Build Up a Mailing List by Attracting Web Traffic

You send traffic to a squeeze page and people opt-in to a list. Then you send them more free info over time to build trust, and eventually start hitting them with offers related to that niche.

How the heck do you get traffic to that list?

Method 1: Join forums in that niche and post real content. Don't mention your site, don't try to sell people on anything, just participate in conversations and get people to recognize you. After you get 25 posts, edit your profile and place a link to that squeeze page in your forum signature.

Method 2: Create a blog. When news hits in your niche, write a blog entry about it, and add your link at the end. For example if a local news story about a cat massager business hits the news, talk about it and link to your squeeze page at the end. Locally hosted blogs like WordPress will "blog and ping" ... so your posts will hit the search engines in seconds. You can also get free accounts on services like Blogger.

Method 3: Article marketing. Write some articles and post them to those same article directories with a linkback to your squeeze page. If these get you lots of opt-ins, consider hiring freelance article writers to write these articles in bulk for you. Then guess what? You can post some of those articles to forums and post them to your own sites as blogs.

Method 4: Social networking. Join MySpace groups and post MySpace blog posts to your profiles with your articles. Get Camtasia Recorder, create PowerPoint presentations of your articles and record those videos. Then post them to video sites like YouTube and Revver, with your squeeze page URL watermarked right in and your URL in the video description.

Method 5: Create a free, lead-in product. Write your own articles and package them as a product, or hire someone to write articles and assemble those into a PDF yourself. Make sure the URL to that squeeze page is prominently displayed on every page. Then sell resale rights to a select number of people, or offer your product on giveaway sites.

Method 6: AdWords. That's probably the hardest method of them all, but what you can do is look at the ads that appear on the right hand side of Google searches that stay listed over time, and try to model those ads. Worried about paying too much per click? Look at the top 10 search results, choose to only show your ads in the content network, and say you only want your ads to appear on those top 10 pages.

If you don't know where to begin, I recommend you dedicate an entire week to doing nothing but method #1. Then dedicate the next week to method #2. All the way to method 5 (only try method 6 if you know what you're doing) and build up that mailing list.

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  1. Derrick says:

    Great article, thanks for the advice!
    Fantastic idea with forum marketing, to post and get known before you add your link to signature!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. jeff says:


    Awesome article, you’ve been able to break down the exact process you need to do in order to have success in IM in such a simple easy to follow system. Looking forward to more of your information. Keep up the great work!

  3. Graeme Thom says:

    Hi Robert,
    Thanks again for the great tips and reminders, and clear step-by-step format. I now have to “just do it.”
    Graeme Thom

  4. I think the idea of focusing a full week on each method is a good idea for all.

    Many can gain much from reviewing especially their own blogs and certainly also implementing article marketing.

    I am seeing a colossal growth in traffic from #3, so it certainly works.

  5. HelenRappy says:

    Great value in this post! You covered all the greatest points. I have not been very good at going in Forums, that is something I need to work on.

    I think having a lead in product is very important and I am on the hunt for a free give-away that is not as common as a report or video/audio course. I’d like to discover a unique idea.

    Thank you for sharing all your tips and tricks. I am thrilled you are part of this 30 day blog challenge!! Great job Robert, keep up the excellent and valuable work!


  6. David Bibby says:

    This post was EXTREMELY helpful. I’ve been doing a little of each (except for #6) and found that I’m not getting the results that I want. Then you gave the answer to my problem.

    FOCUS on #1 for a while, then move on to #2, and so on.

    Guess I should spend some time in the forums (and NOTHING ELSE)


  7. I found this article very informative as I am currently struggling with how to build a mailing list for myself and my site. As well as getting ready to launch a product site. I will follow your advice and hope it gets me the kind of send off I need!

  8. Mike Antoni says:

    Hey Robert,

    Great advice. One thing that works for me as well is leaving blog comments, on blog posts just like this. It’s easy and quick and you can add value to help people.

    Just leaving a few comments on your blog has given me 2 unique visitors a day the past week. Plus, this is something you can outsource.

    And if you really get into you can look for “do follow” blogs to get legit backlinks that help you rank for keywords.

  9. Excellent article, valuable advice, and NO surprise! You always have great content Robert, one of the reasons I have been following you and stayed on your list for over a year now. I have “unsubscribed” to MANY of the Big named “GURUS” but always look forward to your emails and blog posts. Thanks, Bert

  10. Adam Porter says:

    Yes, the iPhone comparison made me chuckle…just saw that video the other day.

    Great advice, too. I’ve not done #1, yet. I do have #2 and #5, and I’m a far cry from feeling ‘accomplished’ in #3 and #4. I had very little success in #6, but I plan to revisit it, once the other 5 items are satisfactory.

