Soooo, let’s take a deep dive into how to create an email course or challenge (correction: an epic email course or challenge) that you can use as an opt-in for your email list to grow it wildly and to impress your savvy audience all the while nurturing them and adding tons of value! Now that’s what we call a win-win. And don’t worry, there are only 18 steps to creating this epicness that help turn your audience into customers.

Really, Regina? 18 steps. Are they truly necessary?

Yes, my email ninja friend, they are. We don’t make weak email courses around here. Stick with me, and I think you’ll have several solid ideas and clear steps to make them happen.

1. Pick a topic.

There are so many legitimate ways to generate great ideas for what you want to communicate through an information product. We walk through some of these ideas in our 8-day email course for free, but let’s get into seven of the most actionable idea-generating categories.

For Freelancers:

1. Teach the beginning.
As a freelancer who works on individual projects with clients, you probably have a lot of pre-work, or work you do towards the beginning of your project that can be translated into an information product of some sort—and in this case, perhaps an email course.

For example: When I was freelancing (creating WordPress websites for people), I quickly learned that people needed way more definition and information about their brand and purpose before they started on a website project. In order to save their time, their money, and my time + sanity, people needed so much more clarity at the beginning of a project.

Legit. So, I created a questionnaire, then a workbook, then a little brand discovery process that all my clients went through before really getting started on their project. That workbook was the first digital file I sold (clients got it for free though). It still sells right here. Anyone not willing to go through that process was someone I had to direct elsewhere.

What is it that you need your clients to know, do, discover, create, or understand before they start working with you? What would make your job simpler? Why not create the process as a free email course? You can hit us with videos, worksheets, whatever you want to in an email course. #Epic #MindBlown

Your clients will feel indebted to you since you will be the one who brought such [fun, clarity, organization, direction, etc.] to their very important project. You might then offer a more in-depth group training event or your one to one services.

2. Teach the end.
Can you guess where we’re going here? Create an email course (or perhaps another type of product) that teaches:

  • how to maintain the products you create (ex: best ways to maintain your WordPress website)
  • how to grow what you make (ex: now that you have a website, how do you get traffic to it?)
  • how to get the full benefit out of what you create (ex: now that you have a brand identity, where can you use it? how do you integrate it into your existing platforms? etc.)

3. Show them how to do what you do.
So, if you’re considering creating an email course, chances are you’ve done something epic that you can teach others about, such as:

  • starting a business
  • getting your first few clients
  • letting go of fear and publishing your art portfolio online for the world to see
  • etc.

What have you done in your freelance business that other people ask you about? How about a simple email course or challenge to help them out with it? Your frequently asked questions are exactly the things your audience wants you to teach them.

 

For Coaches:
4. Structure the madness.

So here’s the reality: the steps required to accomplish ________ (vegan ketogenic diets, custom ConvertKit coding, or whatever cool thing you coach on) are simply not that apparent and are truly overwhelming for some of us. Here’s the other deal: you don’t have enough time to coach tons of people through similar processes individually. There’s a cap on how many clients you can take on.

BUT. There’s not a cap on how many people can benefit from your email course (or other product) that structures the madness for them and takes them through some of the same processes that you would take them through one-on-one.

Bring order and clarity to the process that your potential clients and audience members really want/need to go through. #TheyWillLoveYouForIt. This is a smart and efficient way to build the content for your larger online coaching event too.

For Anyone:
5. One-step wonder.
Yep. Kinda like a one-hit wonder. Except, nothing like it at all. A one-step wonder is an information product (such as an email course or tutorial series) that helps your audience with one simple step. It appeals to your audience because that one simple step is something they’ve been wanting to learn or get past.

Examples: “Learn how to set up your website’s email list sign up form.” “How to set up your new Mac laptop.” “How to configure XYZ plugin in WordPress.”

They get a taste of what it’s like working with you and they get a quick hit in the form of immediate results. What’s one step that people want to take that you’re willing to teach for free? What’s a step that could be part of a larger series? What’s a step that could be part of a paid course?

