When you write great content for your industry you can share it on other related blogs that have high traffic and authority. Guest posting and blogging is a great way to build your personal brand. It makes an awesome marketing channel for your blog. You want to target posts on sites that are relevant for your niche, have an active audience and will include backlinks to your blog and your mini bio in your post.
The key is when visitors hit your blog it needs to look like something. This will lure visitors to want to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for something of value that you offer. This could be a special report, an ebook or some other free gift. Marketers call these “lead magnets” because you’re attracting leads that you can eventually convert as you sell them products and services.
The only other thing I would have mentioned under design is to not underestimate the power of colour and textures – in my hunt for a theme that I actually want to work with, I’ve narrowed it down to finding a minimalist theme and just giving it a hint of colour to add some flair. Otherwise things can just detract from your content just like you said.
Variations of “Hello {!firstname_fix}” have become the norm in email marketing, not the outlier. Because of that, it’s losing its effectiveness. You can still use name personalization, but you also want to think about going a step further. At AWeber, we recommend segmenting your audience and sending each segment tailored messages with unique subject lines.
I don’t know. I’ve been building it for 5 years and only ever added an address when a reader expressly asked me by email to add him (I kept the proof). Gave aWeber my login details and apparently that wasn’t good enough. They waffled that their spam rate is below 0.1% industry standard and mine is slightly above. All I can think is that a handful of readers have been too dumb, lazy or spiteful to just unsubscribe and instead just report me for spam. 🙁 All I know is that my conscience is clear.
And that was that. I didn’t really get any help afterwards, but I trusted that most of them were getting through because my broadcasts were being replied to, and I just hoped it was just some bug or internal error and not actually brakes being put on my emails. I was again, appreciative of the quick call to attention, but was still left hanging a little.
You see, the people on your email list are your best customers.  They have visited your site and found it interesting enough to subscribe for more content.  For that reason alone, they are much more likely to listen to any offers you may send them (affiliate promotions, product sales, discount coupons, etc.).  So, having a large email list can actually be quite profitable, which is why bloggers and website owners hold them in such high regard.
After paying a professional $1000 to split test our first product launch, we knew the practice was a solid investment as our sales increased dramatically. But for our recent Keyword Supremacy launch, we decided to test out Split Test monkey to see if we could somehow pull off split testing our live traffic ourselves and… “All We Have to Say Now is WOW!”

Since finding your great IM teachings and fantastic products I can honestly say my business has been taken to the next level. My lists are growing faster than I ever imagined possible! I now feel - no - I now know - I have a real online business – thanks to you I have access to fantastic products. Every week you seem to release a new product – which is great for me I will never be short of products to promote. I would like to thank you for this Golden opportunity - I totally believe if I can’t make money online now there is something seriously wrong with me! - David Knight

Email marketing has the highest conversion rates of any marketing channel. In fact, sixty-six percent of online consumers made a purchase after receiving an email marketing message — which is more than social and direct mail, according to the Data & Marketing Association. And transactions from email are three times more profitable than those made on social media, reports the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
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