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List Building With Social Media

List BuildingList building with social media is an excellent way to harness your following through natural, organic means.

List building, in fact, may be the single most important strategy that most online marketers, bloggers and network marketers need to develop. 

That’s why so many entrepreneurs spend tons of money advertising.  It’s not to sell products and services as much as it is to get people to join their email lists.  Then, they work hard to convert those subscribers into buyers and clients with great email content.

While there’s nothing wrong with spending tons of money to build your list, I know most people don’t have tons of money budgeted for this purpose.  That’s where free, organic list building with social media comes in play.

There are two main tactics marketers use to build their list with social media.

Link Dropping

The first method is what I call link dropping. 

It’s used primarily by novices, and others who don’t really understand the power of social media marketing.  Unfortunately, it is often the only method that a lot of folks ever learn.  So it’s the only one they use.

Link dropping is the tactic of blasting links to squeeze pages and sales pages all over the place.  So, say you are an affiliate of a Clickbank product called ABC, and your affiliate link is “ABC.com/your affiliate id”.

How do you get people to buy ABC?

With this method, you go on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites and post a whole lot of status updates and tweets.  They all say essentially the same thing. 

It goes something like this:

  • I can’t believe how great ABC is.  Check it out here: ABC.com/your affiliate id
  • I made $250 this weekend by just sending out a simple email.  Here’s how: ABC.com/your affiliate id
  • This is the fastest way ever to (loose weight/make money/get a date)… ABC.com/your affiliate id
  • The idea is to blast these links out in as many places as possible, and as often as possible

Link dropping is promoted as a legitimate way to promote products, systems and services.  It’s promoted as a “numbers game.”  The more links you drop, the more people will click, sign up and buy.  So maybe only 1 in a thousand people will buy from your link, but if you just get it in front of ten thousand people a week, you can expect 10 sales per week.  Send out more, and you’ll earn more.

This is not the way to build a serious, long-term business. 

People will tire of seeing all your promotional links.  They’ll report them as spam.  They’ll ignore them.  You’ll find it harder and harder to get them seen, and run the risk of being banned from social sites for spamming.

Those who promote this type of activity don’t usually care about your reputation or if you get banned from Facebook or other sites.  They are just looking for short term gains by getting a lot of people to drop links that will help them sell their products or promote their business opportunity.

Relationship Building

The better way to build your list using social media is to concentrate on building relationships with people you meet there.

People are far more likely to buy your products or sign up for your business opportunity if they know who you are.

Talk with them on social media sites.  Find out what they like, what their concerns are, where they live.  Address those things in your posts and comments.

Don’t complicate or over think it.  Just be casual.

Things like this:

  • I see you had a big snow storm yesterday, how are you doing?
  • I know you love horses, so I thought you’d like this.
  • Congratulations on your son’s graduation.  I can’t wait to hear how it went.

Take your time, enjoy yourself   Building strong relationships is what will move people into your camp, to buy your stuff and sign up for your business. 

Put some effort into maintaining the social media relationships your create.  It may take some time today, but it will pay off tomorrow in many more ways than just making a sale.

One of the important things to do is to make this effort on a daily basis.

Post a status update on your Facebook timeline, or on your Facebook Page, two or three times a day.  Tweet consistently in the same manner.  Contribute to your other social platforms in the same way… YouTube, Pinterest, whatever you use regularly.

Make sure all your social shares do several things:

  • offer updates in your niche (ie., “did you hear the latest about ____?”)
  • showcase your personality (be social)
  • create your brand as an expert, authority, as entertaining or whatever your brand is.  Do this by being informative.

A particularly good way to accomplish your goals, is to offer lots of valuable information to people in your niche.  Find them in groups, circles, lists and so forth.  Wherever people of like interests congregate.

So if you’re branding yourself as a weight loss consultant, hang out in communities where people are interested in health, fitness, and exercise.  Engage in conversations about weight loss when appropriate, and offer advice, valuable information, cool diets, recipes… anything that might have people in the niche view you as an authority who is willing to freely share value.  

Be personable, share your knowledge, and start making some friends and building lasting relationships.  You can further increase engagement by being humorous, friendly and approachable.

Social Media Strategies

Once you’ve engaged with folks for a while, and have built some good will on social media platforms, you can start your list building campaigns.

This is where you can actually combine the link dropping and relationship building tactics.

While I clearly prefer building relationships to just dropping links, when it’s time to build your list you need to start linking to squeeze pages.  That’s where people can sign up to join your email list, usually in exchange for something you’ll give them.

Sharing squeeze page links with people who you’ve already developed some rapport with, is entirely different than blatant link dropping on folks who don’t even know you.

Don’t think you can never share list building links, just do it the right way.  When you do, people will actually be happy to join your list and receive your emails.  Especially when you offer them something of value in exchange for their subscription. 

You valuable offer should be positioned as something that is a “must have” in order to gain a certain benefit, and of course, it needs to be free.

Something like this:

  • To lose weight permanently, you need to develop the right mindset.  Enter your email address and I’ll send you my free report called ‘How To Create A Thin, Trim Mindset’. 

So, sure, promote your offers and build your list, but do it with people you have some sort of relationship with.  Do it with a compelling free offer for something of great perceived value… and, oh yes… one more thing:

Only drop links to offers in 10% to 20% of your links.

If you do it more often, people will start viewing you as being self-serving rather than as an authority who willingly shares great information on a regular basis.

You can put links on social media platforms to drive traffic from your social media accounts to opt-in offers.  Just do it the right way, and you’ll be list building with social media in no time.

Do it the right way, and you can even generate viral traffic to your opt-in pages.  That works when people truly perceive you as a valuable go-to person, because they are far more likely to share your posts, even those with opt-in links, with their friends. 

Another way to make your social shares and link drops go viral, is to give clear calls to action such as 

  • “like this post”
  • “what do you think” 
  • “tell me your favorite___”

These engagement posts can  generate lots of talk, shares and even opt-ins when combined with list building links.

Keep in mind, too, that building your list of subscribers through value sharing and engagement will lead to more than just a list of people.  It will build a highly “qualified” list of people who have a sincere interest in your offers, and will therefore be more responsive. 

Being responsive in list building jargon means that they are far more likely to open your emails, read your newsletters, click through on links embedded there.  They will be more likely to buy your products or become paying clients. That’s because they have demonstrated a genuine need and desire for what you have to offer, by virtue of following you on social media sites, and then taking additional action by joining your list.

This just scrapes the surface of the many way you can start building a great subscriber list from your social media platform interactions.

