Disclosure: Product links may be affiliate. This means I earn a commission if you click through and purchase. This does not affect the price of your item.
Post contains affiliate links
So you took the plunge and started a blog. Congratulations! (If you haven’t yet started a blog, what are you waiting for? Check out our blog-starting guide now!)
Anyway. Now that that obvious self-plug is out of the way, on to the actual subject of today’s post: email!
[bha size=’468×60′ variation=’01’ align=’none’]
Email? What does email have to do with blogging?
What does email have to do with blogging? Everything! Your email list of your subscribers is your secret weapon to blogging success. These are the people who have read your blog, and enjoyed it so much that they subscribed. They’ve proven to you that they enjoy your content and want more. They are the ones who are the most likely to read your new posts, and click on your affiliate links, and buy your products.
So how do I go about starting an email list?
First you need to set up your blog email. As I mentioned in my “start a blog” post (there’s that self-plug again), when you sign up for hosting with Bluehost, you get a free email address @YourDomainName.com. You can access your email from your Bluehost dashboard, or go to Bluehost.com, click login, and choose “webmail login.”
The first time you log in to your Bluehost email, you will be prompted to choose a webmail client: Horde, Roundcube, or SquirrelMail. It doesn’t really make a difference which one you choose; they are just different interfaces for viewing your email. I personally like Roundcube the best. I found that Horde wasn’t updating my inbox automatically, so that I never knew if I was getting new emails unless I manually refreshed, and SquirrelMail’s interface is extremely basic and unappealing. But again, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose, and you can switch at any time without affecting anything.
[bha size=’760×80′ variation=’01’ align=’none’]
Yay! I have my blog email set up! Now how do I get subscribers and email them?
To do that, you need an email marketing provider. There are a number of those that seem to be popular in the blogosphere: ConstantContact, MailChimp, and MailerLite. With any of these email marketing services, you can do the following:
Create and embed sign-up forms for people to subscribe
Create pop-ups on your site that prompt people to subscribe
Collect all your subscribers’ email addresses in a list
Create a blog newsletter to email to your entire subscription list
Automatically send out an email to subscribers anytime your blog is updated
Automatically send a welcome email, or series of welcome emails, to new subscribers
Easily design custom emails
Track email opens and clicks to see which emails are most effective
Back up, I’m confused. What’s the difference between Roundcube and ConstantContact?
They are two completely different things! Roundcube is an interface to view your inbox and send individual emails. ConstantContact is an email marketing service that allows you to collect email addresses, automate email sequences, and send mass emails to your subscribers.
Got it. So how can I get started with this email marketing thing?
ConstantContact has a 60-day, risk-free free trial – no credit card required! Click here to check it out and sign up. When your 60 days are up, you can either upgrade to a paid account, or switch to a different email marketing service. (MailChimp and MailerLite both have free options for up to a certain number of subscribers).
When creating your account, you will be asked to provide your physical address. This is necessary for the CAN-SPAM act (I have no idea what that stands for, but I do know that whatever it is, it was called that in order to get to the CAN-SPAM acronym…) Your email marketing provider will automatically add your address to the footer of all your emails. If you don’t want to provide your home address, here are some other options:
Your business address
A paid PO Box
A virtual office
Your representative’s address: if you have an agent, VA (virtual assistant), accountant, lawyer, etc, you can use their address. Just be sure to ask them first 🙂
And that’s it! Email your subscribers to keep in touch (but not too often that it feels spammy.)
All this blogging stuff making your head spin? Then why not check out some yummy recipes instead!
Don’t forget to follow Bites ‘N Pieces on twitter @bitesnpiecesco, facebook facebook.com/bitesnpiecesco and Pinterest pinterest.com/bitesnpiecesdotco
For $5 off your next Colourpop order, click here!
Hey, are you signed up for ebates yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Sign up through this link, and we both get a bonus, and then you get cash back every time you shop online. Now that’s what I call a sweet deal!
Want a one-month free trial of Amazon Prime? Just click here!