Language Localization: 3 Powerful Benefits of Optimizing Your Site for Non-English Speakers

Language Localization: 3 Powerful Benefits of Optimizing Your Site for Non-English Speakers

The internet has brought the world closer together.

Many years ago, a small company in the United States would not have had much opportunity to do business with somebody in Australia. Now, through the power of the internet, everything has changed for the better.

As a web business owner, you understand the importance of search engine optimization. You want potential customers to find your website when searching for keywords related to your business.

Easy enough, right? Maybe in the past, but today there is more competition than ever before.

While you primary goal may be to optimize your website for those who speak English, you don’t want to miss out on another opportunity: optimizing your web property for those who speak a different language.

How to Decide If Language Localization Is Right for You

Whether or not you should spend the time and money to optimize for non-English speakers is based on a variety of factors.

Above all else, answer this question: could you increase sales and profits by attracting consumers who speak another language? If you answer yes to this question, you should at least consider what goes into optimizing your site for other languages.

There is nothing wrong with avoiding this either. For instance, if you run a small business in an English speaking country with no plans of expansion, you may want to continue to spend your resources on the same optimization strategies you have been employing.

Getting Started

There are two basic steps you can take to get started:

  1. Add localized versions of your site based on the languages you feel will generate the most new opportunities.
  2. Create country and language-specific content as a means of attracting clicks from non-English speaking countries.

First things first: you need to decide which languages you are going to optimize your site for. This is an important decision, so don’t guess and hope for the best. Instead, take these tips into consideration:

  • Take a closer look at where your customers come from, and then use that data to make an educated guess as to which language they speak.
  • Dive into the finer details of your traffic stats. For example, if you use Google Analytics, you will be able to see where your traffic is coming from along with many other geo-specific details.

How to Solve the Language Problem

“But I don’t speak the language!” I hear you say. This is a problem. Nobody can tell you it isn’t. But as with any problem, there are several solutions.

Could you hire a freelance writer who is fluent in both English and another language? Could you use a website translation tool for the simpler parts of your website? Nobody is saying you have to learn every language in order to provide this content on your website. What you do need is a solution to this potential problem.

It may take some time to provide visitors of every language with a targeted website, but in the long run it will pay off.

3 Powerful Benefits of Optimizing Your Site for Non-English Speakers

At this point, you are probably thinking one of two things:

  • There is no point in optimizing my website for non-English speaking visitors.
  • This is something I should have considered a long time ago.

If you fit into the second group, you don’t want to stop reading now. As you learn more about the benefits of making this change to your web business, your excitement will continue to grow.

Here are three of the biggest benefits:

1. Less competition. Let’s face it: most companies only optimize their website for English speaking visitors. This is the natural starting point, but it doesn’t have to be where you stop.

Did you know there is much less competition for visitors who speak another language? By optimizing your site for these people, you may find your traffic going through the roof sooner than you ever thought possible.

A buyer is a buyer no matter what language they speak. Keep that in mind.

2. A leg up on your competitors. If you translate your site to other languages, would your company stand out in your industry? Imagine what this could do for your business. Imagine what people would think when they see this functionality within your website.

This will slot you above the competition in the eyes of the consumers, while also giving your website and company the appearance of being “global,” even if this is not the case.

3. More traffic, plain and simple. If you only target English speaking consumers, you are probably leaving a lot of money on the table. Is that something you want to continue to do?

Take a closer look at these stats:

  • There are 365 million people in the world who speak English
  • There are 387 million people in the world who speak Spanish
  • There are 935 million people in the world who speak Mandarin
  • There are 204 million people in the world who speak Portuguese
  • There are 160 million people in the world who speak Russian

While these numbers are only estimates, you are probably getting the point. If you move beyond English speaking visitors and begin to consider other languages, you could open up your business and website to millions upon millions of fresh buyers.

Conclusion

Yes, it’s going to take time to optimize your website for non-English speakers. Yes, it is going to take money to make this change. And yes, you are going to run into challenges along the way.

This may not be the right move for your business, but if you like the idea of opening the door to additional prospects it is something you have to at least consider. Even if it takes you several months (or longer) to complete this project, when everything is said and done, you will be in a position to receive clicks from consumers who speak a variety of languages.

Are you looking to localize your website for non-English speakers? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo credit: Miroslav Petrasko

Why Micro Niche Sites No Longer Work (and What You Need to Focus on Instead)

You know the websites that cover a small topic in only a few pages?