I’ll be presenting a live webinar next week called

 “List Building Leverage With Social Media” 

I’ll show you in much greater detail

  • ways to bond and build trust with people on social platforms
  • methods for finding and engaging with people in your target audience
  • ways to create and give away quality offers that  will entice folks to opt-in to your list
  • enhance your reputation as an expert in your niche

Get All The Details here for “List Building Leverage With Social Media.” 

Your Blog Is A Sales Funnel

I’d love to have you leave a comment below.

Do you use Social Media to build your list?

What are your favorite List Building strategies?


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.


102 Responses to List Building With Social Media

  1. Corina Ramos
    September 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    That sounds like it’s going to be a great webinar Donna!

    I totally agree with you about building relationships first than link dropping. I’ve seen a lot of that and yes it is tiring to see. But I know that’s how some folks are trying to make money and I can understand that but if they’re in it for the long haul, I really hope they read this post and attend your webinar :).

    Thanks for those examples in your post. I’ve been doing the “like if you…” and have gotten some likes and a couple responses. The key is to not give up and eventually more people will engage. 🙂

    Going to pass this along! Have a great new week my dear!

    Corina Ramos recently posted..How To Tweeze With Ease And A Guide For Beautiful EyebrowsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Hi Corina,

      Oh that link dropping drives me crazy too! Even if one is not in it for the long haul, not may people will buy into something unfamiliar to them. I know I wouldn’t he he he.

      That is a great strategy you are using Corinia…the “like if you…” it does bring more engagement. And after all that is what we are seeking on the social media platforms.

      Yes, indeed, the key is not to give up and your list will grow organically with people that are interested in you.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  2. Harleena Singh
    September 29, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    That was such a lovely post, just like all of your others 🙂

    Honestly speaking, I’ve never really laid much emphasis on list building and that’s one thing I am now starting to learn and do, so I can understand all that you mean in this post. I’ve just been rather content and happy with the few subscribers that come in daily, even when I have nothing to offer them presently.

    I’ve always somehow felt (and I might be wrong!) that those who subscribe to your blog because you offer something free – might just leave as soon as they receive their free stuff, while those who come on their own, do so because they like what you share or write, and would always stay with you – just my thoughts about it. Of course, unless they are your friends and you know them from before. Perhaps that’s why those who subscribe, rarely leave my blog. I wonder what would happen once I try offering something free, which I plan doing once it’s ready, just to see how it all goes. 🙂

    You are right – the direct link dropping method on various groups or communities is rather short termed, and except for increasing your likes, doesn’t give you any returns – been there, done that! It was one reason I just removed all the social counts from my posts – so that there are no number games anywhere – just share the posts if you like, that’s all. Pure and simple is the best.

    Nothing works better than building relationships with each other, and I think most of us believe a great deal in this one sure method, don’t we? I guess that trust factor develops with time as we bond better, through our blogs, comments, and social media. Those small updates and messages, the interactions etc – all adds up to making it all so much better. So, if after knowing each other so well, we have to go ahead and sell something, I am sure the other person would take it up, if they need it, without any hesitation because they know and trust you so well.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..8 Action Tips For Guppy-Bloggers In An Ocean Of SharksMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Harleena,

      I’m looking forward to your testing your list. It is always good practice to offer something “free” to get people who know you to sign into your list. But one needs to have a sales funnel in place in order to sell anything.

      Working backwards is the way to go. You have a product and/or service you want to provide, it is your highest ticket item. But you don’t give that to people on your list right away.

      Of course, your list is there for engagement. So you engage with those people before anyone via email. Then 10% of the time or 20% of the time you can offer them a product/service.

      Sounds pretty simple Ehh? But it is really not. It is all about having a plan.

      When it comes to Social Media, one example I just love is using my Facebook Page. I engage there all the time, but once every 10 days or so, I prompt my readers there to click my product on the left side where there is an app.

      People are coming in all the time and some don’t know that I have my own products, so I gently introduce them to it. That’s the “free” way of doing things. But it sure is working for me so I like to pass it on.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  3. Marquita Herald
    September 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Great advice as always and as anyone can see who follows you online you practice what you preach Donna. I’m so glad you provided such a clear explanation of the types of interaction because it’s so easy to stray too far over the line either way. I never see much written about frequency, and I realize to a degree this is personal preference but as a reader I find too many updates nearly as annoying as spam. In fact over the weekend I unfollowed several people who post update after update of just fluff stuff. Sounds like you’re webinar is going to be a must for anyone serious about growing on social media!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Are You Having Fun Yet?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 29, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      I know how you feel. Especially on social media where we share inspiration, some funny stuff, and bits of our own life. It is supposed to be social!

      When all I see is update after update about the greatest shiny thing I too have to un-friend them.

      Even on Business pages like Facebook, there is a special way to increase engagement, thereby increasing reach. And it always follows the 80/20 rule!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  4. Sylviane Nuccio
    September 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    Great post Donna,

    You know back in the days and maybe til to this day, there were lots of gurus that were teaching link dropping, not understand at all the importance of relationship building. That’s sad, but I was taught that too.

    Once you’ve built those relationships and built your list, it’s much easier to squeeze your advertising, also called squeeze page along with some give-away and stuff.

    Call to actions work. We always hear that. Just tell people what you want them to do and they’ll do it, rather them expecting them to do it on their own.

    There is a good doze of efforts involved in everything we need to do in order to be successful online. Forget about link dropping 🙂
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How To Captivate Your AudienceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 29, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      Unfortunately, I still see it going on. I know it was something that was taught back in the day when we all started, but it never sat quite right with me, so I’ve never done it.

      Relationship building was what always came naturally to me no matter what people were telling me to do and how to do it!

      It’s a good thing too! But I see it going on, especially when there is a major launch somewhere. My goodness, everyone floods the marketplace with the same link. It makes me crazy!

      I do agree that CTA does work especially when we do it sparingly. And you sure are right when you say there is a good dose of efforts involved in everything we need to do for online success.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  5. Adrienne
    September 29, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thank goodness I don’t see a lot of that link dropping anymore. I guess that’s because I’m mostly connected with the people who know better. But as you said, building those relationships with people does take time but it will all lead to that too. It’s so nice isn’t it.

    You are spot on about offering them something for free that will benefit them greatly. Because you are hopefully building a relationship with them though they’ll want to stay on your list because they’ll appreciate what you have to share. That’s been my experience at least but it wasn’t always that way. In the beginning I did all that link dropping because that’s what I was taught too. I hope more and more people will learn the right way to do this though and follow your lead.

    I know you’re webinar will be great, you always teach great stuff. Hope you get plenty of signups my friend.

    Great share, thank you so much and you enjoy your week.

