April’s focus in the 1000 “True” Fan blog series is SMALL CHANGES.
This Weeks Mission: Is having your own website domain worth it?
Since I began blogging over a year ago, I’ve stuck to the free web hosting at wordpress.com. My site address has been: http://www.joynellschultz.wordpress.com
I don’t know if you know this, but I’m super cheap. I couldn’t see spending the money on my own domain.
Now, I’m facing two main issues that had me debating if upgrading my web address to http://www.joynellschultz.com (dropping the wordpress.com) would solve.
- I’m only having a 35% newsletter open rate. I’ve spent all this time and energy building my mailing list, and I’m having many people I know say my newsletters are going into their junk folder. Is it because I’m sending these from my free gmail account?
- Does having a wordpress site look unprofessional? I have two books out now and have a few more on the horizon.
So, I looked at the cost of having my own domain…only $35.88 per year through WordPress. No problem. I thought that was worth it…
BUT, what I didn’t know is that you don’t get your own email address with that. You need to pay another $50/year.
Okay. It’s an experiment. I’ve been told having my own domain and email will solve my newsletter open rate…So I got out the credit card and paid the extra $50.
How did spending $85.88 help me?
- My newsletter open rate: Guess what? With the new domain email address, the open rate was EXACTLY THE SAME! Though, different people saw this email versus the last one. I was disappointed, but have a few ideas to fix it up… I can resend the important newsletters from the second email address to hopefully reach the non-openers. Also, having my own domain allows me to use a cheaper mailing list service when it’s time I need to pay for it.
- Professionalism: Without a doubt, having your own site looks more professional.
Other things…I’m excited to have more tools available through WordPress by having my own domain. I cannot comment on them yet, but hopefully I can speak intelligently as to the benefits as the year goes on.
So…a summary of how last week went, for those of you who are following this journey on a week-to-week basis.
Review of Past Week (Mission 15: Novel Back Matter): Success!
I finished up a prequel to Love, Lies & Clones and added a link to it at the end of that novel. You can read about how this went HERE. Next up: In May, I’m trying a “FREE” day on Amazon to get some downloads…and hopefully people will read the novel and sign up for the newsletter when they finish. Fingers crossed.
So…how’s my progress going on my way to 1000 true fans?
Current Mailing List Subscriptions: 1767 fans / 1000 true fans (Up 132 people since last week.)
Next Week: As you can see, I’ve met my goal of 1000 newsletter subscribers. As we move forward through this year, we’re going to start focusing on converting these subscribers to actual “true” fans. My subscriber numbers may actually go down in the next months.