You don’t own Twitter. So you should own an email list. Here’s how.

Drama and critique are nothing new for Twitter. But the past few weeks have been… different.

(Not saying it’s a dumpster fire, but where there’s smoke…)

I’m not here to give my opinion on Elon and everything he’s doing.

But if you’re building an audience on Twitter — beware:

It’s not a stretch to consider your Twitter audience might vanish overnight.

That might sound like fear-mongering. “Vanish” is extreme. But not impossible. Twitter could be in for some of the most drastic changes the platform has ever seen. There have already been more changes to the platform in the past two weeks than the past year.

And more changes are surely coming.

Not only that, people are willingly leaving the Twitter. So what does that mean for those trying to build audiences on the social platform?

I started a newsletter for a number of reasons — but one of the biggest reasons was because of what we’re seeing happen with Twitter.

And that’s why many content entrepreneurs have preached the importance of building an email list for so long.

“Don’t build your house on rented land.”

We don’t own our social media audiences.

And that makes it extremely risky to put all your eggs in one social basket.

Hopefully you’ve been listening and have begun building your email list — but many haven’t.

So if you haven’t started building, what should you do?

How To Start Building An Email List TODAY

No, it’s not too late to start.

Remember that old saying about the best time to plant a tree? It works for email lists, too:

The best time to start building an email list was 10 years ago, the second best time is today.

7 simple steps to start building your newsletter & email list today — if you haven’t yet.

#1: Start a free account with an email service provider (ESP).
I’ve written about 5 of the most popular options out there and which one might be best for you. But don’t waste much time picking one. Because you’re better off spending that time growing your list. The platform doesn’t matter much at the beginning, you can always switch later.

#2: Choose a topic to write about. You might have a niche you’re already known for on Twitter/elsewhere. But if you don’t, or want to write about something different, then do that. You are the only one who has the unique combination of your experience, knowledge, opinions, and personality.

#3: Create a landing/sign-up page. ConvertKit (affiliate) offers some beautiful, simple — and FREE — landing page templates that are easy to use. Highly recommend. Substack and beehiiv also have built-in landing pages to keep things simple.

#4: Announce it to your audience. Got a place to drive some traffic & sign-ups? Perfect. Tell your existing audience. Even if it’s 20 followers. Let ’em know. Tell your mom, your cousin and your neighbour. Get some traction and momentum. Share it on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn — you name it. Let people know you started a thing. You might be surprised how many people will be happy to support you.

#5: Incentivize sign-ups. Once all your primary contacts know about your newsletter, you’ll need to get secondary and tertiary audience attention. You can do this with a lead magnet, or teaser content (subscribe to learn the X steps I took to do Y). You can even try a referral program — though it can be tough to get traction with a small readership in the beginning.

#6: Create an effective Welcome Email. [You could do this before Step 4, but I think it’s important to roll with the momentum of building something and sharing it quickly.] An effective Welcome Email should thank people for subscribing, let them know what to expect with your newsletter, and prompt them to action — either with a reply to a question you ask, or to check out another piece of relevant content.

#7: Start publishing. Figure out a comfortable publishing rhythm and try to stick to it. I recommend starting at a moderate pace (weekly at the most frequent). You can always change this later. The important thing is to start.

For more support, subscribe to the Grow Currency newsletter. It’s a great resource to help you start, grow, and monetize your newsletter.