In this three-part blog series, we will discuss why you should use a newsletter, how to set one up, and how to keep your readers engaged.
Maybe you’re just starting out in your writing career. Maybe you have a great idea for a book. Or maybe you see other people making a second income (or main income) with indie publishing, and you want to try it!
Maybe you’re a seasoned writer that can’t seem to make your income level rise enough to justify writing as a career. You’ve tried it all. You’ve bought into gimmicks, and you’ve done countless online classes designed to help you sell thousands of novels on release week. But none of it works.
What are you doing wrong? What can you do to make it work better for you?
The answer is: grow a fan base of people who love your writing and will buy from you time and time again. That’s where a newsletter comes in.
When should I start building a list?
The answer to that is last week. Building a list is something you should plan on doing your entire writing career. Sure, when you’re starting out your list might not be big. It will probably be filled with friends and family, and that’s okay. In this series, we are going to talk about ways to leverage your newsletter to get actual, hungry readers opening your mail and seeing your offers.
But this article is going to talk about planning for that newsletter. We are going to look at two different mail services people use and talk about which one would be more beneficial for you.
If you’ve joined a mailing list, you’ve probably seen or heard of MailChimp. The good thing about MailChimp is that it is very easy to use, and many places will allow you to integrate your subscriber form right into their systems. So, when people sign up for your mailing list, they go right into your dashboard with no work from you.
There are a few other reasons that MailChimp is so popular:
- It’s user-friendly
- It has integrated subscriber forms (people could click a button on Facebook and automatically be on your list
- It has easy drag-and-drop newsletter creation
- It takes very little work to use
But if you’re not making the money you want to support a large list, payment can be an issue. MailChimp’s service is tiered based on your number of subscribers, and their billing increases by $10 for every 500 subscribers you have. Granted, the first 500 subscribers are free, but you can’t access some of their promotional tools until you upgrade to a paid account.
MailerLite has a lot of the same features as MailChimp. They have an easy drag-and-drop creation tool. They allow you to add images, buttons, and links easily; and they have staff on hand to answer your questions.
MailerLite is quite a bit cheaper than MailChimp. At the moment, their subscriber tiers are split into 5,000. This means that your bill only increases when you reach a new 5,000 bracket. They do have a free limit of 1,000 subscribers.
If you’re thinking the price isn’t as big an issue, think again. It’s easier than you think to grow your mailing list when you’re making an effort. If you were to grow your list to 3000 subscribers, you would be paying $60 for MailChimp, but only $10 with MailerLite. Take a minute to think about that difference in cost.
I’m going to make this a three-part series. The first part, here, is understanding that you need a mailing list. Facebook may come and go, the same with Twitter. And, honestly, they’re not designed specifically for selling. Your books may not stay on Amazon forever (I know, that’s hard to believe). When places come and go as easily as MySpace, you will need a way to reach your readers, and a newsletter is a perfect way to reach them.
How to start getting those signatures
So how do you get signatures? This idea isn’t new. Tons of people are using it, and that’s a lead generator. This is an item (a book, because that’s your trade) that is completely free for readers to snatch up for the super low price of their email address.
So, while you’re setting up your account and getting things in order, consider what you could offer on websites and in published works that will get people to sign up. It could be an existing book. It could be a collection of short stories. Or it could be a novella that you wrote based in whatever world your next series is going to be in.
When you’re crafting this lead-gen, be sure to make it as professional and amazing as you do your other works. Don’t publish it (people would likely just go buy it instead of signing up to get it). Make sure it has a great cover, that it’s professionally edited, and formatted.
Until next time! Now, go make your decisions on a service provider.