My Biggest Blogging Mistake EVER (And How to Start an Email List for Free)

 
Over the past 4 years that I’ve been blogging, I think it’s safe to say I’ve made every mistake in the books.
 
From uploading tiny horizontal images to Pinterest, to using 500 different colours and fonts on my blog, to using pictures I found on Google in my blog posts (I still cringe a bit at that one).
 
But if you were to ask me what my biggest blogging mistake EVER was — the one thing that was most detrimental to the growth and success of my blog — my answer would be simple…
 
Are you making this one HUGE mistake that's stopping you from making money as a blogger? Here's how to fix it (for free!)

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. This means I earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. For my full disclaimer, click here.*

 
My biggest blog mistake was not having an email list.
 
Email lists are incredibly important for bloggers, especially if you want to turn your blog into a source of income. Think of your email list as the backbone of your whole operation, and your email list subscribers as the VIPs of your blog and biz.
 
Whenever you upload a new blog post, your email subscribers will be the first in line to read it. When you launch a new product, they’ll be first in line to buy it. They follow you on social media, watch your Instagram stories, re-pin your pins on Pinterest, leave lovely comments on your blog, and just generally do awesome things.
 
Without an email list, your chances of turning your blog into a career become a whole lot slimmer.
 
I’ve run 3 different blogs over the past 4 years, and none of them had an email list until Blog Beautifully. Why? Because I didn’t know any better! I blogged mostly about beauty and mental wellness, and it wasn’t that common for bloggers in those niches to have email lists (at least at the time), so the idea never occurred to me.
 
Related: 5 Major Mistakes New Bloggers make + How to Fix Them
 
But once I started subscribing to bloggers like Melyssa Griffin and Regina of byRegina.com, I saw first-hand how useful and valuable your email list can be.
 
Your email list is your ticket to the big league, my friends.
 
Nowadays, over 75% of my income comes directly through the emails I send out to my mailing list. And you can make money from your email list too!
 

Why Email Lists are So Important for Bloggers

Email lists are useful for way more than just re-hashing your latest blog post. Here are a few different things you can do with your email list:

  • Promote new and old blog posts and get more traffic
  • Pre-launch/launch your newest product or service
  • Get feedback and opinions about your blog and content
  • Determine what topics interest your audience most
  • Meet new people, make connections, and build community
  •  
    Related: 11 Reasons Bloggers Need an Email List From Day One
     

    How to Start an Email List (For Free!)

    One of the biggest hurdles I had to jump over when starting my email list was figuring out the technical side of things: choosing an email list provider, creating opt-in freebies, designing and scheduling emails, etc.
     
    Hopefully by this point I’ve convinced you that an email list is an absolute necessity — and if that’s the case, you might be wondering about the technical side of things too.
     
    Don’t worry — it’s not nearly as hard as you think!
     
    And it doesn’t have to break the bank either. I started my email list on MailChimp, and I think they’re a great platform for beginners. With a free MailChimp account, you can have up to 2,000 subscribers and can send out 12,000 emails per month. When you’re just starting out, that should be plenty.
     

    How to Start a Free Email List With MailChimp

    To sign up for a free MailChimp account, here are the 8 steps you’ll want to follow (with pictures to demonstrate!)
     
    1.Click here to visit MailChimp’s website and then click the big blue button in the middle that says “Sign Up Free”.
     

     

    2. Enter your blog’s email address and choose a username and password. Then click “Get Started” at the bottom of the page.
     
    How to start a MailChimp account step 2
     

    3. MailChimp will then send you an email asking you to confirm your sign up. Click “Activate Account” in the email to get things rolling.
     
    How to start a MailChimp account step 3
     

    4. You’re then re-directed to the MailChimp website, and you have to do one of those silly Captcha things to verify that yes, you are indeed a human. One you complete it, click the grey “Confirm Sign-Up” button.
     

    5. Next you have to fill in a bunch of information about yourself and your blog.
     
    You’ll be asked for your full name, information about your “organization” (blog), your website URL, time zone, and address. For legal reasons, all email list platforms require that your address is included on every email you send to your subscribers (but don’t worry, they automatically add it to your email footer for you).
     
    How to set up your MailChimp account step 5
     
    6. Next, you’re asked if your business sells anything online. If so, MailChimp will help you integrate your store with your account so you can send specific and targeted emails to your customers. They have integrations for WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, and more.
     
    how to start a free MailChimp account step 6
     
    7. At this stage, you can also connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to your email list, if you like.
     
    how to start a free MailChimp account step 7
     
    8. You’re then given the option to subscribe to one of MailChimp’s newsletters or series: one to help you learn the ropes with MailChimp, and one to receive weekly newsletters with updates and info about new features.
     
    How to start a free MailChimp step 8
     
    After that, you’re all set and ready to get started. Welcome to MailChimp!
     
    You’ll automatically be taken to the Dashboard for your new MailChimp account. From here, you can do things like create a new list, browse email templates, and start a new “campaign” (email newsletter).
     
    To learn more about email lists, how to grow them, and what to include in your email newsletters, check out the other posts in this series:

     
    • The Best Tools + Tips to Grow Your Email List
    • 12 Do’s and Dont’s of Email Newsletters
     
    You can also learn TONS about email lists by clicking here.
     

    Please share this tutorial on Pinterest!Are you making this one HUGE mistake that's stopping you from making money as a blogger? Here's how to fix it (for free!)
     
    * Photos from the Styled Stock Library. Get yours here!

     
    This post was last updated on May 1st, 2017. If you notice that the MailChimp signup process is looking different than shown in this tutorial, please email me at krista@blogbeautifully.com so I can update the post.

     

    Viral Pins Masterclass

    Viral_pins_instagram

    Join me at the free Viral Pins Masterclass on Wednesday, May 24th and learn how to create pins that go VIRAL!

    Powered by ConvertKit

    Posted by Krista in EMAIL LIST, NEW BLOGGERS

    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    • I made this mistake too Krista. I went two years into my business before I created an email list. I could kick myself just thinking about it. Better late than never though! Pinning this to my “blogging tips” board. Great advice!

      • So many people make this mistake (and are still making it!) so don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m glad to hear you’ve started your list, I’m sure it’s amazing! Thank you so much for pinning, you rock 🙂

        x Krista