If you haven’t, check out Winter Coats for Women. It’s a great example of a micro niche site. It’s micro because it has just a handful of pages and it’s niche because it focuses on a specific keyword.

Creating micro niche sites has been one of the most popular ways to make money online. That’s because they are extremely easy to make. All you have to do is pick a specific set of keywords to target, find and purchase a matching domain and set up a WordPress site in 5 minutes. You then populate the site with a few pages of content related to the topic you have chosen.

The trick is you have to find something that will rank high very quickly on a search engine. With Google’s Keyword Tool you can find long tail keywords with a fair number of monthly searches and low competition. Then, with a matching domain and specific SEO articles on the topic, you can get some organic traffic from search engines. Once you have traffic, you can start monetizing with Google AdSense.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? You can set up multiple such sites in a single day. There are enough and more guides out there with step-by-step instructions on how to build micro niche sites.

So the question is, what’s the catch? Do micro niche sites work? Did they ever? Let’s dig in and find out.

Can You Really Make $1,000+ a Month from a Micro Niche Site?

You may come across people who claim they make over $1,000 a month on a single micro niche site. It’s hard to determine the accuracy of these claims because they are made on various Internet forums by anonymous people. There are, however, some well documented micro niche sites that have done well.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

Eric from My4hrwourweek.com has done a case study on micro niche sites, building one from scratch and monetizing it.

Tung Tran of cloudlivingjourney.com started a micro niche site and made it rank #1 on Google in 38 days. He ended up making a loss on it but he documents how he did it and what his next steps might be. Edit: Tung’s post was amended to detail his eventual profits after this article was published.

Maneesh Sethi talks about how he makes passive income from his micro niche sites in his video. He makes enough money to live a nomadic lifestyle and donate time and money to the community.

While all these guys have made money off micro niche sites they really don’t make a lot from a single site. There may be the odd example of a $1000 micro niche site but that happens once in a blue moon. The average earnings one can expect from a micro niche site is $1 a day. If you do it well and target the right keywords you might even make $100 a month.

So to make a decent living off micro niche sites, you need more than one. If you are looking to earn $1000 a month, you’ll need at least 30 sites to get you there.

From $0 to $1000 in 30 sites

You can see why micro niche sites are tempting. They are very easy and inexpensive to set up and manage. You can buy a domain for less than $10 on GoDaddy and decent hosting for $3 – $4 a month. WordPress is free and takes 5 minutes to set up. The only ingredient left is the content.

Content might seem like something that could take awhile. Don’t you need to be an expert on the topic? It turns out that for micro niche sites you don’t. Because you are picking a keyword with low competition, even mediocre content can get you a good rank. In Maneesh Sethi’s video he pulls out a random keyword and sends it to his writers, knowing nothing about the topic or what’s eventually written for him.

With a quick search on oDesk, eLance or any other freelance site, you can find writers who will produce decent 500-1000 word articles on a given keyword for just 1 cent per word. $20 will get you 2-4 SEO articles, which is all you need for a micro niche site.

Maneesh Sethi wasn’t the only one to automate the entire process. With enough experience, anyone can batch and automate this, outsourcing all but the most important task of picking out the right keywords. Work a couple of hours a week, pick out some keywords you know nothing about, send it to writers and marketers in the Philippines and India, and sit back and enjoy the moolah coming in. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

Well, let’s look at an update that changed everything…

From $1000 to $0 in 30 seconds

Before the first Google Panda upgrade in 2011, it was very easy to build a site and get it to rank #1 on Google in a short time. You could do exactly what Maneesh did and see some quick returns.

There were people creating hundreds of micro niche sites and earning a few bucks from each site through AdSense every month. When Google Panda hit them, those earnings literally vanished overnight. People went from earning $1000+ in a month to $0.

With subsequent Penguin and Panda releases, Google continued to crack down on these low-quality micro niche sites and started favoring authority sites.

You see, what these people didn’t realize was that their entire income stream was dependent on Google’s algorithm. The moment that algorithm changed, they started floundering. Google even cracked down on AdSense accounts associated with micro niche sites and blocked them.

Now, in 2013, if you try to do what Maneesh did, you’ll only get your AdSense account blocked.

The Shift to Authority

Pat Flynn, widely regarded as the guru of online passive income, started securityguardtraininghq.com as part of a challenge. It started off as a micro niche site but grew larger and started earning more than $1200 a month in less than a year.

