Email list building, or creating a list of emails of people who want to hear from you, gives you a long term asset. A good list can provide income for years.

So how do you build a list?

One way you can do is to offer a free report or video in exchange for an email address. You send people to the sign up page and if they like what you have, they sign up.

I have done this, and you can make it a very simple process. Let’s look at a few general steps to the process.

1. Get or write a free report, or make a free video.

You’ll do better with a few guidelines on your email list building free report or video:

Make it fairly unique.
It should be valuable, but does not have to be long.
The report or video should match the level of your audience
To succeed, it must address a real need. If you get this right, your list will grow almost magically.

I can almost see the questions forming in your head:
Can I give away another author’s report?
Yes, but only if you have their permission, and if you don’t mind that your name won’t be on it.

How do I write it?
Keep it simple at first. Find an important question for your audience and answer it, then make sure your answer is complete. Ghostwriters welcome.

Can I use private label rights (PLR) materials?
Yes, but be careful. You don’t want to appear to be copying, and you don’t want people to recognize your material and think it’s the same as someone else.

Do I have to be in the video?
No, you can do it in Camtasia or Jing.com and just talk.

2. You must have a site.

Free site can work, better if you control it.

3. You must have a way to collect email addresses,

Ie, an autoresponder.

Blank looks and screams of silence? Never heard of an autoresponder?

The term autoresponder is short for a database storing all of the addresses collected in your email list building efforts, and a system to send those people email whenever you want.

This seems harder than it is. When you get a website, you may get access to build your own database.

If not, you can set up an account with an autoresponder company. Then, you just paste some html on the page you will use to collect names.

The autoresponder company will do the rest as far as collecting the names.

Your visitor will see a box for their email address and take in the lovely, persuasive text or video or audio on the page. Then, they put their address in the box and click submit.

You then log into your account at the autoresponder company and see a new lead in your list. Cool.

This email list building stuff is easy.

But keep going – so far we have only set the system up.

4. Send people to your collection page
You do this with articles directing people to your site, or advertisements, or other tactics to get people to look at your capture page where they can sign up.

Most webmasters would call this driving traffic.

I have used articles and search engine traffic, and gotten a good start. You can use Adwords and other advertising methods with great results, but you’ll have to feed an ongoing marketing budget to keep this working.

You can also post videos that relate to your topic and bring people to you site that way.

This is serious work. I have written nearly 200 articles, and that’s the kind of work necessary to create a traffic source and build buzz for your site and your email list building.

This will require time and thought, effort and focus to build traffic to your site. And this, the real work involved, will also kill most of your competition. If you focus your efforts on a narrow area of a network marketing business, for example, you can eliminate much of the competition simply by attracting only those interested in your special little area.

5. Repeat until you have one or more huge lists.

You can see that you have to do things in the right order or it won’t work. And getting people to look at your pages becomes just about the most important thing.

Once you have 500 to 1000, you can see that your business will work. Continue your email list building, and start marketing and providing long term value to your list.

With proper care, you can keep your list producing and growing for years.

How much will this cost me?
You can start for free. I did.

Quick review:

1. Free report: write it yourself. Time investment, no money.

2. Site: use a blogger or Squidoo or similar site for right now. Maybe even your Myspace page.

3. You can get a free 30 day trial for an autoresponder.

4. You can submit articles to directories for free. Videos, too.

5. Repeat – still free.

You can start your email list building without any money. Over time, you will need to pay for a site, hosting, and an autoresponder. By then you should be able to see that you will make money doing this.

Good luck!

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