    Adrienne recently posted..How To Find Your Unique VoiceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      Because I have been working with new bloggers and more and more affiliate marketers, I had to give this subject particular attention.

      One but shout out once again to tell people “Please don’t link drop!” Not to me, nor anyone else because it just doesn’t work.

      There must be people still teaching this method because I’m seeing it. Hopefully this post will have a reach for all those that are doing it so that they won’t ruin their branding.

      Thanks so much for all your support!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  6. Kyle Nelson
    September 29, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    I am bookmarking this article for several reasons. The main reason is I am going to share it with people just getting started for the first time online. So many individuals simply don’t understand the value of creating a real relationship online with others. Many times most jump in and start link dropping and have no strategy at all. This article is a great starting point for anyone to read while they first get started. I bet the webinar is a huge success as well since the article alone as so much to offer! Thanks for the valuable info!
    Kyle Nelson recently posted..10 Ways To Get More Followers On InstagramMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 29, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      Hi Kyle,

      The reason why I wrote this article is because I’m seeing too much link dropping on social media lately. Seems to me whenever there is some kind of launch approaching, the social media sites are saturated with the same darn link.

      Plus, there are STILL people teaching others to link drop. There were a few that even tried to get into this post lol. But unfortunately, although I like them, I could not allow their comment on because it went directly to a sales page.

      Go firgure?

      Thanks for your support,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  7. Leena Shah
    September 29, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Hi Donna :

    This is Wonderful Great advice as always and as anyone can see who follows you online you practice what you preach Donna. I’m so glad you provided such a clear explanation of the types of interaction because it’s so easy to stray too far over the line either way. Thanks For Sharing me keep it up i like it

    Leena Shah
    Leena Shah recently posted..How To You Must Start Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 30, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Hi Leena,

      So glad you liked this post. When it comes to list building, it is the backbone of your business. To do so, one has to be ethical and write to people, giving them the best content you know how.

      Eventually, over time, we grow and as long as we don’t throw links at other people, we will be a solid business.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  8. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    September 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm #


    I love what you are teaching and sharing. In my group, I have to continually teach and remind people to build relationships. So many people think that all they have to do is drop their link and disappear and somehow, people will flock to their offer because it is needed by everyone. Even if someone has the greatest articles, products and the most transformational services, without first building relationships most people will never actually go to your page and view what you are offering.

    Thanks for a great post and your webinar, I know, will be offering some incredibly valuable insights from someone who is walking her talk.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..All You Need Is LoveMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 30, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Dr. Erica,

      I am sure that you teach the people in your group how to build relationships. After all, you discuss relationships in so many different ways from personal to online. You are a master when it comes to this topic!

      What still gets me is that some people think that a relationship is just knowing another person online. You get a PM on Facebook, or even a comment on your blog whereby the back link goes straight to a sales page.

      To me that’s like a one night stand lol! Relationships on line is like dating and I know you can relate to that! It takes a while to get to know a person. If a guy takes you out and buys you a glass of wine, then expecting you to go home with him, the reaction is “What are you thinking?” And we walk away.

      On the other hand, if you go on a first date and have great communication (which is the core of a relationship) you are going to see him again.

      OK…I know I’m getting carried away, but I’m an avid reader of your blog and relationship issues when it comes to love are crossing my mind!

      Have a wonderful week ahead,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  9. Barbara Charles
    September 29, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I never did understand out the link dropping thing. I guess I was taught that this was spammy right from the start so I was never one to do that and I do hate it coming from others, so you’re right.

    Definitely building relationships is the way to go however, it takes a while and that may be why people are so hesitant to do it. It takes time and patience. I’m glad you’re doing the webinar and I’m looking forward to attending. Keep us posted.

    Barbara Charles recently posted..Eight Strengths of a Successful EntrepreneurMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 30, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Barbara,

      When I started I was told to drop links, but never did because it made no sense to me. Because you have a corporate background, you know darn well how things work, and thank goodness no one ever told you that! I’m sure if they did you wouldn’t do it because you do have the insight of business itself.

      Yes it does take a while and we need patience and persistence. You have proven that when you wrote about the company you were working with and people were calling you at 4 am lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  10. Reginald
    September 29, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Thanks for sharing this. I love the part about the CTA thing. Sometimes all you need is to write “Check this out” at the end of the sentence and social update and people will click it.

    Of course, easier said than done! However, don’t give up as that’s all the A/B testings and fun stuffs!

    Great write!
    Reginald recently posted..3 Amazing Tools To Manage Social Media Accounts In One PlaceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 30, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Hi Reginald,

      Yes CTA…as you mention is “Check This Out” sometimes and that is all you have to do. It’s a great way to get those clicks!

      Yes, it is easier said than done but we must do so. I must say I didn’t realize how much fun that A/B testing would be! My first reaction was “no way can I do that” but now it has become an obsession. lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  11. MSI Sakib
    September 30, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    Good Morning Donna Merrill,
    This is first time I visited your blog and amazed to see such helpful article by you. List building is the core task of affiliate marketing. I am on the way of list building. Your this trick of list building via social media will help me a lot to achieve my target. Now I think, I need to have regular visit to your blog.

    MSI Sakib

    NB: I read about you in Muki’s blog and got your article’s link.
    MSI Sakib recently posted..6 Tricks to Get High Quality Backlinks by Blog CommentingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 30, 2014 at 11:57 am #

      Hi MSI,

      Welcome to my blog. It’s nice to know you found me from Enstine Muki’s site. List building is what we all need as marketers. The best is that if someone is attracted to us, they will opt-in somewhere along the line.

      And when you start building your list, cherish those more than anyone else! For they are the ones that made the first step!

      Looking forward to seeing you again,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  12. Atish Ranjan September 30, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Impressive Post Donna! I agree with what you have said about link dropping. Yes! relationship works as I have already experienced it. All the strategies you have mentioned are good and you have well explained but everything works well if they done in right way so the most important thing to learn is to choose the right way to do!

    Thanks Donna for writing a good piece of information.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..Baidu Browser: Faster and SaferMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Atish,

      True…the most important thing to learn is to choose the right way! I just cannot believe how many people still didn’t catch on to link dropping and how it just doesn’t work!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  13. Neamat Tawadrous
    September 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great Informative Post as always.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on the relationship building. Relationships are so vital for every single business that exists. Without them, there is no business as the link dropping technique is not less than a waste of time and effort and that effort if invested in building the relationships will be much more worth it.

    We all know that people do not like to be sold, they like to be heard and their needs addressed and the best way to address their needs is by first building a relationship with them. It will take time and hard work but it is an investment that pays off for a long time.