6. Key results.
Have you achieved some key results that you can teach the methods behind? For example, I noted the specific actions I took when I was growing to my first 100 email list subscribers, then my first 1,000, then my first 10,000 friends and beyond.

Can you think of any key results you can boil down to an email course?

7. Current content.
Sure would be nice if there was a whole blog post on expanding a blog post/series into a book that could also be used to help us expand it into a free email course that we offer as opt-ins to our email lists. Yes?
Continue “How to Create an Epic Email Course (or Challenge) as an Opt-in”

If you’re like any business Internet human ever, you’ve probably wondered about what to send to your email list. (Wait, you do have an email list, don’t you?)

Email has a much higher engagement rate than social media and can be easily personalized. So let’s explore what you can send to your email list, how and why to “up your email game” and create wow, the types of things you can send out as free email gifts, encouraging email list signups, building a coming soon page, and more.

Our emails aren’t quick notes we’ve dashed off in Mailchimp, MailerLite, or ConvertKit, we use them strategically to nurture our audience and make them not only want to stay on our list, but to forward those emails to their friends.

What if you received replies to your emails like these? (Actual responses we’ve received, by the way.)

“I just wanted to let you know that I have learned so much from you over the past few years and appreciate all of your clear and no-nonsense teaching. When your emails pop into my box – I immediately open them because I know they’ll be filled with amazing goodness!”

“Thank you for this most excellent email. One of the best I’ve ever read! Full of great information.”

“This is pretty much my favorite email you’ve sent yet.  Well, since I’ve been receiving your emails, I mean. I haven’t seen EVERY email you’ve ever sent in your life, but of the ones I have seen, this is definitely my favorite so far.”

Is our audience the greatest of all time? Yes. Do we work behind the scenes to create the best emails possible for them? Yes. And we want to show you how you can also woo and wow your email list.

5 things you can send to your email list:

  1. Blog to Email Method. This is a basic method where you set up an RSS feed to send your blog posts automatically to your list or even better, to a segmented part of your list that has specifically requested blog post notifications. You can use your email provider’s scheduling features to send it out the next day or at any specified time. But…this definitely shouldn’t be the only thing you send out as you can create much more excitement and value for your audience with these other methods.
  2. Newsletter Method. You can create a weekly, biweekly or monthly newsletter that includes your latest posts/podcast episodes, your favorite resources/books/Ted Talks or a roundup of events happening in your business. While you can of course invite your list to your upcoming online events, masterclasses and workshops, it’s so important to do so in an educational and value added way, rather than a salesy way with fake urgency. We’ll talk more about this below.
  3. Extra Post Method. If blogging is a part of your business, you can create an extra blog post each week (or each month) to provide one additional post to send out exclusively to your email list. Eventually you can incorporate this special content into your site or other content, but at least for a period of time, it should remain exclusive to your email list. #SuperBonus
  4. Expanded Post Method. There are three ways that you can approach the Expanded Post Method. a) Most popular. Look back through your most popular content and create a second part of one of your most popular posts just for your email list. You can expand it by elaborating through a story, an extra case study or a video tutorial. b) Save the end for the email. While you’re writing a post and realize that the content just seems to write itself or it’s going to be a much more thorough post than you expected, you can save some of that content for the email c) Create an epic intro in the email. As with b above, when you’ve created a longer or particularly epic post, you can create an irresistible lead in via email. Make sure that the email itself is always valuable (read: they can still get value from it without having to click through to your blog.)
  5. Opposite Post Method. Send out something via email that’s DIFFERENT than your usual content. If your content is usually practical, provide something inspiring, motivational or personal. If you normally provide uplifting and motivational content, provide pragmatic tutorials or steps to accomplish something. Your audience may appreciate the change up.

Here’s what not to do…send sales emails. If the only time you find yourself sending emails to your list is when you’re selling something, they’ll unsubscribe. So when you write, think to yourself, “How can I help my audience?” not “How can I sell to my audience?”

