This morning I posted the following blog post, happily, that finally my newsletter subscription works. It took me a long time to get this done and follow all necessary steps I was given to make it work again. Of course, I had tested subscribing and unsubscribing before publishing the article. It worked perfectly, which made me publish the article.
And as soon as the post was published I was informed that it does not work.
I’m shocked. This is embarrassing, and I’m extremely unhappy how it turned out. I just wrote an armor-clad email to MailChimp to immediately solve that problem.
I’m contrite and hope you’ll forgive me for publishing something that does not work. I’m sorry.
The true gift of having a clearly defined definition of success is that you begin to find exactly what you need to achieve that success. I discovered YOUR FIRST 1000 Copiesby Tim Grahl exactly when I needed a guide for book marketing. I want to get the word out about my books, and I want to do it without being subservient to a cumbersome system I neither understand nor enjoy. Grahl gives me a blueprint to achieve that, and having a newsletter is an integral element in his system. In this post, I share what I’ve learned about setting up a Mailchimp newsletter and integrating it into your (free) WordPress.com blog.
Here are the main points I will cover:
Getting started with Mailchimp
Customizing Your Mailchimp sign-up form to coordinate with your WordPress.com blog
Use Google’s built-in developer tools to find the hexidecimal code for colors on your site
When I decided to step out into the world of social media I did research. I, as well got tips and tricks, checklists as also read as many “user manuals for beginners” as I could before even getting anything done.
In March I started “Writer’s Treasure Chest”. Since then I try to write, research and build as well as find as many helpful blog posts and articles for new authors as I can to share them. I grow with every step I take. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I try to consciously enjoy every single part of the journey. I am discovering a new world, the writer’s world.
As so many other newcomers I had not considered the social media work, marketing, sales-preparation and networking hiding behind being a writer. Being a published author will not take the pressure from me to spread word about my work as far and wide as possible. This will need time and great efforts and that’s why I need to spread my wings and fly.
It is difficult sometimes to read a list of recommendations, ask another expert or experienced author for more advice and then listen to exactly the opposite. Plus getting a 30 minute speech on why my “How to…”-list will never work.
At this moment I work on my personal website. It does have its own domain and is a big piece of work. I want this website to turn out perfect. It will need a little more time and “juggling” with the elements, but I’m sure I’ll be there soon. It needs some fantasy to create a Website before being published. So many authors do have their books on the “My work” page. But I guess I did well considering the circumstances. I’ll let you all judge in due time.
September 19, 2015 I finally created my Facebook Author page. Of course I used a list with advice. In case you decide to check out the page and give it a “like” I will be grateful. And of course I welcome any advice for changes you might have.
As for now, I took in another challenge: My first Newsletter! I’m excited to announce I will send it out Mid-October. Of course I would love to send it out to as many people as possible. If you’d like to receive my newsletter, I’d be delighted to see you subscribing to my email list:
I’d love to hear you felt the need to check out if I followed my own researches and did an acceptable “newcomer” newsletter.
When I started building my network on social media and created “Writer’s Treasure Chest” I was not prepared for this much more to come. There are many more challenges to face. One of these challenges is to create my own Author Newsletter.
I started research on writer’s newsletters.
There are as many hints, tips and tricks as newsletter owners, and I’m desperate to be as well informed as possible before giving it a try. I’d like my first newsletter to be a success, not some amateurish “good luck” try.
Tips & Tricks
One of the first blog posts about newsletters I read had been written July 5, 2013 by Steena Holmes. She provides a list of what a newsletter can be used for. Mrs. Holmes hands out warnings on what not do with newsletters. She as well dedicates an entire paragraph on and how to get people to sign up. I like her writing style very much and I recommend this blog post to every writer who’s just starting. Her entire blog post can be found here: https://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/the-how-and-why-of-author-newsletters/
Choose your Newsletter Provider
Steena Holmes mentioned one particular Newsletter and campaign provider: “Mail Chimp”. I did research on several providers and Mail Chimp seems user friendly and offers a variety of designs. I even found an easy to read and helpful “step-by-step” manual. It can be found here: http://www.authorsatlas.com/blog/author-newsletter-101. This valuable tool provides tricks and screen shots to guide me through the process.
Decide on a professional design
After reading these posts and articles I tried to imagine how to stay true to my brand and still deliver a professional looking and interesting newsletter for my future readers. The answer I found on wikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Good-Newsletter. They even offer sample newsletters there which I found attractive. But the one thing impressing me most on wikiHow was their first paragraph. “Although images and layout are important, the written content is the biggest factor in whether your newsletter is successful. However, writing a newsletter requires more than just a good grasp of proper English grammar and extensive vocabulary. You need to be interesting, relevant, and easy to be read. Here are some simple steps you can take to write a good newsletter.”
The four types of Author’s Newsletters
Having a nice design in mind does not make a newsletter yet and found a blog post, written by Cheryl Reif. She offers four different Author’s Newsletters: