Having a newsletter as an author is a vital connection between writer and reader. I’ve been researching the link and I have been trying to offer a newsletter to my readers for a while. With a WordPress site like mine, you can’t usually add a subscription form, but I have managed to work my way around that.
At first I found writing a newsletter a bit daunting, as it’s conversational between author and reader and I wasn’t sure what format my readers would like best and didn’t want them to feel like they were bombarded with emails. I finally managed to work out how to use MailChimp, but then found that I couldn’t integrate it to my site. Here’s what I have done:
- I signed up for a MailChimp free account.
- I worked out how to manage the lists there and am still getting used to their customisable themes.
- I added a newsletter sign up tab to my blog.
- I created a contact form.
- I used this form for people to send me their subscription details.
This can be a bit time consuming, as you do have to manually add each new subscriber to your MailChimp list, but it works for me. Once my latest readers subscribe, I add them to my list and they receive regular updates about my writing, or musings. Far from being as scary as I thought, I actually love being able to chat to people who enjoy my books and they seem to have fun finding out what I’m writing next. It also gives me the opportunity to ask my readers advice on what merchandise they would like to see, what stories they love best and for me to share more of my writing journey.
I read somewhere that a great subscriber list holds 1,000 true fans who love your work, want to support your author journey and read your new books. I’ve just started my own newsletter, but the people on it are vivacious and friendly and it’s such a compliment that they’ve signed up to find out more about my work. I may not have a 1,000 subscribers yet, but the one’s I do have are just as precious.
You are welcome to subscribe to my newsletter here: Lizzie’s Newsletter subscription link. I would love to see you there! Here is some of the book swag that you might find delivered by joining my newsletter.
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16 thoughts on “Sign up to my newsletter ;) Author tips.”
I have a MailChimp account but I’m scared to use it. I’ll bookmark this wonderful post though, so when I’m ready and have the time, I can set it up with your guidance. If you have any other articles about mailing lists, I’d love to read them!
Oh, and hi from Facebook! 😀
Hi Linda! So glad you popped by. I was so nervous of setting up a MailChimp account and put it off for a long time. Once you get the hang of what all of the tabs mean, then it’s pretty easy to use and has so many templates. Now you’ve signed up to my newsletter you will receive my updates. Check them out and let me know what you think!
I’d be happy to offer advice when you try your own newsletter.
I signed up for your newsletter and I agree with Mae. It’s best to automate it. I also have a wordpress blog where you click the Free Book button and it gives you the sign up form. I don’t have the sign up form that automatically comes down on the page though. I haven’t looked into that because I don’t like them.
I agree with that, Kim. I have several friends that have the pop up form for sign-up. I even tried it out on my blog for all of ten seconds, but I immediately deleted it as I find it intrusive.
I really don’t like pop ups either. I think they’re intrusive, but can see why people use them. I could add one to my site, but if they annoy me, I assume they would aggravate my readers too! Thanks for the tips. I have now automated my subscriber form.
Thanks Kim! I have now automated the sign up form. I really don’t like pop ups when I look at a website, so I have decided to steer clear of them for as long as I can! Thanks for the tips.
I’ve signed up for your newsletter, Lizzie, and look forward to hearing about your releases and news throughout the year.
I use Mail Chimp too. There is actually a way that you can have MC add new subscribers to your list(s) automatically and notify you every time you get a new subscriber. You can do that on WordPress, and also on your Facebook page.
I used to have a contact form on my blog where I added new subscribers manually. That worked great for about a year, then the spam bots found me and I was inundated with fake subscribers. It was easy to spy them by names and email addresses. Just to be sure, I’d google the bogus email addresses and sure enough, there were hundreds of spam reports on each. After that I went back to Mail Chimp and found a way to have subscribers go directly to them (no bots) and receive a notification with each new subscriber. I do the same thing from my Facebook page.
And all of this reminds me that I’m due to send out a newsletter soon, LOL! 🙂
Thanks Mae. I automatically get notifications of new subscribers, so that’s not a problem. I will look into automating MailChimp if it is possible from WordPress. Thanks for the tip!
This is something I have not done as of yet. I’ve used Mail Chimp to send out announcements, but not regular newsletters. You’ll have to let us know how it goes, Lizzie.
Hi Jan. It’s working really well so far. MailChimp is easy to use once you get the hang of their design layouts and lists. People are signing up for my newsletters which is so wonderful!
This is something I have wanted to do for a while now, and you have just reawakened my interest. Is there somewhere I can learn exactly how to do what you describe? Your post covers the basics, but my brain needs more detail, especially where Mailchimp and WP are concerned.
Lol! It can be a bit tricky to work out, but is easy when you know how. To add a newsletter sign up form, just add a new page to your site. Next, click on the space you would start to write the text. At the top of the text area there is a small box with a cross on it. Next to that is a arrow up ^. Click on this. It says add contact form. Then you can play with the details you would like added to you form. I changed mine to say newsletter sign up, add address and email. You will get an email every time someone signs up to your list. You then need to integrate this list with MailChimp if you want to use their templates for your newsletter. Alternatively, you can create your own and email it to your own list.
Brilliant! Thanks for this!
You’re so welcome!
Reblogged this on Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.
Thank you for the wonderful reblog!