When it comes to being an author and being a blogger, there’s one thing that everyone will say you have to have.
If you’re looking into starting a blog or you’re trying to get a book published, everyone will tell you the same thing.
Start an email list. Get a newsletter.
I’ve been blogging since May 2012 but it wasn’t until November 2016 I decided to hop on the newsletter train. Of course when I did I had no idea what to do with it.
Revamping my blog for the new year was a great idea not only for the blog but for me to look at the way I’ve been doing things. There were certain things on the blog I didn’t like and changed. There were some things I did on the blog and I didn’t like my process for doing it. I took a look at my newsletter and past emails I’ve sent out and cringed. I am no longer wondering why my list is slow to grow.
I now know what was working and what wasn’t. And here’s what I’ve learned.
1. Show Your Thanks When People Subscribe
I’ve read many articles on the internet that all say the same thing:
“Have a lead magnet for your newsletter!”
“Throw in a freebie as an incentive for people to sign up!”
While that’s all well and good, I don’t want my readers thinking I’m dangling a cookie in front of their face luring them to my email list.
I started blogging to have an author platform, yes, but I always wanted to meet more writers and readers. I want to gain connections and make friends. When people subscribe to my newsletter, I’m flattered they care enough about my writing and about my aspirations to join me on my journey. I’m excited they feel inspired by me and believe they have something to learn from me.
So yes, add a freebie for new subscribers, but not to make your numbers grow. Do it as a genuine thank you.
2. Add A Welcome Email
One of the changes I made to my newsletter was that I added a welcome email. Why didn’t I have one before? Well, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how important it was.
Going along with the point above, having a welcome email is important because it shows your subscribers how much you care. It’s exciting when the numbers go up, sure, but these are real people who care about what you have to say. They feel like they can learn from you and are excited for, for example, a new book you’re writing.
So add a welcome email to show your thanks and excitement to anyone new who decides to join you.
3. Add A Goodbye Email
People come and people go. That’s life.
I’ll admit, it was weird writing a goodbye email because it was as thought I was anticipating people to unsubscribe. Writing a goodbye email is just as important as having a welcome email. It shows the people you care and it’s just a polite thing to do.
Say farewell as though you’re waving goodbye to an old friend. Maybe they unsubscribed because your content was no longer relevant to them. Maybe they left because they realized they didn’t like what you had to offer. Maybe you emailed too much. Or maybe you hosted a giveaway and they just wanted a shot at the prize. There’s nothing wrong with any of those reasons.
So, say thanks for the memories and while you’re at it, feel free to add a poll or something asking why they unsubscribed. They may or may not respond, but every feedback helps.
4. Less Is More But More Is Also More
When I first started my newsletter I had a couple thousand followers and thought to myself, “All these people follow and read my posts, so why wouldn’t they subscribe for more content?” Then, bam! I made a newsletter. And guess what? Barely anyone subscribed.
When starting an email list, you need to ask yourself a couple important questions:
- What makes my content so special?
- Why would people want a newsletter from me?
- What exclusive content can I give to my subscribers?
It’s not rocket science, but it’s not easy. People sign up for newsletter because they want more. More content, more freebies, more advice and information, etc. People just can’t get enough. So what can you do that gives them what they’re looking for? How can you help them?
You may not get this right away, I know I didn’t. But it’s something to think about.
Meanwhile, less is more because while people want more, they don’t want multiple emails from you a day. I’ve heard people who send out newsletters once a week, twice a month, once a month, once every two months, etc. Everyone blogger does it differently. Every subscriber has their own opinion. An email a day may be annoying to some, but not to others. You can’t please everyone. So, find a schedule that works for you without bombarding your readers.
5. Quality Over Quantity
Picking up from the “less is more” bit, remember that quality chumps quantity. You don’t want to send a couple sloppy emails each day. If you have something important to say, say it in a short and sweet message. If you want to do a wrap up and talk about your month or something, put effort into it.
Big newsletters should be spaced out and written nicely. Small updates and news here and there should be spaced out nicely as well, but short and sweet.
6. Treat It Like The Business It Is
Where you would be today if you had no support? What would your blog look like if you had no readers? How well would your books be selling if you had no fans? How can you sell something if you don’t shamelessly plug it and spread the word?
People start email newsletter because they have something to promote. Their blog, their shop, their book, anything. You’d be nowhere without your readers, your fans, your supporters. That’s why I say you should do most everything for your readers. You have to do something for yourself once in a while though.
Overall, your newsletter is promoting you and your work. You don’t want to dangle that cookie in your readers’ faces but you need to make a living too.
So, be proud of your work. Be excited with how far you’ve come. Show off your newsletter like it’s the latest trend.
With that said, who wants to SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter?