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“Should I start a blog” is something I hear a looooot.

I knew I wanted to start a blog because I had a ton of student loan debt, and I wanted to help people learn about money.

Now, I talk with people all the time about starting a blog. They share their biggest fears with me, and that’s how I came up with this list.

This is a list I created from all the things people share with me about their concerns with respect to starting a blog.

1. What To Blog About

Here’s my advice for knowing what to blog about:

  1. If there’s something you’re really passionate about, go with that.
  2. If you’re unsure about what to start a blog about, then consider two things:
    • What you like doing, and
    • What there’s a market for

Your blog needs to be something that people want to read, so look at what’s already out there. Is there some blog that you love to read that you think you’d also like to write?

Don’t start a blog about your life unless you are a spectacularly unique or famous person – no one cares.

People read blogs because they want to know what they can learn and apply to their lives. People are always thinking “What’s in it for me?” (WIFM), so your job as a blog is to:

  • Find who you want to help (your target market), and
  • Ask them what they need help with

Blogging is about providing value and helping people. The more value you produce to the world, the more you’ll be paid. So, choose something you want to help people with.

2. What To Name Your Blog

I hear people get stuck on what to name their blog a lot.

What I say to them is that so long as your blog name isn’t obscene, it really don’t matter as much as you think.

Give yourself a deadline to make a decision about a name (not more than one week), and make the choice and don’t look back.

Here are a couple ideas for what to name your blog:

  • Your personal name (like I do)
  • A name that suggests what the blog is about (e.g.: my blog used to be called Financegirl, which was obviously about money for women)

If you go with your first and last name, keep in mind you won’t be able to sell it down the road (or it will be very difficult to sell, if you do). This isn’t something you’re probably thinking about now, but keep it in mind. If you’re all in and know you won’t sell, then your name is a good way to go.

If you’re still stuck, here are a couple tips that can help:

  • Research other similar blogs in your niche and see what their blog names are
  • Come up with a list of 10 blog blog names and ask for feedback

The name of your blog isn’t determinative of your blog’s success, so don’t stress out about it too much. Certainly don’t spend more than two weeks deciding!

3. Your End-Goal For Starting A Blog

I actually don’t hear this concern enough. But it should be one!

People tend to think about whether to start a blog from the perspective that it’s all about them, instead of what their end-goal is, which I think is a mistake.

Here are three very different end-goals for starting a blog:

  • To make money (run a profitable business)
  • To become an influencer (popularity is more important than profitability)
  • To share your life story (diary blog)

The strategies you need to take to achieve each of these end-goals for each are completely different.

For example, I have always wanted to make money blogging. But for the first two years of my blog, most of what I did centered around popularity. I focused a lot on social media and trying to become an influencer. No wonder I didn’t make much money!

My point is that if you can be incredibility focused about your end-goal from the beginning, your likelihood of success is much greater and it’ll happen much faster.

Oh, and here’s something I really like to remember if your goal is to make money blogging:

  • Value > profitability > popularity

The more value you provide, the more money you’ll make. And if your goal is profitability, then focus on that —  not popularity.

This little nugget is super important to remember if your goal is to make money blogging. If it’s not your goal, then you can switch those words around (maybe popularity is most important).

4. The Fear Of Starting

I hear about the fear of starting from almost everyone considering starting a blog.

The good news is this is totally normal.

Your brain naturally goes into a place of fear-based thinking any time you consider doing something out of your normal routine. This is just the way the brain works. It was super helpful for getting humanity to survive to this point. It’s also super helpful if someone is about to mug you or break into your house. But it’s not helpful when you’re considering pursuing something new that pushes you outside your comfort zone.

When you experience fear around starting a blog, you don’t have to listen to it. You can do it whatever it is you want to do even with fear there. I like to say “oh, hello fear. I see you, and I hear you. But you’re not useful here.”

The more you practice acknowledging your fear and acting in spite of it, the easier this gets over time.

