The best way to reach people is to go to them, not so much make them come to you. Blogging in many ways is much like providing a service. People seek your blog out usually to research something, attain knowledge, or to be informed.
Yes, there are those who write very compelling posts, that read like great novels, but for the rest of us, we blog to give back. At least I do! One of the best ways to give back is to bring the information straight to people, in the easiest way possible…their inboxes. I know, you’re thinking “I don’t want to email people and clog up their inboxes”, or your thinking they will think you’re spamming them. Not true! If you delivering valuable, useful, and resourceful content to your readers they will keep coming back for more, even more, they will ask you for more.
Many of us are subscribed to hundreds of blogs, and we don’t always get around to reading them everyday. This is what makes having an email newsletter that you can send out to your subscribers so great. Its awesome if some of your subscribers are getting your daily posts in their inboxes, but many don’t necessarily want something every single day from you. A newsletter is like a little treat, where you can be even more personal or offer something special to only subscribers. This is something you can’t do on your blog or it might not be the right place to share certain information.
Personally, I love receiving newsletters, because it never fails that I learn something new. I’m that much more apt to head over to that person’s blog and see what been going on lately on it. That’s the charm in having a newsletter, not only are you connecting with your readers on a more one on one level, but it also serves to build community and as a little reminder in their inbox about you and your blog. I can’t tell you how many times someone’s newsletter has gotten delivered to my inbox and in just seeing it, I click over to their blog. It works, I’m a tried and true testament.
You can triple, yes triple your readership and following, by having a newsletter and here’s how to get started:
1. Have sign-up section on your site
You can have this at the top of your site, like I have here:
In your sidebar, using a button like so:
After each post, like so:
And last, but not least, my personal favorite…a landing page for visitors to opt in on your list, like so:
You can have it in all three sections, like I do, or in just one. The reason I have sign up areas in multiple locations is due to the fact that visitors may land on my site in different areas that aren’t necessarily the homepage. I don’t want them to miss out on subscribing or not see where to do so, just because they’re not on my homepage or a page on my site that doesn’t have a sidebar.
2. Treat your subscribers
Let those who sign up to receive your newsletters know that they’re in store for some real goodies. So whether it be giving away a free printable, like I do or offering a special service or discount, give back. Its your thanks in return for them being a part of your list. When subscribers join my mailing list, they receive a free blog post planner. Its a small token of thanks for subscribing, but also know its something that can help them.
3. Keep your newsletter your newsletter, and your blog for your blog posts
Your newsletter is not a recap of your blog posts for the week. MailChimp (and other mail services) offer a service in which you can set up an RSS email, that will automatically pull your feed and send it out to people on a daily, weekly, monthly, etc. basis, but your actual newsletter is not that. A recap email is a great way to build a mailing list however, because those who receive it are getting your blog posts directly in their email. They’re the perfect candidates to send your newsletter to, because they’re already familiar with you.
4. Give your subscribers the inside scoop
Tell them what’s going on behind the scenes and what’s on the horizon. This is a great way to garner feedback from your readers as well, because they’ll be able to give you feedback and insight on the very things you’re telling them about. There is no better way to enrich your content, or come up with content than by doing this!
5. Send consistently, but not too frequently
You want to send your newsletter out frequently enough to where you’re consistent and your subscribers can come to expect it. However, again, its not your blog, so don’t go sending it out every day. Bi-weekly or at least once a month is plenty sufficient, unless you have special announcements that you feel your subscribers need to know about outside of those times. Rule of thumb is just not to clog up people’s inbox by sending too frequently. Also, if there is a time, say you have a newsletter series, and you’ll be sending it out frequently, give your subscribers a heads up. This way they know why they’re receiving so many emails from you or they can follow along with the series.
6. Promote your newsletter
There’s no magic formula to growing your readership or mailing list, but promotion is one way to do it. Its pretty much like everything else in the blogging world, you have to get the world out. Let your readers know you have a newsletter, tweet about it, or Instagram it. You’d be surprised how many people will sign up, especially if they know they’re getting something exclusive.
7. Expect growth, even if its slow and steady
It takes time to build up a mailing list. Don’t worry if you only have 5 people on yours for a while. Those five people subscribed for a reason, so don’t short change them by not sending out valuable, helpful content. They will spread the word to others, and eventually your mailing list will grow, hence growing your overall readership.
8. Never give out, sale, or compromise your subscribers contact information
Respecting your subscribers privacy is key! They need to know you won’t ever sale, give out, or otherwise compromise their information. This is another reason why you should use a respectable service like MailChimp, where the contact information is kept safe and sound. Additionally, not matter the service you use to send out your newsletter, always abide by their rules and terms and conditions. Its not worth getting trouble, having your service interrupted, and/or suspended with them. Plus, your subscribers will think that you’re pretty crummy and your integrity will be compromised. Again, its not worth it!
Alright, so there you have it! You’re set to forth and set up your newsletter and grow your readership and following to insane amounts.
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Get your newsletter going today! When you do, come back and let me know, so I can subscribe.
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