    Thanks Donna for a great reminder and the importance of relationships for building an organic following and hence building our lists. Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..Strategies For Self-Motivation For Leadership!!!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      Hi Neamat,

      Yes indeed it is all about relationships! It will take time, but it is worth it in the end. I was just reading an article in Forbes Magazine talking about big companies just catching on to this and how to build relationships with their customer base.

      I just have to laugh sometimes because bloggers seem to know this and have been applying it to their business. Then the “big corporations” follow.

      Thanks for adding flavor to this post,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  14. Mark
    September 30, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    Great advice Donna!

    It’s sad how many otherwise extremely capable marketers fall victim to the link dropping desperation marketing tactic!

    I can unfortunately remember how badly I started out so clueless on both twitter & Google Plus!

    Completely unsocial and just spamming away at the speed of clueless!LOL!

    But thanks to what I’ve since learned from the likes of you & David and Adrienne Smith etc! I finally saw the error of my ways! Thank goodness.

    It sounds like your webinar is going to be another one of information filled events!

    Thanks so much, for teaching me the the real meaning of “social media” and it’s incredible, low cost, high powered marketing potential!
    Mark recently posted..Three Incredibly Simple Reasons Why Your Business Isn’t As Productive As It And Should Be!Part TwoMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      That real meaning of social media took you a long way didn’t it Mark? I remember when we first met, and some of the clues I gave you. You took action right away.

      And that my friend has made you blossom! It is because YOU seen the error of what you were doing, and changed it around. Not an easy task, but you did it!


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  15. Kevin Duncan
    October 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Great look at social media and the best practices to use. Definitely, definitely agree with you. Link dropping without first building relationships is like shouting your URL out your window in the hopes SOMEONE will hear it and check it out.

    As you said, that’s no way to build a business! 🙂

    Hope your week is going well!

    – Kevin
    Kevin Duncan recently posted..The Howdy Neighbor TechniqueMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 10:51 am #

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for stopping by. I like the way you put it: Link dropping is like shouting your URL out the window and hoping someone will hear it”

      Exactly what it is. Relationships are the key. Even new people that come into my list. That’s where the relationship starts…not by selling, but rather by engaging.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  16. David Merrill 101
    October 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    I don’t think there is a better way to build your list than on social media, Donna.

    Of course, you can do paid advertising, and that probably brings in bigger and faster results, but not necessarily good quality results.

    When somebody sees an ad for a free offer, and signs onto your list, they’re likely to be interested in getting your free offer, and that’s it. Paid results often look like that. It’s not what we call in the industry, a highly “qualified” lead or subscriber.

    When somebody sees you on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube, etc…. They start getting to know you a bit first, then they decide to request one of your free offers primarily because they’re interested in YOU. They want to follow you and what you’ve doing more closely.

    Social media produces far more qualified subscribers than paid advertising. So, if I had a choice of owning a list of 500 people acquired via social media, or 5,000 from paid sources… I’d take the smaller list acquired through social media any day. They’ll be more responsive to future calls to action, they’ll actually open my emails, and they’ll be quite likely to buy in to some of my offers.

    Good post, and I’m sure you’ll be sharing lots more great info on how to make this all happen in your upcoming webinar. In fact, I might even join you there 🙂
    David Merrill 101 recently posted..Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      Hey David,

      So true, that social media will produce more qualified subscribers than paid advertising because people see you around, Many will even come to your blog, some will comment, some won’t. But as long as one has a strong social media presence, it’s all about branding.

      I never had paid sources and I am of the school of thought that I rather have quality than quantity.

      I love your last line lol…

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  17. Mi Muba
    October 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Hi Donna

    Social media is one of the best options to do the list building with a proper strategy on strong foundation.

    The most amazing aspect of this strategy is your constant working to grow your followers and expand your outreach. The option of reshare is one of the best benefits social media offer to send your message like a fire in the jungle.

    Money is in the list and huge list is in the massive efforts. You need to follow a multi-prong strategy to develop an awesome list.

    The main task is not just to create a wonderful setup to keep increasing your list. The big challenge is to take your offer to those who really want to be your subscribers and want to review your blog and your offers regularly.

    Thanks a lot sharing this wonderful post of huge value.
    Mi Muba recently posted..10 reasons you should not follow all popular blogs to earn moneyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 10:59 am #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      You are spot on! Although social media is a great way to get people on your list, it must be done with a strategy in mind. One cannot just have an optin and no sales funnel!

      It takes much effort to connect all the pieces together before you offer anything. I like to work backwards. I know my “end game” and where I would like to direct people to, but I do follow those golden rules when marketing.

      I also like organic marketing where people who are interested in ME will opt in. I’m not chasing numbers, rather qualified people to work with.

      Some will contact me and want to do that link dropping and I just tell them, if that’s what they are set out to do, I cannot help them.

      Thanks for your enlightening comment,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  18. Mary Austin
    October 1, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    wow, you offer some great tips here. Thanks.

    I had never heard the term, “Link dropping” but I recognized what you were talking about right away. I was taught to offer value and make it easy for people to ask for, or find the money links.

    List building is a tricky business, and you offer valuable ideas. One thing that I don’t care for is when I visit a website for the first time, and zap, as soon as the page loads, a floating subscription form pops up. I haven’t even seen the site to explore and know whether I want to subscribe yet. Give me a minute!!

    Here’s hope lots of folks read you advice because it is right on target.
    Mary Austin recently posted..How To Create Fabulous And Functional Signatures In Gmail, YaHoo, Hotmail And AOLMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      Hi Mary,

      It is a good thing you were taught wisely. Others in have been taught to drop their sales links all over the place and play a numbers game. This only fails when it comes to marketing.

      Yes, list building is a tricky business. There is so many pieces to the puzzle that we have to have ready before we create an opt in for our list. The best practice is to always be engaging and then 20 to 10 percent of the time we can offer something to our list.

      I think I write more on my list than I do my blog lol.

      I do agree about those blogs that have those subscriptions and especially the ones that you need to hunt down the little x to make it go away. Not a good idea when someone comes to read your content! Yes I have the same reaction…Give me a minute!!! lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  19. Kathleen McCormick
    October 1, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Thanks, Donna, for the good info and suggestions. It took me a while to figure out which people were giving advice that helped me do things in an organic and methodical way as opposed to quick and easy methods that could lead to losing credibility. It can be a mine field out there!

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Hi Kathleen,

      Yes it sure is a mine field out there lol. I have always been a fan of organic growth. I’ve done it with my off line business and still do it here on my internet business.

      It is receiving high quality people who want to purchase our products and/or services. I rather have them come to me, than me chasing down them 🙂

      Thanks for visiting,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  20. Erik Emanuelli
    October 2, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    Hi Donna,
    great post!
    It’s all about relationships online!