  11. Britt Malka says:

    I’m stepping back, at the moment. Back to the beginning.

    When I created my biggest money maker so far, the site that pays our rent, electricity, food, etc., I started out with 10 friends.

    I got the idea about creating a list, and what I would write about, and I asked friends to join the list.

    Right now, that’s what I’m doing again with a new site, and with a new list.

    After I’ve gotten my friends to join, I’ll go on with other ways of getting traffic.

    Now, I’m not a newbie, but I think this has an advantage for people starting out in this business. They will be more comfortable about writing to friends than to strangers, and they can have more direct respons on what they’re doing.

    Your ideas about spending one week in each area is great, btw. I’ll implement that in my continuing plan for this new list and other projects (except for # 6).

  12. James says:

    That is 6 god points, never heard of you as a marketer before, but since you have a lot of good quality posts on your blog, i will check back here. How much do you make a month?

  13. Sue White says:

    Robert – you mentioned AdWords – have you had any good luck with ads on social media such as Facebook? Are Adwords still viable today?

    Great list of information. I need to work on forums also. One thing at a time!

  14. Robert Plank says:


    I tried Facebook ads when they first came out and they banned my sites from advertising there because I talked about making money with PHP scripts on sales letters.

    They would prefer you send them to a blog or a free site where you are guaranteed to lose money.

    Not only that, but I never go to Facebook when I’m looking to buy something. I do go to Google when I’m looking to buy something.

    I have a couple of profitable AdWords campaigns but the traffic isn’t consistent. It is good to have running on automatic pilot on the background though.

    Have YOU used Facebook or AdWords, Sue?

  15. Donna Maher says:


    Your idea in #1 is brilliant! Most of the time, people advise creating your sig file right away… your idea makes so much sense.

    Let them get to know, like & trust your advice first, then when you add a link… they will be infinitely more excited about checking out your website.



  16. Great advice as always. Dont forget web 2.0 sites like hubpahes, wetpaint, squidoo, Webs and weebly etc.

  17. Robert,
    I appreciated your response to Sue’s question about ads on Facebook. That really makes sense to me. I use FB for staying in touch with people and building relationships, not looking to buy things.

    I was just reading an article written by Lynn Terry and she suggests doing guest posts to increase traffic. Is that something you do as well?


  18. Ron Barrett says:


    Another quality post…I am doing 1, 2, & 3 regularly and 6 with a very limited daily budget, so it’s not costing me all that much…

    I agree with your point on forums… I see way too many people with 2, 3, 10 posts and making mention of their links in their sigs in their posts… not cool.

    Keep up the good work.

  19. Hi Robert

    Some great advice on getting people to optin to your list by putting your squeeze page on blog posts and articles. Forums is another good idea and I like the tip about only adding your signature links after making substantial posts.

    Michelle Jayes

  20. Robert Plank says:


    Have sites like Squidoo and HubPages actually brought you traffic, or are they just toys?

    I’ve never been able to get those to work. Plus, you’re building someone else’s site for them.

  21. Great post and fantastic, no-fluff marching orders.

    THIS is why I love your stuff so much, Robert! 🙂

    I also appreciate your advice on doing Google Adwords. I’ve avoided using PPC because my keywords are so darned expensive. But your way of doing it makes sense and will try it at some point when I’ve got ALL the other points running smoothly.

    Thanks again!

  22. Suzie Cheel says:

    Hi Robert,

    Great tips about spending a week in each area, I know I need to dedicate time to each 1-5. Interested that you only mention My Space for Social Media- the one site I don’t use- what about Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin?

  23. Gavin Allinson says:

    Some good debate.

    I disagree you can’t really outsource posting comments unless your assistant knows your business nearly as well as you.

    I’ve tried it and even did it once for pay for james brausch. It was a real ball breaker and eye opener.

  24. Jeff Bode says:

    Hey Robert all of these methods are great because they work. I’ve been going more towards the low cost advertising and outsourcing approach.

  25. Christine says:

    As usual, Robert, you get right to the heart of the matter, lay it all before us in a simple, no-nonsense way and many of us now have a “doable” action list to accomplish the job.

    Thanks for making list building for newbies an attainable objective. I’m one of those people who overthinks most things. I’ve been making this process way too hard. I’ve got it now!

  26. dileepa says:

    Liked method 4

    Thanks for these, yhat should have cropped – if only I thought about.

  27. How much time would you recommend spending at forums every day, Robert?

    Talk to one successful online marketer, and the person will tell you to start creating Squidoo pages and Hub Pages right away to attract traffic. Talk to another, and you’ll be advised to do skip the article marketing and focus solely on blogging. Talk to yet another, and you’ll be told something different than the last two told you. And round and round we go.

