How to Start an Email Newsletter for Your Blog

Bloggers who have established themselves and are looking to create more engagement with a loyal fanbase should consider creating an email newsletter. An email newsletter for your blog is an effective email marketing campaign that keeps traffic coming back, as well as encourages them to engage with your blog. Bloggers who have used email newsletters find a huge increase in subscribers, which translates directly into more views per post and more revenue for you.

How do you start an email newsletter?

Unfortunately, any email campaign is going to cost you some money. You cannot send out hundreds of emails from your personal address for a marketing campaign – your visitors’ email services will penalize you as spam, making the whole process ineffective.

The first step is to sign up for an email marketing service or software, such as AWeber or MailChimp. Once you’ve done that, you can create and organize email lists. The next step will be drafting your email newsletters.

What goes into an email newsletter?

Your RSS feed already provides subscribers with notifications of new blog posts and allows them to read the newest post. Your newsletter needs to be more than the RSS feed. Business blogs might pick a theme relevant to their customers and include links based on that theme. Personal bloggers could include links to social media conversations and some of the items that were discussed. Food bloggers sometimes send out exclusive recipes that aren’t posted anywhere else. Overall, your newsletter needs to be informative, interesting, and valuable to the reader.

Some bloggers use premade templates to help format their newsletters. This can aid you in organizing the content that goes into your newsletter, as well as directing where logos, social media buttons, and other pieces of branding should fit in.

How do I get visitors to subscribe to my email newsletter?

Create a visible spot on your website for readers to sign up for an email newsletter. Use calls-to-action and promotional deals to encourage subscriptions. You should also include a few of these items in the subscription process:

  • Your privacy policy and disclaimers
  • A webpage thanking the subscriber after they submit their email address
  • An opt-in email sent immediately after the subscription to confirm that there is a human behind that email address (this is especially important if you are offering something in return for a subscription, such as a free ebook or collection of stock photos)
  • A welcome email before sending regular newsletters

How do I avoid becoming too spammy?

The best way to avoid becoming spam is by always providing authentic, valuable content to your readers. As soon as your objective becomes only to get subscribers and earn revenue, your newsletter will lack authenticity and turn off the reader.

However, even with good intentions, you can get off track with your newsletter. Balance your content with items that pertain to your blog as well as pieces that are from other sources. If you must include advertisements in your newsletter, limit it to one and make it unobtrusive. Be aware of how often you are sending out your newsletter – once a week or once every two weeks is a good amount.

Have you created a newsletter for your blog? What advice do you have?

9 Ideas for Promoting Your Blog IRL (In Real Life)

Oftentimes, bloggers get lost in the cyber world and forget that they can promote their blog offline. It’s easy to get caught up in social media, commenting on other blogs, and other promoting activities that can be done from your comfy couch. However, there’s a lot you can do in real life to help your blog gain traffic.

  1. Spread the word to friends and family. Ask them to comment on your blog, share posts, and like your social media accounts. You can also ask friends to guest post or interview them for a post as an added incentive to get them to share.
  2. Tell others you know who might be interested. If you’re a part of clubs or hobby groups, share with them.
  3. If you aren’t a part of any hobby groups, create one for local bloggers. Host gatherings so you can all get to know each other. Help each other out with advice or ask questions. You don’t need to see other bloggers as competition!
  4. Use some “old-fashioned” marketing methods, such creating materials to go with your blog. T-shirts, bumper stickers, pens, calendars, business cards, stickers, etc. can be easy to create, produce, and hand out. Create a QR code (a type of barcode that can be scanned using various smart phone apps) to put on all of your products.
  5. Put up brochures or fliers on community bulletin boards, such as in coffee shops or on college campuses. Just make sure you get the right permission before slapping it on there!
  6. Attend conferences or events relevant to your blogging topic. Mingle with other enthusiasts to share via word of mouth.
  7. Inform any local businesses or attractions that might be the subject of your blog. You can shoot them a quick email with a link, or print it out so they can hang it on the wall of their establishment. Local businesses or events will welcome the free publicity.
  8. Write for a local newspaper or magazine. Offline publications are a great way to share your expertise, your voice, and your blog!
  9. Find local podcasts or radio shows. Ask to be a guest! You can get yourself interviewed or share your expertise.

