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 Images 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…
Not having an email list.
Email lists are SO 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 subscribers as the VIPs of your blog and biz.
Whenever you upload a new blog post, your subscribers are first in line to read it. When you launch a new product, they’re first in line to buy it. They follow you on social media, watch your Periscopes, re-pin your pins, 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 now. Why? Because I didn’t know any better! I blogged mostly about beauty and mental health, and it wasn’t that common for bloggers in those niches to have email lists, so the idea never occurred to me.
But once I started subscribing to bloggers like Melyssa of MelyssaGriffin.com, and Regina of byRegina.com, I saw first-hand how useful and valuable email lists can be.
Your email list is your ticket to the big league, my friends.
Why Email Lists are So Important
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:
How to Start an Email List (For Free!)
One of the biggest hurdles I had to jump over when I started my own email list was figuring out the technical side of things: choosing a provider, creating opt-in forms, 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’d highly recommend it for beginners. With a free MailChimp account, you can have up to 2,000 subscribers, and send those subscribers up to 12,000 emails per month — When you’re just starting out, that should be plenty.
How to Start a MailChimp Account
To sign up for a free MailChimp account, follow these 6 steps:
1. Go to www.mailchimp.com and click the red button in the top right corner that says “Sign Up Free.”
2. Enter your blog’s email address and choose a username and password. Then click “Create My Account” underneath the password field.
3. MailChimp will then send you an email to confirm your sign up. Click “Activate Account” in the email to get things rolling.
4. You’re then re-directed to the MailChimp website, and you have to do one of those silly reCAPTCHA things to verify that yes, you are indeed a human. One you complete the reCAPTCHA, 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 legality reasons, all email list platforms require that your address is included on every email you send to your subscribers (but don’t worry, they add it to your email footer automatically).
6. At this point, you can also choose to upload a profile picture if you like. Once you’ve filled in all the fields, hit “Save and Get Started” at the bottom of the page. And that’s it!
Welcome to MailChimp!
You’ll be taken to a page that looks like this:
This is the Dashboard for your MailChimp account. From here, you can do things like create a new list, browse email templates, and start a new “campaign” (email newsletter).
Next, head on over to read the other posts in this series:
The Best Tools + Tips to Grow Your Email List
12 Do’s and Dont’s of Email Newsletters
Be sure to share the love on Pinterest!