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What Did BizSugar Taught Me About List Building?

Are you always looking for the right list building techniques that really work? If the answer is yes, then welcome to the club which consists more than 50 million bloggers around the world.

List building is a technique used by bloggers (like you and me) to build more followers and subscribers. 

If you think that finding the right opt-in form for a website is hard, think again.

Previous, I had shared on my email list building technique from scratch. If you have yet to read it, I suggest that you take a quick peek at it here.

Briefly, I wrote which opt-in form works the best and how to go around it. As for the record, about 35% of my signups come from the featured opt-in form like this one below:

If you finding for list building techniques or ways to extend your mailing list, I suggest you to do that (the above) NOW!

But here’s the thing; featured call to action (CTA) could easily backfire you especially when you are trying to get ‘involved’ with the big boys.

I was lucky to be able to have a quick discussion with BizSugar support team on using the right list building techniques. More juicy parts below!

*Important disclaimer: Kudos to the team over at BizSugar who took my inquiry seriously and they were more than just patience in answering them. I know I am a tough customer but thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Link building catastrophe

I am always a website speed junkie and really passionate about link building. Recently I was building my authority with BizSugar and I came to something so catastrophe. Here’s the snippet of the email:


BizSugar Reply 1


I was stunned and speechless. The featured CTA which had been serving me well with 35% of total signup,  got to be either removed or I’ll lose my backlinks from BizSugar.

The concept here is having a featured opt-in form is rather distracting. Agree to disagree?

I wasn’t happy about it and decided to discuss over the matter with BizSugar. And finally, the last reply which connects the dots together.


BizSugar Reply 2


This was huge!

I doesn’t blame BizSugar for their terms and conditions but this incident really thought me something about list building.

Over using your featured opt-in form is a bad, bad move. And yes, I have a featured CTA on every page!

Immediate action plan: Change all my featured opt-in CTA!

Now this got me thinking. Will there be more established websites that sees this as an issue? Of course, this wouldn’t be good right?

Related article: The battle for the best email marketing service – AWeber vs MailChimp

Research that could change my list building techniques forever

I decided to check if BizSugar is the only one who enforces that rule. I don’t want to have all my articles or backlinks being deleted just because I was crazy about building an email list for myself!

Out of 10 websites that I checked (and read their terms and conditions), 8 of them does not allow advertisements to be placed right above or below the title. Of course, we can debate that opt-in box and ads banner are two different things but do you really want to go down that road?

I was chatting with Corina and she basically ‘confirmed’ that as well.

Twitter Chat

If you have no idea who is Corina, she is the woman behind Work From Home Concepts. Getting her insight on the matter was a great boost and proof for me.

Enough said!

Did BizSugar taught me anything about list building?

List building lessons:

1. Do not over use featured opt-in forms

2. Using featured opt-in forms are accepted if they are right in size

Yes it does and it is a great advise indeed!

Even thought building an email list with featured opt-in forms could be a good move, but some readers don’t really like it. Honestly speaking, having an oversize and featured CTA could be very distracting instead.

Big sites such as BizSugar doesn’t really have the time to ‘check out’ each post. Therefore, this is probably the best way to control the quality of the posts submitted.

Now, what should I do since I have to live without my lovely, featured opt-in form? I wasn’t ready to kiss good bye my list building plans and thus, here are some counter measures I did:

  1. Enable floating opt-in form on sidebar for all posts
  2. ‘Overhaul’ all my opt-in forms with the hopes of increasing the sign up rate

Of course, the biggest question is, “Will these email list building techniques work?

Sadly, I can only judge the performance of this method after a month or so but I have prepare myself mentally to see a drop of my signup rate … mentally 🙂

I am sure this obstacles will not deter my link building plans but certainly, there is something call side effect right?

And if you STILL not building an email list right now, you REALLY need to see these slides.


Back to you

I hope this article is able to ‘tickle’ your thoughts a little especially when it comes to list building.

Tell me if you are using a featured opt-in form for your website and how is works out for you.

Yes, do it right NOW using the comment form below and please hit the red button (below) to share it with your friends.

21 thoughts on “What Did BizSugar Taught Me About List Building?”

  1. Hi Reginald,
    BizSugar has always been one of my favorite social networking spots and this post highlights an important reason why. The high level of content on the site and the attention of the moderators is top-notch. I’m glad that you took it in stride and made adjustments to your strategy!

    Keep up the great work and I’m sure you’ll go far with such a positive attitude.


    • Hi Ileane,

      First of all, thank you for dropping by! A huge honor indeed!

      Whenever there is an ‘issue’ happened, I would always want to know why. You know, just to make sure I don’t do the same mistake over and over again 🙂 It was your blog which made me wonder real hard about the opt-in forms etc. I want followers who enjoy my write and relationship instead of any other reasons.

      So yes, thank you for helping me find my path!

      Thank you for all your advices and do keep in touch!


  2. Hi Reginald,

    I remember your original post about your different forms and the results you were having. It’s such a shame that you have had to change the feature opt-in as I know it was working for you and you had it set up correctly, in my opinion.

