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 Campayn.com. 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.
UPDATE: 9/29/2017 I no longer recommend Campayn. My confirmation emails weren’t being received by subscribers, so they never confirmed… and I got labeled as SPAM when I sent out my first newsletter. I don’t know if the emails ended up in special folders, or just didn’t go through or what… but Campayn has banned me, after one email. I’m looking at new services, and I will update with my recommendation then.
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.
Was it boring? Yeah. Would I rather be generating content? Totally. Did I need to do it. Of course.