Ever since seeing Melyssa Griffin's resource library for the first time (you can sign up to it here) I've been fascinated by its concept. There's a lot of blogs that give you a bunch of useful blog tips (hello, here, right here!), but you always gotta trawl their entire blog for them - and that's not what you always want to be doing. A resource library is a brilliant way to collate the bestest of the bestest content that you want to share with your readers and lock it in one place. But since my resource library is still in making I'm probably not the right person to tell you how to build one (and how to use it). Instead, I have my favourite girlboss Ana from The She Approach to tell you about what a resource library really is & how you can create your own.
Hope you enjoy today's blog cheat sheet read & if you do build your own resource library then please share it with Ana & me, we'd love to see it!
Before I dive in the technicalities of creating a resource library on your blog and how that can help you grow your email list (no matter what you blog about!), let me start by briefly explaining what they are and why are they important.
🖥️ WHAT IS A RESOURCE LIBRARYA resource library is simply a page on your blog where you list all the relevant tools you use and recommend to others. For example, I write a lot about blogging so I have an entire section of my resource library with all the blogging tools I use, from hosting to equipment, social media helpers and everything in between.
If you think that what you blog about can’t generate a resource library, think again! If you are a beauty blogger you can list your favourite places to buy new products or get discounts. If you blog about college or university you can mention tools that help you organise your time and assignments. If you’re a travel or mental health blogger you can link to resources that help you on your journey or the best books you’ve read on that topic. The list is endless.
The point is to gather all the tools and resources that are useful to you, and put them on a virtual shelf. Odds are that they are going to help someone else, and if your visitors are interested in your content, they are going to love this!
Still looking for inspiration? Check out my resource library!
🖥️ WHAT IS AN E-MAIL LISTI have no doubt that 99% of you know what an e-mail list is already and you are probably part of tens or hundreds. (If you want to know more about what an e-mail list is and why bloggers need one, click here)
Maybe you gave your e-mail address to your favourite online clothing store for a discount on your first order or to your favourite blogger in exchange for a printable. And ever since, you allowed them to send you updates disguised as newsletters with offers and new blog posts straight into your inbox. Sound familiar?
Now what do they all have in common? They give you something back in exchange for joining and keep offering you value with every newsletter.
🖥️ HOW TO USE YOUR RESOURCE LIBRARY TO BUILD YOUR E-MAIL LISTIf you read the post I linked to above, you know how crucial it is for a blogger, business owner or brand to build your own private e-mail list. And if you really want people to join, you have to offer them something upfront.
A resource library is such a simple thing to offer, it's what we call an “opt-in” (a motivator for people to subscribe to your blog) and is packed with information and resources that, since they will be around your blog content, will be particularly valuable to your audience.
The best way to go about that is to build your resource library on a private page (Wordpress, Blogger and Wix all have the option to create a password protected page and it only takes seconds) and offer exclusive access to it to your subscribers.
The way I went about that is quite simple and once I've set it up, I never have to worry about sending the password manually to the people that join my e-mail list. Here is how you can do it too:
✏️️ Create a resource page (don’t forget to fill it up with your most used tools, but don’t worry about it too much since you can always go back and add more useful resources).
✏️️ Protect the page with a password of your choice.
✏️️ Create an account with an e-mail provider. I recommend Mailerlite because it’s free until you reach 1000 subscribers and you get the free automation tool as well (plus the option to create about 4 different sign-up forms).
✏️️ Create a webform (a place where people can sign up to your e-mail list). I've put together an entire landing page for this which you can find here but I also have a sign-up form in my sidebar.
✏️️ Set up an auto responder for all the people joining your e-mail list and include the password and link to your resource page. This will automatically go out so you never have to worry about it again.
Ta-daaa! You’re done!
Do you have a resource library or an e-mail list yet? Have you ever tried using one to grow the other? Let me know in the comment section!
Ana is the lifestyle blogger behind The She Approach, a millennial website striving to inspire and empower young women in their endeavors by proving weekly blogging and university tips, puppy advice and much more.
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