In Eric’s case study which we saw earlier, he discusses growing his micro niche site into an authority site and increasing his earnings from it.

Authority sites are simply larger sites with quality content and real backlinks. No spammy articles, no black hat techniques. As Google keeps updating their algorithms, it’s clear that they are moving towards these types of sites.

Authority sites can still be niche. Nerd Fitness targets the niche of nerds who are into fitness. However, Steve Kamb spent months building it up, writing quality, well-researched articles himself, and using the right marketing techniques.

We are seeing a shift from micro niche sites towards authority sites. Pat and Eric still started off with micro niche sites, but not with the intention to quickly monetize it and jump to the next one. They started small to test the waters, and when they found a market they decided to invest more time and money growing their sites over a period of months to become successful authority sites.

The great advantage about authority sites is that you aren’t dependent on a single source of traffic. You can tap into social media and build a fan following and you can create e-mail lists and harness the power of e-mail marketing. Building your own assets protects you against sudden changes from Google.

You can also diversify your earnings with authority sites. AdSense and affiliate marketing are just the beginning. Many authority sites develop products like e-books and courses, subscriptions, tools, consulting and other services.

Sure, it isn’t a quick win like the golden days of micro niche sites. It will take you months before you start seeing even modest returns. It’s a long-term plan but if you do it right you can see huge returns in the future. Over a year, one authority site can make more money with less risk of going bust than 100 micro niche sites.

As Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits says, you can still rank with micro niche sites, but with all the time and effort you need to do it, you might as well make it an authority site and collect larger returns.

The Verdict: Play for the Long Run

So the verdict is, forget about building multiple micro niche sites with minimal effort. If you want to earn money through a site, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. You can’t expect quick returns, but if you do the work you can expect large returns.

The new model is to pick the keywords that you are interested in but also ones that don’t have too much competition. Setting up the site is still very easy and cheap but you need to invest more in quality articles. You can still outsource articles but make sure they are excellent and add real value to your readers.

You also need to spend more time building quality backlinks and optimizing your site for search engines. Integrate social media into the site and interact with your readers, building a consistent fan following and traffic source.

Follow Pat’s journey to see how he grew, and still grows, Security Guard Training. Spencer also has a live project where he details how he intends to create a niche site from scratch and grow it into an authority site that can earn him $500 a month within six months.

The possibilities with authority sites are only limited by your imagination. Just remember, with great authority comes great responsibility!

Over to You

How are you building authority online? Do you know of any good case studies that talk about how to build authority sites? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo credit: Mouin M.

12 Reasons Why Your App Is Getting Rejected by the App Store

We all know how difficult it is to get an app published in the App Store.

The web is teeming with tales of woe from developers who think they’re following all the rules, yet repeatedly experience rejection, often with little explanation. Is there a method to Apple’s madness? For the most part, yes, and many have unraveled the mystery.

Apple Grants a Wish

After five years of pleading from the developer community, Apple has finally granted the power for intellectual property (IP) owners to transfer applications between developers. This is significant because application creators have a lot of IP value tied up in these offerings, and until now, it simply wasn’t possible to transfer an app between developers without losing rankings, reviews, and the overall connection to existing customers.

Now that apps can move from developer to developer without losing such valuable metadata, Flippa will soon be launching a new way for app developers to sell their iOS apps. In the meantime, it’s time to polish your expertise in getting that genius application approved.

The Apple iOS App Store Approval Process

Getting an app approved by the Apple iTunes Store is a far more complicated process than for Google Play. Because they have such high volume of traffic and purchases, however, it’s obviously worth your while to master the process and jump through those hoops.

Apple runs each app through an automated test. They also have an assigned reviewer who tests and verifies

  • The user interface
  • The user experience
  • All the application features
  • The functionality of the app

You need to follow all the App Store Review Guidelines down to the letter, or your assigned reviewer will never approve your submission.

Your first step is to obviously create an Apple developer account, review the guidelines above, and read through the Human Interface Guidelines too. Once you feel you’ve got a good grasp on what Apple requires, you may need to make changes to your existing app (whether it’s native or hybrid) in order to proceed.

Yes, the guidelines are verbose, and sometimes they read like legalese. But unless you start to grasp the fine print, you’ll go through more rejection cycles than you can imagine. I’ll be frank with you: your app will most likely get rejected at least once. Don’t be discouraged – you see, there are thousands of applications in the iTunes store, right? Many have weathered the storm! Keep reading for more advice on how to make the process easier.

