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If you’ve been blogging for awhile or have even done just a little bit of blogging research, you’ve probably heard about one common thing over and over again…
…an email list.
So, what is it? And do you need one?
What is an email list?
Basically, an email list is the best way for you to stay in contact with your blog’s readers and subscribers.
It’s how I communicate with all of the lovely women within the Tendril Wild community. 🙂
And if you’ve joined my How to Start a Blog free email course or downloaded 50 Ways to Practice Self Care for Introverts, you automatically receive more emails from me with my best tips and tricks about blogging or you receive my monthly self care newsletters.
In the same way, your blog readers will subscribe to your newsletter or maybe a free email course that YOU create, and you’ll be able to talk to them and send them important updates whenever necessary.
I already know what you’re thinking. Probably because I had the same thought when I was first starting out on my blogging journey.
“Yeah, that makes sense…but can’t I just communicate with my readers on social media?”
Here’s the thing.
You don’t own your social media accounts.
All that slaving away you’ve done on Instagram, trying to find that perfect filter combo (guilty), talking to different bloggers, trying to connect and build your audience…
…or chattin’ it up on Twitter, retweeting content you love while growing your own following of dedicated readers…
Yeah. That could all go poof tomorrow.
Just like that. *sassy finger snap*
You don't own your social media accounts—build an email list to connect with your readers.Click To Tweet
Twitter could one day become obsolete with the introduction of some new app or technology (not super likely, but you catch my drift).
With all of Instagram’s recent changes and hullabaloo, things could quickly go south for bloggers (which has already taken place), and the platform could become pretty useless.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
If you’ve only taken the time to grow your social media following and not an email list, then the demise of these popular social platforms could spell the end of your blogging career, and that would be a dang shame.
Because your email list is how you market and sell to your audience.
Your social media followers aren’t nearly as likely to buy something you sell, but your email list?
They subscribed to hear more from you because they enjoy you + what you have to say, so you know they already like what you’re (figuratively) selling, and are primed to want more.
That’s bomb news for you.
You don’t have to have a popular blog or lots of readers to start building an email list. That’s a myth. It’s actually better to start as soon as possible.
That means right this second, homie.
Why I switched from Mailchimp to MailerLite
I recommend my absolute favorite email service provider for bloggers, MailerLite.
So many reasons…
Before I launch into a janky rendition of “My Favorite Things”, blogger style, I’ll just quickly list some of the basic aspects that make MailerLite such a good choice:
1. It’s FREE.99.
Hello. Does it get any better than that?
No. No, it doesn’t. Duh.
MailerLite does offer account upgrades, so you can always purchase a larger account plan for when your blog (and reader numbers) grow.
When you sign up, you get your first 1,000 subscribers fo’ free. #YAAASSS
2. It’s stupid easy to use.
Seriously. I think it took me about 10 minutes to figure out all the main stuff on MailerLite and how to use it.
There’s a drag-and-drop template builder that makes it extremely simple and fast to build your emails.
3. It’s customizable to match your blog.
You can use your own blog/brand colors to make your emails, popups, buttons, subscription forms, etc. look cohesive. This is a huge advantage because it makes you look way more professional and legit.
4. It offers cool stuff that other email services make you pay for.
I didn’t start with MailerLite when I first started blogging. I went with another super popular email service provider (ESP) that a lot of bloggers I looked up to promoted: Mailchimp.
And I really liked Mailchimp…
…until I didn’t.
There were a lot of things I needed to do that it just couldn’t hack, such as sending multiple content upgrades in a non-complicated way and subscribing people to multiple email lists automatically instead of having to manually do it myself. Major bummer.
The automation feature (SUPER IMPORTANT) also required you to have a paid account.
Another major bummer.
Are you currently using Mailchimp? Take a closer look and compare more features of Mailchimp and MailerLite below:
MailerLite also allows you to create your own landing pages. This is a coveted feature that another popular website charges about $400 per year for. Ick. No thanks. I’ve never used the other site that offers this service because…poor.
Subscribe to the Tendril Wild newsletter to see the MailerLite automation feature in action.
(Once subscribed, you’ll automatically receive a welcome email—straight to yo’ inbox.)
5. There’s a variety of opt-ins to choose from.
Popup Form: Create a popup form for your website to display during certain times, for example before a visitor exits your site or after a certain amount of time has passed (determined by you).
Landing Page: Select from several templates to create a landing page for your new eBook, email course, webinar, and more. Usually, this particular service is costly, but it’s 100% free with MailerLite. I used this option with my free email course that shows you how to start your own blog.
Embed Form: You’ve seen those email subscription forms in the sidebar of most blogs? Create your own using the embed form option. I’ve got these sprinkled all throughout my website, including in my sidebar and at the very bottom of my website.
Subscribe Button: I think this is probably my favorite opt-in because it’s so easy to create and customize. Place this anywhere and everywhere on your own site—this makes for a great “download” button for content upgrades/freebies at the bottom of blog posts.
Here’s an example of one of my subscribe buttons to download 50 Ways to Practice Self Care for Introverts:
Again, you can customize each of these to reflect your brand aesthetic using a free MailerLite account.
How to Start an Email List with MailerLite
1. Create an account at MailerLite.com.
You’ll need to have a self-hosted WordPress.org blog and use your blog’s email that came with your web host to start using MailerLite. Use my tutorial here to start your own blog.
2. Next, create a list.
From your MailerLite dashboard, click on Subscribers at the top of the page. Then click Add New Group. This list will be your main blog subscriber list—the one that readers sign up to.
As such, you’ll want to name it something like “YOUR BLOG NAME Newsletter”.
Since switching to MailerLite in December of last year, my subscribers have more than doubled.Click To Tweet
3. Create your first email newsletter campaign.
Click Campaigns at the top of the page. Then click Create Campaign. I suggest starting with a regular campaign and using the drag-and-drop template editor, as that’s the easiest to create. In the future, when you want to create a new campaign, you can just copy then edit one of your previous ones; this way, each campaign you send will look the same and keep your branding cohesive.
4. Design and write your email, and fill in the necessary information for your new campaign.
Select the group you just created in step 1—people subscribed to that list will receive the campaign you’re now creating.
Create a title for your email—make sure it’s something catchy so people will open it!
Decide when you want your email to go out. You can send it immediately, or you can schedule it for later. Personally, I like to write out several newsletters when I’m in a writing mood and schedule them out at different times. I send out my blog newsletter on the first Saturday morning of each month. 🙂
Make sure everything looks the way you want it to and then schedule or send your campaign.
Aaaaaand you’re done!
You just created your first blog email newsletter campaign!
*virtual high five*
Since switching to MailerLite in December of last year, my subscribers have more than doubled.
I have more subscribers to this blog, Tendril Wild, than I ever had to my first blog—in less time.
Get started with your email list today using MailerLite.
MailerLite offers both chat and email support and has an extensive Knowledge Base with over 100 help articles in case you get stuck. You can check out their Getting Started Guide here. MailerLite also continues to add more features every month, making it the perfect email marketing provider for growing bloggers and business owners.
Want more blogging-related posts?
- How to Start Your Own Blog
- How I Tripled My Blog Traffic in Two Weeks
- Why Blogging is the Perfect Hobby for Introverts
Do you have an email list for your blog? Have you used another email service provider in the past? Are you thinking about making the switch to MailerLite? I haven’t regretted it once! It’s one of the best blogging decisions I’ve ever made. 🙂 Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below!