Why is it so HARD to grow my email list? (part 1)

This morning I read a question from a VERY frustrated subscriber who I'll call “Amy”:

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Why is it so hard to get others to opt in? I've tried freebies, download free guides, list… virtually nothing has helped. I don't have time to waste in growing my business and as a divorced mom this is essential to figure out.

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Amy, when I read this I could feel your anxiety just bleeding through my screen…

So I'm going to take some time and tackle this question over the next several days.

But here's what I want to say to you first:

Don't beat yourself up about this. Because you're not alone.

There are tons of entrepreneur “gurus” out there who make it sound like all you have to do to have a successful online business is throw up a few blog posts, stick a newsletter form on your website and you're off to the races.

Well that might have been true 5-10 years ago.

But the Internet has done some growing up since then.

Here's an example of what I mean…

The other day I was browsing a news site on my iPhone, and I tapped an interesting link.

BLAM!

My screen was JAMMED with advertising.

First there was a full-screen popup with a video. I had to wait for the stupid thing to start playing, and then try to click the microscopic X waaaaaaaaay up in the corner. (“NOOOO!!! I clicked the ad instead!”)

Then when the story loaded, there was a banner ad across the top pushing the site's mobile app (“no, I do NOT want to install your app to read your posts, I already have an app that does that, it's called “the Internet””) and two more popups stacked on the bottom.

That left me with a tiny little window to read the actual blog post through. And as I scrolled down, there were MORE ads embedded throughout the post, including hidden ones that expand when I scrolled to a certain point…

I felt like Luke Skywalker spinning and swatting to avoid blasts from a pack of Storm Troopers…

Now I know YOU'D never treat your readers like this.

But the hard truth is, this is the world your readers are living in.

They're used to getting slammed with advertising from every angle, and they've learned to tune out the constant barrage.

When they visit your site, it's like they have blinders on.

So while you're sitting there wondering, “Why isn't anyone downloading my amazing ebook?”

They're going, “Ebook? Huh?”

That's what you're up against.

The trick is finding ways to penetrate those filters WITHOUT annoying your audience.

Tomorrow I'll talk more about ways to do this, starting with the 2 main reasons why people are ignoring your sign-up forms.

P.S. I've tried a bunch of tools to help me to cut through this noise and capture more email signups on my sites, and there are 2 that I recommend.

The first is the Thrive plugin for WordPress, which I've mentioned before. Thrive lets you do just about anything you could want to do on your site to grow your list.

However… It is EXPENSIVE—the basic subscription will run you $228 per year.

If you have an established business, it's well worth it.

But if you're not comfortable shelling out that kind of cash, no worries.

There's a tool called SumoMe that does a lot of the same things—and it's completely free to install and use.

Even though I have a Thrive license I still use SumoMe on a lot of my sites because it's just so dang powerful.

Check SumoMe out here:

http://joshuaearl.com/sumome