    It’s definitely worth creating new connections, instead working on link dropping.

    Engage, interact and talk to your audience.
    That’s the way to go.

    Thanks for the post,
    have an awesome week! 🙂
    Erik Emanuelli recently posted..8 Amazing Bloggers You Should FollowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      Hi Erik,

      Talking to our audience is the only way to go. I have created an avatar so that it is a constant reminder of the perfect target audience I talk to. The avatar is a little cartoon figure I keep on my desk top. It took a lot of work writing down who exactly I want to talk to. And I did plenty of research with my stats. So she represents a whole lot of characteristics 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  21. Catherine Holt
    October 2, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Hi Donna

    I made it back to your blog 🙂

    I see a lot of link dropping just like everyone does. However I never really see a lot of traction or social shares with them, so I think people are becoming a lot more aware and less tolerant of spam. I often wonder why they do it, as it doesn’t seem to show a lot of results (or maybe I am wring).

    The thing that always makes me smile is that if you were to meet someone new at work tomorrow, would you instantly be friends? Absolutely not. You would start with the small chat; what do you do, where do you live; do you have kids; etc etc, and over the next few weeks/months deeper conversations occur and a friendship develops.

    Yet…people then hit the online world. If they don’t make connections in the first week or so they say “it can’t be done”. Really???? Why do we have different expectations of the online to the offline world?

    Relationships take time, and social media is a great resource to meet some awesome bloggers. But effort and commitment is required to maximize it’s benefits.

    Thanks for sharing this!
    Catherine Holt recently posted..5 Tips for Turning Blogging Criticism into Blogging IncomeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Hi Catherine,

      Thank you for illustrating what this blog is about through your comment. I fully agree!

      My take on social media has always been walking into a party in slow motion. We are attracted to some people, and start conversations….”Nice shoes…” lol

      Others may be dunking loud mouths with a narcissistic personality….like the link dropper. And those are the ones that we sure do not want to talk to because we know darn well it will lead to no conversation at all. Only a display of behavior that is annoying.

      I wrote this post because I’ve been seeing tons of affiliate marketers dropping links and I sure thought that by this time, people who are teaching them would have changed their tune. But, unfortunately, these poor “victims” are being taught this way.

      Thanks so much for coming by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  22. Arleen
    October 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Donna- I am starting to go through my database of customers and we are sending out email blasts to them. We are starting to see results. Why not use what is known. I am also pleased to say that the relationships that I have built through blogging is paying off. I am getting orders and referrals, so social media is working.

    I am working on developing what is called recovery cart. When someone places an item in their cart and they leave, I will have the option to email them ask them if they would like to continue with their order and receive a discount or do they know of anyone who would like to order. You have to ask..
    Arleen recently posted..What Changing Fall Leaves and Your Business Have in Common | Managing Business ChangeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Arleen,

      It is so great to hear that your blog and social media is working well for you…Every business needs to be on this platform.

      I love the idea of the recovery cart. I’ve been on sites that have them and I know it will work well for your business.

      What great changes you have implemented Arleen…I am so happy to know them.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  23. Alan Jenkin
    October 2, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    “Link dropping” is a term I had not heard before, Donna – I like it! I have found Facebook especially prone to link droppers, and hope plenty of them read your advice.

    I noticed a recent tendency for people to drop links in comments to my Facebook posts, generally with no relevance to the post at all. If it happens three times, I unfriend them.

    Thanks for you recommendations on how to build relationships in the social media – rocket science it’s not, but suggestions such as you give are always helpful.

    Alan Jenkin recently posted..Happiness is a ChoiceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Alan,

      Oh my…when someone drops a link on one of my blog posts they get blocked! Especially if it is not relevant. Wow…three times? If it was from the same person, I would not only un-friend them, but also report them as spammers. Yes…I am a bit hard core when it comes to that.

      On rare occasions someone tries to link drop on the comment section of my blog…he he he I don’t let them in at all.

      But link droppers are all around the social media. And what does it say about them? It says that they are only concerned about themselves. Which…is not social!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  24. Karmakar
    October 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    When I first read the phrase “link Dropping” I started cursing myself – “Idiot why didn’t do that?”… But after reading your explanation I was soooo satisfied and thanked GOD – “I didn’t do that.. Bravo… 🙂 ”

    Yes… I think Relationship is a Long term strategy…. I started realizing that… 🙂

    Sound like an awesome webinar… Will try heart and soul to be there… 🙂

    Karmakar recently posted..Free Web Traffic, Enstine Muki’s Dream and My VisualizationMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 3, 2014 at 11:33 am #

      Hi Karmakar,

      He He, Link dropping is one of the most annoying things online. I don’t know about you, but when on the social media sites, it is just that…social. Now there is nothing wrong about telling people what you have to offer, but it has to be done in an ethical way.

      Yes…it does take time, but in the long run, we do get better clients/customers when we are building relationships.

      I still don’t understand those link-droppers. Sometimes it reminds me of a guy in a car beeping his horn to get a girl’s attention. Like that even works? he he he

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  25. Nisha Pandey
    October 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Very informative post indeed.

    You have shared some great ways to list building with social media.
    Link dropping is a amazing method to build an email list and sell our product. Relationship building is very needy of every success business. And, social media is a great method to meet others and form a good relation.

    Thanks for sharing the various way to drive engaged post. This is quite useful for me. I will surely try out to sell my product with these strategies..

    Have a wonderful day ahead!
    Nisha Pandey recently posted..Amazing Giveaway – Get Rankware Tool Free Membership for 1-yearMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 3, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      Hi Nisha,

      Link dropping only works if you build a relationship online and then, in time, can tell someone your offer.

      But when people just throw all their links around it is saying “By Me” and that just doesn’t work at all.

      Using social media, and building relationships online is the way to go these days!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  26. Don Purdum
    October 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Link marketing drives me CRAZY! There I said and I feel better now, lol… 🙂

    To me it’s the same old style of marketing as direct mail and cold calling. I have a friend in my networking team in DC that does almost all his lead generation through cold calling. I asked him how it’s working out for him?

    He said it’s tough but he’s an old dog in the industry now and it’s how it works, and he’s been pretty successful at it.

    I asked him how many calls does it take to get a qualified prospect? He said about 100, and out of those that qualify it’s about 1 in 20 that buy.

    So, I said, let me get this right… you call 100 people and tick off 99 with the hope of converting 1 out of 20. That means like 500 calls, right?

    Is it just me or is that a terrible way to build a brand?

    I feel it’s the exact same thing with link marketing. It’s absolutely no difference.

