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Four Ways to Build a List without Money

By Franco Gonzalez | List Building


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Jan 12
Pammy and Sammy

List Building. It’s the lifeblood of your online business.

Having a list is the most valuable asset you can create online because it feeds into everything else.

Here’s four great and simple ways to build a list even without money. From a list building specialist who’s been doing this a long time and his name is Charlie Page.


You’ve heard it before – if you want to succeed online you must have a list of your own.

Every guru says it. Ever wonder why?

Because it’s true!

With a list of your own you can advertise anything you want any time you want as often as you want … all FREE!

There is no more powerful weapon in any marketing arsenal than a well-developed mailing list.

And email marketing is by far the most powerful form of marketing online. It’s been proven again and again.

With a list you have marketing power and can even participate in joint ventures.

Without a list you have to buy advertising or do other forms of free marketing to get the word out.

Those work, and they work well, but they are much harder. So why not take the easy route?

The reason for list building is economic, plain and simple. If you want a real freedom the best way is to have a list of your own. In 2006 I made a full time living with a mailing list of only 12,000 people. This can be done!

You can do it too!

There is no doubt that the single most valuable asset I own online – more valuable even than owning the Directory of Ezines – are my mailing lists.

With them I can build, or rebuild, a business. Without them I’m back at square one.

But what if you don’t have a list yet?

First things first – everyone who has a list now was in your shoes at one point. We all started with zero subscribers and had to learn the fine art of list building.

The good news here is that it’s not as hard as you think if you are willing to use the “slow and steady” approach instead of they hyped up “go from 0 to 100,000 in 90 days” approach.

One word about “slow and steady”. While I am not advocating taking any longer than needed to build your list I am saying that putting time on your side matters … a lot.

Think about how long you have been trying to make money online. Now thing about this – what if you had added only 200 people a week to your list every week of that time? How many people would be on your list today?

For many the answer is thousands and thousands.

There are many ways to begin building your list – too many to cover here. So today let’s look at four free ways that really work. 

Full disclosure: I used each of these when starting to build my list and still use each one of them today. They work!

Here are four simple ideas you can use today to start building a list of your own even if you don’t have any money to spend, a website of your own or any traffic!

But first, what do you need to get started?

It goes without saying that you will need a landing page and an autoresponder before you begin building a list of your own. You will also need messages to send to your new list.

These things are much easier than they used to be and both are covered in other articles on this blog.

Suffice to say that if you have Aweber you are good to go from a technology standpoint.

With Aweber you can build unlimited lists and they will even host a basic lead capture page for you free. 

Many people don’t know that Aweber will host your form for you but they will. This means you do NOT need a landing page other than the one they provide if you do it right. What they provide is basic, but it works and is included in your service so there is no cost.

That makes life so much easier!

Now to the four ideas for today. These tactics work for me and have for years. I hope they will work for you too.

Idea 1 – Your Email Signature Line

Go to your “sent email” folder right now and just scan the email you sent in the last month. If you are like most of us its hundreds of emails. Maybe thousands.

But does your email does include an offer for someone to join your mailing list?

It should!

Here’s why …

If you send only 20 emails a day (including replies) then you are sending over seven thousand emails a year!

What if only 1 in 7 people saw your link and joined your list?

That’s over 1000 subscribers to your list … free!

You may be thinking that many of the emails you send are to friends and family. Or that you send many emails to the same person. I thought that too.

But one thing to consider is this – if you add an offer to join your list to your signature those who are interested will take it up and those who are not will ignore it. This is perfect because people are self-selecting, which is the essence of permission-based marketing. 

You will find, as I did, that people will occasionally forward your email as well. When that happens an entirely new audience gets to see your list building offer. It’s a win-win.

And it costs nothing!

Idea 2 – Forums and Blogs

Ever visit a forum and ask a question? How about making comments on the blogs you follow and love?

Many people have done one or both but don’t leverage the experience in their favor.

Just about every forum out there offers a signature line feature, yet we see thousands of posts with no signature.

Almost all blogs encourage you to enter a URL when you comment but many comments contain no URL at all, when they could easily include the URL of your squeeze page or Aweber hosted form.

Don’t make this mistake!

If you post on the Warrior Forum or Michael Green’s How To Forum or any other, make sure to include a link where people can join your list.

The same thing goes for commenting on your favorite blog like Copyblogger or Chris Brogan’s blog.

Again, free and very effective. Put time on your side with this one!

Idea 3 – Twitter

Ah, Twitter – friend or foe? Great marketing tool or total time waster?

Great marketing tool!

Here’s how you can use Twitter today to begin building your list with no money. 

Start following people you know of and replying to their Tweets.

Make sure your reply makes sense and won’t waste people’s time.

Post fan Tweets – replying to a Tweet with something like “loved your book about ___” are 100% okay and often much appreciated.

Once you have been following for a while you will get followers too, and become a recognizable name in your circles.

When that happens, send a short Tweet about your new mailing list and where people can join it.

If you want you can even automate this process by using a service like Hootsuite or a software like TweetAdder.

