Confession: I haven’t sent a message to my main email list in nearly a month. Sure, I’ve emailed the members of the See Jane Write Collective regularly about all of the awesome virtual events we’ve had this month. But for my general email list — the See Jane Write Weekly — it’s been crickets.

This, however, was actually a planned sabbatical. I wanted to take this month to brainstorm new ideas for the See Jane Write Weekly and to brainstorm ways to grow my list.

I’ll be back in action in August. So, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for the See Jane Write Weekly so you won’t miss out on the content I have planned.

If you need to hit reset button on your own email list, here’s how.

What to Send Your Email List

If you’ve been inconsistent with nurturing your email list, it’s probably because you can’t figure out what to send to your subscribers.

Honestly, the possibilities are endless.

But that may be exactly why you’re overwhelmed with the idea. So, here are a few suggestions tailored specifically for writers and bloggers.

Share your content. If you’re working on a book, share excerpts from your work in progress to get people on your list eager to buy the finished product when it’s ready. If you’re a blogger, share a snippet from your latest post and a link to read the rest.  

Share your journey. As you’re writing your book or building your blog, don’t be afraid to share your highs and lows with your email list. You may think people don’t care about your story, but they absolutely do. How do I know? First of all, people are nosy. But, also, if they didn’t care they wouldn’t have signed up for your email list in the first place.

Share tips and lessons learned. If most of the people on your list are writers or bloggers, too, share tips that will help them improve their own writing or share lessons that you’re learning as you work on your book or blog. For the folks who aren’t writers and bloggers, consider ways these lessons can be applied to other areas of life.

Share what you’re reading. Good writers read good writing, right? So, share with your email list the books, blogs, and articles that you’re reading for inspiration.

With a mix of all four of these ideas, you’ve got email content for a whole month!

How to Grow Your Email List

Now that you have the content ideas you need to nurture your list, it’s time to grow it.

One way to do this is to create an opt-in freebie that you can give folks in exchange for their email address. You can do this by using Canva or even Microsoft Word or Google Docs to create a downloadable PDF. Then, simply upload the file to your website and share the link to the PDF in an automated email to new subscribers. If you don’t have a website, you can use a service like LeadPages to collect the email addresses and to deliver the PDF to subscribers. Also, you could completely skip the step of creating a PDF and just type the content you want to share in an automated email to new subscribers.

I’ve mostly grown my email list through challenges and by hosting free webinars. So, those are other options, too.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re creating something that addresses a problem that many people on your list are facing. Also, you want to create something that will give them a quick win. For example, my mini e-course A Time to Write the Vision is designed to help people who are struggling to make time to write and blog. And it’s crafted as a 7-day challenge with the hope that they’ll see results after just one week.

Finally, in case you’re wondering why you need an email list in the first place, I want to address that, too. Social media is a great way to build your brand and build community. But you don’t own your Instagram account, your Twitter account, or your Facebook group. You can’t really control who sees your content and when. But that email list is all yours. With it, you can directly communicate with your community when you need to without worrying about an algorithm.

So, hit that reset button and start showing your list some love!