Top 12 Reasons Why Your App May Be Rejected

By studying the major application pitfalls, you can gain awareness on where many falter and get ahead of the game. We learned that when getting Flippa’s own iOS app ready for submission! Here are some main points you want to avoid.

1. Applications that are too niche often get flagged through the approval process.

Apple is not fond of content created for an extremely specific audience. If you’ve created an app that caters to your local wine tasting crew, that’s not going to fly. Broaden that to fans of a specific wine varietal, and you’re on your way.

2. Submissions that use Apple’s copyrighted images are always, always rejected.

Yes, Apple creates many gorgeous buttons and user interface components, but never get tempted to include those in your application. If you use even a single Apple image without their consent (which they rarely grant), you aren’t getting approved.

3. If you copy the functionality of an existing application, they will notice. Guaranteed.

This is true even if your app is seemingly “inspired by” an existing idea. Since it’s not realistic to assume all applications will feature completely unique content, the key is this: make sure yours is either original, or that it improves on something that already exists. Copycats need not apply.

4. Applications that require a perpetually-connected device are also surefire rejections.

If your content crashes or can’t operate correctly without a network connection, it will not get approved. You have been warned. Make sure it works.

5. Apps that are data hogs often get the axe too.

Be very mindful of the amount of data your submission must download, and remember that there are plenty of users that still have limited cellular data plans. So resist the urge to require a 5MB download every time someone launches your content. It’s true that Apple does not have any specific guidelines here, but many still get rejected for excessive downloads.

6. Applications that abuse the iOS file system are no-nos.

Since iOS 5.1, applications are not allowed to save data on a device that normally gets backed up by iCloud, unless you have the user’s consent. Use the device’s cache instead, or the Local Storage. As a final tip, make sure that anything saved here can’t be overwritten.

7. Applications that take in-app payments but do not use Apple’s In-App purchasing API are definitely going to get the boot.

When you’re in the App Store, you play by their rules. Enough said.

8. Anything labeled a “demo” or “beta version” is also code for “please reject me.”

Apple does not release anything that doesn’t feel like a truly finished, polished product, so avoid these terms at all costs.

9. Do not violate the Human Interface Guidelines

Apple has extremely strict directions on locations, sizes, and formatting for buttons, icons, navigation and all the design elements. Even a small infraction here will result in a resounding “No.”

10. Applications that take a long time to load

Ten seconds is a general benchmark; if yours takes much longer, it’s in jeopardy. That’s a good thing, however, as users won’t tolerate a lengthy load time anyway, so it’s important to get this right.

11. Submissions with .ipa files bigger than 50 MB

Apple requires apps to be manageable in file size, so you’ll need to be mindful of compression and optimization.

12. It needs to be an app, not a mobile website.

Yes, this is a tricky one, but Apple is stickler about maintaining a separate look and feel for applications and mobile sites, so your submission must not feel like the latter. If everything you feature can be accomplished via a mobile site, it probably won’t pass review.

Apple doesn’t create all these rules to give you a headache, but to develop consistency in presenting the highest form of quality and content to their discerning users. Remember that a real human being will review your submission, and mistakes can happen. If you’re rejected for an issue you feel follows the rules implicitly, make sure to provide supporting documentation and you’ll probably get through on the next try.

Over to You

Don’t be discouraged as you read the long list of don’ts. The first time is always the hardest. By the end of the day, this is a process well worth the effort. You’ll get the hang of it eventually. Just remember how fantastic it will feel when you see your creation in the iTunes Store.

Now that you’re aware of some of most common pitfalls, you’re that much more likely to be one of the few, proud, developers that get in with their very first submission. Do you have any plans on publishing any apps in the future? Or maybe you’ve already been successful. Share your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks to Clifford Joseph Kozak for the broken phone photo!!

Do I Have to Disable AdSense When I List My Site For Sale?

One of the top questions we receive from sellers when they list their site is whether they should leave their AdSense ads on the site while it’s up for sale. On one hand, selling your site isn’t against the rules. On the other hand, there are a few stories out there of AdSense accounts being banned after a site is listed on Flippa.

So what’s the deal?

The Rules

Officially, nothing in the AdSense guidelines prohibits website owners from putting their sites up for sale, either privately or in a marketplace. It’s safe to list AdSense websites for sale on Flippa, and we have never heard otherwise from Google.