What are some ways that you promote your blog offline?


Cummings, Eric. “9 Ways to Promote Your Blog Offline.” (4 Nov. 2013).

Ovsyannykov, Igor. “Promote Your Blog Offline: 5 Ways to Use the Real World for Virtual Gain.” (4 Nov. 2013).

Easy Ways to promote your blog in the real world.” (4 Nov. 2013).

3 Guest Blogging Myths That Haven’t Died in 2015

You may have heard the rumors, but guest blogging isn’t dead.

Many successful bloggers continue to use it as a strategy to gain credibility and attention for their own sites and online marketers believe it’s here to stay. Floating misconceptions about guest blogging halted its popularity last year, but with the right intentions, it is still an effective marketing tool.

Late January of last year, Google engineer Matt Cutts declared on his blog that guest blogging was over. He later revised his statement, clarifying that he was referring to ‘spammy’ posts written solely for SEO purposes. However, his post still created a hesitancy toward guest blogging in general, resulting in a steady decline in what was once a growing practice just a few months earlier.

The timeline below details Google searches for the term “guest blogging” over time. It spiked when Cutts wrote his post, and you can see the decline still continues today.

Guest BloggingDoes this mean guest blogging isn’t as effective as it once was?

The answer is of course not – when used properly, guest blogging is just as effective today as it ever was. In Cutts’ revised statement he said:

“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”

The reason guest blogging took such a hit in popularity is because many people were using it as a spam service or to get links for their own website. A rising number of spammers published generic or irrelevant guest posts to boost traffic and get links

To combat this problem and offer better search results to its users, Google updated its algorithm to weed out sites that misuse guest blogging. Joshua Steimle, CEO of the internet marketing agency MWI, wrote that he believes Google will only devalue low-quality posts that contain an abnormal amount of links and keyword-rich text.

If guest blogging isn’t good for SEO purposes, then how will it benefit my site?

 Guest blogging still offers plenty of benefits to publishers and writers, but only if they avoid reproducing the ‘spammy’ posts mentioned above. Links are still a valuable source of traffic, but that doesn’t mean your posts have to be full of them to work.

Marketing writer Louis Gudema was able to take his company’s website from being buried under millions of search results to being number one by guest blogging. He wrote for several authoritative sites and built connections with other site owners (and their followers), which generated a huge push of traffic to his site.

Guest blogging is a win-win scenario. For writers, it offers free publicity, added credibility, and social media shares from followers of sites that have a large following in your niche market. And with some editing and selectivity, site owners benefit from guest posts as they will have less to write each week and can easily curate diverse content for their blogs.

But won’t my site be penalized for guest blog posts on Google’s search rankings?

It’s a commonly held misconception, but Google has no intention of penalizing authors for gaining traffic from quality, original content they’ve written for a relevant site. However, it is possible for your site to be penalized if you’re writing for links or less-than-credible sites.

The easiest way to avoid being penalized is to stop thinking about how you can get links from other sites, and instead think of ways you could increase your website’s traffic through guest posts. More traffic will lead to more links in the long run, so don’t worry if your blog post is published with a “nofollow” link.

When asked about the role of guest blogging in 2015, founder Zac Johnson had this to say:

“If you are guest blogging on other sites, make sure the quality is there. Don’t worry about the link back, as you should always have a full author bio at the bottom of the post. Focus on article quality and always link to real resources and examples. Follow these tips and you will continue to see guest blogging be one of your best marketing and branding platforms.”

The Big Picture

Guest blogging isn’t dead, if anything it’s been revived. Guest posts will become more valuable in 2015 as they are chosen selectively by publishers, crafted by experts in their field, and are written for content rather than SEO purposes. If you want to increase your audience and outreach for your website, consider guest posting effectively. You can’t be punished for great original content, and your website will benefit from the added visibility of a site with a larger following.

We’d like to know your experience as a guest blogger – What did you learn from the experience? Any advice you’d like to share to fellow bloggers? Let us know in the comment section below!