    As you said; “People will tire of seeing all your promotional links.”

    It’s so much better to give value and a reason for folks to join your list.

    I hope you have an awesome upcoming weekend Donna!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted..Why Your Business Should Be BloggingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 3, 2014 at 11:58 am #

      Hi Don,

      Thanks for sharing that story of how the “old dog” keeps plugging at marketing the old way. I could never understand it, nor do I have the stomach for it lol.

      Yes…get it out here because Link Dropping drives me CRAZY too!

      I cannot believe that so many people in the industry still do it online. It is common sense … what is the return? Who is opting into them? I don’t know, but I’m sure these are the people who never brand themselves and go from one company to another until they get fed up and leave…

      Sometimes I feel like a foot soldier on the ground of social media, trying to reach out to some people I know and tell them this. Other times, I just block them.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  27. Chery Schmidt
    October 2, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Hello Donna, What an great article, as you know I do love social media and do need to start thinking about creating a list. Yes I keep saying thinking about it yet have not take the steps to do so.. OH Well I guess when I am ready it will be done HUH?

    I just love your blog my friend, thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..September Engagement Report 175 Awesome CommentsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      I sure know how much you love social media…We chat things up all the time lol! And you do so very well my friend.

      Girl…you have so much to offer that creating a good list will benefit you! You do have so much to give to others, so if you are thinking about it….just do it and see what happens! I’m sure people would love to be on your list.

      That’s where they can really get to engage with you! Go for it!!!!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  28. di
    October 3, 2014 at 2:25 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Love this blog and so many great points.
    As usual your relationship building points are all so relevant and so “real”. Blogging, social media is just like talking to someone face to face hey
    Thankyou you Donna once again

    di recently posted..Values and how they affect usMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi Di,

      It is so great to know that you love this blog. Yes indeed being on social media and our blogs are like talking to people face to face.

      Once we have that mindset, it is a win win situation.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  29. Jackson Nwachukwu
    October 3, 2014 at 4:11 am #

    Hey Donna,

    That’s another awesome write up! List building is very core when blogging is concerned. I just discovered several mistakes I used to make when doing this. One of them is the link dropping strategy. Reading your tips on that factor has helped cleared me of some doubts about how best to go about it.

    I also like your style of doing relationship management. One thing I know you for is that you always practice what you preach. I have had several encounters with on social media even before I tied myself to your blog, and all I can say is that you are truly an engagement and relationship building icon.

    Always learning a new thing each time I come around Donna!

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful tips my friend.

    Have a very wonderful weekend ahead.

    Jackson Nwachukwu recently posted..What Super Engagement Bloggers Say is the Magic Ingredient in BloggingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      Hi Jackson,

      Indeed, list building is the core of our blogs. As long as we follow that 80/20 rule of 80 percent giving good content and 20 percent of talking about something we offer it is a win win situation.

      The main reason we want our followers and friends to join us in an opportunity is only because it will be a good fit for them. So we can write a post such as this which is native advertising and a pretty soft sell…it’s ok… Just keeping readers up to date of what I’m doing.

      Some may want to join, others not. But point being is that I’m sharing with my readers what I’m up to. Maybe giving them something they can do too.

      Social media is a great way to build a list. Right now I’m focusing on my Facebook Page where I’m getting lots of people joining me.

      Now I won’t just drop a link there, but instead have my product/services on the apps and direct them there with a CTA. I do that every 10 days, but each day I do have 3 to 4 different updates to get them involved…questions, information, quotes, etc.

      There is a strict method I use and am so grateful that it is working well.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  30. Andrew
    October 3, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Love this post. List building is so very important and you’re right, relationship building is the better way to go. I’ll admit though, although I haven’t heard of the term “link dropping” before, from how you described it, I believe I’ve done that before.

    And that clearly isn’t the best way to go.

    “Put some effort into maintaining the social media relationships your create. It may take some time today, but it will pay off tomorrow in many more ways than just making a sale.” These are some very true words. I’m sure those that only cared about the sale and not about building those relationships are paying for it now.

    Great post Donna, truly great.

    Hope you have an awesome weekend.

    – Andrew
    Andrew recently posted..How To Never Lose Your Blogging GrooveMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 3, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      Yes, list building is what we all aim at. We need to build relationships first in order to peek someone’s curiosity of what we are offering.

      When on social media, we need to put a lot of good social content out there. Then a CTA via our Facebook page, or Twitter cards, etc.

      We can even re-direct them to our blog!

      Yes, it does take time, but time well spent to attract those who want to work with us, instead of playing a numbers game.

      I rather have quality than quantity any day!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  31. Jeevan Jacob John
    October 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I don’t have a list right now, so can’t answer this question…but here’s something I have tried: Instead of just link dropping, why not talk about our newsletters?

    Some services like Mailchimp and Aweber do allow us to share our newsletters on Social media (I know that they are supposed to be exclusive for subscribers, but showing off one or two of these emails can be very helpful; I think).

    I have tried it, but haven’t measured the impact (I wish I could. Right now, I am not planning to maintain a list…perhaps in the future?).


    Now, that’s one powerful tactic 😀 I am doing great at building relationships through commenting, not so much with SM.

    So, I am working on that…tying that into our list? That’s even better. I like the examples you mentioned here – promoting the list without making it feel like an ad.

    Anyways, thank you for the wonderful post, Donna 🙂 Hope the webinar goes well.
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted..Some Updates!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      Hi Jeevan,

      It is so great to see you! A Newsletter works great! Creating a list by a free newsletter helps you engage with people who are attracted to you.

      This is where it really gets relationships going. Offering a newsletter with good content, then selling them 10 percent of the time on a soft sell is a great way to build a list.

      And yes, building relationships through commenting is golden!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  32. Monna Ellithorpe
    October 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great information. I have to admit to you that I save your emails that I receive to use as inspiration for my own (no copy, just inspiration).

    I do have a question. I have noticed that your subject lines are most of the time in lower case; is there a reason for that?
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..Getting Classes Ready For Book PublishingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

      Hi Monna,

      Good to know you save my eamaiils…shows me I’m doing a good job lol.

      I use lower case because if it is in all caps…it is like yelling at a person lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  33. Sarah Wainwright
    October 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I have really enjoyed reading this post and have learned some new ideas for promoting more effectively on social media.

    I completely agree that building relationships and your following is a far better way to market than just link dropping.

    We do have to share our links but there needs to be a balance there and more people will be willing to click your links and look at what you have to offer if they know, like and trust you.

    Thanks for taking the time to write such an informative post to help us understand social media marketing.

