You have likely heard, "The Gold is in the List." This is a very true statement. One of the greatest mistakes I see many professionals make who want to make a great living online is not having a clear focus on building an opt-in subscriber list.

It never ceases to amaze me how often people will hear that they need to build their list and yet, they put it off and take little, if any, action to build a highly responsive list.

Where to start

One of the greatest assets any business can have is their customer base and database. Yet, for some reason, this is an area many people fail to put proper attention on.

To set yourself up for success you absolutely must have a laser beam approach to building your opt-in list.

An opt-in list is an email list of people who have agreed to receive information from you in their email inboxes. If you send them commercial email messages without that permission, you are spamming them - and that is against the law now.

However, if you have their permission, you are not spamming them. They have the option to unsubscribe from your list anytime that they want to, and you must honor any remove requests that you receive.

Once people are on your list you want to avoid sending messages that are only intended to sell. If you send only sales messages you will be viewed as someone who is only trying to make money from your readers rather than someone who wants to create high value for them. Remember, be a resource before you are a vendor.

It is necessary to have a way to capture potential subscriber's contact information. You can do this manually (which is a huge mistake) or you can automate with a reliable program.

Building Your List

You should constantly be building your list. Start with something easy to implement and grow from there.

Some people (who likely have very small lists) have only one way for people to get on their list. Others don't have a way for people to subscribe to their information; then they wonder why they struggle making money. It doesn't have to be this way for you.

There are effective and ineffective methods for building a list. Be sure you are not building your list in ineffective ways.

Ineffective

• Buying lists - not very effective unless it is very, very targeted

• Massive blasts from a service you buy - not effective

• Taking email addresses off of websites and adding them into your database without permission. This is spamming.

• Opting into an expert's list and then putting them on your list without permission from them. This is not only considered spamming, it is very annoying to receive unrequested information. Just because you have an interest in their information does not mean they have an interest in yours. Imagine if everyone who signed up for their information did this. Not good!

Effective

To build your opt-in list you must have a highly visible opt-in opportunity on your blog, website and/or landing page.

Three effective ways

1. Opt-in box on your website

2. Signature file at the end of your email messages

3. Opt-in box on various social network sites you belong to

Hot tip - Make sure you have an opt-in box on your blog and website (and on more than just the main page).

In the past an eZine was a great way to build an opt-in list. Today, with all the choices people have, you absolutely must offer items of extremely high value. Without specific benefits conveyed to potential subscribers, an ezine likely won't have much appeal.

High value FREE offers

• eReports
• Teleseminars
• Expert interviews
• eBooks
• Video Series
• Chapters of a book in PDF Format
• MP3s

There are plenty more, but this will give you an idea of what you can begin with. Again, whatever you are offering must be of interest to the subscriber.

Two Super list building strategies

Social Networks - With many social network sites such as Facebook, you can put a message about an offer on your profile page. Check the help section or FAQ section of each social network you belong to in order to find out what you can and cannot do.

Be sure to pay very close attention to the rules because you can get kicked out of a Social Network for no apparent reason.

Forums - Forums are a great way to build your list. Avoid simply joining to promote your products and services.

Find forums specific to your market. Be an active participant who is known for your contribution rather than someone who is only trying to build your list or make a sale.

As with Social Networks, make sure you know the rules of the forum before posting.

Author's Bio: 

Discover success insights from experts around the globe who are out there making a difference and making a great living in the process. Kathleen Gage interviews the best of the best with Power Up for Profits Podcast. http://www.powerupforprofitspodcast.com