    Pay a visit here, and get your hands on some rock solid results driven where-to-begin and how-to information.


  28. Great contributions in your usual no non-sense style.

    Why do you spend time on up to 25 posts to Forums before posting your web address yet shy away from other social networking sites? Is there something about the people in Forums or is it more the protocols that lead people down the buying chain?

    Thanks, Robert!

  29. JohnB says:

    Most of my optins come from adwords google search (not content) but like you say Robert it can be tricky.

    You really need a low cost front end product that will cover the cost of advertising before up selling to a back-end product that eventually you can profit from.

    I really should spend more time on the other methods that over a period of time will generate a lot of free traffic, although its not really free if you count your time but probably worth it in the long run.

    Thanks for the tips Robert.

  30. Hi Robert

    Both Squidoo and hubpages have got me top 10 positions fairly quickly and therefore generated traffic although they do tend to drop down after a while they have helped keep my main site up by providing backlinks.

    Squidoo has not been so good of late I must admit.

    Another brilliant one that I found works really well is …. The results recently have been amazing.

    Articles posted here get onto page one of google really fast for highly competitive terms.

    My 11 year old son has been making money from a squidoo page about “Bakugan” which is a kids battle game. Not a fortune but money all the same.

    I know it is building a website for others but for a non techie, it is a very easy way to build a presence online and generate backlinks to one of your main sites.

  31. kingsley says:

    Great post. One point you miss here is converting your articles to audio and post them to audio sites.

  32. Great article. I think that methods 1-3 should be standard practice for everyone. The other methods just help to get even more visitors. I hate Adwords and think there are better ways/methods for PPC, but it could work, if it doesn’t end up costing you.

  33. Some brilliant ideas here! 😉

  34. Ray says:

    Hi Robert,

    Y’know we probably knew most of these ideas before you wrote them down. I think the real value here is putting it all together and reminding us what we should have been doing already.

    Thank you

  35. Gerard says:

    Once again, a great post Robert.

    Also your comment about Squidoo and other hub pages is right on.

    It seems to me that they really have to be targeted and you are correct, what do you get for building the site for someone else.

    I suppose they work to some extent with the search engines but…

    Keep up the great work Brother!

  36. Berry says:

    Some good ideas although I find article writing time consuming and with limited return. I probably need to give the forums more of a go.

  37. Thomas says:

    Thanks for reminding me about the forum posting Robert. I was having good success but somehow I got sidetracked and forgot about it suddenly months passed by 🙂 But I will be jumping back on it again now thanks to your timely reminder

  38. Steve says:

    Thanks for the great article and tips Robert!

  39. Dan Martin says:

    Wow! MySpace… I don’t hear that name much anymore. I thought it was for adult perverts, teenagers and petulant people that wouldn’t move to FB. I’ll revisit.

    Re FB: A lot of push, “500M people can’t be wrong…” but they may be. i just use it socially and have people tell me to do a Fan Page. I’m still waiting.

    Good to see you responding. I thought you had put everything on auto and disappeared.

    Good post. I even noticed a graphic in there.

  40. Robert Plank says:

    Facebook and MySpace don’t work if you try to carpet-bomb the whole place. But I have made personal connections and created 1-on-1 videos from Facebook that led to optins and sales. I reward people to respond to things.

  41. William says:

    I’m hearing a familiar refrain from several top marketers on what works. I’m sold on the first five and have to do more of it consistently. Thanks for no new “shiny objects” but real stuff that works.

  42. Great common sense hints – as usual. Each time I read one of your posts I am sorrier and sorrier that we didn’t have time to meet in Buffalo last year!!


  43. Sharon Price says:

    This is great advice for building a list. I’m definately going to start with #1 this week.
    Thanks for keeping it simple.

  44. Ron says:

    Great tips as always Robert. I lost a lot of money on #6 in my younger days.

  45. Thank you for your straightforward approach, Robert. This blog works as a checklist of actions to get increased traffic. No fluff needed.

    As for the Facebook Ads, I do have a client who used them in short spurts to build up her newsletter letter list. She is a builder and was looking for local traffic only. However, she has not been able to demonstrate any direct sales as result. As I explain to my website clients, Facebook is more about relationship building than it is direct sales. In an off-web business, those Facebook relationships build like and trust. Then they can turn into leads and into business. One of my clients is having good success using facebook in this manner for a local business. FB is only one small component of his overall online marketing strategy.

  46. Bob Stovall says:

    Good suggestions, Robert. Many clients I work with, especially local business clients get most of their traffic from local searches that brings up their posts. Social networking also gives them a big boost.

