The 3 Mistakes You’re Making Trying To Build & Monetize Your List (And How to Fix Them)

If you’ve been in the online entrepreneur space long enough, I’m sure you’ve heard, “how big is your list?” or “the money's in your list” - followed by all of the strategies to build and grow.

Who hasn’t?

And if you’re a high achiever and you actually manage to implement ALL of these strategies (Facebook Ads, Telesummits, JV Partnerships, Webinars, Teleseminars, Social Media posting, and everything in between) that's great.


If you're not actually making MONEY from these people, there’s a possibility that you have what I call an “Email List Leak”

How I Define An “Email List Leak”:

People unsubscribe just as much as they subscribe.
Your open rates and click rates aren’t good.
You hear crickets from your list when you try to sell something.

If you’re suffering from an Email List Leak, then this blog post is for you.

PLUS, I have a sweet giveaway of $1451 Worth Of Epic List Building Resources for you at the end, so stick with me!

Here are the top 3 mistakes I’ve noticed coaches make when it comes to building and monetizing their list, and how to fix them ASAP.

They’re such simple fixes, you’ll laugh at yourself for ever getting stressed about this when you’re done implementing (trust me, I did and so did most of my clients who tried these fixes).


Mistake #1: Where’s The Opt-In At?

Okay, yeah. It’s great that you have a leadpage to send people to, and it’s also great that you have an opt-in on the bottom of your site… But those two aren’t obvious enough to people that are landing on your website for the first time.

Have you heard of the term, “Above The Fold”?

Here’s how I think of “Above The Fold” - this is the top part of your website and the FIRST thing anybody sees when they land on your page. This is also the “make it or break it” section of your website. Seriously, nothing else on your website matters expect for this part.

This “Above The Fold” section needs to answer these three questions popping into your visitor’s head within a matter of 5 seconds:

  1. What is this website about?

  2. Is this for me?

  3. Why should I care?

Here’s my above the fold as an example:

Let’s answer the three questions using my site as an example:

1. What is this website about?
Having more time for your life while growing your business faster than ever

2. Is this for me?
Well, my ideal client is an online entrepreneur who’s feeling overwhelmed with work, systems, technology, and business - so that’s who’s visiting my page, then yes it’s for them.

3. Why should I care?
Because my ideal client knows they need to implement systems in their business so they can spend less time making more money while changing the world (which is important to them)

Let’s look at some of my favorite online entrepreneurs and see how their homepages quickly answer these questions:

1. Who It’s For: Infopreneurs & Bloggers

2. What It’s About: Monetizing Your Epicness

3. Why Should They Care: Because they want to have people find out how epic they are, how valuable their info is, and why people should buy from them (and they want a ninja sidekick to help)

1. What It’s About: Making Better Content (duh! and yes duh! is what we're going for!)

2. Who It’s For: Entrepreneurs, Content Marketers, anybody who wants to grow their audience and traffic

3. Why Should They Care: Because they want to make better content to grow their audience and traffic

See how simple this is? So here’s a cool tip for you...


FIX #1: Upside Down Homepage

Instead of having your blog as your homepage, and instead of having a large image with vague text, let’s create an upside down homepage.

An upside down homepage is just that - upside down. You navigation is at the BOTTOM (yup, you read right), and your “Above The Fold” section is the most important part.

I’ll be writing more blog posts specifically about how to design an upside down homepage on SquareSpace, but for now I just want you to focus on creating a killer Above The Fold section. Leave the navigation bar at the top for now if you don’t know how to place it at the bottom.

The #1 focus is answering those three questions and positioning yourself as the go-to person for your niche / topic / industry.

So start with answering those three questions:

  1. Who It’s For

  2. What It’s About

  3. Why Should They Care?

And include a juicy opt-in that they can’t refuse.

You can leave it at that and be done with it (I’ll teach you more at a later time). Look how simple Ramit Sethi kept it...

