The number one mistake people make when they start building their online business is to ignore list building until the very last. They like to focus on how to generate traffic, create this very complicated sales funnel and even spend lots of time and money in building a product. The truth is that if you are not building a list since day one, then you are losing a lot of money in future sales, something that people do not understand about the power of list building.
You see, list building is the only possible way for you, as a business owner, to create future sales without the need of having new visitors to your website. This is possible because the real power of building a list lies in the relationships you create with that list. If you manage to get a good relationship with your subscribers, then you will see your online income skyrocket. Why? Because they will begin to trust you and when you want to promote something new, they would at least open your email and check the sales page, and as you know, the more people going to your sales page, the higher your conversion rate.
Also you can make money without any new visitors to your site, because you can leverage the power of your list to create new products that will manage to fulfill your subscribers needs and wants. You do this by creating a communication with your list asking them what they want to know more about, or what the biggest problem they are facing when dealing with a specific need.
Now once you get their responses, then you can create something that will cover those needs. Then it is up to you if you want to charge something for the product created or just offer it for free, as a gift for their loyalty and trust to you. Either way both alternatives would create a path for future income from that list because even if you offer that product for free, that action will help you build an even stronger relationship with your subscribers and they will know more about you and the real mission of your business, which should always be to provide an excellent service to others.
There are many online business models you can follow online, but your real asset is definitely your list. That list is the only thing you could own in an online world and will provide you with lifetime customers as long as you are doing your job right.