You can and should review the rules yourself here.

But What Could Be Happening?

Google pays very, very close attention to potential scams. They monitor every click to spot trends and patterns pointing to fraudulent activity. When a site is listed on Flippa, it often receives a swell in new traffic from interested buyers. This can have some positive effects (we’ve noticed that the Alexa rank of a listed site often goes down in the first few days of the auction), which is great for the seller, but it can also look suspiciously like fraudulent traffic. And fraudulent traffic is, of course, cause for a ban.

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting Banned?

Even though it’s not against the rules to sell your site, the best course of action may be to disable AdSense before listing your site for sale. This would be an especially smart move if your site had been receiving very little traffic, since a sudden surge in traffic would look all the more suspicious. Yes, removing ads for the duration of your listing might cost you a bit of money, but it can also buy you peace of mind.
If your site already receives a lot of traffic, it’s probably safe to list it for sale without disabling AdSense. However, you should still take appropriate precautions just in case the worst happens. First of all, if you’re not already keeping detailed records of your AdSense data in a secure location, start doing so now. You won’t be able to access this data if your site gets banned, and it could be invaluable to you if you do receive that dreaded templated email from Google.

If you’ve saved your data, you’ll have all the information you need to put together a persuasive appeal and hopefully get your account reinstated. Carefully examine your data to try to determine the reason why your account was banned. Look for any sudden or unusual changes. Was there an abrupt surge in traffic? If so, where did it come from?

Once you’ve figured out why you think your account was banned, use this form to send an appeal to Google. Simply explain what happened, keeping it factual and as brief as possible. Finish by assuring Google that you have every intention to follow the rules and provide their advertisers with quality leads.

There’s a chance your account will be reinstated, but there seems to be just as much of a chance that it won’t. So don’t get your hopes up too much, and have a backup plan of alternative monetization strategies just in case your AdSense account is lost for good.

The Bottom Line

If you’re really worried about your AdSense account getting banned, go ahead and disable AdSense while your site is listed on Flippa. But if your site already receives a high volume of traffic, and if your livelihood doesn’t depend on your advertising revenue, you may want to keep your AdSense account active.

Thanks to Rich Anderson for the photo!

4 Steps to Start Your Email Newsletter The Right Way

4 Steps to Start Your Email Newsletter The Right Way

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading blogs about blogging and content marketing, chances are you’ve heard the advice that you need to build an email list. Even so, many new bloggers ignore this or put it off as something they can do later. You may think email newsletters are only for established bloggers, but it’s actually the other way around: many established bloggers become and remain established because of their email newsletters.

Any savvy blogger will tell you that an email newsletter is hands down the best way to drive loyal traffic to your website, especially when you have an engaged audience. And it’s really logical when you think about it: anyone who trusts you and likes your content enough to give you access to their inbox is going to be a pretty loyal reader. This is the kind of person who will keep going back to your website, share it with others, and help build a community around your brand. And this is the kind of person who’s going to be most likely to spend their money on you.

I hope you’re at least intrigued by the idea of building a list, but perhaps you’re not quite sure how to go about doing it. Or maybe you already have a list, but want to learn how to use it more effectively. Our recent poll of Flippa Blog readers indicated that many of you  fall into one of those categories: over half of respondents have an email newsletter, and another 25% have been thinking about starting one. In this post, we’ll explain both how to start an email list and how to optimize it for maximum effectiveness from the very beginning.

1. Choose a Newsletter Service

The Flippa Blog uses Campaign Monitor, but the two most used services by Flippa users are MailChimp and AWeber. Both are good choices for new email marketers, but there are both pros and cons to each.

Perhaps the most appealing feature of MailChimp is that it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. It also has a very easy to use interface with templates that make setup a no-brainer. This makes it the logical choice for many first-time bloggers who are just starting to build a list and aren’t yet making any money from blogging. However, MailChimp’s delivery rates aren’t quite as good as AWeber’s. MailChimp also becomes a little more expensive than AWeber once you get past 2,000 subscribers.

If you’re really serious about blogging and know you’re going to put in the time to keep building your list, AWeber is the more widely recommended choice. There is no free option with this service, although you can try it out for a month for just $1. After that, pricing starts at $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers. If you use your email newsletter well though, the service should more than pay for itself. Many find AWeber’s interface less intuitive than MailChimp’s, but AWeber also offers more dedicated customer support, better delivery rates, and more in-depth tracking options. These are features that will ultimately allow you to get more out of your list.

