List building is probably the most important aspect of your online business. Without a list, you don't have customers who trust you to lead them in the right direction. You won't make sales. You won't get sign-ups. You're virtually helpless.
We have talked a lot about how to build a list, but let's talk about where to build it.
First, and I say this in the nicest possible way, free traffic won't get you a very good list of customers. People who rely solely on free traffic are often newbies. They either a) won't hang around long enough to make a business work or b) don't have money to spend. If either of those situations are the case, you'll be sunk, if you rely solely on free sources, like FFA (free for all) links or safelists, for instance, for list building. I know some people swear by them, but in my experience, they just suck.
So, where do you go?
The easiest and quickest list building tool is probably co-registration. In an co-reg situation, you generally pay to have your ad shown to millions of people, along with the ads of other people. Think of the co-registration page as being like a page of classified ads. You'll definitely get sign-ups that way, if you write a decent advertisement.
Another way is by creating a list building squeeze page and driving traffic to it. Use a great headline, three to five bullet points about what you're offering-be it a product, a program, or some type of giveaway-and an opt-in box, which you get from your autoresponder service, and BOOM! Drive traffic to it in one of the 17 ways that you can, such as blogging, writing articles, and search engine optimization.
List building can also be lightning fast with joint ventures. In a joint venture you agree to promote someone else's product or they agree to promote yours. If you're the one organizing this, you be the one to promote the other person's product. That's how a proper joint venture should be done. What happens is that they agree to do a teleseminar with you, for instance, where you interview them and sell their product.
What's in it for you?
You'll join the other person's affiliate program, and get a percentage of all the sales made. Plus, because of the teleseminar call, you can ask the other person to mail out to their list three times before the call, and have him or her drive people to your squeeze page. They sign up for the call, and your list at the same time.
List building can be easy, if you know how to go about it. Just be sure you're list building in the right niche , and getting the right people to join. Free is great when people are just starting out, and some of them will undoubtedly become more successful over time. If they stay on your list, you might have a great customer. But list building around free sources is mostly a waste of time.
Tellman Knudson is CEO of OvercomeEverything, Inc. and a master of list building. Learn the 9 Laws of List Building at MyFirstList.com