3 Tips for Building and Growing Your Email Newsletter

Today I’m excited to have mom blogger Sterling Jaquith here to talk about your email newsletter.

All right ladies!  You blogging dreamers!  You work-from-home warriors! Let’s talk about your email newsletter because it is crucial for your success.  Your email list is golden.  Your email list is your family.

ABCs of Blogging: 3 Tips for Building and Growing Your Email Newsletter

As social media platforms come and go, you can’t put all your eggs in the Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram basket.  Algorithms are always changing and that means that you can’t predict when these social media sites will feature your posts or when your posts will fade into the background.  That is why you must always be building your email list. No one can take that away from you.

Your email list is like your own personal internet bullhorn.  The bigger it is, the louder you can be.

Now if you’re like me, you’ve heard this before but you still weren’t sure what to actually DO about it.  Building an email list and writing an email newsletter feels daunting, overwhelming and quite frankly… hard.  But all the things in life worth doing are hard lady, so let’s get to it!

Step One: Pick An Email Service

You have to use a third party service to send out an email newsletter.  You can’t just use your gmail account or the email that comes with your website.  If you send out an email to too many people with your regular email account, it’ll get flagged as spam and your email address will get blacklisted.  This is bad.

You need to use a service like MadMimi, MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, etc.  Here is an article that breads down who does what.

I think most small bloggers use MailChimp.  It’s free for a long time and it’s pretty easy to use.  I really like what Annie Deddens puts out for both her Catholic Wife Catholic Life site and for her Pray More Novenas site and I’m sure she has thousands of people on her list so it can work even after you’ve gotten pretty big!  I use Aweber but honestly that’s because my husband and I both run websites and we could use one account for all our sites and so this just worked for me.

If you don’t know what you’re doing… welcome to the club… we’re all winging it.  YouTube is your best friend.  Anytime I have to learn any new technology, I go to YouTube and watch someone ten years younger than me show me how to set it up and use it.  Don’t try to figure it out on your own when a 7 minute video will save you three hours!

Step Two: Create Something Valuable To Give Away For Free – Your Email Newsletter Hook

We all get hundreds of emails and we know when we sign up on a website with our email that we’re going to get MORE email.  So you have to make it worth it for your readers. Give them a compelling reason so they want to give you their email.  Spend some time and create something that’s genuinely useful and then give it away for free.

If it only took you an hour to make it, it might not be useful enough.  Make something you feel so proud of that you would sell and then give it away for free.  That’s how you’re going to get your email list up into the thousands. Then later, when you’re ready to sell something, you’ve got a huge platform that you can send it to.

Here you can see my Catholic Weight Loss Companion for Emotional Eaters is what I designed to grab new email addresses.  I launched it in January of 2016 and it was crazy successful.  It came from the heart, it was addressing a real problem that women had and I gave away all of that information for free.  It probably took me 5-7 hours to create this.

Step Three: Love Your List Like Family

This is such an important step and, I think, the easiest to overlook.  You’ve built your list.  You have your fans.  Now, you have to actually email them.  I STILL struggle with this.  I don’t want to “bug them.”  I don’t want to over email them.  And sometimes I just don’t know what to say.

Don’t let those excuses let your list get cold.

Keep it warm by emailing them often.  Depending on how much business you do and how often you update your own website, the frequency you email your list will vary for each one of you.  I put out a weekly podcast and another blog post so I send out at least 2 emails per week.

I think of my list as my friends.  When I get excited about something, I want to tell my friends!  So I like sharing my life with them and I hope that the things I discover that help me will help them too!

Everything that we do should come from a place of love.  Sometimes that means letting people know when you found a new and awesome laundry detergent.  Sometimes that means sharing the grief in your life with your followers.  Be real. Be honest.  And don’t let your list fade into the background.
You can do this!

On a last note, as the internet is always changing and always evolving, you have to be committed to continuing your education.  You’re going to have to learn new stuff.  That’s the hardest part about my blogging adventures.  I want to stick with the things I know, the things I’m comfortable with.  But as the rules change and the winds blow, I have to keep up with the internet trends if I want to survive.  This isn’t like knowing what the cool kids wear… if you don’t keep up, people won’t see your work.

And we’re all here to bring some love into the world.  You want to do that in the most effective way you can and that means stepping out of your comfort zone and learning new things.  Schedule time into your month to acquire new skills.

Go get ‘em ladies!

ABCs of BloggingSterling is a wife and mama to three girls under 5 who loves being Catholic! She didn’t always. Now she’s trying to figure out how to become a saint while still owning an iPhone and chasing around little kids. Join her as she writes about faith, marriage, motherhood, health, homemaking, finances and rest… it’s a lot! But God asks a lot of us and gives us the grace to make it through.

Further Reading

Want to take your blog to the next level? Check out the BlogPreneur course from Business2Blogger (that’s my affiliate link) and learn how to turn your blog into a money-making business. I’ve been a fan of Holly Homer’s for years now and appreciate her advice; now, it’s all packaged in this easy-to-use course for you to do at your own pace from your own home. Enroll NOW! Registration ends February 29, 2016.

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