So, if you feel fearful about starting a blog, that is normal. And you should do it anyways.

5. The Time Commitment

The time commitment for starting a blog is something you need to consider. It ain’t no joke!

The more committed you are to your blog, the more likely it will be a success. For example, if you work on your blog 2 hours per day and 6 hours on the weekend days, I think you could have a wildly profitable and successful blog 1 year from now.

On the other hand, if you’re only working on it for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon and that’s it, your blog probably will just be a hobby.

Think about what your end goal is for your blog and acknowledge that the bigger the goal, the bigger the time commitment.

I blog and work full time (and maintain my relationships!) but it takes incredible intentionality with my time (here are my top productivity tips for reference). I get up at 4:30am or 5am and blog before work, and I spend many weekend days at a coffee shop blogging for hours at a time. It takes that level of commitment to do it all.

You can put it less time that I do, but just know that the amount of time you put in will directly correlate to the results you get.

6. The Financial Investment

The financial investment for starting a blog is something you should consider.

Do not start a blog for free. You can technically do this, but it won’t last. You will end up moving your blog to a  paid platform if you stick with blogging, and moving it is a big pain (and way more expensive).

There are platforms that allow you to start a blog for free, but you’ll have something in the name of your blog that suggests it’s a free blog, which means people won’t read it or take it seriously. It’s like if my blog was “nataliebacon.wordpress.com” – what? No. Just no.

Not only that, but you won’t own your blog. The free platform where you have it will own it. Not great.

Instead, the go-to platform (that I’m completely bias toward) is starting a WordPress, self-hosted blog (you can read my how to start a WordPress tutorial here).

There will also be blog services that you can use for free instead of paying for, and many of them will have very limited options when it comes to functionality.

For example, it took me two years to get 2,000 email subscribers because I was using Mailchimp (free). Now, I have 25K because I pay use ConvertKit (paid). Had I started with ConvertKit, my email list would be so much bigger, and I would’ve made money a lot faster. (Here’s my review on 4 email services for bloggers.)

All this is to say that there are certain start up costs that go into creating a blog. When I started blogging, I would freelance write and babysit to bring in money quickly to pay for blog expenses. It was 100% worth it.

Here are a few examples of blog costs…

Creating and launching your blog:
  • Buying your domain name (see my how to start a blog tutorial for more on this)
  • Paying for annual blog hosting (again, see my how to start a blog tutorial)
  • Website design (Divi Theme is super popular right now)
  • Tech help with your blog (I use iMark Interactive)

You can reference my How To Start A Blog post for specific steps on how to get started creating a blog.

Growing your blog:

You can read this post about How To Turn Your Blog Into A Successful Business for growing tips for your blog.

Monetizing your blog:

Here’s a blog post that walks you through how to make money blogging for reference.

Your blog expenses will vary, but you could spend around $1,000 the first year, I’d estimate.

If your goal is to make money blogging, it’s worth it to invest in the beginning because you’ll build your blog faster and avoid making mistakes (e.g.: using free software that’s never updated so you lose functionality and things start breaking).

Along the way, you’ll get used to spending money on your blog (and it gets easier once income is coming in!). The more you invest in your blog, the more you’ll get out of it.

When I started blogging, I didn’t want to pay for the expenses so I would babysit and freelance write (here’s a good story about how 3 freelancers make $10k+ per month writing). This extra money allowed me to invest in my blog until it was profitable and I could quit. I did this for almost the entire first year.

7. The Vulnerability Of Being Online

For your blog to be good (and worth reading) you have to be authentic. People will only become followers if they trust you. People will only trust you if you’re open and honest with them.

This can be pretty scary at first.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that every time you’re vulnerable and open with your audience, it gets a little bit easier.

People ask me about blogging anonymously, sometimes. I don’t recommend it because eventually, you (as the anonymous blogger) end up breaking your anonymity and it’s a bit of a challenge to do. That said, if it’s between not starting a blog and starting one anonymously, then I say go for it and be anonymous until you’re comfortable.

The more open and authentic you can be from the beginning, the better. And, again, it get easier over time. You start to not care as much about other people’s opinions. (If you haven’t heard “the man in the arena” speech by Theodore Roosevelt – go find it right now!)

8. Getting People To Read Your Blog

It’s one thing to learn how to create a blog and get it up and running (without crashing!).

It’s another thing to get people actually reading your blog.

I’ll never forget my aunt said to me once that she had a friend who had a blog that no one read. My aunt thought this meant the blog was bad if no one was reading it. I laughed. I knew that couldn’t be further from the truth.

People don’t find blogs. Bloggers push their blogs in front of people.

Enter: digital marketing.

You have to learn how to drive traffic to your blog.

This is the secret to getting people to read your blog. They’re not going to find it otherwise.

Of course your content needs to be good, but that’s just a given. You can have great content that no one ever reads because you haven’t marketed it.

For new bloggers, there are many things you can (and should) do to drive traffic to your blog intentionally. This shouldn’t be a reason for not starting a blog. But once your blog is up and running, you do need to focus on getting people to read it and growing it.

I suggest starting with learning how to drive traffic from search engines, starting with Pinterest (because it’s easiest), then moving to YouTube and Google. Notice that these platforms are search engines (not social media). I took Pinterest Traffic Avalanche (an online blogging course) and learned how to drive traffic to my blog through Pinterest. I get most of my traffic from Pinterest, and I highly recommend the course.

Social media is great but it’s more about connecting than it is about traffic.

Without getting in the weeds too much for this post, just know that you’ll need to get on board with marketing (and sales, too for that matter) if you ever want people to ready you blog.

9. How To Make Money From Your Blog

Most people I talk to want to start a blog and make money from it but are concerned they won’t be able to.

Starting a profitable blog is totally possible. I did it. And you can, too.

But, there’s a problem…

There are SO many fancy, sexy, amazing things that will present themselves to you in your blogging journey that distract you from actually making money from it.

If you get one thing from this post, it should be this:

  • Value > profitability > popularity

Soooo many new bloggers obsess over becoming popular online, when their goal is profitability.

You can be very popular online and make little to no money at all.

Yes, you can have both. But you can’t focus on both at the same time to start with. So, if your goal is profitability, make sure you take action in line with that goal.

This means focusing on monetization strategies and not popularity strategies. For example, learn how to make money with affiliate marketing and digital products, while saying no to interviews. It’s hard to do because interviews and opportunities to write for other blogs and speak may come up — but often they’re unpaid. These things are great if you’re already making money and want to promote and grow your audience. But they have little, if anything, to do with monetizing.

From a practical perspective, here are the resources I have used and highly suggest for learning how to monetize a blog:

I’ve used these courses and they each gave me insight into creating a specific monetization strategy for my blog. Without them, I would be lost.

10. The Uncertainty Of Not Knowing Whether It’ll Be A Success

People share with me that they’re afraid to start a blog (#4 above), but I also hear them say they want to know ahead of time if it will be a success so they know how much to put into it.

This thinking is completely backwards.

If nothing else, remember this: you get back what you put into your blog.

You have to commit to it 100% for it to be a success. And if you do, then you’ll find a way.

You are going to have blog failures. That doesn’t mean your blog will be a failure. It just means there will be challenges – like anything else. This is part of business – eerrr life!

There is no way to know what will happen, so get in the right mindset. Treat your blog like a priority. Commit to it. Believe in your heart of hearts that it will be a success.

The more you act like your blog is going to be a success, the more you’ll take action and get results that make it a success.

You can’t get the results first. You have to believe first. Then, you’ll get the results.

A Final Note!

Everything is figure-out-able.

Everything.

So, I say go for it.

The worst case scenario isn’t that you waste money, time, or that your blog fails.

