You have a blog, and now you want to monetize it for some hustle money, or you want to use it as your home base to book your services and buy your products, or you want to make a full-time income from it. Starting and designing a blog is a big task, but you will mature as a blogger through trials and triumphs. I guess no one said it would be easy, and it sure has not been for me.  The worst moments for me weren’t in coming up with blog post ideas, learning DIY SEO, or starting to building an audience; what got me feeling lost in the woods, kind of like the wooded area of Game of Thrones, was all the lingo surrounding monetizing your blog. If you, too, have felt stupid when it comes to understanding blogging jargon, don’t worry. You are not alone, and I know it feels like climbing the huge G.O.T wall. We may not be the night watchers, but we are CREATIVE BLOGGERS HERE TO EARN A LIVING BY WHAT WE LOVE TO DO!

list building

Now let’s take an oath 🙂 I, (state your name), will no longer feel stupid in regards to growing my audience and monetizing my blog. I will learn the basic vocabulary from Fuse, and I will choose which section to explore further in the near future so I can expand my online empire and build my brand.



Why you need to have a a list now!

Collecting emails lingo. They say “the power is in the LIST!” And although I’ve heard this dozens of times, it didn’t sink in until this past fall. You see, when I started my blog, I was creating content only for photographers, so my first main email list consisted of photographers who’d been following me on social media or who had taken my first SEO for Photographers bootcamp. Now I realize that my list is gold… it is more than gold, it is worth more than the 7 kingdoms. Okay, I will stop it with the Game of Thrones references (sorry, Max and I have been on a binge).

[bctt tweet=”Your email list and your blog make up your homeland. It is your place! your brand.”] It is your base, and it’s the place no one can come and change the algorithm or kick you out.

Your list is also like the chart of a ship. It will guide you, help you, and tell you what to sell when it comes time to make money off of your blog. This is why it is extremely important for you to build your list, and start now! Your list can also help you segment your different types of audiences and filter the content you provide. That way, your different groups stay happy receiving just the tips and info related to the things they care most about.

How do you build an email list?

Well, first create a reason why someone should join your list. Why should someone share their precious inbox space? The email inbox is very much like a rose’s thorn: it can be beautiful, but it can poke you by taking up precious time. If you don’t wish to be a slave to your email inbox, don’t expect your audience to be, either. Honor their time. So, don’t just give a reason for them to sign up to your email list, give them a reason to stay and to rave about what they are reading, listening or seeing that comes from you.

Some ideas for you:

  • Free resource list
  • Free e-guide
  • Old blog post you turned into PDF content
  • Design template
  • Other template
  • Audio file with motivation or lesson
  • Private video lesson 
  • A private password section with a library of resources

how to get found by Google

On to the lingo.

Email Opt-in Freebie is the thing you will create (examples cited above) that will give your audience reasons to want to be on your list. You know when you visit a blog and see something extra they are offering, but you have to give your email first? That is an example of an email opt-in, and that thing which you receive for doing so is the opt-in freebie. You can create the freebie using Google Docs and make a plain PDF, or you can use Apple Pages or even Canva. If you want to learn how to create pretty blog graphics in Canva, check out this post here. 

For the next two options, you will need to use a plugin of which some blogging themes has it included or pay for a service like Madmimi or Mailchimp, in order to create a custom box or form to capture the emails. If you are brand new with zero income for a paid version, then you can embed a Google Form but collect emails now!

Email Opt-in Box

So how can we make the pitch for our readers to join our list? We can use an email opt-in box on the side of our blog, beneath the header, or even as a pop-up box. An opt-in box is usually always—on the viewer’s side—either a blog widget or header. Some plugins will let you add one below your header image file, like this one Nectar Collective uses.

opt in box options

Caitlin Bacher, an awesome Social Media Strategist has two types of optin boxes, one as you enter which looks like a cover page and then one for her Facebook Group when yo scroll down

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 2.02.04 AMThe badass Sarah from uses a unique way to capture emails, it is right on her header.

