About eight years ago I learned a very important lesson from Dr. Wayne Dyer, the best-selling author of over 40 books.
In one of his coaching programs he shared a story about when he was first getting started as an author that really helped me out.
Most of his books are centered around topics such as spirituality, inner peace, intuition, intention etc.
The story he shared was about when he first started becoming fairly successful as an author and when he was finally starting to sell quite a few copies of his books.
As his book sales and popularity started to grow, an interesting phenomenon started to happen to him.
The Rise of the Haters
What started to happen to him is that at the same time as he was getting more popular and loved by his fans, he started also getting letters from people who hated his work!
If you’ve ever read any of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s work, you’ll understand when I say that his writing is VERY peaceful and spiritual and very calming…
… yet SOMEHOW even Dr. Wayne Dyer gets HATERS who hate his work!
He tells the story of one time, early on in his career, when he received a box from a man with a little note attached.
When he opened the box, and read the note, it basically said that the man hated his book, thought it was complete garbage and was “returning it”.
Inside the box was the book with every page torn out and shredded!
Can you believe it? Someone actually sent Dr. Wayne Dyer a shredded copy of one of his books – LOL.
That was not the only time he has received “hate mail”.
He has gotten many letters and emails from people complaining about his books and his work, as has pretty much EVERY successful author on the planet.
Of course they also get a tonne of fan mail from people who LOVE their work as well!
The reason Dr. Dyer shared this story in the coaching program was because he wanted to communicate the importance of NOT allowing your “haters” to stop you.
You MUST go after you dreams in life and not let “haters” stop you.
So how does this relate to growing an your Blog audience and your email list?
Well, to grow your audience you MUST learn to polarize!
What does polarize mean?
Polarizing Your Message
Polarizing is essentially the process of moving people to form a stronger opinion of you, regardless whether that opinion is positive or negative.
There are many ways to do this, but essentially the main idea is to SPEAK YOUR TRUTH and to not be afraid to express your beliefs publicly on your Blog.
I’ll give you an example of this right now.
I believe in the Law of Attraction. I believe that the Law of Attraction is real, and it is an incredibly powerful tool that you can use in your life to either manifest what you want by learning how to use the Law of Attraction to your benefit – OR – you can also manifest what you don’t want, usually by being ignorant about how the Law of Attraction works.
The Law of Attraction does NOT care whether you believe in it or not – it still works, either way.
It’s a Universal law, that works just like gravity. Gravity doesn’t care if you believe in it or not – it continues to work either way.
The Law of Attraction is NOT the only law of the Universe, there are others, but it is one of the most powerful Universal laws out there.
Now, by writing what I just wrote – I just polarized my audience (ie. you).
See, if you don’t believe in the Law of Attraction, and you think it’s just “woo woo crap” that New Age people delude themselves with, then reading what I just wrote probably polarized you at least a little bit against me.
Meaning, your opinion of me just strengthened in the direction of “Hmm..I don’t know if I like this guy..he believes in that woo woo stuff.”
AND if you DO believe in the Law of Attraction, and you think that I’m totally right about what I just wrote above, you opinion of me just strengthened as well probably in the direction of “Hmm…I like this guy…he believes in what I believe in too. Cool!”
Of course it’s no secret that I believe in the Law of Attraction. Most of my readers have known about this since pretty much the first day I launched my Blog, so it shouldn’t be any surprise to anybody by now.
I just used this as an example so that you understand what polarization means.
Polarization means being truthful and honest about expressing your beliefs and being OKAY with the fact that SOME people will be TURNED OFF by what you write, while other people will be TURNED ON by what you write.
It means speaking your truth and not caring.
It means NOT trying to please EVERYONE.
If you try to please everyone you become irrelevant.
People will not want to read your Blog or subscribe to your email list if you are too scared to have an opinion!
Being Okay With Unsubscribers
Since starting my blogging journey I’ve built an email subscriber list of just under 10,000 people.
It actually used to be over 10,000 people, but I’ve been doing a bit of “pruning” lately.
Now let me share a little “secret” I have for building an email list of over 10,000 people.
POLARIZE, POLARIZE, POLARIZE!
When I first started building my email list, and I had my first 10 to 20 email subscribers, I got my first unsubscribe.
In my mind I thought “Oh NO! Someone unsubscribed! What did I do wrong?”
And so I looked at the reason they unsubscribed, and they didn’t put any reason.
I felt bad and wondered what I did wrong.
Then, I kept blogging and soon I had 50 subscribers, but with more subscribers I also had more unsubscribes as well!
I tried to figure out why people were unsubscribing and a few of them left a reason!
Their reasons were usually something like “Too many emails” or “Not interested in your crap” or “Scam” or something like that.
The funny thing is that I would get people saying “Too many emails” when I was sending out emails daily, and I would get the exact same message when I emailed my list once a month!
I would get people saying “Scam” as their reason for unsubscribing when I would write a Blog post where I would promote some kind of product or service as an affiliate, AND when I would write a Blog post that was just pure VALUE given away for free to my readers.
In other words, as I looked more and more into my “Unsubscribers” trying to figure out why the heck they are unsubscribing, I realized that no matter what I did or didn’t do, they still unsubscribed!
Meaning, it didn’t matter if most of my Blog posts were pure value, without me promoting anything ever, or if I was promoting multiple things in a month, and it didn’t matter if I was emailing daily or weekly or monthly…
… no matter what I did, I realized that a certain percentage of people are just going to unsubscribe and there’s nothing I can do about it.
BUT, what I did realize is that if I just keep blogging and keep WRITING what I believe, and do the right things to grow my list, my email list of subscribers will grow just as my list of unsubscribers will grow as well – and that’s OKAY!
In fact, over the last 8 years as my list of subscribers has grown to just under 10,000 people, guess how many people have UNSUBSCRIBED from my email list?
Yup, that’s right…I’ve had over 12,500 people UNSUBSCRIBE from my email lists for one reason or another!
Isn’t that crazy?
This means that I’ve actually had over 22,000 people subscribe to my email lists at one point during the last 8 years, and over 12,000 decided to unsubscribe.
And you know what?
I don’t care!
It doesn’t hurt my feelings.
I am completely neutral about it.
I don’t “hate” those people, nor do I dislike them.
They’re probably awesome people, living awesome lives, but for some reason or another, they either didn’t resonate with something I wrote on my Blog, or they simply weren’t interested in continuing to receive emails from me, or any number of possible reasons.
Whatever the reason is – I don’t care!
I don’t concern myself with those people who unsubscribe.
I only concern myself with those people who stay subscribed, and who DO resonate with my message, my beliefs and who want to continue to receive emails from me.
By making that energetic shift – of BEING OKAY with technically the MAJORITY of people NOT resonating with everything I write or with how I write my emails or how often I send them out, it allows me to form a stronger bond with those people who DO like what I’m doing.
I’m HAPPY with polarizing my audience.
I want people to either LOVE what I’m doing and stay subscribed for more or HATE what I’m doing and unsubscribe.
I don’t want people to be indifferent.
And that is one of the biggest things you have to realize about building an audience, and building your email list.
You MUST learn to be okay with the majority of people not liking you for who you are, and still feel comfortable enough to express who you are, because that is the ONLY way that you’ll build a solid following of people who DO like you for who you are.
DON’T try to be neutral, diplomatic, unopinionated, and hope that by staying sterile and neutral about everything you’ll attract the largest audience.
That is not the way it works.
You grow an audience by growing a pair and expressing your opinion, your beliefs, and being YOU.
Some people will LOVE you for it, some people will HATE you for it, and that’s okay!