Tips for Building Your Email List + Growing Your Blog

Alright guys, here is the fourth and final part of the tips & tricks series. I hope you’ve liked it so far and found these posts valuable.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section, let me know which post you loved most and if you’re curious to learn anything else from me. I can always add more to the series as needed!

If you haven’t let read the rest of the series, be sure to catch up here:

And if you don’t have time to read this post now, but you want to save it for later, use the image below to save it to Pinterest for later (don’t worry – it’s at the bottom of the post too).

Click here to get tips for growing your blog and growing your email list! Sharing the tips I've learned by growing my email list to over 40K subscribers and growing my blog by over 500% in the last 6 months. #blogging #blogtips | blogging tips | beginner blogging tips | blogging tips for beginners | blogging 101 | how to blog | tips for blogging | best blogging tips | what is blogging | email list for bloggers | email list building tips | email list building strategies | travel blogging tips

Diversify Your Platforms

One of the biggest lessons I learned early on was to diversify! I’ll never forget one of my first press trips in 2017, discussing working online with the other girls on the trip. The girls stopped dead in their tracks when they found out I didn’t even have a website.

At the time I hadn’t ever thought to expand my brand, and I had all my trust in Instagram. With all the algorithm updates Instagram has gone through, the platform has changed so much. Growth is definitely not the same as it was 2 to 3 years ago. The one things we do know is that it is unpredictable and can be uncertain.

I quickly realized I was putting my entire business in Instagram, a platform I don’t own. Immediately after that trip I went home and launched this blog! I can’t believe that was 3 years ago already!

Since then I’ve worked on diversifying much more. You can follow my Instagram accounts @lisahomsy, @presetsbylisa, and my brand new home account @homsyhouse, coming soon! Find me on my other platforms linked here:

Lisa Homsy Instagram feed
@lisahomsy
Screenshot of a story from Lisa Homsy's @homsyhouse account
@homsyhouse
Presets by Lisa Instagram feed
@presetsbylisa

It’s also a great add on when brands reach out for a post. I can now create a package for them. Typically if they reach out to me for a post, I will suggest adding on a blog post where I can dive deeper (25K+ monthly viewers) + cross-promote that post on Pinterest (1.8M+ monthly viewers).

This package then increases the rate significantly and provides them with more value. An in-feed post is great for a short period as it will only bring awareness for a few days.

Tips to Grow Your E-mail List

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket was my first lesson, but what other baskets should I use? Another important lesson I learned from Jenna Kutcher’s podcast, Goal Digger, was BUILD YOUR MAILING LIST!

Now more than ever I see how valuable this is – especially since I almost lost it all! I can’t stress this enough. Think about this, why would I put all my work into a platform I don’t own and can’t control?

For years I did. I trusted Instagram to keep safe everything I had built. If Instagram died tomorrow, I would lose my entire tribe. And I did. In July, my account got hacked and I lost 327,000 followers in a split second.

View this post on Instagram

GUYS YESTERDAY MY ACCOUNT WAS HACKED!!! ❌💀 TRUE STORY! I was locked out of my own Instagram, my photos deleted, my username no longer available and a ransom email was sent! … HOW DID I GET IT BACK SO QUICKLY? I’ll be sharing the whole story + photo in a 3 part series in my newsletter (head to my link in bio to subscribe). First email goes out tomorrow! • What Happened • How I got it back • How to Protect Yourself … It’s a scary thing having your whole audience on one platform. I don’t want to loose touch with you and I want to prevent this happening to anyone else in the future. … Link is in my bio, subscribe and brace yourself. When I’m done you might need something stronger than your morning coffee. xx Bisou 💋 Lisa

A post shared by LISA HOMSY 🌟 Travel (@lisahomsy) on

Even though your tribe may follow you on one platform, you don’t own that platform! That’s when it really became apparent to me the value of my list. I knew it needed to be more of my focus.

My mailing list is something that is uniquely mine. At any given moment I can reach 40,000+ people! It’s not everyone, but it’s better than starting back at zero.

Starting an Email List

Before you can start building an email list, you need to find an email marketing software that works for you. I use Awebber for mine. Other popular options include ConvertKit and Mailchimp.

ConvertKit recently came out with an option for a free plan for your first 500 subscribers. This might be perfect for you if you are just starting out.

Otherwise, look into the options and see which program is best for you and for your current list or for your needs. Look at the cost based on your subscribers and at the options for segmenting your subscribers based on how they sign up for your list as well as options for creating newsletters to send out.

Flatlay of coffee, laptop keyboard, notebook, and roses

Create a Freebie

If you are struggling to grow your email list, consider a freebie you can provide your audience. When they sign up, they get that freebie. Again, this goes back to knowing your audience and finding out what they want from you.

