6 Ways You Can Make Money with Your Email List

Headshot of Allea Grummert from Duett.

This is a guest post by our Email Marketing Expert, Allea Grummert!

Allea is an email marketing strategist & conversion copywriter and founder of Duett. She helps online business owners make a lasting first impression through welcome & nurture sequences that engage readers, build brand loyalty, and optimize conversions for sales and site traffic.

To learn more about Allea, listen to her on the Food Blogger Pro Podcast or watch her Email Marketing 101 course in the Food Blogger Pro community here.

Did you know  that only one-third of content creators send weekly emails, and less than 26% send an email monthly? Why are so many bloggers, content creators, and marketers leaving money on the table? 

In my experience as an email marketing strategist, most bloggers aren’t taking full advantage of the opportunities an email list offers because they simply don’t know the strategies they have at their disposal

Many people start and run email lists because “that’s just what you do” as a blogger, but there is a magical realm of high return on investment, or ROI, you can step into, if you know a few solid strategies and how to implement them!

A person in a yellow sweater typing on a laptop with the text "6 ways you can make money with your email list" at the top of the photo and the Food Blogger Pro logo in the bottom left corner.

There are many, many ways to effectively (and ethically) make money with your email list. 

My biggest tip: Avoid diving into every strategy at one time. Instead, pick 1-2 strategies that feel the most advantageous, doable for your current level of brain space, and exciting to you in this season. Then commit to consistency and quality as you execute. You’ve got this!

Want to learn more from Allea about email marketing?

1. Send Traffic Back to Your Blog

The whole “make money while you sleep” thing isn’t necessarily a myth — it’s completely possible, especially with ad services like Mediavine and AdThrive, full-service ad management companies who are paying you to get eyeballs on their ads hosted on your blog.

The email opt-in for Pinch of Yum.

So why does this mean you should be sending more emails? Because sending emails with links to your blog posts sends traffic back to your site where those ads live.

Little by little, that blog traffic will add up. (1% Infinity, right?!)

Curious about how ads work? We have a course for that!

2. Promote your Cookbook

If you’re publishing a cookbook, there are a few different ways to use your email list to promote the cookbook in order to earn sales both in the short- and long-term.

First, be sure to announce that cookbook to your existing email list! Share it on social media, of course, but email marketing is a surefire way to get more sales. Why? Because your email list already knows you and loves your recipes, which makes them a warm, ready-to-buy audience.

Second, once the cookbook is launched and out into the world, be sure to promote it in your automated welcome and nurture sequence emails. This way, no matter when someone joins your list, they’ll learn about your cookbook and have an opportunity to buy.

Third, take advantage of seasonal promotions to share about your cookbook even more. Pick a couple of times throughout the year to promote your cookbook from a new angle to your existing list. They may already know about your cookbook, but perhaps they forgot about it or it wasn’t a good time for them to buy at first — now’s your chance to remind them!

3. Sell a Digital Product

Even if you don’t have a published, hardback book to sell, that’s okay! There are plenty of ways you can sell digital products as a blogger.

Keep in mind that nearly half of bloggers making over $50,000 a year sell their own product or service while only 8% of lower-income bloggers do the same.

A few ideas would be to:

  • Publish a PDF ebook
  • Create and sell a course that solves a problem for your audience
  • Create an ongoing membership program that regularly shares new content (stuff that’s unavailable anywhere else)
  • Develop meal plans!
A collage of food photos that reads "Now Open: Meal Plans Fall 2022"

You can promote these digital products to your list any time of year (yes, along with your new recipes!), as well as in your automated welcome and nurture emails so that new subscribers learn about them too.

The great thing about digital products is that you can sell them to 10 people or 100 people without having to put in any additional work.

Need help knowing what your eBook should be about — or how to write it and promote it?

4. Offer a Service or Group Program

Interested in connecting face-to-face with your audience? Consider:

  • A small group program with a handful of participants for a short period of time (say, a “recipe bootcamp” for a few days or a 6-week group coaching program)
  • One-to-one coaching or consulting (like as a dietitian or nutrition coach)

Providing a service like this supports your readers in a way that will help them experience a more personalized interaction than simply following along with you on Instagram or reading your blog posts.

Not only that, but selling a one-to-one service or group program is a way to make more money (with a smaller audience) than relying on a massive audience to sell low-cost digital products. Food for thought. 😉

And just like you’d promote a product to your list, email your readers about how they can work with you in these other ways! You can promote a service or group program regularly — or you can choose to promote it really well a couple of times each year.

5. Drive Traffic to Affiliate Pages

As you create content for your readers and email subscribers, you may naturally find yourself recommending services, tools, products, or other items. Affiliate marketing allows you to make money by serving as the middle man between your readers and those recommendations. 

You can promote specific affiliate programs or services like ButcherBox, HelloFresh, and even Food Blogger Pro, and you can always send traffic to your Amazon Storefront so that readers can buy your suggested products or ingredients. Affiliate marketing benefits everyone involved — you, your readers, and the services you promote! 

Logistically speaking, what does this look like? Your email newsletter can direct readers and traffic to your blog posts that feature your affiliate links and recommendations (like this one) or, you can even create affiliate pages on your site like a resources page or a coupon page.

These pages can feature your best resources and paid products, as well as the tools, services, coupons, and items you recommend.

Curious about how to get started with affiliate marketing?

Please note that Amazon’s Terms and Conditions limit you from sharing your affiliate links directly within your emails, but you can absolutely send readers to your general Amazon Storefront via email. If you want to better organize your affiliate links, you may want to host a recommendation page (like mentioned above) on your site. Of course, wherever you share an Amazon affiliate link, be sure to include an affiliate disclosure on that page and in your privacy policy. 

When you’re promoting an affiliate via email, the same kind of disclosure applies. Even if your affiliate program doesn’t require it, consider how this transparency can alleviate any “bait and switch” type of feelings someone might have if they don’t know how affiliate programs work. Here’s an example of mine from a recent promotion:

an example of a ConvertKit affiliate dislosure

6. Sell Ad Space in Your Email Newsletter

You’re already creating great content regularly and sending it out to your email list (go, you!). But did you know you can capitalize on that “real estate” by selling ad space within your email newsletter? 

Here’s an example of how Pinch of Yum did this in a partnership with ButcherBox:

An example of an email ad for ButcherBox with a photo and text about the promo

This blurb in their email was flanked (it’s a pun, get it?!) with Pinch of Yum content above and below this ad, and it fits so seamlessly in with the style and voice of the email that you barely notice that it’s a paid advertisement!

Advertisers love this kind of investment because it means they’re getting your audience’s dedicated attention on their product. It provides them with a great ROI compared to other methods of advertising. 

So if a sponsor or product feels like a good fit to share with your readers, why not charge for “ad space” in your newsletter and send it out to your list?

And, Yes, Email Marketing is Still the Strongest Way for Bloggers to Make Money

The more consistently you email, nurture, and serve your audience with great content, the more brand loyalty you build and higher ROI you’ll see. 

In fact, studies have found that for every $1 invested in email campaigns, content creators see a $36 ROI — snazzy, huh? 

By sharing how your story relates to your reader, sending delicious recipes they’ll love to make (and tell their friends about), as well as connecting them with paid and unpaid resources or products that they’ll love, your emails will be valuable, genuine, authentic, and engaging!

Ready to get started strong with email marketing and make some money while you’re at it? Let’s go!

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