Mariah Coz at Femtrepreneur made it even more simple!

So implement the first piece of this, and stay updated on my email list to get a follow-up post on how to expand your Upside Down Homepage (it’ll be tons of fun, promise).


FIX #2: Add Content Upgrades

This is another quick tip for you.

Do you blog? If not, go down to mistake #2 right now. Come back and read this section when you’ve started implementing those fixes.

If you do blog, then you can immediately implement this one.

Start with your top blog posts (you can plug in your website at and see your top 5 blog posts for free), and brainstorm ways to add content upgrades.

What’s a content upgrade? Simply put, it’s a free bonus added to your blog post as an opt-in. It could be a PDF, audio, video - just like your regular opt-in, but tailored to the content on the blog post.

So for example, let’s say you’re a health coach and your blog post is about an awesome recipe you made. An easy content upgrade is the actual recipe itself, or a video of your showing them how to prepare and cook the recipe, or a printable shopping list. The ideas are endless.

You can see a clear example of this on one of my previous blog posts - My Epic 4-Step System For Getting 110% More Stuff Done. In this blog post, I taught how to create a system on Trello to be more productive and accomplish your goals. The content upgrade was a free checklist and Trello board template. This made it easy for my readers to take action and implement the strategies I taught on my blog post.

Here’s my content upgrade in the middle of the blog post:


Look at the spike in subscribers after I implemented content upgrades on my blog posts:

You can do this for just your top 5 blog posts, or you can do this for ALL blog posts (what I recommend). It’s pretty simple to create as you’re writing your blog post.

I’ll show you in Mistake #3 how to add the opt-in to your blog post.


FIX #3: Put Opt-Ins Front & Center

We’ve already got one opt-in up on the home page, but what about the rest of your pages?

Some other great areas to have opt-ins are:

1. The bottom of your blog posts:


2. On the side bar of your blog

ere's an example from Derek Halpern at

3. Pop ups before they leave your site

Here's an example from Lana at

And another from Lauren Zink at

These are just a few ideas and examples. I’ll show you how to create these opt-ins, pop ups, and more in mistake #3.


Mistake #2: They Signed Up For Your List… Now What?

If you’re blogging, you’ll benefit from reviewing this information and getting help coming up with ideas to write about.

If you’re not blogging and sending out weekly newsletters, here’s two words for you: START NOW.

Seriously, you can do everything to grow your list, and have the biggest list out of all your entrepreneur colleagues - but what’s the value of that if no one on your list is engaged - opening and clicking your emails?

The minute somebody signs up for your list, you need to be welcoming them, setting expectations, leading them on the path (usually to a product or course), and adding value CONSTANTLY and CONSISTENTLY.

If you’re not doing this yet, implement the following fixes ASAP:


FIX #1: Get Ideas For Content Creation

If you have no idea what to write about and send to your list, here’s the method I use to plan my blog posts months in advanced:


Make a list of your top 50 favorite websites that have to do with what you teach and what your target audience wants to learn from you.

For me, that’s everything having to do with technology, systems, and online business strategy and marketing. My list ended up being over 200... seriously… And if you’re addicted to learning and consuming like I am, this list will be easy for you.


Plug each of these websites into


Find their top 5 blog posts in the last year and 6 months.


Write down the titles that sound interesting to you and that you can teach.


Do this for all blogs until you have a list of about 50 titles.


Now take these titles and change them into your OWN words and perspective.

For example: One blog post I found was called, “How To Create A WordPress Website In A Weekend” - I found this post to be interesting for my audience, and something I enjoy teaching. So I took this and turned it around to my own expertise AND improved it - “How To Create A SquareSpace Website In Under An Hour.”

As you can see, you’re not plagiarizing (seriously, don’t do that!) - you’re getting inspiration for blog post ideas and topics, and writing it in your own style, voice, perspective, and expertise.


