Boss Ladies | Dana Jackson, Owner of Beneath Your Mask talks how Lupus lead her to her Purpose, Finding Fulfillment in Who You Really Are, and Starting a Luxury Beauty Brand

Boss Ladies | Dana Jackson, Owner of Beneath Your Mask

You all got a brief introduction to who Dana is and what she does in the post I put up unboxing her Beneath Your Mask skin and hair products, which I absolutely adore. Dana is a Chicago native that I was a fan of before I ever met her solely based off of her style, flawless skin and perfect natural curls. Beyond her physical beauty, Dana is a legitimate Boss Lady, who’s always lived without limits while going after what she wanted. I had the pleasure of getting some behind the scenes insight on what it took to put Beneath Your Mask together prior to its launch. Her incredibly inspiring personal story of how battling Lupus lead her to creating her own luxury beauty brand is one everyone should hear. She’s been mentioned by some of your favorite natural beauty bloggers and featured in major publications. Her latest accomplishment? Selling her Beneath Your Mask products in Neiman Marcus while sharing the story of what made her look beneath hers. Read more about how Dana’s life changing diagnosis changed her life for the better.

Women like us always have a vision for how we imagine our lives to go. As a young woman, how did you envision your future and what motivated you to go after those things?

I honestly didn’t have a clear vision of my life when I was younger. I knew what I didn’t want to be, but I didn’t know exactly what I did want to be. I always did well in school and loved to read and knew I didn’t want to be a product of my environment. I knew I wanted more for myself. I knew I didn’t want to have kids young. I knew I wanted to experience going away to college. But everyone around me was going to jail or being killed. My older brother was killed when I was 15. He always wanted the best for me. Always treated me like I was different than everyone around us, always had expectations of me. I wanted to make him proud.  I identified the women I did and didn’t want to be like. I remember like it was yesterday. I was 11, my mother told me my father was on drugs. He came home, they argued, he came upstairs and asked me for $20. Everybody knew I always kept a stash, I’d always get and save money. It was at that moment though, that I knew I was never going to be without and that I was always going to have to be able to depend on myself.

You are such a naturally stunning woman. Within a couple months after your diagnosis, most of your hair had fallen out, your joints had locked up, you had a severe rash all over your body, your eyes were swollen shut, and you retained so much water you had gained over 100 additional pounds. How difficult was it to cope with not recognizing yourself and finding the strength to not let it get the best of you?

It absolutely got the best of me. It was probably the most difficult part of it. I would’ve stayed in denial had the visual side effects not been so drastic. I completely shut down when my hair fell out. When my eyes were swollen shut, I would get out of the bed, look in the mirror and just get back in the bed and cry. I didn’t come out of my place for two weeks. I ordered room service everyday (my building had a hotel on the 1st 7 floors). If not for the physical changes, I would have probably stayed in denial much longer. That was my rock bottom and what caused me to finally accept help. I always used to tell my niece that she was more than her looks, but when I lost mine, I was devastated. I don’t even think I realized how superficial I was. But the reality is, I was more concerned with how I looked than the fact that my kidneys were shutting down. Over time, I let it go because I figured it would be my new normal. Not the swelling and the weight gain, but the round face and swollen stomach from the steroids. I had to let it go, I think God was taking everything I valued too much away, one by one.

Boss Ladies | Dana Jackson, Owner of Beneath Your Mask

While you were in Atlanta, you were doing what so many young women would describe as an ideal life. You were an entertainment business manager for some of the most popular celebrities in the music industry, constantly attending events, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, taking trips, while wearing your favorite designers and switching out Chanel’s. What about that was unsatisfying?

