Now that you have a mailing list, everyone is going to be telling you "the money's in the list!" as though this is some great master key to success in business. This is stupid, because the reality is that people are on your list and that the money is in those people's pockets.
Now, that said, there are some simple truths that do kind of revolve around the list. First of all, when someone is on your list, you can talk to them whenever you want. That means you control the timing of the message. Someone who goes to your blog might be there the day you posted a particular article, or three years later. But when you send an immediate email to your list - one you wrote to send out just once, today, to the whole list - that email gets to all your subscribers right now.
Which means you can ask for some of that money, and some number of your subscribers will probably say yes. Provided they get something in return. If you have a massive subscriber base that loves you, it's possible to just flat-out ask for donations and make a living wage. But if you don't, you're going to have to make a promise.
In short, you'll have to promote. And you will generally do this with affiliate links. It's possible to put AdSense ads in your email, or link to CPA offers, or sell what we call "solo ads" to other marketers, but fuck that shit. Those aren't right here, right now strategies. For that, you want a good list, a responsive list, that opens your emails (because you write good ones) and clicks the links that you put in all of them.
This is a Pavlovian response, and you're conditioning your list to do it; you want them to see your name in their inbox, then automatically open the email and click the link. And just like the dogs salivated when they heard the bell because Pavlov gave them food, you want them to open your email because they want to read it, and click on the link because they want to get what's on the other side of it.
There are eight million people out there teaching you how to write tricky sneaky email subjects that force people to open, and tricky sneaky email bodies that force people to click, but this is not fucking rocket surgery. Write good emails, and people will open them. Have links to good shit, and people will click them. Fuck sneaky subject lines, you don't even want them to think about your subject line. You want them to respond to you. Because you are a badass.
I have it on reasonably good authority that this is the core concept behind an $800 email product from a big-name marketer. When I mentioned to a friend who bought it that I was thinking of buying it myself, he said "you don't need it; you already do most of it." And then he went down a list of bullet points that were what he got out of the product. He's right; most of it, I already do (and teach). The rest, I don't do on purpose. I either think they're a bad idea, or I just plain don't want to do them.
The only thing you're going to change from your usual automated emails is you're going to send out a brand new email to your list, and you're going to be just flat-out honest. You're going to use a subject line that says you're telling them about something they need. You're going to write an email about why they need that product. And you're going to drop your affiliate link to the product sales page, where the vendor will tell them what it is and ask them to buy it.
And you're going to use what you know about your audience to design that. You're going to find a product that most of your audience wants (they do not already have it or a suitable substitute), needs (they will actually get a benefit from it that you can explain), and can easily afford.
You can put these in your automated emails, too, just check them every so often to make sure the links still work. And that last part is crucial. There are a lot of people saying "it is just as easy to sell a $5,000 product as it is to sell a $5 product!" and that is perfectly true - if your prospective customer has enough money to spend $5,000 the way most people spend $5.
It's a really simple process. FInd a good affiliate network, locate a product that will really help your audience, pick up a copy yourself to make sure it delivers on its promises (I have failed to do this in the past and it always, always, always comes back to bite me in the arse)... and just tell them why they need to buy it.
If all else fails, just tell them you would really like them to buy this because you want the money. There are worse sales pitches. Granted, there are not many worse sales pitches, but honesty goes a long way. They just need a reason.
We'll talk about some underlying psychological reasons for this tomorrow.