Creating a Mailing List

Since February, I’ve been struggling with getting a mailing list sign-up on my blog. The value of a mailing list for authors has been cited in numerous articles I’ve read. In fact, you should be creating this list as soon as possible – well before finishing a novel.

I finally figured it out and wanted to share!

First, I created an account through http://www.mailchimp.com/ and designed a mailing list. I learned that having a wordpress.com site only allowed me to embed a POP-UP subscription window. I didn’t want the annoyance of a pop-up. Personally, I don’t want to be a pushy sales-person.

What I wanted was a subscription column added to my widgets on my blog home page. It turns out, using the wordpress.com platform, this isn’t possible – you need wordpress.org to do this. And I’m cheap – I couldn’t justify switching platforms at this point. Well, I found a work around.

Through MailChimp, I created a launchpad signup and added a link to this on my sidebar. It works great! (Assuming people actually see it!)

Simplified directions:

  1. Create MailChimp account
  2. Create a list through MailChimp
  3. Create a signup form (general form) through MailChimp
  4. Take this link and add it to your wordpress.com sidebar (customize format à widgets àadd text à add link for your signup Launchpad from MailChimp – here’s directions for getting the link in html format: https://en.support.wordpress.com/links/text-widget-links/ )

As I’m working on obtaining subscribers, I’m trying to figure out what I’ll do with this list. Here are my thoughts:

  1. Ask for beta readers of new books
  2. Offer free books in exchange for reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads (advance reader copies)
  3. Give free short stories away (as a cheap ploy to drive traffic to the novels)
  4. Announce when new publications are coming out
  5. ????

 Mailing List

(If you’re interested, click here for the link to sign up for my mailing list)

Do you have an email subscription list? What do you use it for?

12 thoughts on “Creating a Mailing List

  1. I was actually just looking into this last night and set up something. Because I have a blog, a webpage, a Facebook page, and other outlets, I had to think why the email list would be different. I also had to decide if it was just about my upcoming book, my future books, or all the things I do. I settled on a monthly email about ALL the things going on. This way I have 1 email list and can collect things all month to mention. I just need to design some type of header.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. good info! I’ve struggled before with the limitations of having a dot com as opposed to trying the dot org. if I had to face it, however, i’m probably not using my simple dot com to it’s full extent. so much I’m still learning (even adding a simple page the other day–gimme a break!).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 2017’s Quest to find 1000 “True” Fans | Joynell Schultz

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