List building should be the main priority of any online business. Having your own in-house list of opt-in subscribers allows you to send marketing messages or recommendations via email to your prospects many times over, increasing your chances of making a sale, or making multiple sales if you're an affiliate marketer.
The tricky part is actually building a decent sized list to begin with that you can start profiting from.
In my experience the best way is undoubtedly by using other people's lists. What I mean by this is simply finding other marketers who have a good sized list, finding a way of accessing that list, and persuading them to join your list.
These people are the ideal people to have on your list because they are already familiar with the concept of receiving email messages from online marketers. Also if they're already subscribed to one marketer's newsletter, and are prepared to join yours as well, then they are, in all probability, happy to not only receive offers from you, but to spend money with you as well. In other words, they're the perfect subscriber that every marketer wants on their list.
So how do you access these other marketers’ lists?
Well my preferred method is through writing articles, like this one you're reading at the moment. Writing good quality articles and submitting them to as many article directories as you can will result in a lot of people reading your articles, and subsequently clicking on the link to your site (where your own opt-in page is located) which you should include in the resource box.
More importantly, however, is the fact that these article directories are used by ezine and newsletter publishers to find content for their subscribers. If they pick up your article and include it in their next edition, then your article could potentially be read by several thousand subscribers, who may then click through to your opt-in page and sign up to your newsletter.
To increase your chances of your article being included in ezines, you should also submit your articles directly to the ezine publishers themselves, rather than relying on the off-chance that they will find your article in an article directory.
You should now start to see why so many marketers are using articles to promote their business and drive traffic to their sites. You can get a lot of good quality, targeted subscribers very quickly just by using this method alone, however there are other ways that you can get your site seen by other marketers’ subscribers.
One free way is through finding ezine owners who allow their subscribers to place adverts in their ezine for free. This is obviously not as effective as writing articles as less people tend to take any notice of the free ads section of ezines. However, it's free so you might as well use it, even if it's just a one-time offer to new subscribers. You may only get one new subscriber from it, but you never know how much money you could potentially earn from that one person in the future.
A more effective way is by actively purchasing prominent ads in ezines. These cost more simply because they get seen more. Prices vary depending on where in the ezine you want your ad to feature. Writing articles is my preferred method of ezine advertising (albeit an indirect form of advertising), but when I do pay for advertising I don't tend to use positional ads, but instead opt for solo ads. These have constantly got me the best results, and the most subscribers, because they are sent separately from the ezine, so each subscriber only sees your message.
To conclude, there are many ways to build your list that I haven't even touched upon in this article. However, if you want a quality list, ie highly targeted opt-in subscribers who are likely to spend money with you, then advertising, either indirectly through articles, or directly through free or paid advertising in other marketers’ newsletters, will deliver the type of subscriber every marketer wants.
James Woolley is a successful marketer who has several money-making sites in various niches. His latest site is a free internet marketing resource guide, which also includes a newsletter filled with free tips and bonuses: