You've put a lot of investment into your website, and perhaps even more into various marketing activities to drive traffic to your site. And it's working -- your traffic numbers are up. You are halfway there -- now you need to turn those visitors into subscribers. Building a list of potential clients who are interested in what you have to offer is the only way you are going to make money from your online efforts!
The secret? Put yourself in your visitor's shoes. Here are five steps to help you do just that:
1. Get the right visitors. Seems basic, but it's one of the most important ingredients to building a responsive list; it's also the most time-intensive task. Extra effort spent on this step will also pay off handsomely.

It all comes down to making an emotional connection in your copywriting. If you have ads, links on other people's sites, articles posted on article directories, etc., does your message convince readers that you understand what they are looking for (or trying to eliminate) and have answers for them? When they then get to your website, does that connection strengthen and grow, if they are the right prospect?

If you write articles or place ads promising info on how to avoid foreclosure, for instance, when they get to your site don't immediately try to sell them a new mortgage (they'll likely click away) -- instead, share your own foreclosure story and how you overcame it (they may want to know more!) In your copy, use the language your ideal prospect is familiar with -- no jargon, talk to them at their level, use the kind of words and phrases they are likely to search for.

This is a very simplistic explanation of this topic. If you don't know much about keywords and copywriting -- get help with this step.
2. Now that a visitor has found your site and stayed more than 2 it clear to them what you want them to do next? Too many choices = confusion = click away! If your goal is to get subscribers (hint), then your home page should funnel them toward that goal. Don't send them to your "about", "coaching services", or "products" pages -- first-time visitors are unlikely to buy right off anyway (although it's ok to have navigation that lets them get to those pages if they want to). Instead, make it clear that the ONE action you want them to take is to SUBSCRIBE!
3. They've read your copy and are interested in subscribing. Is it easy to figure out how to do so? Your form should be easy to find on the page -- even having it in a couple of places will work well. Put the form right on the page; don't make them click to get to the form (many won't bother!) Use a graphic, colors, large print, but not too busy. If visitors are likely to land on pages other than your home page (you should assume they might), put a subscription form on EVERY page of your website. On the left, near the top of the page, is a good location.
4. WIIFT? (what's in it for them) If you aren't giving away something in exchange for their email address, why should they subscribe? Not very many folks really want another monthly newsletter or weekly tips; however, if you offer a valuable freebie, they might be willing to try it out! Be upfront about what they are getting: the format/length of the freebie, frequency of your newsletter, what type of info they should expect. A link to a sample recent newsletter (that opens in a new page, so they won't lose the page they are on) is a nice touch.
5. Why should they trust you? No one wants more you need to assure them that their information is safe with you. Include a short statement about your privacy policy, and assure them that they can unsubscribe anytime. I also recommend asking for minimum info -- email address, and first name so you can personalize their emails. Every additional piece of info you want will decrease their likelihood of subscribing.
The above steps will make it clear to your visitor/potential subscriber that you have THEIR interests at heart. That's the beginning of the emotional connection that will build your list, and ultimately, increase your income!

Author's Bio: 

Terri Zwierzynski, the Solo-CEO, is a self employed business strategist and marketing consultant to solo entrepreneurs, and a grassroots promoter of the solo entrepreneur lifestyle. She runs, the self employment resource website which attracts thousands of solo entrepreneurs and home business owners monthly from over 100 countries on six continents (2007 finalist for “Website of the Year” in the 4th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business). Visit and get our new ebook, “25 Surefire Ways to Capture More Clients, Get More Done in Less Time, and Make More Money—in 90 Days or Less.”