The key here is to create curiosity which creates the click and that leads new visitors to your squeeze page.

And it can all be automated! 

Of course you can use other social media to accomplish this as well. Other articles will cover those methods. But I find that Twitter is the easiest way to start for someone just starting out, hence the specific suggestion here.

Idea 4 – Your Blog

If you don’t have a website you might be thinking “sounds good Charlie but where do I send them to sign up?”

Fair question.

The best answer is your blog.

If you don’t have a blog there is simply no reason to wait any longer. Go to and get one now. It’s free, they have templates you can use that look professional.

If you don’t like Blogger you can use a service like TypePad to host your blog.

Another option, if you have hosting, is to use an excellent theme from Studio Press (that’s what I do) or use Optimize Press or the Socrates Theme. The last two are highly optimized for online marketers.

The advantage of having a blog is that you can use it as a landing page only OR publish a full-on blog and build your audience even faster. 

Options are a beautiful thing! With one hosting account you can have an almost limitless number of blogs in various niches. You can create virtually any number of squeeze pages too.

If you can type, you can blog. And you should. Once you get a blog just put a form on it for your list and you are good to go!

So there you have it, four ways to begin building a real list of your own with no money and no traffic!

  1. Your email signature line
  2. Forums and blogs
  3. Twitter
  4. Your own blog

Begin using these methods today and you will put time on your side. Sooner than you think, you will have a mailing list of your own.

Once you have a list of your own the possibilities become endless. You can take polls to uncover needs, offer recommendations, warn them of online scams and so much more. All free!

And having a powerful mailing list is a beautiful thing indeed!

Read it on the Charlie Page blog here.


Hey there it’s Franco again…

You know, I’ve focused my entire time online on learning a variety of ways to keep building my list and I’m glad I have. I’ve met other people online who didn’t focus on this and it’s never a good thing.

Even people who have hit a good program at a good time and made big money (for a while) later have changes happen. And if they didn’t build their own list, they have no way to recover as their income plummets. They have no control and they crash and burn. Many I’ve seen quit the entire industry and leave to get jobs again.

I didn’t want that to happen to me so I took different counsel and took action on mastering the art of building my own list. You have to build your own list. I can’t ever emphasize this enough.

Being also an entrepreneur and an affiliate marketer, I wanted to figure out a way to build my list by helping other people build their lists, and getting paid every step of the way.

So what I found was that by being very specific about what tools and systems I used in creating my list, I ended up cracking the code on having “list building” pay me.

Here’s another quick lesson in success or struggle online that most fail to learn…

Most people coming into the space, for some dumb reason, think they have to skimp and be cheap on their business and their tools and their education.

That’s really dumb thinking.

It comes from people that have some kind of “scarcity thinking” working in their belief systems from years of running to Walmart or Costco or other discount stores and trying to get everything on the cheap.

Cheap is very expensive here in this business.

How does it end up working here?

Well, people start running all over the internet taking bad advice from other cheap-minded broke people and try to get everything for free or don’t have the vision to see the power in having good, solid, stable tools that also include a rich and deep compensation plan.

Instead of investing in good tools and systems that include leveraged affiliate referral commissions, they think they have to reinvent the wheel or build things “on the cheap” so they have no “payments” to keep up with.

Here’s where that thinking is dead wrong if you’re interested in actually making money.

1. We’re talking about list building.
2. So the goal is to build a list.
3. If you use good tools that pay great…
4. And they help you build your list.
5. You now have ways to monetize that list building…
6. By offering your list, the same tools and systems.
7. Your advertising costs to get traffic…
8. Gets monetized as those leads by tools & systems.
9. Good systems also have great upsell funnels…
10. And that’s how a $30 sale can turn into a $3,000 sale.


That’s the formula for going full time fast.

So don’t skimp on your tools and list building systems.

In other posts, I’ll expand on that and share with you exactly how I’m setup and why I use a traffic system (to get traffic daily) and a list building system (to build my list) and a blogging and education system (to post my content and drive higher commissions sales in my business) and I use them all together in ONE SYSTEM online that’s allowed me to get full time and stay full time for over 14 years.

I didn’t come here to nickle and dime myself and work my butt off for peanuts or in building “down lines” that fall apart and give you absolutely no control over your business. I’ve tried that again and again and it’s just NOT what I came here to do.

I came here to build a simple way to create cash online so I can live a life worth living with my family… NOW and not in some mystical 3-5 years that turn into 15-20 years of empty chasing holy mlm grails.

So here’s what I use now to build my business:

1. I use this list building system.
2. I use this traffic and  training system.
3. I use this training offer to monetize my list fast.

In the next post we’ll talk about my traffic systems and which would be a good way for you to start generating daily traffic and leads into your business.

Talk next time.


c: 760-271-2810

Pammy and Sammy

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About the Author

Hey there I’m Franco Gonzalez. I can help you make money online and simplify the whole thing. I’ve been teaching this full time for over 14 years. Grab my eNewsletter first for tips and basics. And if you have any questions, just ask me. I’m always on Facebook.