opt in box sample modern design- example of xo Sarah- a great blogger

Pop-up Box

A pop-up box only appears when the user is on your site for a set period of time. The box literally pops up on screen, offering the viewer a freebie in return for signing up for your list. There are some free pop up box plugins and some paid ones like Popup alley. One tip is choose the time Pop Up will appear wisely. Set the timer so it is after a while some one is on your site because it is very annoying to land on a site and not to get to the content right away because a pop up box is blocking it. I love the one Sixth Bloom uses on her site. She uses Optin Monster, which is a paid plugin.

pop up boxes


Thank-you Email or Page

Leadpages and some other platforms allow you to create an automatic thank-you email that users will either receive via their inbox or view immediately on your site as soon as they sign up. This will depend on whether you choose a one-step or two-step verification. I tend to choose the one-step verification, and I love to automate the delivery of my freebie, so that’s why I signed up to Leadpages. So you can create the option for your freebie to go automatically to that first thank-you email, or you can show a download button on your on-screen thank-you page after they sign up.

lead pages thank you page example which allows users to reshare your course or lead page

Email Sequence/ Email Funnel

When a person signs up for your list, you can create an email funnel, which is a set of emails the user automatically receives given certain parameters, like how many days it’s been since they signed up. Many folks create a 5-day or 7-day email funnel sequence. To do this, you would prewrite all 7 emails and add them to the sequence section of the newsletter service you use, and I recommend Convert Kit or Madmimi to get started. In Madmimi, they call this a “drip campaign.” I just started using Convert Kit for my email funnel for my new 5 day Free Image Optimization course. You can sign up here and experience what an email funnel looks like.

photo optimization online course


Some email funnel experts to follow are definitely Regina who recently launched a  Ninja Sales School where she discuses non icky email funnels. Also check out  Mariah Coz’s Funnels Course. 

Content Upgrade

One of the best tips I learned last year regarding building my list was definitely the one on upgrading my content. What I love about these upgrades is that it allows me to show my expertise, to create awesome freebies, products, lessons and guides for my audience, and to grow my brand loyalty. So, a content upgrade is where you offer an opt-in for a freebie which is related to the post, and you either sandwich it in the middle of your blog post or put it at the bottom. Examples of content upgrades:

  • Expanded content related to the blog post topic
  • Video lesson with extra advice
  • Extra tips (for a post that has 30 days of tips, you might offer 40 days for signing up)
  • Checklist PDF
  • Adult Homework, as the queen of growing your blog Regina A. calls it
  • Email courses, such as I recently did for my 5 day Image Optimization Course
  • Design templates ( I love Afton Negrea’s one for Youtube)
  • Email templates
  • Free swipe files
  • Slides from a webinar
  • Screenshots
  • Audio lessons ( you can use Sound cloud for those)

So, a content upgrade is pretty much like your blog opt-in freebie, but it’s customized to the blog topic at hand. For example, when I did a 30-day DIY SEO challenge for photographers, the freebie was an extra 10 days of challenges, as well as the benefit of getting email reminders right in their inbox.

[bctt tweet=”The best software to create content upgrades for posts is Lead Pages.”] They have an array of templates where you can optimize and add to each blog post you desire. Then you hook it up to your email service provider by choice so emails get filtered to spesicif list. I love Brittany’s content upgrade magnet ( button created with lead pages) and used on her Budget Friendly Marketing blog post. She promotes her free course  in between the post and at the end of the post.
using lead pages as content upgrade examples

Landing Page/Sales Page

A landing page is essentially a customized one-page link where users enter or “land,” and as Hubspot puts it, a “landing page” is any page on the web on which one might land that 1) has a form and 2) exists solely to capture a visitor’s information through that form.

A landing page can serve as a gate for entering your site, Mariah Coz do for hers. In Squarespace, this is called a cover page.

how to capture emails to grow your list

It can also be a custom website with only one page, as Regina does for her live events and workshops. Here was her Blog like a Mag landing page.

The landing page can also can serve as a sales page to sell e-courses or products later. I use Leadpages to create all of my landing pages, and now I use Teachable to create my sales page for any courses I am giving. So, it’s basically a page on your site/blog that serves to capture an email address or have a form of some kind.

[bctt tweet=”“In other words, all landing pages are web pages, but not all web pages are landing pages.””]

I hope you now feel more comfortable with building an email list lingo now and if you if you wish to have a PDF version of the Building your list Lingo for your reference then you can sign up here to get your free copy below.

Click here for your freebie!