Don’t get me wrong, all that was amazing. But what you just described was probably 5% of my job, if that! The other 95% was literally revolving my life around not only the entertainers I worked for, but their parents, children, spouses, managers, assistants, attorneys, friends, chefs, band, crew, DJ, etc. all having around-the-clock access to me. And to each of these people, they’re a star in their own mind. It’s a lot of personalities to deal with especially when money doesn’t move around without you facilitating it. Everyone has their hand out, they think the money is endless, and in all the excitement of the entertainment industry, you’re the bad guy saying what they can and can’t afford, doing tour budgets and deciding salaries for band/crew, finding a tour bus, scaling back their production budget when they have a creative vision for their show, telling the production manager why he doesn’t deserve a raise when the artist already promised it, why they can’t loan their lifelong friend money again this month when the artist already promised it, waking up at 4 am because their credit card didn’t go through at the Balmain store in Paris. My life was not my own. I never went to the movies in peace, let alone took a vacation. I had to be available around the clock. Entertainers are so used to everybody jumping at their every request, and you feel the need to as well. I lived for it at one point and absolutely LOVED it, but it does get old and it can burn you out. I wasn’t choosing my clients and it’s really hard to dedicate your life to someone you may not believe in.

What was the toughest lesson that suffering from Lupus taught you? What was the greatest thing to come from your suffering?

The toughest lesson was learning who my friends were. I was already not the most open or trusting person, and lupus caused me to change what I considered a friend. I no longer have “fun-time only” friends. The ones that are just around when life is good and you have access to events, concerts, parties, etc. I don’t have space in my life for those type of friends anymore. I had people that came to ATL for my birthday in November, then I got sick a few months later and didn’t hear from them again until I started getting better and back to myself. I took it very personal at first, but I realize they would have done that to anyone. But regardless, I don’t make room for those type of people in my life. The greatest thing to come from it was losing my sense of entitlement. This world doesn’t owe me anything. I used to think that because I went through traumatic experiences growing up that life was supposed to always be good for me going forward. It’s made me a much more thankful person. I don’t take ANYTHING for granted.

You initially created your first product “Heal” to suit your own needs, after not being able to find what you were looking for on store shelves. At what point did you recognize not only a business opportunity, but the chance to serve others with the same needs as you?

I realized there was a business opportunity as soon as I started gifting it, I just didn’t really want to dive into it as a business. But people OBSESSED over Heal. It was the only thing that worked for their eczema amongst other things. It was expensive to make and I didn’t have time to make it. I’d try to find something similar when I would run out, but I could never find anything to compare. People harassed me about Heal for years. I also realized that God hadn’t helped me overcome my health issues just for me. He didn’t put people in my life to help me just for me. I knew it was bigger than me, but I didn’t want to revolve my life around lupus so to speak. I kept being led in that direction and my guru kept telling me I needed to write my story out. That’s why Beneath Your Mask is so much bigger than the products for me. It’s more about sharing my journey.

Boss Ladies | Dana Jackson, Owner of Beneath Your Mask

When you decided to turn your products into Beneath Your Mask, a business, what were some of the first steps you took?

I came up with the name, got my EIN number, formed an LLC, opened a bank account so that I could keep of all my business expenses separate from my personal expenses, I contacted an attorney that worked with some of my former clients to file the trademark for me, and then I started having the logo designed.

You say that your true healing began when you started to let go of everything superficial that you’d placed way too much value on, including the persona or elements of the mask that I wore on a daily basis. Why is this type of freedom necessary for women?

As women, there’s so much pressure on what life, success, career and family should look like for us. And even if we aren’t there, we’re trying to portray that to the world. Or at least I was. I turned 30 a few months before I got diagnosed and I was going through the “this-is-where-I’m-supposed-to-be in-my-life-by-the-time-I’m-30” blues that I swore would never happen to me. We put so much pressure on ourselves. I wasn’t on social media at the time, but even more so on social media because we’re always comparing our journey and our individual life timeline to the next persons. Removing that mask and beating to your own drum and what you want for your life is beyond freeing. Living your authentic life also attracts authentic people. Most importantly, God can’t work on your representative. He can only work on you. That’s where the name Beneath Your Mask comes from and why is was so important for me to remove the mask I was wearing. So much of my identity and value was placed on what I looked like and my career, but who was I without those things? That is the Dana I needed to get to, that God needed to get to.