Bonus tips

  1. Treat your emails like blog posts. They need to be on brand, well planned out, thoughtfully written, and…dare I say it? Epic.
  2. Edit the heck out of your emails. With blog posts, we can go back and edit them (and often do) but with emails, once you hit send, that typo lives out there in Inbox Land forever.
  3. Watch your language! Check your wording for heavy handed salesy or promotional language that may turn off your reader.

Increase your Wow Factor

You can delight and wow your audience by paying attention to little details that improve their experience with you and your brand.

Create custom on brand images for your emails that add to their value. Strong branding may remind them to go check out your blog or website, download that free checklist (that leads them to your online event), or sign up for your masterclass.

If you’re teaching something in the email (and we’re big fans of providing epic instructional content in our emails), relevant images that help your reader quickly visualize your content will help them learn faster, as well as make your emails stand out above the crowd.

Do you have a few more ideas of what you can send to your email list? What can you add to those emails to create your own brand’s wow factor? We’d love to hear!
Photo (c): Aila Images of Stocksy.com

Regina here. Desperately hoping I can make “#SearchEngineSaturday” a real thing, because that’s what I want to talk about today . . . and it’s a Saturday. And honestly, what I really want to do is get at the most important facet of search engine optimization (SEO) for bloggers >> it’s all based on humans >> and spending our lives worrying about techie, crawly, spider-y, secret robots who arbitrarily rank our sites is probably a waste of time. Allow me to expand this point:

I hope someone who knows me just laughed in their head at that and said, “Of course you’re going to expand Regina. You always talk too much. I mean, share such lovely, long details with us.”

So yes, I am going to share the 10 things that over time will make the biggest difference for your blog’s SEO, but in order to do that, I think it is best to explain what major search engines like Google are doing and how it’s really about humans. P.S. I will not be using ANY techie words in this post. This is a post you could share with your grandmother, or your 8-year old, or your awkward Uncle Phil who wants to start making money with the Internets but doesn’t even understand what the Internets is . . . are . . . is/are . . . I don’t know which one to use there.

What are search engines really doing?

Search engines (such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!) are providing a service to humans. They attempt to go out into Internet Land and discover all the pages available. These pages can be actual website pages (like an About, Bio, or Contact page) that give specific information or they can be your individual blog posts. Search engines like to have a record of all the pages possible so that when a human comes along and searches for a specific term, the search engine has a large amount of pages to pull from and show as results.
Continue “SEO for Bloggers: The Non-Techie Guide”

First off, I hope you didn’t come for the donuts, because I lied about those to lure you here. There’s really only a video tutorial and three free worksheets to go along with this post on getting started with Pinterest for bloggers.

So, #1: Download the worksheets that you can use to follow along and take notes during the video.
And, #2: Watch the video below.
Or, #3: Check out the description below this Pinterest tutorial video to see what I talk about in the video, and then watch the video because you’ll hopefully be utterly convinced it’s worth your time. Love you bunches and all that.

In this webinar I talk about seven things you can do when you are getting started with Pinterest or using it for a brand/blog for the first time:

  1. Build boards that make sense (for your brand).
  2. Fill your boards with truly high-quality pins. (And how you can determine whether other people’s pins are quality/legit links or not.)
  3. Research what influencers in your niche/area are pinning and doing.
  4. Develop a strategy.
  5. Get your site ready. (And the five key places from which you can encourage pins on your blog.)
  6. Do your homework. (And the three pieces of homework you can do each day on Pinterest to learn how to grow your blog.)
  7. Engage. (And three simple ways you can engage on Pinterest, with both your readers and other bloggers.)

Pinterest for Bloggers worksheet byRegina Pinterest for Bloggers worksheet byRegina

Please let me know what you think and let us all know (in the comments) if you have any other essential tips for bloggers who are just starting out on Pinterest.

Photo: © Fisher Photostudio