2. Segment Your List

We haven’t even talked about collecting email addresses yet, and here I go writing about how to segment them? Yes, it’s that important. You might think there’s no need to worry about segmenting your list until you have a lot of subscribers, but the thing is that there’s no reliable way go back and collect more information from people who have already subscribed. Depending on your niche, it could be very valuable for you to be able to divide your subscribers based on location, age, job title, gender, and so on. Customising your email campaigns to each of these various groups can significantly increase open and click rates, as shown in this data from MailChimp. It’s a good idea to get this extra data from your subscribers from day one, even if you aren’t using it right away.

However, you also have to consider that your visitors may be more reluctant to sign up if they have to fill in a lot of information right away. It may be wise to just ask for email addresses first, then ask for more information on a follow up page as a compromise between high conversions and lots of data. Visitors who have already entered their email addresses may be more willing to enter more information if you let them know it will allow you to send them more personalised emails.

3. Collect Email Addresses

You can’t start reaping the benefits of your newsletter until you get people to sign up for it. One of the most common and most effective strategies is to offer something valuable to people who opt in to your list. You could give away a free ebook, an exclusive video series, or other premium content related to your niche.

It’s also important to make sure you’re providing your subscribers with value within your emails themselves. One great way to do this is to give your subscribers access to new information or privileges before anyone else. For example, Ramsay of Blog Tyrant sends new blog posts to his list before promoting them anywhere else. This gives his subscribers the opportunity to leave the first comments, which can be a great way for them to get more traffic to their own websites. He also gives away a free ebook, and he shares exclusive tips in his newsletter that he doesn’t share anywhere else. Such a sheer amount of value makes Ramsay’s newsletter very enticing — so enticing, in fact, that I signed up for his newsletter even though I already follow him on social media.

Of course, no matter how much value you give away in your newsletter, people can’t sign up for it if they don’t know about it. You need to start promoting your newsletter just as much as you promote your blog itself. You could link to your sign up form not only in your own blog posts, but in guest posts as well. Or you could talk about your newsletter in an already-established channel, like YouTube videos or your Twitter account. Ultimately, you’ll want to gain a new audience with your newsletter, so your goal should be to create content that’s good enough that other people will promote your newsletter for you.

4. What to Send

It’s a good idea to give your email subscribers some sort of exclusive content you don’t share on your website. Perhaps you could share special tips or how-tos. Or you could get more personal and share thoughts or stories from your everyday life to help build a closer relationship with your subscribers. You could also provide links to interesting posts or other content around the web that might appeal to your readers, content you haven’t shared on Twitter or on your blog.

But if you’re just starting out and aren’t sure what to include in your newsletter, you can simply email your blog posts. This can be done automatically with a feature called RSS to Email, available as part of all major email newsletter services. Once you’ve set it up, your subscribers will receive all your blog posts in their inboxes without you having to do anything at all. You can have your posts sent individually as they’re published, or collectively as a regular digest. Once again, there’s a tradeoff here: sending frequent emails may drive more traffic to your site in the short term, but it can also affect your deliverability rates and increase the number of people who report your content as spam.

Of course, you can also send sales information. You may have heard the saying that “the money is in the list,” and most financially successful bloggers will tell you it’s true. As a matter of fact, email marketing is so effective that it accounts for 37% of Quick Sprout‘s total revenue. Many email marketers say their lists are like personal ATM machines, because they can generate revenue on a whim just by sending a simple email.

You have to understand, though, that these email marketers are able to sell through their lists because they have already provided a lot of free value and built up trust with their subscribers. If you get too salesy and start making a full-on pitch in every newsletter, don’t think your readers will hesitate to toss your emails into their Spam folders. According to this recent blog post from Jay Baer, 21% of email recipients report email as spam even if they know it isn’t. This is all the more reason to make your relationship with your subscribers your top priority.

Over To You

Regardless of where you are in your web business career, there is really no good excuse not to start an email newsletter. You can start it at little to no cost, it’s very easy to set up, and you can even have it run on autopilot. There’s a reason every popular blog (including this one!) prompts you to sign up for its email list. You’re selling yourself short if you’re not taking advantage of this extremely simple yet powerful marketing tool.

Do you have an email list? Do you have any more tips about choosing a service, getting subscribers, or coming up with great content for your list? We’d love to hear them!

Thanks to Dawgbyte77 for the image!