Going from a business manager to creating, packaging and shipping your own handmade products is a significant change. Were you ever discouraged because you were embarking on something entirely unfamiliar, and how did you overcome doubt?

I was absolutely discouraged! I knew most wouldn’t see my vision because I was creating a luxury brand. I’d tell people that I was going to be in Neimans and Saks and people would look at me like I was crazy. Everybody wanted to know what was taking so long. But I obsess over the details, and I wasn’t putting it out until I was in love with it.  I went through 2 logo designers, 2 packaging designers, all my savings, I pushed my launch date back so many times, and all the people that were excited for my brand didn’t buy my products when I launched. I’d been running my client’s businesses for years and I’ve always been able to get to an answer or end result, so I knew I could do it if I just made it past the moments when I wanted to throw everything out of the window and give up.

What’s been the most rewarding part of having your own brand and doing it your own way?

We recently did a pop-up shop at Neiman Marcus Northpark in Dallas and launched on NeimanMarcus.com. That was a huge validation for me because a lot of people wondered why I had the audacity to be a black woman creating a luxury brand. To prove that our dollar can not only buy luxury, but create luxury, was extremely rewarding. I had a vision and was uncompromising on it. I did that with my own money that I’d saved, no investments, no loans. Day to day, not knowing how I was going to make it through the next day. We get discouraged sometimes when everybody doesn’t believe in our vision, but everybody doesn’t need to. The right people need to and most importantly, you need to.

Boss Ladies | Dana Jackson, Owner of Beneath Your Mask

Can you describe how much more fulfilling life is now that you know you’re walking in your purpose?

I‘ve had the sound and vibration turned off on my phone for the last 3 years, just because I can. I used to get anxiety when I got an email, now I love when an email comes through for my business. When someone reaches out to me to thank me for being so transparent because they can relate or how one of my products has helped them, it means the world to me. It lets me know that no matter how difficult, I’m doing the right thing. I fought this for a very long time because I didn’t necessarily want the responsibility. But God kept pushing me in this direction.

What is your B Werd?

I didn’t choose a word that describes women, I chose something we should all do. Believe resonates with me the most – Believe that you can have whatever it is you want for yourself and your life. Believe there are no limitations set on you. When I worked in entertainment, I realized these were normal people with massive success. That was the moment I realized I could absolutely have whatever life I wanted to have. Believe that God loves you enough to give you the world. My faith has been strengthened throughout this process. I used to rely solely on myself and now I rely on God. To have that pressure off of me is amazing. I’m normally the person that plans everything and has to know exactly what and how the next things is happening. Believing that God will handle it has taken a huge weight off of me.

Her best seller Heal is sold out on her website, but you can add it to your beauty routine by purchasing it from Neiman Marcus. All other products and more of Dana’s story can be found on BeneathYourMask.com. Follow Dana on Instagram to see what her brand is up to next!

Krystal Johnson: Legal Advice for Influencers and Business Owners

Over the past year, becoming an influencer and entrepreneur has opened my eyes to many things I wish I knew when I first began. Unfortunately, trial and error has resulted in me losing money, a lot of time and few really great ideas. Thanks to women like Krsytal Johnson, an attorney who specializes in helping people just like me, I’ve learned some valuable information that helps me protect my brand and avoid legal mistakes. I reached out to Krystal to ask a few questions that I felt would help you all from making the same mistakes that I did. Read below for some useful tips any business owner or influencer could use moving forward.

Legal Advice with Krystal C. Johnson | The B Werd

Introducing, Krystal C. Johnson – 

I’m an Intellectual Property & Entertainment Attorney and the owner of the Law Office of Krystal C. Johnson. My office is based in New York City and I work with creatives, small business owners, and influencers from across the country to develop and protect their brands and intellectual property (intellectual property includes trademarks and copyrights). Whether it’s drafting and negotiating contracts, registering trademarks/copyrights, or forming an LLC, I enjoy assisting my clients with any legal needs or challenges they may face.

From the first day of law school I knew I wasn’t going to be the traditional courtroom attorney. I’ve always felt drawn to providing counsel and support to those individuals with creativity and passion for their businesses and brands. Through my practice, it’s been most rewarding to aid my clients in achieving their goals and excelling in their businesses.

For business owners and influencers in the early stages of start-up, what would your first piece of advice be?

Starting a business and/or launching a brand can be a very exciting and stressful time. It’s vital to identify a clear vision of what your business/brand represents, who it serves, and what message you want to translate to the world. Identifying these three items will create a foundation for you to build upon. Of course, the business and answers may evolve over time (or completely change along the way) however, this framework will support your growth in the early stages and aid others to properly serve your vision and needs.

Also, don’t be afraid of writing it down – that goes for your vision and for agreements. If you have an LLC, an operating agreement needs to be in place to regulate how your business operates. If you are in a partnership an agreement is imperative to ensure that the parties are aware of their duties, responsibilities, and rights. While there are some States where oral agreements may be honored, it’s not worth the risk. Written agreements reinforce the vision and provide a standard to operate by. Save yourself the headache, frustration, and potential confusion by putting your contracts and agreements in writing.

What is the most common mistake you see new entrepreneurs and business owners make and how can they avoid that in the future?

Too often new business owners think that they can just “figure it out as they go,” and neglect to handle simple task. Be proactive, instead of reactive. Protect your ideas with the proper registrations. Ensure you are legally compliant with your state and local laws, as well as any other regulations that may apply to your business. Keep a good record of your contracts/agreements and other important correspondence. Don’t allow your excitement over an amazing idea overrule your preparation.

Another common mistake occurs when new business owners  and influencers are in such a rush to close a deal that they don’t thoroughly read or understand the agreements they enter into. Do your due diligence. If an agreement seems too complex, invest in an attorney review. Some attorneys may review a contract for a lower fee than their typical rate, simply to translate the agreement and review it for any red flags or issues. Remember, rushed and right don’t always match.

Many business owners and bloggers offer courses, workbooks, spreadsheets and other forms of educational information that they’ve created. In order to fully own those products, should they be following a particular legal route?

All of these products are considered a form of intellectual property and can be fully protected through the copyright registration process with the United States Copyright Office. By protecting your coursework with a copyright, not only are you securing legal evidence of ownership, you can also maximize the damages you may receive if someone unlawfully uses your work. Bloggers and business owners often undervalue their intellectual property until it’s infringed upon by another party.

“If you believe it’s a good idea, someone else will too.”

Is securing a domain name enough to have legal ownership of your brand name?

Unfortunately, it is not. Legal ownership of a brand name is secured by the registration of the name as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Along with the brand name, you can also register and protect your logo. The primary benefit of trademarking your brand name is that you prevent anyone else from using that same name for the same purposes that you’ve registered it for. Many business owners overlook the value of intellectual property ownership and as a result lose out on the benefits.

On the State level, you can also file a trademark application, but the USPTO registration is supreme. Also, it’s important to remember that while registering your business with the State does protect the name within that state, it doesn’t prevent the use of the same name in other parts of the country.

At what stage in business should business owners or influencers consult with a legal expert?

I recommend starting with an introductory consultation to run your plans and ideas past a legal expert familiar with the early stages of starting a business or influencer marketing.  Every attorney is not qualified or experienced to answer your questions, so make sure that you identify an individual with experience in the area of your need. I actually offer assessments and legal compliance roadmaps to clients who schedule consultsultations with me.  While it’s impossible to know everything, you should know all that you possibly can to get started.

