Paper Airplane to Symbolize Sending of a Digital Newsletter to an Active Subscriber List

Build an Active Mailing List of 1,000+ Subscribers from Scratch

Despite having a commercially successful website, I’ve always found it difficult to build a lively newsletter subscription. Yet, things must not be so difficult and this recipe aims to demonstrate how to build a profitable newsletter list from scratch; meaning absolutely from ground zero.


  • Website/blogging platform
  • Social media accounts
  • Newsletter list management and sending software
  • Keyword research tools (optional)



  • Quickly promote new content
  • Active audience and solid base for project growth



Select a single topic :: 1 hour

  • You need to be very specific and detailed in your topic
  • Typically, the topic should contain several words to further define it
  • If your topic is too general, your net is too big and your conversion from reader to subscriber will suffer
  • The topic should relate to your life in some way; otherwise success will be difficult

“Moving to Mexico as a freelance web designer”

Briefly describe what your most desired follower would be like :: 30 minutes

  • What do they look like, what shows do they watch, vocabulary used, etc.
  • If you have a specific target in-mind, writing to them becomes much easier

A digital freelancer (web designer) who does the large majority of their work from home. Likely to be male, late twenties. Internet savvy and spends a lot of time on the internet. Has good ability to detect online deception and appreciates high quality work when it comes to digital design and innovation.

Setup a simple website to host your articles :: 3-4 hours

  • Many website hosting companies have one-click installers to get you up and running without technical knowledge
  • Choose a theme/template that is optimized for reading
  • Don’t spend too much time here, the website can always be improved as things progress
  • As a minimum all you need is an about page, contact page, and blog area
  • Contrary to what you may think, the more simple the website, the better; it seems more authentic and less commercial

Come up with three keyword sets that may be valuable to your target :: 1 hour

  • Brainstorm some potential topics that your desired follower would love to learn more about
  • Try to make your list as long as possible and then scale down to just three
  • At this stage, you are expanding your net and trying to get as many potential readers as possible

“minimum savings”, “client relationships”, “getting paid”

Discover long tail keywords to match your keyword sets and select only three :: 2-3 hours

  • You can either use a keyword tool or simply type things into Google until long tail search begin to appear
  • If you aren’t relying on keyword tools here, you need to use your imagination a bit here

“minimum savings before moving to abroad”, “maintaining client relationships from another country”, “best way to get paid as remote freelancer”

Write 3 corresponding articles :: 2-5 days

  • Your articles should be extensive and aim to satisfy the reader
  • Focus on quality and write as if you are writing it for your desired follower
  • Don’t overthink grammar, your aim is to provide value not to win a writing contest
  • These should essentially be research articles; your aim is to explore the topic at hand and draw valuable conclusions

Configure your newsletter system :: 1-2 hours

  • Find a suitable newsletter system; MailChimp is one of easiest to use and has simple integration for most website platforms

Setup newsletter sign up blocks :: 2-3 hours

  • You newsletter sign up blocks should clearly communicate the benefit of signing up
  • Think back to the persona you outlined earlier

Create a brand that makes sense :: 1-2 days

  • Your brand should as a minimum have a name, a persona, and color pallet
  • You can always come up with a fancy logo in the future; in the first stages you can keep it text only
  • Once you have selected a brand, it will be difficult to make big changes to it in the future, so spend time here

Setup a minimum of 3 social media profile :: 3-4 hours

  • Chose social media platforms that you are comfortable with
  • Think where you target audience is likely to be

Find existing communities/groups of people that would value your articles :: 1-3 hours

SEO and organic exposure takes time; going directly to established communities is the shortcut
Reddit, Facebook Groups, Forums – these are all valid places that likely already have communities/discussions around your topics

Interact with some existing content on these communities :: 3-5 days

  • This is a chance to introduce yourself to people
  • Aim to interact with the more active users/members of the community
  • Offer value without requesting anything in return
  • You need to give it time and don’t try to be to pushy

Write a short one paragraph proposal for your readers :: 1 hour

  • It’s time to let them know about the articles you’ve worked together
  • Your proposal should communicate that you’ve researched the topic in-detail and highlight at-least one unique finding/takeaway

Let these communities know about the articles you’ve put together :: 1 hour

  • Promote one article at a time, never push, your aim is to pull in interest
  • You should let them know the reason you’ve been trying to understand the topic and how it relates to you


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *