List Love by Jennifer Maker Course Review
When I started blogging a few years ago, my idea was that I would just share some tips and thoughts on saving money every now and then. I soon learned about blogging as a business and started searching for ways to improve my blog. I quickly learned that offering a resource library is one of the best ways to grow blog traffic and subscribership. But how do you make a good one?
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The best resource I’ve found to date that teaches how to make a resource library is the List Love course by Jennifer Maker. My review of this course is intended to help you gain a good understanding of what the course offers so that you can decide if it’s what you need to grow your blog.
What is a resource library?
A resource library is a page on your blog where you offer handouts, printables, videos, and other items to your readers. It may be a pattern to make a craft, a packing checklist for the unorganized traveler, or a budgeting sheet for the financially unsavvy. Whatever it is, it helps your readers solve a problem and hopefully keep coming back for more.
Why you need a resource library
When bloggers are asked the first thing they should have done when starting out, a common answer is “I should’ve grown my list sooner.” In blogging for business, you’ll also frequently hear “the money is in the list.” That list they’re talking about is the email list.
The email list is a great way to connect with readers and build a reliable source of income. It’s wonderful to have but can be hard to build. A loyal reader could visit your blog and read your posts for years without ever connecting with you directly.
You’d never know who this person is or speak to her on a more personal level. You wouldn’t even know this fan exists.
People need a good reason to subscribe to an email list. A resource library gives readers that something valuable. You receive email addresses in exchange for the valuable resources you provide in the library. And from that, you have direct contact with those readers.
Why email is important
In the blogging world, email addresses are valuable like currency or property. Establishing yourself primarily and solely on another platform like Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook is like renting a place to live. You’re at the whim of that social media platform.
Pinterest, IG, and Facebook can ban your accounts. It happens all the time. I read comment after comment about people having their accounts unexpectedly shut down.
Their traffic comes primarily from Pinterest. They’re without their main source of blog traffic (read income) for weeks until they fight non-stop and someone at Pinterest takes mercy and reactivates their account.
When you have subscriber email addresses, you don’t have to worry about losing the relationship you’ve built with your closest readers even if those platforms go down. You can still email them.
Another benefit of having email addresses is that you can reach your subscribers any time you want. You can write to them, have conversations, try to solve their problems, and so forth whenever is best for you and them.
And guess what? These people want to hear from you! They’ve given you their email addresses because they want what you have to offer. It’s best to keep that access open and email them!
Yes, many bloggers have grown successful and profitable blogs without a large email list or a resource library. Some don’t focus on email at all. You’ll always find people who beat the odds and are successful at doing something against the grain.
But email is one of the safest and reliable ways to grow a blog and monetize it.
I already had a resource library set up prior to joining List Love. I made it on my own through research and trial and error. I think it was good for a start but had a lot of room for improvement before I joined the course.
The most popular topic on From Pennies to Plenty is thrift shopping and reselling on Poshmark. Early last year, I created an email freebie that was a 5-day email course covering the basics of how to make sales on Poshmark.
I had lots of other freebies for frugal living and reselling too, but the email course was my primary one. It didn’t have a great conversion rate at less than 1%. I knew I wanted something better.
After going through List Love, I came up with 17 new ideas for freebies!
I spent time making many of the freebies and adding them to the resource library. I also improved the library’s presentation and rewrote my welcome sequences, all covered in the course.
I added a new freebie of 200+ Top Selling Brands on Poshmark last month. It’s been a hit!
I’ve gained over 500 new subscribers in one month since introducing it.
Below you can see a screenshot of how my email subscribers have increased since offering that freebie.
You can see that subscriptions are low in February, March, and April. Subscriptions really took off in May when I began offering the freebie 200+ Top Selling Brands on Poshmark.
I got 4.5x the number of email subscribers in May as I did an April, and that’s after offering this freebie for only the half of the month!
The numbers look low for June because I’m writing this post midway through June. The numbers only reflect almost half a month on subscribers. At this pace, I’ll top even May’s numbers!
This freebie and all my others are placed in my resource library. Every time someone subscribes for any of the freebies, they’re directed to a password-protected resource library. This brings traffic to my site and shows readers that I have many more valuable resources to offer them.
Not every freebie will be a hit. Some will be more popular than others. But this course shows you what makes a great freebie and how to present it to readers. I’m happy that List Love helped me hone in this freebie. It’s converting at over 2%, which is a great rate.
What’s included in the List Love course?
This course is jam-packed with information. I’ll give you an overview.
1 | Starts with the basics
Jennifer is so good at starting at the very beginning to ensure everyone understands what she’s teaching. She gives basic list-building terminology so you know what she’s talking about from the start.
She then lays out what you need for the course, which isn’t much besides a blog. Some things are available for free. This makes this course manageable from the start. You learn more about why an email list is important too.
2 | How to determine what to makes a Good freebie
Jennifer goes through the points that make a great freebie. You want your time and effort making a freebie to be worth it, so it’s pays to take head of her advice on what makes the best freebies. Like I said, I got 17 ideas for new freebies just from the instruction on this alone.
3 | How to create your resource library
This section covers both the technical aspect and formatting of a resource library. You’ll learn
how to make a freebie in different programs
how to creating the library using WordPress and Squarespace. This is really helpful for the tech-challenged.
how to promote your freebies on different platforms
how to set up email forms in different service providers
how to welcome your new subscribers including swipe copies of emails
And lots, lots more.
Step-by-step instruction. It’s all laid out one step at a time so that you can apply it. Even though I already had a resource library set up, I got tons of tips that I was easily able to implement as I went through the course. I attribute this to Jennifer’s experience with over 20 years as an instructor and writer.
Access to active Facebook groups. The best benefit is that you have access to Jennifer’s active Facebook groups. You can ask her, fellow students, and other bloggers for their advice or feedback.
Read more about exactly what’s offered in List Love here.
Who do I recommend this course for?
I recommend this course if you’re a new or seasoned blogger who is struggling to gain email subscribers. You don’t have a resource library or you have one like I did but knew it could be better.
You want to avoid lots of trial and error and save yourself time for other things. You do better with guidance, support, and feedback on your efforts.
In my case, I already had a resource library established before I completed the course. I had my email service provider set up and a welcome email sequence in place. I knew they were functional, but I didn’t get as many subscribers as I would like.
I learned some great tips from List Love, particularly on email promotion. It’s one thing to put up a resource library and fill it. It’s another thing to drive traffic to the freebies so that people actually sign up for them.
Then there’s keeping subscribers engaged so you develop a relationship with them and build a lasting tribe. This course pushed me to do more in those areas.
Who don’t I recommend this for?
This course might not be for you if you’re already getting the amount of blog traffic and email sign-ups that you want.
There are many ways to build an email list. You may have heard of some like buying Facebook ads, hosting giveaways, and adding pop-ups to your site.
You may also have high-converting freebies that don’t fit into a resource library. Some of those are an ebook, an email challenge, a mini-course, or an email series. If any of those already work for you, that’s great! Keep doing them!
My personal opinion is that the success of a resource library may also depend on your blog niche. Jennifer runs a crafting blog where people need instructions to complete the crafts she’s showing.
I run a personal finance/frugal living blog that includes information on thrift shopping and reselling on Poshmark. These topics lend themselves easily to the creation of resources like cheatsheets and printables to put in the library.
I can’t say for certain which niches I think will do well or won’t do well with a resource library. It’s just my gut feeling that it would work well for most niches, although some better than others.
It would be wise to evaluate whether it could work in your niche before you purchase the course. If you don’t know, ask fellow bloggers like Jennifer and me.
This course might not be for you if you can’t afford it. The course is $197 at full price. I know that’s not in everyone’s budget.
If you’re a new blogger, you might not be making any money yet. You have to weigh your spending decisions carefully for every dollar because there’s not enough to every blogging resource you might want or need.
It’s perfectly okay if you cannot afford the course. Pass on it or pocket the idea for later.
Note though that Jennifer has run sales on her courses in the past. She may run them again, and then you can get it for less.
You can get an idea of Jennifer’s teaching style and the contents of the List Love course in these FREE trainings:
They are leads for List Love, but you’ll still find valuable content inside and get on her email list. Her emails are full of blogging gems.
Don’t I need blog traffic to make this work?
Yes, you need people to get to your blog first or at least get them to see that you offer a great freebie through other ways of marketing. The library is no good if no one knows about it or visits it. Readers have to be directed to your blog first to make the most of the library.
Jennifer knows this and goes over the basics of how to create posts that get people clicking. She talks about how to promote your freebie so that it’s seen by more people.
When you have valuable freebies and promote them well, people will come to your blog and sign up for your email list for access to those freebies.
Can I learn this on my own?
You can learn this on your own but it will take you more time and effort than it will with this course. When you’re a new blogger, everything goes much slower and there’s a lot that can go wrong or become frustrating with setting up a resource library.
It’s all laid out for you in this course. You will save so much time. Plus, you get support and feedback from Jennifer and other members of her group.
Will the List Love course work for me?
The List Love method works. Jennifer used it to grow her email list from 0-10,000 subscribers in 6 months. I use it to gain email subscribers every day!
It’s important to know though that no course can provide you with guaranteed outcomes. It depends on how much work you put into doing the course assignments and completing them well.
You may find yourself trying out a number of freebies before finding one that converts readers into subscribers really well. That was the case for me.
I still think that creating a resource library is one of the best ways to grow your email list.
It’s available 24/7 and can be passive. You can create it and leave it indefinitely and it will still bring in subscribers.
Every new freebie you create is available in one central accessible location.
There’s no additional cost if you already have a blog and email service provider.
There aren’t really any downsides to having a resource library once it’s set up properly, which is what List Love helps you do.
There are so many things to do as a new blogger. It’s easy to get overwhelmed just thinking about it all and find yourself not getting anything substantial done. That’s why a course like this with actionable and effective content is so helpful. Join the course and reduce blogging overwhelm.
Let List Love teach you best practices for creating a resource library so that you can start gaining more email subscribers today.
Read more about List Love here including Q&A, course details, and testimonials. If you have any questions, send them my way. I’ll try my best to answer them honestly based on my experience in this course.
By the way, click below to check out my free resource library full of personal finance, thrifting and reselling, and blogging resources.