Having someone like Krystal in your corner to consult with is so valuable! Connect with Krystal on Instagram or Facebook for more useful information on better practices for protecting your brand and covering your legal bases.

Monday Motivation | Reclaiming My Time

I looked up and it was August, just like that. I don’t know where the time has gone or how quickly we got here, but it seems like I was just celebrating New Years, while setting a list of new goals to accomplish before the year was up. Luckily, I’ve crushed a lot of them already, even with the random additions I felt were necessary; but I can’t deny the fact that I feel like the past seven months were a complete blur.

My brand and business has taken off exponentially this year. In January I made plans to elevate them both but failed to accurately measure how well they both would do. Your brand growing past what you expected isn’t necessarily a bad problem to have, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a lot of work. Unlike most bloggers, I never had the desire to blog full-time and even still, don’t plan to be a full-time entrepreneur any time soon. My career has always been important to me, so I’ve found ways to balance both the best I could. I’ve done well with balancing, but naturally when your focus is split nothing gets 100% of your efforts. Every day when I wake up I have to prioritize which parts of my life I need to focus on that day and while it’s effective, it’s often unfair.

Helping others, women specifically, has always been the purpose of this site and my brand. I take pride in the fact that I’m able to do so as often as I do because that’s all I wanted to come from launching a blog. Prior to offering any product or service, I was already sacrificing a lot of my time making sure that I had content for this site. Believe me, I understand the necessity of sacrifice when you’re trying to build something you haven’t had before, but I changed my whole life around to carve out the time I needed in order to handle all the things on my plate. I hadn’t allowed myself to sleep past 7 am on a Saturday at all this year because I so desperately need Saturdays and Sundays to get work done. Last week I was unable to post anything on the blog because I’d picked up some new projects at work and needed my evenings to complete the brand audits I had scheduled. I’ve said no to outings with my friends, brunch with my family and date nights with my boyfriend because I’ve had to work on something that I created for myself. We all long to do something we’re so passionate about that we jump out of bed in the mornings to get to it and I’m blessed to have that, but I have to remind myself that my time is still mine to spend any way I please.

Balance went from juggling priorities to feeling like I was being pulled in a dozen different directions without a moment for myself. So guess what? Like sister Maxine Waters has preached, I’m reclaiming my time. I want to get back to the things I loved doing before I was servicing anyone else. If I’m not being fueled creatively, I have nothing left to teach anyone. Before the year is up, I’m setting new goals to make sure I have the time to do the things that are most important to me, like content creation, more visual interaction and new projects at my 9 to 5. Before I was prioritizing helping others before helping myself, or before when I was building my own brand, before helping others was prioritized over helping myself and when I was only juggling 10 things instead of 20. There are so many other things that I’m passionate about and want to do that I have not gotten the chance to because I’ve been so tied up with helping others.

This Monday, reclaim your time. Don’t be afraid to drop the guilt trip and get back to focusing on what best serves you. Beyond all of your responsibilities, errands and deadlines, your time is still yours. You can adjust it at any moment of any day. You can say no and you can change your mind. You can rearrange what you want to give your attention to. Consider some things you’re currently dealing with that aren’t worthy of your time and don’t look back.

Stay or Go: What to Do Before You Quit

Stay or Go: What To Do Before You Quit | The B Werd

It’s happened to me, so I’m certain you’ve experienced it too. You’re working a job for a company and you may enjoy it, you may not. You may have exceeded what your potential is at that company or in your position, or you may not feel like you’re getting what you’re worth. Where’s the appreciation for your efforts? The creativity in your tasks? The raise you were promised? I get it. We’ve all been in a position where we’ve felt stuck professionally. Even in my current position, I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to reassess my role, whether I was the issue or whether it was simply time for me to move on. Before you decide to throw in the towel and quit, follow the steps below to determine where you stand with your current company.

