Don’t Start an Email List – Yet (and What to Do Instead)

You have just started blogging, and you have already found a few blogging gurus that you like to follow. These experts give you plenty of golden blogging advice that you put into practice. 

Your blog is blooming.

But there is one piece of advice that every A-List blogger seems to agree on: You should start an email list. So without any further convincing, you sign-up with an autoresponder service that your favorite blogger recommends.


When you close your eyes, you can already imagine the dollars rolling into your bank account as you send your first promotional message to your email list.

Love those gurus!

You Shouldn’t Start an Email List and Here’s Why

starting an email list rocket

Your new blog is like a space rocket, fighting against gravity and trying to get to outer space. The Earth’s gravity is a tough fellow to beat for sure, but once you get out of its reach, things get much easier.

But the question is: how many rockets are you trying to send into orbit at the same time? 

Because when you are building your blog (rocket #1) and your email list (rocket #2) at the same time, you are spreading your efforts too thin. And based on my experience, sending both rockets simultaneously to space becomes challenging.

What Should I Do Instead?


Don’t build that email list, at least when you are just starting your blogging career.

Your hands are already full of work when you try to get your blog off the ground. To do this, you have to create content consistently, at least two times per week.

That’s you how you get enough fuel to launch your little blog to the stars.

Let’s put this another way: If you follow the advice that the majority of (A-List) bloggers give you, you should also worry about the following things:

  • What email service provider to pick?
  • How to create an autoresponder series for your email list?
  • How often should you send emails to your list?
  • What type of content should you send to your audience?
  • How to keep your email subscribers engaged?
  • Which traffic methods to use when you drive people to your email list?
  • How to create a compelling lead magnet to attract new subscribers?
  • How to find time to create content for your subscribers (on top of creating blog posts)?
  • Do you have the budget to cover the monthly costs of an autoresponder?

As you can see, there is a lot on your plate. I know; I’ ve been there.

So, when you consider starting an email list, the question is not so much about can you do it but rather, should you do it? 

Yes, no one is stopping you from starting an email list right now. But it doesn’t mean that you should do it - at least yet.

So if Not Now, When?

start an email list calendar

That’s a good question. 

I can’t give you an exact time frame on when to start an email list, for instance, eight or eighteen months after starting your blog. Instead, the answer depends on your blog’s growth and until it’s mature enough.

One of the few people I respect in the internet marketing industry is my former coach, Ian Pribyl. According to him, you should get consistent 80-100 visitors per day before you start considering an email list. 

I think that this advice is an excellent rule of thumb for anyone thinking about an email list.

So how do you know how many visitors you currently get? 

If you are using Google Analytics, this is easy. Just log into your Analytics dashboard and choose Behavior > Overview. There, you see your magic figure: unique page views.

start an email list unique pageviews

For instance, the figure above is from September 2019. Yes, I still have some work to do 😉

Don’t Start an Email List - Yet: The Conclusion

Although the intention behind the advice, “you should start an email list,” may be valid, it’s not necessarily the best advice in your situation.

The keyword here is the focus: you should get your blog off the ground first. And to do that, you need to publish quality content frequently. That’s all you should do when you start, nothing else.

So do yourself a favor: don’t start an email list yet. There will be a time to do it, but it’s not now.