    Sarah 🙂

    • Donna Merrill
      October 4, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      I’m so happy you got something from this post! There are so many out there, especially when there is some kind of launch going on, flooding the social media sites with a “join me” message.

      Bloggers and marketers just see this as spam and they don’t have much of a chance getting a return. True, people will purchase from you if they know like and trust you.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  34. Ryan Biddulph
    October 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    The smart thing about this approach is that it’s inviting, a real attraction marketing way of doing thing. Helping friends sounds better than pitching strangers. Friends will help you in return by promoting you and by signing up for your list. If you pitch strangers, you’ll repel them and you’ll never make friends, and guess who’ll have like 5 subscribers on their list, if that?

    Look at people, not numbers. Rookie list builders forget that human beings expect to receive value, and expect to be treated like humans, before they build a list. They’re hungry to reach imaginary numbers, so they can make money, but numbers, or money, do not buy products; people do.

    People who’re friends will gladly promote you or sign up for your list, and some’ll buy your products, eBooks or services. With each of my Blogging from Paradise eBook releases I’ve noted a large number of friends picking up my eBooks. Up to #4 in the series now, and I’m seeing an awesome mix of close friends and new readers downloading my eBooks.

    Of course, many of those new folks mention that they found my blog and eBook through one of their friend’s profiles, on social media sites. The list building, and promoting, all is flowing along nicely because when I list the 1st item on my To Do List each day, it’s to:

    “Make Friends”

    You can check it, promise 😉

    Thanks for the fab post Donna, love it. Tweeting soon.

    Signing off from Savusavu, Fiji.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..5 of the Most Savage Thunderstorms I’ve Experienced During My World Travels (Plus a Critical Blogging Lesson that Top Earners Teach You)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      Yes the first thing to do is to “Make Friends” That’s the only way to go. Visiting other blogs and leaving a great comment (such as you did above) carries a lot of weight in your business. From one comment left, you will find that people notice it…come to your blog and see what you are all about.

      Happens to me all the time lol! And I’m sure you find the same. Make friends on social media! There is so much going on, it doesn’t take much to give a high five to a friend when they reach a goal or have something great to share.

      Give Give Give….without expectations, and all will be returned to you in time! That’s my motto!

      I never was a numbers gal myself. All I ever did since I’ve been on line was to follow the ethics and numbers grown organically. I really don’t want it any other way. It is all about Attracting. If someone thinks they can learn from me Awesome! If not…no worries.

      I just keep pin focused on what I need to do and that’s how I blog from my own paradise. Have laptop will travel my friend!



      P.S. BOOK #4 OMG
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  35. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
    October 4, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Hi Donna ,
    like always you give us great advice ,
    I like to read your blog and share it .
    And I learn a lot of new words 🙂
    You give very much value .
    Thank you for this
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted..We Are What We Think – Ways Of ThinkingMy Profile

  36. Akaahan Terungwa
    October 4, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Hello Donna,

    This post is a blast! And I stumbled across it just when I was thinking about building my list and was looking forward to doing it the organic way (I’ve found out that subscribers stay better that way).

    All thanks for the awesome tips…If I do remember, I’ll be updating you about how exactly everything has gone – in about a month’s time.

    Do have a very great day!


    • Donna Merrill
      October 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Hi Akaahan,

      You are correct about building a list the organic way! It takes more time, but eventually you will have loyal followers.

      So get on social media, find some friends, engage with them as much as you can and you will see that the end result is fantastic.

      Keep me posted!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  37. Lillian De Jesus
    October 4, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Hey there Donna,

    I love this post! Nothing annoys me more than link dropping. To me that’s just plain rude. No one likes to be SPAMMED. Building and networking relationships are definitely the way to go. People will sign up to a newsletter if they see the info you put out is useful and helpful to them.

    Thanks for sharing! Best wishes on the webinar.

    Lillian De Jesus recently posted..Getting Your Blog Noticed With Awesome Photos Fast & FreeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      Hi Lillian,

      I too cannot stand link dropping! If I see it too many times from one person, I block them. It is rude and makes the person look desperate lol.

      Yes, the only way to go is to build relationships and if someone signs in to your newsletter, give ’em all you got!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  38. Elise Cohen Ho
    October 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    As always, you give wonderful advice. I love that there are solid actionable steps that can be gleamed from your post and that you make it all very accessible. Great job, my friend.
    Elise Cohen Ho recently posted..The Mommy GuiltMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

      Hi Elise,

      I do try to give the best advice as I possibly can! I always try to give those actionable steps for those who just might need them!

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  39. Monisha Kapur
    October 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thank You for this insightful post on list building- the right way!
    I’ve never been a fan of link dropping, I wouldn’t do business with someone that constantly link drops, so why would I expect my customers to do business with me if I link drop?

    You are so right, it’s important to build a relationship with your potential client, be authentic and genuine.

    Thanks for the tips!
    – Monisha
    Monisha Kapur recently posted..What to Wear on A First Date (The “Non-Cosmo” Version)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      Hi Monisha,

      When list building, I do find that organic is the way to go. Hey that’s how I met you many years ago. We had a mutual friend, and she introduced us lol.

      Same applies here online. You write about fashion, because you are an expert at it. And girl, I take your advice seriously. Now, when I encounter someone that would need your services, I send them to you.

      This is how a good foundation is built upon business. People appreciate it if I send them to a professional that is not in my niche. They will remember me and thank me for it.

      Same goes with list building.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  40. Lesly Federici
    October 5, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    Hey Donna,
    My wonderful friend.. things are looking good here, and I love seeing your new product!! Such inspiration … everyone does link “dropping” and it’s an empty, hollow way to build a list. I find the best way is not only building relationships, but having a super give-a-way. Excellent suggestions! Thanks!
    Lesly Federici recently posted..Copywriting For Newbies Part 1My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      Hi Lesly,

      I like your idea of having a super give-a-way. That is one way to build a list! I thank you for stopping by and adding this suggestion to this post. It gives it more juice.

      Thanks so much for your kind words,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  41. Sarah Arrow
    October 6, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    Hi Donna, a really useful post Useful for two reasons. Firstly a lot of people drop their links and then people berate them for doing so. To me it’s not a capital crime, there’s worse out there… and secondly when I see someone do this I can now direct them back to your post so everyone benefits from it.

    • Donna Merrill
      October 6, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      No, link dropping is not a capital crime, but annoying as hell! I have seen those who are link droppers and then berate others for doing so. It’s crazy! I did have a few that tried to get on this blog but I didn’t let them in lol.

      As for sending them to this post? Hmmmmm thanks…maybe they will learn a thing or two!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  42. sherman smith October 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    This was a gem of a post!