I jump-started my mailing list by offering a free preset. Within a day I went from 0 – 10k. By knowing my audience and what they are really interested in, I was able to offer my audience something I knew they really wanted.

Free Lightroom Preset by Lisa Homsy before and after

It helped that I already had an established audience on Instagram. No matter where your audience is, think of something that will appeal to them. You can make it specific to the post or make a more general one you know your audience will love.

Once you have the freebie, use your email program to create a landing page or a form to go on your blog. Set up the sequence to send out the freebie to anyone who subscribes, and you are ready to go!

You can also grab my FREE media kit template in this post.

Now that I have spent years learning about my audience, I can tell you they come to me for presets, tutorials, help with planning trip itineraries and sharing real BTS of behind a beautiful photo. I’m also not afraid to be very real with them and share the far less glamorous vulnerable side of my job.

Grow Your Blog with Instagram

I’ve focused more this year on growing my blog too. Again, this helps me diversify my platforms and gives me additional income streams through affiliate links and eventually through ads. Plus, since I have an engaged Instagram audience, they actually click through on my swipe ups and my link in my bio.

One great way to drive traffic to your blog from Instagram is by building an Insta-Links page (that’s mine). You only get one link in your bio, so make it work for you. There are lots of third party sites that do this for you if you don’t have your own blog, but don’t give them your traffic if you do have your own blog.

Instead of sending traffic to a third-party site, now I’m sending traffic to my own site and keeping people on my site longer. To set up your own Insta Links page, check out this post with step by step instructions from my Pinterest manager, Christine.

Lisa Homsy at a cafe

This is also a great way to get more blog traffic without having to have 10K followers for a swipe up link in stories. You can send them to the link in your bio and keep all of your important links in one place.

If you don’t have 10K followers, you can also do a few other things to help get more traffic from Instagram in your stories. For example, use the polling option or question box to find out who is interested in your post.

Ask if they want to read your new post about ______ and then DM the link to those who say they do (you might want to let them know you’ll send it their way). People are less likely to do the extra work of going to your profile, especially if they are mindlessly scrolling through stories. When they see the link in their DMs later, they are more likely to open it then or open it to read later.

Lisa Homsy Instagram stats on click throughs to her blog
Example of website clicks from one Instagram post

Again, as I’ve said so many times already, knowing your audience helps here. You’ll start to get a feel for what they want to read from you. You can also give them an option of what post to write next and know that at least a few people are interested in reading it. Ask them for help with the title or even the pin design.

The more value you provide in the post, the more likely they are to share it with others either on Instagram or even on another platform. Make sure to include a Pinterest graphic and social share buttons so they can share it on other platforms too (*hint hint* – you can find my pin graphic and social share buttons at the end of this post!).

Roses with an iPhone and keyboard

Utilize Pinterest

I’ve personally always loved Pinterest. I especially love it for home and recipe inspiration, but I wasn’t utilizing it in the way to help me grow my blog. It wasn’t until this year that I started to understand the power Pinterest has and how to utilize it to my advantage.

Pinterest is often classified as social media, but it is actually more of a search engine like Google. Think about anytime you want to look up a DIY, interior decor, recipes, travel destinations or itineraries, where do you look? I know I personally always check Pinterest!

Since working with my Pinterest manager, Christine of Pinnovation Media, I’ve realized the huge audience I was missing out on. Posting my blog posts on Pinterest lets me reach a whole new audience. Not only that, it is an audience who is actually searching for that specific subject rather than just keeping my content to Instagram.

My Pinterest grew from 500K monthly viewers to 1.8 million monthly viewers in 6 months
My Pinterest went from 500K monthly viewers to 1.8 million monthly viewers in 6 months

The best thing about Pinterest is that it is meant to send traffic out. On Instagram and Facebook, they try to keep you on the platform. The whole goal of Pinterest is to help you find what you are looking for and get you to the information or product you need.

If you aren’t using Pinterest already or haven’t been using it to grow your blog or sell your products, consider starting an account or starting to put more effort into it. My blog traffic grew by over 500% in the 6 months I’ve been working with Pinnovation Media (even with Coronavirus) and focusing on Pinterest as a way to bring traffic to my blog.

If you need help getting your account set up or optimizing your account, get my Pinterest manager’s free email series on how to do an audit of your own Pinterest account here.

My link click growth from Pinterest in my first 3 months with Pinnovation Media

Other Tips to Grow Your Blog

Besides Pinterest, there are some other things I’ve been doing to help grow my blog. I’m focusing on writing more often and on providing value to my audience in every post.

When I first started blogging, I mostly told the story of the location and posted a few pictures. If you look at one of my old blog posts compared to my newer blog posts, you’ll see there is a lot more useful information for planning your own trip in my recent travel posts.