Weigh Your Options

Shopping around is the best way to determine other opportunities that may be a better fit for you, and it never hurts to do. I know for me personally, there are a lot of perks that may not be included should I choose to take another job. I have an exceptional work-life balance. If I need a vacation, an off-day or a short day, all I’ve got to do is say so. I do a lot of really fun things, eat a lot of good food and drink for free (yes that matters) and actually like my coworkers. Will the things that I claim to want like a higher salary, or a fancier office really outweigh the many advantages of my current position? The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Look for other opportunities that could potentially fill in the gap of what you feel like you’re missing.

Are You Staying Engaged?

Engagement without a doubt drives productivity. If you’ve checked out, that could be your biggest problem. Once we call ourselves being fed up, it’s easy to just ride a day-to-day wave waiting on 5 pm. We tend to quit caring whether or not we impress our boss, or are giving our responsibilities our best effort. No one works harder than they do during their first six months at a new company when they’re trying to prove their worth. Can you keep that momentum going? Try to put your annoyance on the back burner and actually put your best foot forward, giving your role 100% and see if the circumstances change. Don’t do the bare minimum and in return expect your situation to turn around. If you’re giving your job the best you’ve got and are still continually disappointed with the outcome, you may be a better fit elsewhere.

How Hard Are You Really Working?

This is the part where we really have to be self aware and honest with ourselves. Do you really deserve what you’re requesting? I’m not talking about things like respect and equal opportunities, those shouldn’t have to be negotiated. I’m talking about things we think we should be getting simply because we’ve been with a company a certain amount of time or get to work on time everyday. My mom used to always say “you don’t get a pat on the back for doing what you’re supposed to do” and that applies to work as well. Simply doing your job may not be enough to warrant a better position. Self entitlement in a big barrier in millennial growth, many of us want instant results. Chances are, your CEO isn’t a millennial and is still doing the things the old fashion corporate way: hard work, consistency and experience.

Are You The Issue?

Try to determine whether or not the issue is your job, your boss, your schedule… or if the issue is you. There could be hundreds of reasons for why you’d want to quit your job and hundreds of those reasons may be perfectly logical. Before I blame anyone else, I like to take a look at myself and be honest about my role in the problem. Everything from how you’re responding to the issue to you doing things to spite a coworker play a part in the dynamic of your role. Consider what you can be doing differently to better serve your department or avoid confrontation.

Communicate It

Who can you talk to about the discomfort you’re experiencing and have you already done so? Work-related relationships are still relationships and in all relationships, communication is key. Schedule a time to sit down your manager, your manager’s boss or HR (if your manager is the issue) to really express what issues you’re experiencing and what the options for a solution are. Before I talk to anyone, my boss included, I brainstorm and create a list of the things that I’m concerned about, as well as the things I feel need to brought to light. In situations like this, you have to be as willing to listen to feedback as much as you’re willing to talk about what’s wrong. Try your best to take emotions out of it and use facts, instead of saying “I feel”. Sometimes a company, boss or position won’t be able to give us what we’re hoping for, and that’s OK. If communicating your issue doesn’t yield the results you were hoping for, happily move on.

Careers are important. They will take up a large portion of your life and will play a huge role in your lifestyle. Your happiness and opportunities for growth shouldn’t have to be compromised. If you’ve done all you can to make the best out of your current role and haven’t been successful, feel no guilt in continuing your search for the perfect position.

8 Ways to Grow Your Email Subscriber List

8 Ways to Grow Your Email Subscriber List | The B Werd

I never built my site or brand around collecting email addresses because when I began The B Werd, I wanted a no-pressure platform where I wasn’t attempting to sell anyone anything or even use them for analytics. I wanted all of you all to be attracted genuinely to the content and information I was providing. In fact, I only implemented my subscriber list a few months ago when I decided I would soon be launching products and have only used it twice. Just because I haven’t used my subscriber list doesn’t mean that I haven’t identified the key benefits to having one. Emails have the highest conversion rate of all marketing and even if you aren’t selling a product, it makes a huge difference in how often you’re bringing readers back to your website.

