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Why I’m No Longer Using A Mailing List

I've been a blogger since 2004 and writing on my blog has always been a part of me. I first started off blogging about nothing because I was really just interested in having my own website and learning the software. Then I transitioned into knitblogging (yes, it's a thing) until around 2010. I loved my knitblogging community and I was among the first 100 knitters on Ravelry because my friends started the whole revolution. It was grand, but I had kids and lost a lot of knitting time. Time changed things, as it always does.

Then I started writing and began blogging again as an author. Suddenly, my love for blogging took off again! I enjoyed being here, talking about craft or my books or Japan or just about anything. The good times were back! I really enjoyed being here and making my blog a part of my life and my career. So many people (SO MANY) told me I was wasting my time, though. I remember one luminary in the business who told me to stop telling other authors to blog because I was wrong about why blogs were important. Yes, someone on the internet told me what to do. Shocker, I know.

Time changed things again, and all the author community was screaming about newsletters and how you NEEDED one to succeed. I was skeptical, but I started one. And in the beginning, things were okay. I occasionally sent out emails while still blogging about the same things, but I became obsessed over all the little numbers — how many subscribers I had, how many people opened or clicked, how many unsubscribed. It was all-consuming.

I even went through a period of doing list building initiatives. I grew my list through Instafreebie and BookFunnel. I paid money to be a part of contests where I would get a list at the end. Not to mention I was also paying $35-$45 per month to maintain the list on MailChimp. I was paying at both ends!

Then I heard the real way to get people on your mailing list and keep them was to offer them exclusive stuff. So I wrote a novella just for my mailing list people, plus I gave away an omnibus of short stories. But all that did was prompt people to subscribe to my list, download the free books, unsubscribe, and mark me as spam.

Major sad face. I never spammed anyone!!

Add to this that no one engaged with me via the newsletter like people did with blogging and they didn't buy books either.

Why was I maintaining a newsletter again??

It was double work with blogging and newsletter writing. It was time and money sucking.

It was time for it to end.

But don't worry! I'm not trashing everything! The title of this post really should be “Why I'm No Longer Using A TRADITIONAL Mailing List.”

Guys, I HAVE RETURNED TO BLOGGING. No more exclusive books (except the Nogiku Series Guidebook) and slaving over a newsletter every two weeks (or more). Instead, I'm moving to a system that will send my blog posts to my readers and they'll get the same great content at the speed they want. All my news will be here on the blog and if you subscribe to the newsletter, you'll get some options on how to receive the content — right away, weekly digest, just news, just new release alerts. I've hooked up the back-end system with reliable and fast Amazon SES (Simple Email System), one of the best email systems on the planet, and the templates will be familiar to my current readers. You're going to love it. And it should go into effect later this week.

I'm so excited about this new paradigm I've shifted into and I'm excited to get back to bringing new content both here and to my book readers as well.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them below.

11 thoughts on “Why I’m No Longer Using A Mailing List”

  1. I am excited to see how this will work out for you. I always like reading your blog posts and I hope this way people will interact with you more and you don’t have to pay for a newsletter that isn’t working for you.

    1. This was the last month that MailChimp got my money. They did a good job this year but I always knew that when I went back to them (after my MailerLite debacle) that it would be a trial to see if the money was worth it. It’s just not. My audience is small and they don’t always buy my books. So, this new solution is going to work well and be a whole lot less expensive. :)

    1. If you’re already on my newsletter, you’ll be ported over if you’ve opened/clicked on any of the last 20 newsletters I’ve sent. If you’re not already on there, you can subscribe now and I’ll bring you over on Wednesday.

  2. I guess every author needs to find what works best for them :-) Hopefully this will be what’s right for you! To be honest, I’ve always felt awkward about responding to newsletters, so that’s why I never do it.

  3. As a reader, I have to say I prefer to read an author’s blog. I’m really tired of the ton of Email I get and I’m not a fan of checking it. But I love reading blogs! I love the discussion aspect of it. It’s just so much more personal. So, I say YAY to your idea of switching over to blogging! I wish more authors would do it! But, I guess what works for one person may not work for another.

    1. Yes, with this option people can follow me via Bloglovin or whatever RSS reader they use or they can use the email update system, which is sort of a stand-in for my newsletter. Either way, all the info will end up on the blog and I won’t be updating in two places anymore!

  4. One thing I’ve learned is that what works for one author, doesn’t work for another. You have to do what works for you, and if something isn’t working, it doesn’t pay to keeping doing what doesn’t work.

    I do have a newsletter, but I also have an active blog. I enjoy blogging. I think if I wasn’t an author, I’d be a full-time blogger.

    1. I would probably go back to full-time blogging if I weren’t writing fiction anymore. I do love it a whole lot. I’m sure this system will work out much better for me. It’s just too much to be paying $50 a month (and it would’ve been a lot more had I kept going with the list building) for something that is not panning out for me. :)

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S. J. Pajonas