts is polished and ready to bring in the traffic before it gets published. 

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#3. Pinterest Traffic Freebie 

My last and most popular email freebie is my How I Tripled My Blog Traffic in 1 Month Using Pinterest download. Most bloggers are super interested in using Pinterest to get traffic, but it can be a little confusing if you've never done it before. In this download I boil down the top five strategies that have worked for me on Pinterest, and share them in an easy to follow way. 

(By the way, you can get all of these freebies delivered to your inbox right now and you only have to sign up once! Just sign up here. ) 

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Part 2. The Welcome Sequence 

The second piece to a successful email marketing strategy is your welcome sequence. This is an automated sequence that goes out to every person who signs up for your email list.

The purpose of a welcome sequence is to help your readers get to know you, understand how you can help them, and give you the chance to make a really good impression. 

Your welcome sequence can also be used to deliver important information that you know each of your readers will benefit from. 

Here's how I structure my welcome sequence:

Email #1. The “getting to know you” email  

My first email is all about delivering the freebies and getting to know my reader a little bit more. I tell them a bit about me as well, and let them know what my beliefs are so they can figure out if they fit in with my group. 

Emails 2-8: The Blogging Kickstart Challenge 

This is my blogging kickstart challenge, where each day I send a different email showing them how to get their blog up and running.

Each email contains an in-depth explanation of how to do things like choose a niche, pick the right domain name, find the best blog hosting package, build their WordPress blog, and more. This is the foundation that every newbie needs to learn so that they can build a profitable blog and online business. 

Part 3. Your Broadcast Emails  

The third part to a successful email marketing strategy is to regularly send broadcast emails to your list to keep them engaged with your content and to let them know about your products and affiliate partnerships. 

Broadcast emails are emails that are sent out to your list in one blast, rather than dripping out to every reader as they sign up.  

The point of these emails is to let your readers know about recent blog posts, what's going on in your business, and your latest industry thoughts. It's also a way to let them know about sales and promotions.  

Promotional broadcasts are where the money is at in blogging.

When you have a really high quality product that your readers want and need, using promotional broadcasts to share that with them is a great way to go. 

what to send to your email list

How Much Does Email Marketing As A Blogger Cost? 

Now that we've covered the basics of email marketing and how to use it to grow your blogging income, let's talk about the cost. Like most blogging services, and email marketing service does come at a cost, although it is a worthwhile one. 

The Convertkit Free Plan 

As of January 2020, Convertkit is now offering a free plan! This is really exciting because ConvertKit has never offered a free plan before. This new free plan allows you to start your email list and collect up to 100 email subscribers, and you don’t pay until you pass that threshold.  

Convertkit is also offering my readers the capability to email those readers for free using my link. Chances are that it will take you a little while to get your first 100 subscribers, which is perfect because it will give you the opportunity to practice sending emails as well as make a few sales.

I've used a number of email marketing services in the past, and Convertkit is the only one I recommend. You can read why Convertkit is the best email list building service here. 

Convertkit email


The Convertkit Basic Plan 

Once you surpass 100 subscribers, you'll then want to move on to Convertkit’s basic plan. At the time of this writing, the cost is $29 per month and allows you up to 1,000 email subscribers. This is a pretty good deal!

With between 100 and 1,000 email subscribers, you should easily be able to pay for your subscription with sales from your email list.  

An ideal rule of thumb is that you should make around $1 per month for each email subscriber you have. So if you have 500 email subscribers, you should be able to bring in about $500 per month.

Of course, this doesn't have to be exact, so don't worry if you are making a little less. But this is a good rule of thumb to follow, and gives you an idea of just how few email subscribers you need to cover the cost of Convertkit’s plan. 

So how do you actually get started email marketing? Let's run through the steps. 

1. Set Up Your Convertkit Account 

Step one is to sign up for your Convertkit account. You can choose to start with the Convertkit free plan, or if you'll be migrating an email list from another service provider you can start with one of their paid plans. 

Once you've signed up and logged in, the next step is to create your first form and connect it to your welcome sequence. Here is how I do this: 

  1. Create a new sequence. You can leave it blank until you are ready to come back and edit it. 

  1. Create a new form. 

  1. Connect that form to your sequence. 

  1. Create an automation to move sign ups through that form onto your sequence. 

  1. Use Convertkit’s form on your blog, or use a Thrive light box instead and connect it to your Convertkit form via the Convertkit plugin. 

If all of this sounds really confusing, don't worry! I share step-by-step video tutorials of exactly how to do this in my Build A Profitable Blog course for bloggers. You'll learn exactly how to set up all of the systems your blog needs to become profitable in bite-sized video format. 

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2. Write Your Welcome Sequence 

After you have the mechanics all set up, the next step is to write your welcome sequence. This is the sequence your readers will automatically receive after they sign up for your email list.  

I originally wrote an eight-day series of emails where the reader receives one email per day automatically. Your welcome sequence doesn't need to be this long yet. If you are just starting out, I would recommend writing 1-3 emails to send out in succession one day after the other.

You can always add more emails to this sequence later! 

3. Plan A Few Broadcasts Per Month 

The next step in your email marketing strategy is to plan to send a few broadcasts per month.

A welcome sequence is great for sending evergreen content on autopilot to any new signups. But after that sequence is over, you'll want to stay in touch with them.

Planning to send one or two broadcasts per week is a great way to stay connected with your readers and to let them know about products you have for sale.

Now is the time to plan for the month ahead. Look at what blog posts you have coming up, any new freebies you'd like to offer, and what products you would like to promote.

Then come up with a plan for which emails you will write and when you will send them throughout the month. 

4. Move Your Most Popular Broadcasts to Your Welcome Sequence 

The next step is one to keep in mind for the long term. When you send out a broadcast that gets a high open rate, you can gather from that that it was an email many people were interested in.

When you get one of these golden emails, save it! If I get a 28% open rate or higher on any one of my broadcasts, I will copy and paste that particular email and add it to my welcome sequence.

Then, any new readers who join my email list after the day of that broadcast will also receive it down the road.  

This is a fantastic strategy because it allows you to test out different emails on your current subscribers, and continually provide higher and higher quality emails to your future subscribers.

And when they consistently get really fantastic emails from you, they are more likely to continue opening them, connecting with you, and buying from you. 

email marketing for new bloggers

5. Plan Out Your Sales and Promotions 

The last step as you get more comfortable with email marketing is to start thinking harder about your promotions and sales.

While this is something that I am always testing and tweaking, a good place to start is with a 6-week promotional strategy.  

This is a strategy where you plan to promote one of your larger products or affiliate partnerships once every 6 weeks. This might include a webinar, a sales funnel, or even a full on launch. 6 weeks is enough time to add lots of value in between, without overwhelming your readers.  

You can still link other products in your in-between emails, but you'll want to save your bigger promotional pushes for every 6 weeks or more to keep from tiring out your readers.

This is also a good way to go because you can typically find a holiday every six or seven weeks on the calendar and use it to promote holiday sales and specials.


I hope this beginners crash course in email marketing for bloggers has inspired you to start your own email list today!

Email marketing can feel complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it it is as simple as sending an email to your best friend.  

If you need step by step video help, make sure to check out my Build A Profitable Blog video course while you’re here.  

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