Lis from >>>Passive Income<<< and I have a lot in common, no wonder, we started our internet marketing journey around the same time 😉 Like her I have contemplated on and off about adding an email list to the ‘mix’ and like her I was very reluctant to do so, perhaps for different reasons, but still. This morning I found her latest blog post in my inbox, entitled >>>’An Apology – I Need To Come Clean – A C-List Blogger Is Born‘<<< which describes her reasons to add an email list sign-up form to her blog and an rather unnecessary apology. Like always, it makes for a good read and the comments are also interesting.
Now here my email list dilemma: Around four or five times a year comes a moment when I think ‘Now I really wish I would have a list!’. This happens either when I have an idea for a great blog post that I want to share but also don’t want to put up too publicly. Some things are better shared via an email then via a blog post 😉 But more to that later. The other one is the case of a real good offer that would be interesting to my readers, but doesn’t give enough material for a blog post. This was last time the case when the Catalyst WordPress Theme was on special offer with 25% price reduction. I have worked with the theme, I like it, I can recommend it, but it really wasn’t enough material to make an useful blog post out of it. So here my first question (please leave a comment if you want to answer one, some or all of my questions).
1. Is it worth for me to build an email list if I, realistically, would only send out an email per month or even less often?
And as for getting people to sign up, I know the mantra is ‘Offer something for free to get them on your list’. From my own experience as a subscriber, I know that most of these ‘free offers’ contain mainly outdated material and sales pitches. And a lot of good content can already be found for free on a variety of websites and forums. So I am not really sure if I can provide anything in terms of ‘evergreen content’ for an ebook / pdf as this make money online / internet marketing / SEO game changes so fast that people are really better of reading good blogs and forums instead of an ebook that is already outdated after a few months. So here my next question:
2. Do you care about ‘free offers’ when signing up for an email list or do you sign up for other reasons?
Content is another big one. I really don’t want to run a list that only exists to push the ‘latest, greatest, super, dupper offer that makes you unbelievable rich over night for only $$$’ to people. I have some ideas and tips I want to share that are not really meant for being shared too publicly, but also nothing illegal or black hat. Two ideas I had lately would be ‘How to get a legitimate link from Wikipedia’ or ‘Why you need a (free) WordPress.com blog and what to do and not to do with it.’ So here my next question:
3. As a potential subscriber to my non-existing list, what kind of content would you be interested in and what kind of content would make you hit the unsubscribe button at lightning speed?
And last but not least, with which Aweber alternative should I go? I really don’t like Aweber for a variety of reasons, the main being that they never apologized to the real victims (us, the email subscribers) when Aweber got hacked. They did apologize to their customers, but not to us, the ones that got their inboxes flooded with spam, this is simply not good in my books. The other reason is that I just came across about this blog post >>>Thank You Aweber for deleting my account without notice<<< which raises even more warn-flags with me.
So I started to research alternatives to Aweber, hey, finally we come to the point of my blog post title 😉 So far I have been thinking of two possible ways. The first one is to host my own email list with the help of >>>phpList<<<. The good thing is that I would have absolute control over my list, it is free and that it is now supported by my host (>>>Hostgator<<< – best web host in my opinion!) via cpanel (I am database and coding challenged, so I really don’t want to install something like this myself ;-)) There seems to a bit of a learning curve, but looking at the documentation, it seems manageable.
The second possibility would be to use >>>Imnica<<< (no affi link, as I don’t really know enough about them yet to recommend them or not). I like also Mailchimp, but they don’t like internet marketers over there and they want you to put your real address on each email. Whilst I am not planning to use my, still very theoretical, email list to spam people with ‘irresistible IM offers for incredible low prices’, I do want to have the freedom to send out an affi link in an email once in a blue moon 😉 As for putting my real address in every single email, sorry, is not going to happen, I love my privacy 😉 Yes, you can find out where I live pretty easily if you want to, but that is different from putting my address all over the web in my books. So here my next question:
4. Should I go the self-hosting route or use Imnica or do you have an even better idea?
So, that was it, thanks for taking the time to read, and hopefully, to answer my question(s) with a comments. I am now off to write up some more Keyword Strategy Tips, if you don’t want to wait until I have finished and published the next, head over to Dave’s blog Grabapple who is also writing about it, but is focusing on using >>>Keyword Strategy for e-commerce<<<.
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