The Dreaded Mailing List

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An e-mail list is a valuable commodity and something we should all strive to get. Not just names on a list, these are people who like YOU and what you do. They are there for you and can be incredibly useful if you need help, from beta reading to promotion…

 

We are all familiar with the advice. ‘Create an email list!’

And for the first two years in Blogland, I really did try.

As I increased my knowledge, I kept on trying, but nothing much happened. I assumed I must be doing something wrong, and strived to do better.

But the first time I logged into MailChimp to learn how to get subscribers, my brain took one look and literally imploded. It all seemed impossible and totally beyond my capabilities.

I get this reaction all the time, as my brain would rather I spent my time gardening or something equally undemanding. It is only the huge stubborn streak I was born with that I manage to get anywhere in the technical world.

Eventually, though, I have managed to cope with Mailchimp and other just as confusing sites. I even had a subscriber pop up on our blog, which I’m still not sure was a good idea!

But it was slow going, and at this rate, I thought, I’ll be ninety before I have a decent email list!

Then someone introduced me to Instafreebie, a promotion site where you can add your e-books, free to everyone. The only proviso is that they have to subscribe to your email list.

In hardly any time at all, I had over 300 names on my list, and it grows every day.

The idea behind Instafreebie is for people to read your books and hopefully review them. There’s not too much of that going on just yet, but increasing my email list is a bonus.

The next thing I have to learn is how to use Mailchimp to create a newsletter to connect with all of my subscribers and remind them about writing a review. It only needs to be a few words, but SO important to writers!

The learning has begun, and I’m glued to Youtube. There are so many tutorials on there!

More about this development in a later post…

If at First you don’t Succeed!

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Last week, I finally managed to make sense of the Mailchimp website. Something I have been trying to do, on and off, for the best part of two years.

We are told it is important to build a mailing list, but up to now, my brain had resolutely refused to grasp the finer points. So imagine my delight, when I managed to create a pop up for our subscription list, something I never thought I would do, for they are not my favourite thing in the world. Annoying things, usually popping up (no pun intended) all the time.

I understand they are not meant to be. Once you subscribe, it shouldn’t appear the next time you visit. I felt a bit happier knowing that. So far so good, I thought.

But.   And there is always a but, at least when I’m around. One of our subscribers contacted me, wondering why she hadn’t received a welcoming email from us. Obviously, I had done something wrong, so I hot- footed back to Mailchimp to see if I could put it right.

Over an hour later, I gave up, frustrated to the point of chewing my hands off. But I have learned a thing or two on this blogging lark. When in doubt, google your problem. Chances are, you are not the first one and someone will have written a post on how to solve it.

Not all of these posts are well written or easy to understand, and it can take several searches to find the one for you. I am always amazed at how two people can explain the same thing to me, but only one of them will switch on that light bulb in my head.

Armed with this new knowledge, I go back to Mailchimp only to discover I had only completed half of the procedure and once this was put in place, our subscribers received their welcoming email.  Yay!

I also leaned that Mailchimp can amalgamate your subscribers from several places, building a comprehensive email list. Handy for us, as we have two blogs. For those who don’t know this,  we can be found on Blogger at http://anitajaydawes.com or www.anitajaydawes.net.

This was our first attempt at blogging, and a world away from WordPress, but we are quite fond of it. Can’t bring ourselves to close it somehow.

The next thing I want to learn is Paint.net, as everyone says how good it is. The ability to merge layers of images sounds good to me, but so far, a lot of it is going over my head. Mind you, it took me long enough to learn how to use Picmonkey, but I am so glad I did.

It’s a great pity you can’t find new and improved brain cells on the net, isn’t it?