Take a look at my Best of board packed with information to help you customize your next trip!

I want to provide value to my audience through all of my channels, and that means making it easier for you to plan your next trip (once it is safe to travel again). If I just tell you the story, you might enjoy it, but you probably won’t come back to it later or share it with others.

Now that I include more useful tips, even in my non-travel posts, more people share them on social media and Pinterest. Plus, people save them to come back to them later.

As people see the value I provide over time, they are likely to become my email subscribers, my followers on other platforms, and even the ones who purchase products from me or through my affiliate links. They are also likely to come back and check my blog again the next time they need information.

Think about the user when you create your blog posts. Share anything that would be useful to them. Still include your personality and the stories that make that trip yours, but make sure to give helpful information too.

Lisa Homsy in Utah
My Utah road trip blog post includes a map with all of our stops + tips for visiting each one

The other tip seems obvious, but it is something I’ve been working on these last few months. To grow your blog, you have to actually work on your blog and put content on your blog.

Before I used to post once every few months. I posted when I had time, people saw it on social media (or didn’t), and then no one really saw the post again.

Now I focus on writing content more often. Instead of putting all of my time into Instagram, I also put time into my blog. I write posts to help them rank on Google and use Pinterest to keep bringing in traffic to old posts and new ones as well.

Lisa Homsy at the Great Pyramids in Egypt
My Egypt blog post shares costs, safety tips, what to wear, and tips to get the best photos

Having content go out more often helps keep traffic coming into my site. I have new posts to share on Instagram and in my email list, but I also have new images and pins to share on Pinterest.

If you want to grow your blog this year, take time to work on your blog. You don’t have to post every week or every day, but try to come up with a more consistent schedule. How often you post will depend on how much time you have and how much content you have (and how long it takes you to create a single post).

You can set aside chunks of time to work on a blog post all at once or work on it a little bit each day to complete one task a day. Whatever you do, just try to be consistent with it.

Your blog gives you control since it is your content. It also gives you access to new income streams through ads, affiliate links, and even brand collaborations. If you are thinking about starting a blog, go for it!

Lisa Homsy at one of the best cafes in Bali
My Bali cafe post shares the most Instagrammable and best cafes in Bali

You’ve now reached the end of my planned four-part series on tips and tricks for blogging and social media. This doesn’t have to be the end though.

I’m always looking for ways to provide value, so feel free to leave me a note in the comments or to shoot me a DM and let me know what else you want to learn!

And if you missed them, here are the first three parts again (oh, and don’t forget to share this on Pinterest below!):

LIKE THIS POST? SAVE IT FOR LATER AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!

Click here to get tips for growing your blog and growing your email list! Sharing the tips I've learned by growing my email list to over 40K subscribers and growing my blog by over 500% in the last 6 months. #blogging #blogtips | blogging tips | beginner blogging tips | blogging tips for beginners | blogging 101 | how to blog | tips for blogging | best blogging tips | what is blogging | email list for bloggers | email list building tips | email list building strategies | travel blogging tips

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8 Comments

  1. xo.travels
    May 16, 2020 / 1:13 PM

    Really loving these tips & tricks series! Ive read all 4 parts of it. its easy to read and understand that i didn’t realize its actually a long blog post until i have to scroll back up. Would love some tips and process of how you pick your outfit for certain locations, how to know if that outfit matches the location and its not just in your head (always happens!) etc.

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      May 16, 2020 / 6:43 PM

      Ohhhh I love this! I would love to expand on this in video form.. what do you think about YouTube?

      • xo.travels
        May 17, 2020 / 9:23 AM

        Sounds awesome! We can also visually see the whole process. Thanks Lisa xx

      • lisahomsy
        Author
        May 17, 2020 / 11:13 AM

        Yesss Im so happy this is helping so many!

  2. May 16, 2020 / 1:20 PM

    Hi Lisa! Thank you for this post and the others too. 😊 I’ve been following you for almost 2 years and your content is always beautiful. I started a fashion blog a few months ago and for me these tips are invaluable! So, thank you. ❤️

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      May 16, 2020 / 6:44 PM

      Isabell!!! That makes me so happy!!! I’m so glad to hear it’s helping others!

  3. Annabelle
    May 20, 2020 / 7:32 AM

    Hey Lisa! I want to thank you for creating this post. All 4 parts have been very helpful; especially for someone just starting up with instagram/blogging (like me!). Very useful tips and tricks and definitely going to be using them 🙂

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      May 23, 2020 / 12:54 AM

      Yayy this makes me so happy to hear that you’re seeing so much value in this!!! Puts a big smile on my face!!!

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