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.

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.

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.


For full (legal) disclosure, 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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