Using Campayn, PopUpAlly, and to build my blog

So Boring, but So Blogging Important

This blog has been up since April 24.  It’s now the middle of July.  I spent most of this time generating content, playing with layout, building a Pinterest and Facebook presence, etc.  I kept putting off building an email list or generating a privacy policy.  I told myself it’s not that important; I’m small, so who would really care?  I’m a tiny blog; who would subscribe, anyway?

But I’m starting to get a little traffic.  (And by a little, I mean little.  Seriously.  Not a lot.)  I’m posting on Pinterest group boards, in Facebook groups, even a link party or two (still haven’t found one I like, though).  I want this blog to expand.  I want to get more traffic, more Facebook and Pinterest followers, more subscribers.  I want to be able to do sponsored posts and actually make some money off of this… but they want you to have traffic.

So I went about setting up my subscription form.  So.  Many.  Decisions.  I had one at the bottom of my blog, but I wasn’t getting any subscriptions from that.  So I started looking at pop-ups.  Personally, I hate having to click through a subscription form before I even read the article.  How do I know if I want to subscribe if I haven’t read what you’ve got?  So pop-up upon entry doesn’t work.  I also don’t like being interrupted while I read.  I get enough interruptions from my kids.  So a mid-post pop-up wouldn’t work for me.  Then I found out about PopUpAlly, a free WordPress plugin.  They do subscription pop-ups upon exit.  If they notice you getting close to the Close Window or Close Tab X, a subscription form pops up.  Much less intrusive.  Now, I’m not sure how well that would work on mobile, but I’m giving it a try for now.  We’ll see how it goes.  PopUpAlly has the option for two popups with the free option.  I may end up adding a severely time-delayed popup to make sure mobile subscribers get the option.  We’ll see.

So I have a pop-up, but I needed an email address to associate with it.  I thought I could use my gmail address… silly me.  Anyway, I needed a mail service to manage the subscription list and send out confirmation emails.  I looked through lots of sites, comparing pros and cons.  Eventually, I decided on  It’s free for up to 500 contacts and up to 12,500 emails.  Being that I have no subscribers and no emails, this will work well for now.  Also, they detect if my emails are going into Spam folders, so they have better deliverability than MailChimp.

But Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. don’t allow for commercial mail clients to send from those addresses.  So I had to set up a new address from my own domain.  Sounds scary, right?  Not so much.  I use HostGator, and once I logged in to my cpanel (control panel), setting up an email address wasn’t bad.  I can also set up my Gmail to retrieve emails from my website’s email account, so I don’t have to worry about logging into my cpanel all the time.  Nice.  So now I have a professional looking email address to go with my fancy new emails.

If anyone signs up.  Yeah, I’m talking to you.

The other side of the boring-but-necessary coin was setting up the Privacy Policy.  I need to cover my butt, legally.  I use Google Adsense, and they use cookies to show ads to the page visitors.  I could get in trouble with Adsense if I don’t have it.  Furthermore, since I’m trying to collect email addresses for a subscription list, I need to let my readers know how their information will be used.  No, I don’t sell it.  Yes, I will email you.  No, I won’t spam you.  Yes, I want you to subscribe.  And so on.

Also, there’s the FCC.  I use affiliate links, and hope to someday do sponsored posts.  If I make money from my blog, I have to let my readers know about it.  Some of that’s covered in the privacy policy.  I want to do this legally.  I mean, my brother is an Assistant District Attorney.  We like to do things by the book in my family.

I do not have my brother’s legal mind.  I needed help to generate something legal.  So I went to  I had to click through a few pages, selecting what I needed covered.  I also had to watch an ad.  No big deal.  In the end, I received a custom privacy policy for my page, and it didn’t cost me a dime.  The technical writer in me wants to go through it and add some hidden fun.  And I very well may do that, as an example of how I can take boring documentation and make it fun.  (Yes.  I am a dork.  I’m okay with it.)

Was it boring?  Yeah.  Would I rather be generating content?  Totally.  Did I need to do it.  Of course.


So anyway, I recommend Campayn for mail service and PopUpAlly as a plugin.  For full (legal) disclosure, the link to Campayn is not a true affiliate link; if I get people to sign up for Campayn through it, I get account credits.  So I do get a little something.  The links to PopUpAlly and Free Privacy Policy are non affiliate links.  Nada for me.  I just like them enough to recommend them.

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