    After all your work building back links and spreading your content it would be such a shame to lose it all so fair play for changing it 🙂

    I hope that the scrolling form in the sidebar works for you, what are you using to make it scroll like that?

    Keep up the great work Reginald.

    • Hi Barry,

      Even though at the end BizSugar did approve the opt-in box, it really made me wonder if that’s the best. Yes, having a good list of members could be the key to success but again, it is just one part of the journey.

      I did some ‘survey’ on 10 of my favorite sites (having more than 20,000 traffic monthly) and it seems like only a few uses featured box. Pros and cons right?

      I really got to give kudos to BizSugar team. Man, I am a pain in the a** but they were so kind to me! Haha. Moving forward, can’t wait to see how the sidebar part works.

      As for the scrolling sidebar widget, there are three ways to go around. First is of course, manually changing the codes which obviously I don’t poses such talent. Secondly, you can try use Q2W3 plugin (get it from WordPress) and it works perfectly fine. The bad thing is it doesn’t work with minify. I uses W3TC and I need minify badly. I tried modifying the codes and chatting with the developer. It seems like there is no way to go around that unless you turn off minify.

      Let’s say you need to use minify like me, then you can use a paid plugin for that. This plugin is great and it works with minify as well. Double plus points? It is call Sticky Profit Builder. If you want, I can give you my affiliate link 😉

      Hope this helps mate!

      *p/s will keep you posted on the findings soon (sidebar sign up rate)


  3. Hi Reginald Bizsugar is my main social networking site which helps me to engage with others users and the moderator are really giving an clean and neat job.I’m glad that you have done a great job by sharing list building technique through your post between need to check out featured opt-in form

    • Hi Shameem,

      Thanks for dropping by. Just changed the theme and did some internal changes. Well, this is one experience which made me start thinking!

      BizSugar is great. I love it and probably, one of the best sites I ever went beside Blog Engage. Will spend more time there soon.

      Take care and have a great weekend!


  4. Hi Reginald,

    A very interesting post – I now have a featured opt-in form on my site, but it’s in the side-bar, so you can still see the first part of the post above the fold.

    I’m delighted to see you don’t have a pop-up on this site – I hope BizSugar discourage those, too – I hate them!


    • Hi Sue,

      How are you? Happy weekend, my friend.

      I now have several opt-in form and after some serious thinking and discussing with some bloggers, I decided to ditch the pop up opt-in form. Previously I had one that will show once every 7 days and even with that, I know there are some who doesn’t like it.

      I hate pop up that hit you right in the face in less than 2 seconds once the page loaded up and it keep pop-ing up on every page. They are 100% annoying.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and take care.


  5. List building is very important. Build it internally and from various sources. The worst thing you can do is depend on any one source or a limited group of sources to build and run your business.


    • Hi Louis,

      Thanks for that and I couldn’t agree for more. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket 🙂

      I use a few different social medias and I am happy with the results. I wish for more but I have very limited time so … got to work with what I have instead 😀


  6. Hi Reginald,

    Awesome research my friend, I never knew that many sites enforce this rule. I think they enforce those rules to make sure that only quality sites and the reader can easily navigate and read articles on the websites they are being sent in, I also use the Opt-in forms in the right side bar so that users can see post tittle and first paragraphs. Thanks for this great article.

    • Hi Qasim,

      I believe the main reason is because it became too obvious 😉 Ask yourself this: When you visit a site, you want to see the title first or ads? I believe many people abuse that though.

      Even though I managed to claim that it is just a newsletter, what I learn from this is very important.

      Glad you found this useful and thanks for commenting!

  7. Hi Reginald, I can understand why. Those can be quite annoying when overdone. Especially when one tries to read your posts on mobile. So many bloggers don’t realize that many of us read on our lunch hour via our mobiles. Some of the pop ups don’t let us read anything and it’s a struggle to exit out with a mobile. Biz Sugar is great and am glad that are have such guidelines. Thanks for explaining this one to us all Reginald.
    Yours looks much cleaner now 🙂

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for commenting! How was your weekend? Hope it was a blast 😀

      Oh yes, mobile phones. I uses that ALL THE TIME! Haha~ Now I really hope to get some last changes done on the site as I believe there are still somethings need to be done (okay, I got a feeling I don’t make much sense here).

      BizSugar is great and loving the community there. Very lovely indeed.

      Thanks for dropping by and talk to you soon.

  8. Hi Reginald Chan

    Thanks for sharing article about the Bizsugar. I know that is social networking site but never used it. After seeing this article i came to know about it in a nice way. I am going to try it and hope it will turn good for me.

    Between this is a nice article very well researched and put down in a correct way.I like your style of writing, keep up the good work.


    • HI Brian,

      Thank you for your comment. It is actually a welcome mat which is the latest technology (compared to the time I wrote this post).

      It is easy to turn off/on — and something you should try! Just my 2 cents and thanks for commenting!

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