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!)
- Create MailChimp account
- Create a list through MailChimp
- Create a signup form (general form) through MailChimp
- 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:
- Ask for beta readers of new books
- Offer free books in exchange for reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads (advance reader copies)
- Give free short stories away (as a cheap ploy to drive traffic to the novels)
- Announce when new publications are coming out