An email list is critical because you can’t build your content on rented land, it’s not sustainable. So many brands and companies build their audiences on social media networks like Instagram and YouTube, which works for now, but we don’t own those companies – Facebook and Google do. If we are thinking like real media companies, the asset is in the audience. An email list is yours and won’t disappear with likes and comments should your social media account become nonexistent. Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort. If our goal is to drive sales or keep customers happy in some way, we first need to get them as part of our audience.

GIVE A REASON TO SUBSCRIBE

Sometimes content isn’t enough. We have the option to come back to your site and browse at our leisure. We choose to hear from you when we want to, so incentives are often necessary if you want the liberty of contacting people whenever you’d like to. Think about what you can offer your audience outside of the content already on your blog and use that as motivation for your customers or readers.

Giveaways or Contests

Announce you’ll be giving away your favorite book, beauty product or a $50 gift card to Whole Foods. Who is your audience and what will make them take action? Free clothing, two tickets to a baseball game or your secret recipe for removing fine lines and wrinkles. If you own an online store, offer 10% off of their next purchase. It may be 2017, but it’s still appropriate to barter what you need in exchange for something you’re willing to give up.

Free Checklist or E-Book

I found myself subscribed to dozens of websites in a short amount of time because they offered me something upfront that I felt like I could use. I didn’t subscribe because I loved their content, I subscribed because on my first visit they told me if I gave them my email address they’d send me all the hashtags they used to grow their following. SOLD! I didn’t love them, or even know them, but I subscribed and ended up sticking with most of them because even after I gave up my email address, they proved their worth with valuable content or products.

Exclusive Content

Offer them something that they’ll only receive via email if they subscribe. This could be a weekly meal schedule, five tips to save $1000 before summer’s over or early access to your best selling products. Being apart of something exclusive is almost always enough to get someone to opt into an email program. Think about all of the times you’ve purchased something from a clothing or beauty store that requires your email address for a free item on your birthday. We usually give in easily and don’t think twice about it.

MAKE IT EASY

Most of us hate pop-up’s as it is, so if you want to get people to sign up make it as simple as possible. Any visitor on your side should be able to subscribe in under 15 seconds and should also be able to continue to read content without a pop-out blocking it.

Simple Sign Up Process

Make it as simple as a first name and an email address. The quicker it can be done the better. Once you enter your email on my site all that’s required is for you to confirm your subscription via email, then we’re good to go.

Test Pop-Ups

Some people hate them, but the conversion rate of a pop-up is incredibly high for a reason. They work, whether you enjoy them or not. Test if this method works for you before counting it out. Chances are it likely will.

Opt-in button on your blog and in more than one place: 

Even if you decide against a pop-up, having somewhere for people to subscribe on your blog is crucial. I personally have mine in the right sidebar towards the bottom, and a pop-up that appears after 30 seconds for IP addresses that aren’t recognized. Make it to where no matter if someone is on mobile or desktop, your subscribe widget shows up without having to scroll too far, because no matter what page you’re on, your sidebar will appear. If you don’t like that setup or don’t have an option for it, try embedding the opt-in button on your most visited pages.

SHAREABLE

Just like it’s important to provide readers a way to share your blog content via social media, you want to do the same with emails.

Use social media

In the same ways that you use your social media platforms to drive traffic to your blog, you should also be taking advantage of your social accounts to grow your email list. Create a recurring Twitter post once a week providing a link to sign-up, or add it to your Instagram when sharing a new blog post.

Include social share buttons

At the end of a newsletter or email, include the same social share buttons that you have on your blog. This gives people the chance to share your emails which will grow your subscribers. You can also include a link to subscribe in your email signature.

If you’re interested in me doing a post regarding how you begin to make money off of your email list, let me know!