Interview with Phil Hollows of FeedBlitz

Lynn: Hi Phil! Thank you for doing this interview for us. I know you were traveling to New York for BlogWorld, so I appreciate you taking the time!

First, I have to ask- What prompted you to write List Building For Bloggers? And why in the world did you offer it so cheap?? 🙂

Phil: I’ve been using email marketing for over a decade and blogging since 2003. As the FeedBlitz founder, I know a lot about how to best use email and social media together, and I was happy to share or help people one on one when they asked.

The epiphanal moment came while I was sitting in Darren Rowse’s (@ProBlogger) keynote session at Blog World in 2010. Darren was talking about the success he’d had with his e-book, and that crystallized it for me. I knew that there was a need to help bloggers and small businesses do much more with email, and that’s really where the idea for the book was born...

Pricing is hard! There’s a lot of value in the book, which is why its MSRP is $24.95. That said, as a first-timer, I wanted to pump prime sales and get people talking about it. So the programs created around the launch included early-bird specials and a two week introductory price to kick things off.

It's even better value while the offer’s in place; even at $24.95 I guarantee that this book is going to make a huge difference to anyone’s email marketing efforts. That’s why I personally back it up with a 100% no quibble money-back guarantee.

Hundreds of copies have now been sold, and so far I’ve only refunded one – and that was only because the buyer couldn’t get it to download for some reason.

Note: If you haven't yet downloaded List Building for Bloggers, grab your copy today! You'll find my review here if you would like to learn more about this step-by-step guide full of actionable list-building tips for 2011.

Lynn: LBB is so professionally done including formatting, endorsements, and even An Appreciation by Seth Godin! It leaves me assuming this is not your first published work. Do you have other guides or books on the market?

Phil: You’re too kind! This is my first e-book, however. I’ve been blogging for 8 years and a professional marketer and consultant in the past, so I’ve done a lot of professional writing, such as white papers and brochures, as well as nearly 500 blog posts to date. I’m lucky enough to count Seth as one of FeedBlitz’s over 70,000 clients, and he was amazingly generous to write what he did.

I think it’s important that one’s work reflect your values. Since List Building for Bloggers was never going to be free, it was important to me that its production values made buyers an prospects comfortable before they read a single word.

I took some great tips from Amy Lynn Andrews’ (@AmyLynnAndrews) How to Write an e-Book series. I formatted the book myself after looking at what other published bloggers had done; I had the cover professionally designed.

For the testimonials, I asked for some quotes from my online friends who saw early copies of the book; I was incredibly flattered with and grateful for what I got back – I was never expecting the remarks I received. Although, honestly, I wouldn’t recommend tattoos. 🙂

I am considering what to write next though. We’ll see…

Lynn: Are you planning to also publish LBB on Amazon/Kindle? Why or why not?

Phil: Yes, a Kindle and Nook version is in the works. I’m having the book converted to the Kindl’s epub format professionally, and that will take a few weeks. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when it’s out!

Lynn: You state throughout LBB that email marketing isn't rocket science, or "magic", and you offer very practical EASY steps that anyone can do. Let's assume most readers won't act on *all* of the great tips and creative ideas...

If there is ONE thing you would encourage every blogger to do regarding their list, what would that one thing be?

Phil: If I can cheat and have TWO things 🙂 I’d say (1) set up an autoresponder to set up a content rich sequence of mails to go to readers once they sign up, and (2) set up an appropriate incentive to encourage new subscriptions in the first place.

Lynn: Many people have said they literally *dread* emailing their list. Fortunately bloggers can simply let their feed send out email updates about new blog content. But do you have any advice about sending a broadcast mailing to your list, outside of your post notifications, that will be well-received?

Phil: That’s the virtue of blog-based automation; the dread goes away and it all just works. For mailings outside of your blog’s content, anything you send needs to be relevant and timely. It also needs to be something that you can’t send via a post on the blog or can’t wait for the blog to send automatically. So it has to be special too.

Broadcasts outside of content need to be the exception, not the rule. Subscribers don’t like to fee bombarded. If every broadcast is “20% off, free shipping” then people tune out pretty quickly.

Lynn: In your experience, what is the best placement for the opt-in box on your site or blog?

Phil: If you have just one option, then above the fold, clearly and unambiguously an email subscription offer. That is also where the incentive offer can go. The sidebar is a great place for this, or even in the banner!

You can also offer subscriptions at the foot of each post, so once a visitor has read it you’re ready to ask them for their subscription. But that option should be as well as, not instead of, your above the fold, incentive-based subscription form.

Lynn: Most people already know that my favorite method of generating traffic is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). What is one of your favorite methods of getting new visitors to your blog - the kind of visitors that turn into subscribers and regular readers?

Phil: Content is still king - high quality content that generates referrals from readers. Guest posting works well too, where the guest brings some of her readers to your blog, and where (if you guest post elsewhere) you can generate interest to have new visitors explore.

Interestingly, though, some of my most popular posts are ones that have been slightly off-topic and a little controversial. Being brave can work out really well! But I’m generally pretty brutal on sticking to my key phrases – “Email marketing” and “FeedBurner alternative” – no matter what I write, primarily for SEO reasons.

* * * * *

Thank you Phil! 😀

I hope you guys enjoyed that as much as I did. I am a big fan of Phil's brand new guide List Building for Bloggers, and am using it myself to refine my email marketing strategy. It's chock full of actionable tips you can easily implement in minutes, plus many creative ideas you may not have thought of before...

Click Here to Download List Building for Bloggers

It's an excellent read - one I continue referring back to. Enjoy!


About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. Excellent interview! I'm in the process of reading it and wish I had more time just to sit and read more than a page at a time ha ha I definitely need to work on my list. But I do have one so it's a start.

    • I devoured it like a hot fudge sundae 😀 I just went back through it over the weekend to create a task list from all my highlights & notes. Next step: implementation! Really excited about some of the creative ideas I had while reading it...

  2. Thanks for the interview! That was fun 🙂


    • Thank YOU Phil - it was great to learn more about your thoughts behind publishing this book, and on email marketing. I look forward to seeing what you come out with next!!

  3. Melissa Evans says

    Thank you Lynn for more good information. I purchased the book (using your link :- ) and am just printing it off now. Will let you know my thoughts.

  4. James Foster says

    It does look like we have had plenty of food for thought. However I agree with the points that allow you setting up of an auto responder and allowing the provision of an incentive for sign-ups.

  5. Contents are the best to attract traffic. With good guest post you can attract 70% traffic of another blog

    • I hadn't heard that statistic before. I suppose you'd need to know the blogger's stats, number of uniques & subscribers, to determine the exact percentage. Not something I generally ask. You?

  6. Excellent interview with Phil Hollows. I've been a Feedblitz customer and fan since 2005 and can honestly say, Phil is one of the nicest guys on the 'net and his company offers superior service. I love List Building for Bloggers and have implemented quite a few of Phil's tips. I think it's a must read (and action plan) for all bloggers.

  7. Talk about asking the best questions that we all want to know about. I've listened to a lot of Phil in the past because I started with Feedblitz back in 2006 when I took Denise Wakeman's first blog course. Auto pilot is the only way to go.

    Thanks, Lynn and Phil, for more great content. BTW, I bought "List Building for Bloggers" and right now, I don't even have a blog. Well worth the price!

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