    I feel like I’m heading in the right direction because I don’t really see the link dropping as much as I use to when i first started using social media. I must be really growing as a marketer huh?

    But yes, building those relationships are powerful when it comes to leveraging social media. Plus it’s a lot of fun. You get to see the person behind the business. I’ve met foodies, dancers, artists, musicians, athletes, mothers, fathers, you name it, social media has them. When people feel that you are genuine then this brings them closer to you and makes the trust stronger.

    Once this is done, you can then drop a link. If they can feel that you’re really trying to help them or at least show them some other options, then this will be a great reason for them to subscribe to your email list! This is not only business skill, but life skill as well!

    Thanks for sharing Donna! I hope you’re having a great week!
    sherman smith recently posted..8 Simple Doable Tips To Instantly Get Better Traffic To Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      I enjoy those relationships I’ve made on social media too! The foodies, dancers, parents, etc. All have so much to offer and share with us. It just makes me feel so grateful that we have access to people around the globe. Amazing stuff!

      I still see link droppers, especially when there is a launch going on. Now there is nothing wrong with launching a product, but if done wisely by branding oneself with a double opt in …. then it is not spam.

      Yes it is so true Sherman that this is not only a business skill, but a life skill as well!!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  43. sean
    October 12, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Ok I hold my hands up…I used to be a Link spammer haha

  44. David Bennett
    October 13, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    I actually haven’t been using social media for email signup links because it seemed like too much of a hit.

    I have suggested a link to an article on the site and then, once there, a visitor can decide whether they want to sign up.

    The downside of my approach is that I recognise that sometimes people need telling more directly.

    And you have made me re-think this and I shall follow your advice.
    David Bennett recently posted..With This Greeting Card, Tell A Friend You Are Thinking Of ThemMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Hi David,

      I do embedded links on my blog posts and also have a sidebar opt-in. But people are funny, they need to see it 3 to 7 times before it sinks in lol.

      On my Facebook page which is pretty active, I give that call to action once a week and it has been doing fine.

      Guess we have to catch them at every angle he he.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Thank You To Some Amazing BloggersMy Profile

  45. Kumar Gauraw
    October 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I’m late to the party, but this is such an interesting post. I have been using social media for list building as well. However, I had much of a success through relationship building through blog commenting, guest blogging and other ways of engaging with people on social media as well.

    I am not sure which method works the best. However, as I had shared in one of my posts, the signup rate on my blog is much higher from my about page.

    List building has become very sophisticated today and unless we really offer value, it is hard to build lists. Our posts, our activities online can yield bigger success if we are engaging with others to add value (as you pointed out) and if we have a strong personal brand identity.

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted..Yes! You Can Make Money Through Personal BrandingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Kumar,

      You are not late…you needed to get off the blogging grid for a while lol. There are so many ways we can build our list.

      Our blogs are at the center stage and I can see how you are growing your list that way.

      On social media it is a bit of a plan. Take Facebook for instance, when we are building a list there, we use our app. We have to post some good content for people to like and comment. Then, once a week or every 10 days we can give them a call to action to click that app.

      For me, many are surprised that they find my product there. It has been a good run so far using this method.

      And yes, we do need that strong personal branding…I just read your post! 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  46. Deborah A. Ten Brink
    October 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Hello Donna:

    I am just starting a new list so this post has a lot of value for someone like me!

    Link dropping on total strangers – I can see what it’s considered spammy. It’s in your face, pushy, and you didn’t ask for it. It has zero value. I can’t believe how many are still doing this type of advertising. Would they click on their own link? Would they find value in a click here link? Of course, they aren’t thinking about that. They are just thinking about the numbers and they’re gamblers! I don’t gamble. These type of marketers are “takers;” they only take and give nothing of value. I want a sure thing!

    Things are much more sophisticated today. People are used to link dropping and by and large totally ignore it. I know I do!

    You give a clear “how to build your list right” and I’m taking notes! I’m just in the beginning stages but it means so much to have instructions from someone who knows how to do it, has done it, and follows their own advice! (I’ve noticed there are those out there that give advice and then don’t follow it).

    Well, got to go! I have my assignment! 😉

    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted..WordPress Security Best Practices For New BloggersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      Oh those crazy link-droppers! I don’t see them much because I run with pro bloggers and lots of marketers, but from one group I am in ((wink wink)) I see link dropping all the time.

      Basically, it is a numbers game that doesn’t work. And if someone does sign up, there is no value because the person doing this is in it for him/her self.

      There used to be so much more of this going on, but with certain social sites link droppers beware because people like me will block them and even report them as spam if it gets too overwhelming. Yea…I do that sometimes!

      Good to know you found this post of value. Now back to your assignment lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  47. Mustafa Gaziani
    October 16, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Great stuff. No one can deny the importance of social media in today’s era. This is one of the best source to promote blog and get visitors too. However, it’s also very helpful to build list through it as you have well described in your blog.
    Mustafa Gaziani recently posted..Top 10 Blogging Mistakes That Screw Up Your Blog #InfographicMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 17, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

      Hi Mustafa,

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Yes to build our lists we must use not only our blog, but social media too. It all comes together like a circle.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  48. Andy Lockhart
    November 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm #


    Great post and you are so right about not just dropping links. There are so many Facebook groups that are just a link bomb frenzy and nothing else. No comments no likes, I always wonder how much success people see with that strategy.

    At the end of the day people buy from people and it doesn’t matter if that is off line or online.

    Thanks for sharing

    Andy Lockhart recently posted..Scheduling Posts on FacebookMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 1, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

      Hi Andy,

      I too always wonder how much success people have with link dropping. Maybe because it is a numbers game there will be some optins, but what about conversion rates? And most importantly how long will people stay with them?

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Perfect BlendMy Profile

  49. Joy Healey
    November 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    Hi Donna

    Thanks for an interesting post. I must confess I have focused more on my blog for relationship-building than social media – although I do belong to one or two Facebook groups where we help each other and they are great relationships that I value almost as much as my blogging friends.

    Perhaps I should be more responsive next time someone asks me “How are you” on Facebook. I may be missing out 🙂 Will give it a try.

    Thanks for giving me something new to think about.

    Joy Healey recently posted..Retargeting Advertising – Breaking News StoryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

      Hi Joy,

      Although we must be focused on our blogs, social media goes hand in hand. It is a place whereby you can connect with others to get that know/like and trust factor going on.

      It is lighter than our blogs and works well together in order to get our business going. (key word business) Because our blogs are part of our business model. Even for beginners.

      So whatever social platform you choose, it is important to make relationships there too. If you do the research, you will see even huge companies are doing so.


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