FIX #2: Send An Email Once A Week

Now that you have way over 50 blog post title ideas, you have something to write each week for the next year! Schedule in 30 minutes to write every day, and hit publish at the end of the week, every week, no matter what.

Your blog post can be short and to the point, or it can be long and epic (I mean really, I'm running on like 4 pages long and I'm not done yet!).

The email you send out is simply a summary of what you wrote, linking to the blog post on your website.

The only call to action on this email is to click the link and go to your blog. That’s it.

This gets your list subscribers into the habit of taking action every single week. And better yet, if they go on your blog and subscribe to get the content upgrade, that’s a SECOND action taken! That’s a win-win for you and your subscriber.

And it’s simple. It just takes your commitment to write a blog post and send an email out consistently, every week.

Once you have this weekly newsletter in place, you can take it to the next level by implementing this next fix...


FIX #3: Welcome Them To The Tribe

When somebody subscribes, for whatever reason they subscribe, it would be kind of awkward for them to start getting your newsletters out of no where, right?

Like who are you? And what’s the point of these newsletters? And how many emails are you gonna send me? Am I gonna be spammed? Unsubscribe...

Let’s fix this with a simple Welcome Sequence.

A Welcome Sequence is a series of emails that your new subscriber will get, BEFORE they start getting your weekly newsletters.

For example:

Upon Subscription:
A new subscriber opts-in to your website and immediately get an email that welcomes them, explains more about who you are, what you teach, and what they can expect from you. (That includes how many emails they’ll get, what content, and a pinky promise that you won’t spam them - ever!)

This is also the email where you’ll deliver what they opted-in for - a free PDF or audio or video, whatever you promised.

Two days later:
You send them another email - checking in to see how they liked their freebie and asking them a question: “What questions do you have about [your topic]” This is another GREAT way to get ideas for blog posts or newsletters.

Two days after that:
You can send them ANOTHER freebie (stack up the value and bonuses) and have them take action some how - post on social media and tag you, hit reply and write to you, join a Facebook group of yours, etc.

Another two days later (so we're on day 7):
Send an email linking to your top blogs in different categories, and tell them to click on what they’re most interested in. In the back end, when they click, it adds them to different segments so you can start to organize your list into interests. More on this later (promise).

This is just the start.

You can keep it simple and just do the first two emails, or you can do all of that and more!

The point is that this new subscriber will be welcomed and READY for your weekly newsletter by the time they get it. It won’t come out of no where, and they’ll be excited to receive it (and they won’t unsubscribe).


Mistake #3: Tech Issues Up The Wazoo

Yes, yes. I hear you. All of these fixes are great - but HOW do you begin to make this happen with technology?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered here.


FIX #1: ConvertKit & SumoMe

Every fix I mentioned to you can be done on ConvertKit or SumoMe.

Want to create an opt-in? ConvertKit has two ways and multiple options...


Want to deliver a specific downloadable when somebody subscribes to a specific blog content upgrade? ConvertKit has you covered...


Want to create a Welcome Sequence for new subscribers (or even a sequence for ANY opt-in)? Yup. ConvertKit.


Want to add pop ups and other opt-ins to your site? SumoMe is your best friend (and it connects with ConvertKit).

Here are some examples of SumoMe popups...

Welcome Mat:

Pop Up:


SumoMe lets you customize and create beautiful pop up opt-ins that DON’T annoy your website visitors and blog reader, and gets you more subscribers that regular opt-ins.

I went back through my history and found one of the first reports from when I set up these opt-ins. Check it out:

Welcome Mat:

Pop Up:

Scroll Box:

With these tools, you can start growing and monetizing your list better than before.

Since you made it this far, I’ve got an awesome giveaway for you...

FIX #2: Enter To Win $1451 Worth Of Epic List Building Resources

Enter for a chance to win and comment below explaining which one of these fixes you’ve implemented and why you want to win this giveaway!


Oh! And I'll send you a FREE Tech Toolkit as a thank you :)