Writing Your List Builder

When it comes to creating a giveaway, you have to think about it differently than just another blog post or piece of content. It has a specific job to do, that is, to entice someone who otherwise would definitely not give you their email address – to give you their email address.

So unlike a blog post, it’s not enough to be interesting. Well-written. Inspiring. None of those things. Yes, some people will sign up for that list – but those are your core, true-believers.

This is the person I want you to imagine:

They are trying to find an answer to something. So they google. They’ve never been to your site before, they don’t know you at all. But there’s your page with some information about what they need and a pop-up comes up. A free guide to exactly what they were looking for…

Sounds too good to be true. It’s free! It answers their question. “Okay,” they think, “I don’t know this person, but this is worth a shot.”

They enter their email address.

That’s the person you have to convince. Not the people who read your blog already or come in via social media to read your latest post. It’s not the guy who follows you on Twitter. You will get all those people, eventually. We’re trying to convert the thousands and thousands of people who come to your site over the course of a year, read something and leave.

So how do we do that?

Your list builder has to solve a problem. This is key because why do people google? They are trying to find the answer to something. “I don’t know how to … “ or “I wonder if there’s a way…” and they hit their keyboard. That is the mindset of the search traffic that comes to your site and largely doesn’t subscribe. Just think about anything you’ve researched online. Do you just go sign up for the newsletter on all those sites? NO! Of course not. You don’t follow them on social media. You don’t even go back in most cases. The mindset for finding blogs to follow – and the timing and methods you use to do that are totally different. I will subscribe to a blog because I see them shared by more than one friend. That’s not the job of a list builder.

The list builder is always aimed at search traffic. It always solves a problem.

But what problem?

Well the answer is already hidden within your site. If you don’t know what to write about, look at your most popular posts. You might have a few you can exclude – the big announcement post always does well, but isn’t necessarily what people are finding you for…

For my blog, even though it’s about my travels, working online, having kids – what posts attracted the most search traffic? Americans trying to move to Spain or Europe.

It’s not even quite what I talk about but that’s why I tell you – this is not about writing a blog post or expressing yourself. It’s about capturing those people who find your site through google and convincing them to read more. And you have to know why they come to your site in the first place – then capitalize on that!

So I wrote a guide on How to Get Long Term Residency in Europe (for Americans).

Of course I spent four months writing a 100+ page guide. We’re not going to do that today – because it is absolutely crazy to not have some kind of offer on your site for four long months while you toil away at a list builder. So we start with something small. Something we can write right now.

(Note: It is a fantastic idea to write a longer ebook down the road and give it away, but it does take time. The same principles apply and after you finish your first list builder you can continue to use this course to work on your bigger offering. When you do get something substantial, you’ll want to do a proper launch for it, including contacting other bloggers and writing guest posts to spread the word.)

So what do we start with today?

Take a deep dive into your stats and see if you can find some clues about what would work best given your existing search traffic. If you’re not finding anything, you can choose a topic but just keep these things in mind:

  • It should solve a problem.
  • It shouldn’t be a problem that you can get the answer to just by googling. (Do a couple of searches to confirm this isn’t a page 1 or 2 answer that already exists for free).
  • It should tie to the general theme of your site (like the niche in general) but it doesn’t have to be too exact.
  • You need a clear direct title that communicates what they get.


Q: Can you use an existing blog post and expand upon it?

A: Yes, absolutely and this is a great idea.
Q: Can I compile quotes from other people or case studies from bloggers?

A: Yes absolutely. You could have a list builder that teaches how to do something plus has expert feedback on how others did it or got started or things they struggle with today. (Bonus: when you contact bloggers for quotes, you can follow up when it’s live and share the announce post with them – hopefully some of them will share it as they’re mentioned in the ebook).

Q: Someone else wrote something similar can I still do my idea?

A: Yes, if they are not in your same sphere of influence. So if you’re searching around to find blogs about a topic and they always land on the same lists as you or you’re going to find them in google for the same terms as you, then no. Do something different. But if there’s someone way out there, doing something similar, then don’t worry about it. It’s doesn’t have to be unique but the overall availability of that information in your niche does matter.

Q: How long does it have to be?

A: It should be at very minimum 500 words. 2000 words would be better. 10,000 words is considered an ebook. 50,000 words is a book. (200 words = 1 page in general book terms). So in other terms of pages: minimally 2.5 pages, but 10 pages would be better. 50 pages is an ebook and 250 pages is a book.

Getting Feedback:

Since you’re going to use this to lure in thousands of new people to your site does it make sense to be shy about sharing it with us? No! In fact we can help you refine your voice, angle and positioning so you have something that works really well. Feedback is huge. Don’t be shy, post your unedited, rough draft version and let us see it. We can give you an idea of if it works or not.


Research your stats for list builder ideas
Write your list builder
Share it in the FB group for feedback (really critical).

1Research your stats for list builder ideas
2Write your list builder
3Share it in the Facebook group