  47. Patrick Cash says:

    I can tell you from personal experience.
    All of the above methods work fantastic!
    I’ve posted a link to a Camtasia video that answers a question someone had posted in a forum. It doesn’t take doing that but a few times and you’ve established yourself as an authority.
    Doing these things will without a doubt drive traffic to your site. Not only will you get direct traffic from the posts, etc but I’ve seen the search engines pick up the link and show your page/video in the results along with the forum post.

  48. Danica says:

    Great post Robert, but you forgot one little tip -I messed up this step and boy, does it change things:)

    Subscribe to your own list and test to make sure the email you are using to build your list is the correct. Nothing like waking up in the morning to find your personal inbox full of subscribers…that was ugly.

  49. Ray says:


    That’s an excellent point you make about testing out your squeeze page first.

    I have 3 different e-mail account that I use to test out all of my squeeze pages just to make sure that everything is working properly. I do the same with my sales pages as well.


    Thank you once again for the great content. I know about all of these methods but reinforcement never hurts either.


  50. Nancy Boyd says:

    Hi Robert,

    This is right on time, as I am smack in the midst of figuring out the best and fastest ways to get connected with the people who want a new program I’m developing. I need to build a mailing list, and this checklist is right where I need to start.

    Thanks for helping me focus properly on this!


  51. Sherm Cohen says:

    My blog is my main source of opt-in leads..and I have built many career leads and relationships through the blog as well. But it’s a lot of work. Even though I get 1300 hits a day, for the first year it was 7, then 17, then 70 hits per day. You have to be in it for the long haul. But it’s worth it!

  52. HelenRappy says:

    Question about #1, why do I need to wait to leave 25 comments before I put my link in my email signature? Is it rude and wrong to do that from the start?

    I am not familiar with forums at all, I need to start getting comfortable with that.

    Thank you again for this valuable information! Keep up the great tips Robert, we all love them!!


  53. William says:

    Howdy Robert,

    This is a really great post. You out did yourself with this one. While with some local friends over the weekend they ask me to show them how I get traffic to my blog.

    I wish I had a video camera when I showed them some of my tactics and strategies to gain new eye balls. I mentioned everyone of the strategies above, except for the Google adwords campaign.

    It is a long story, however one of my friends, several years ago, started an adwords campaign, used his credit card, then after setting up the campaign left for vacation. At the time he didn’t have a lap top or any way to log onto the internet.

    When his credit card bill arrived he found that the adword campaign had cost him around $15,000 dollars. Although he recieved many subscribers to his newsletter he never broke even. that was the last time he used google.

    Any way, another strategy that I use is creating small 2 to seven page report that I give away for free. As I mentioned previously on another post I only use one promotion to my reports, yet I may have several links to it in the report.

    Have you tested free reports Robert?

    The three reports I created for the plumbing niche has sent a lot more traffic than any of the other strategies alone to my business blog.

    You gotta love free reports :0)

  54. Ken Toulou says:

    It is great to get a refresher every now and then. Some times I get so busy with a formula or tactic that I forget the basics of list building….

    Ken Toulou

  55. Robert…

    For me so far, the best way to get traffic was through blog commenting.

    I subscribe to as many lists I find interesting from the people in IM niche and their blogs too.

    Whenever there is a new post, I go read and then comment.

    This hits two points simultaneously, because it brings both traffic AND backlinks.

    In my agenda, this is a winner.

    Steve Lorenzo

  56. Some good information, but I don’t understand your comment about Facebook. Did you have a fan page or how were you advertising? I haven’t heard much about people getting banned from Facebook. I do hear about the Google slap fairly often.

  57. Dave Doolin says:

    Sure, why not.

    Time for me to spend a week doing #3.

  58. Warren says:

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for another great post. I am having trouble with #1. How do I find forums that meet my niche?

    Also, is LinkedIn a Social Network or a Forum? It has the aspects of both.



  59. John says:

    Of those six options, I like forum marketing the best, but I find it’s a lot easier to do if you’re working in a market where you have a personal interest in the topic. It’s much easier to build rapport with the other members when you actually know something about what you’re discussing, even if you’re not an expert.

    Building that rapport goes a long way to getting the clicks on your signature link when you add it.

  60. Thomas R says:

    Great stuff here as always.
    Personally working on #1, #2, and #5 finding these methods easiest for me and more than anything I am willing to do these tasks. #3 & #4 I am just not comfortable with either so I just stay away.
    Adwords to me is only making Google richer, not that I begrudge them for making money I just don’t think that part of the business is setup for the little guy to make money, I feel that it is only for those who can spend $2000 to $5000 per month. It seems as the only people that I have heard talking about adwords is the ones spending the big bucks.
    You can call me wrong but this is how I see it, adwords that is.

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