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As a blogger, you’ve probably heard about mailing lists. Today, I am going to show you how to start a mailing list quickly and for free. I will also be explaining why every blogger should have a mailing list.
If you don’t have a blog yet and are interested in making one, I wrote a post on how to make a money-making blog not too long ago.
A lot of bloggers I have spoken to have told me that they do not have an active mailing list on their blogs.
From what I have read in what seems like dozens of articles about mailing lists, every blogger needs one.
This post contains affiliate links. I only promote what I have tried and loved, and if you choose to buy anything through my links, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you which lets me continue to produce new content on this blog. You can read my full disclaimer here.
Why do bloggers need a mailing list?
I want you to first think about what Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram have in common.
They’re free platforms, platforms which we do not own.
So, say you’re getting a ton of traffic from Pinterest. Great! However, if Pinterest were to shut down (God forbid!), your views would tank, and your main source of traffic would be gone.
PS. If you want to learn how to generate crazy traffic from Pinterest, you need The Pinterest Ninja in your life. It’s completely changed my Pinterest game and my views are SO much better already, and I’d only been implementing all the awesome strategies in the book for a few weeks.
We all know that views are important to bloggers. Even though we sometimes like to say that we don’t care about views, we care about the dang views.
Here are some reasons why you should have a mailing list:
Your mailing list is yours. Nobody can take it away from you.
Emails are a more personal kind of contact between blogger and readers.
Email subscribers are going to turn into your future customers.
Your email subscribers are not always likely to go to your blog and read it, but they are much more likely to open up an email from you that links to your blog. Ya get me?
Now that you know just how important a mailing list is to your blog, let’s get onto how the heck you’re supposed to make one.
Pin for later!
What email provider should you use?
If you’re just starting out with mailing lists and don’t want to spend money on it, I recommend MailChimp. However, if you want to look more professional and have more options with opt-ins and landing pages, ConvertKit is the best in the game.
Today I will be showing you how to create a free mailing list with MailChimp. They do have paid plans, but I had their free plan for a good few months and that was enough for me.
Their free plan is offered up until you hit 2000 subscribers, which is great for new bloggers.
Sign up is super easy. Go to MailChimp and sign up for a new free account following all the steps.
Now for the important part. In the signup process, you will need to create a “List”.
The List is where everybody who subscribes to you will end up. You will have all their emails in one list, so when it will be time to send your subscribers an email, all you have to do is choose that list.
MailChimp will help you create the list at sign up. You can name it something like “All subscribers” so that in the future you will know that this list is where all the subscribers’ emails hang out.
How to link my list to my blog?
In order for your subscribers to be added to your MailChimp list, you will need to integrate the two.
It might seem intimidating, but you only have to do it once and then you’re done!
Note: To do this step you need to have a box for people to subscribe to on your blog. The idea is that all those emails that will be subscribing will be going on your MailChimp list. Most themes, if not all, should have a subscribe box. Make sure you enable it!
What do I do now?
Once you have linked your blog to MailChimp and gained a few subscribers, you will have to start sending regular emails.
I send mine once a week, and it works out fine for me. I find that when I get more than 1-2 emails a week from people I’m subscribed to, it gets to be a little too much.
You can subscribe to me to see what kinds of emails I send out by providing your name and email in the Free Blogging Course form below this post!
How to send newsletters?
To send your subscribers emails, you will need to go to your MailChimp dashboard and click on Campaigns. MailChimp calls newsletters “campaigns” so that’s where you can create your newsletters.
You can fully customize the email from colors, font, pictures and more. A cool feature they offer is that you can schedule your emails in advance, which I take full advantage of!
Pro tip: Once a month, sit down and write and schedule all your newsletters for that month. You can totally bang out 4 emails in a day!
What to send my subscribers?
Here are some ideas you can start with:
-Your newest blog posts
-Content and tips that isn’t on your blog
-A follow up to a post you’ve written before
-Market research questions
-A behind-the-scenes of your blog life
If you’re looking at the above ideas and thinking, “Okay, this is great. But how do I actually write these newsletters?” I’ve stumbled upon the best thing I personally didn’t know I needed until I got it.
The Email Marketing Fairy by Kate Doster! What this is, is an ebook with 117 pages FULL of word-for-word emails that you can send your subscribers.
This isn’t an affiliate link, I just love the ebook so much, I thought I’d share it with everyone else.
Email marketing is sort of an art. You don’t want to be emailing people the same thing all the time (like with new posts). What I’ve learned is that you need to mix it up and keep things interesting.
Keeping it interesting was what I struggled with most before I got my hands on The Email Marketing Fairy. Now, all I have to do is pick which of the emails I find vibes with me the most that day, fill it in with my personal touch, and I’m good to go.
Kate also has an amazing free list of ideas you can send your mailing list for a whole two years, which I of course also got. I cannot recommend her stuff enough!
I hope I have convinced you enough to start a mailing list pronto. There is nothing better than knowing that your readers like hearing from you personally through email!
When I subscribe to anybody’s list, it’s because I want to hear more from them and get great content sent straight to me as opposed to me going out and looking for it.
And my last piece of advice is to be yourself when emailing your subscribers. At the end of the day, people subscribe to your mailing list because they enjoy your content. Make sure they enjoy the emails they get in their inbox too.