The worst case scenario is that you don’t go for it and stay exactly where you are right now.

I had no idea that starting a blog would change my life.

I was able to leave a career I hated and take a 50% pay cut but continue to pay down my student loan debt because of my blog income.

Not only that, but I learned about business, made new friends, and continue to grow as a person in ways I never expected or could’ve predicted.

I make over $4k $5k per month online while working full time. If I let fear get in the way of that, I would’ve been never become this version of myself.

Go for it. It’s worth it.

P.s. – here are my favorite free blogging resources:

The post 10 Things You Should Consider Before Starting A Blog appeared first on Natalie Bacon.

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Have you ever lived paycheck to paycheck? Seems like we’ve all been there. One thing that is so helpful nowadays is the wonderful world of blogging and the internet. Seems like there are so many new resources to learn how to save money out there.

One way I just learned about saving money on groceries is through the $5 Meal Plan. Since it’s new to me, I wanted to get a couple peoples’ stories on how they use it and how it saves them money.

Before you read how they’re using it, here’s a little bit about the plan to give you some context.

$5 Meal Plan is:

  • A weekly menu that costs $5 per month to get.
  • You get 5 dinner entrees with sides (1 freezer friendly, 1 slow cooker, and 1 20-minute),1 lunch, 1 breakfast, and 1 random weekly goodie.
  • You can use the pre-made weekly meal plan and shopping list or a drag and drop Meal Plan Builder (which allows for dietary preferences, which I love).

Okay, now that you know what the plan is, here is what Andy and Jessica had to say about their experience with it.

Andy

  1. What were your meals like before using the $5 Meal Plan? 

I kind of winged it each week. I would look at recipe items and think, “that sounds good.” But, then, I would buy extra “just in case” groceries. I normally ended up with spoiled leftovers and produce that spoiled before I ever got the chance to use it. Not to mention, my grocery bills were higher than they’d ever been.

  1. Why did you start the $5 Meal Plan? 

My main reason to begin the $5 Meal Plan was to try and save money on groceries. I’m happy to say that’s definitely happening! And now, my family is being introduced to new recipes and ways to eat meals, which they have been thoroughly enjoying.

  1. How do you use it? 

I use the meal plan five to six times a week. I think I’m on week 41, but only because I started with the most recent. I’ve been building my own meal plans, but only because we haven’t always used all the previous weeks’ recipes and since I already have those ingredients, I want to be sure nothing goes bad!

  1. What are your meals like now? 

Our meals are amazing. Most of the time, I will tweak them. They’re definitely easier, especially since I know exactly what we’re eating each night.

I am saving a ton of money with the $5 Meal Plan. My grocery bill has dropped down about $50 each week.

  1. What are the biggest benefits you see from this plan? 
  • Knowing what we’re eating.
  • Knowing we have the ingredients.
  • Knowing they’re simple enough that our kids could also make them (when they ask to help).
  • Knowing I’m saving my family money.
  1. What do you like best about the $5 Meal Plan? 

My favorite part is the variety of meals.

  1. Any downsides? 

I wish they came out on Thursday instead of Friday.

  1. Who would you recommend this to? 

Everyone (and I do!).

Jessica

  1. What were your meals like before using $5 Meal Plan? 

Before $5 Meal Plan, the meals I cooked at home were still balanced and healthy, but they took forever to plan. I would shop on Sundays and look at the weekly ad. From the weekly ad, I would look up recipes that went with the proteins/ingredients that were on sale. And then I would make a list based off of those recipes, and finally head to the store. (Not to mention, look for coupons on top of the weekly ad sales.) Planning a grocery trip would take 2-3 hours.

  1. Why did you start the $5 Meal Plan? 

I started the $5 Meal Plan because of an ad on Facebook. I clicked on it and looked at the video, along with some of the sample lists and recipes. It honestly just seemed like a total time saver! And with the price point being only $5/month, I knew that if it wasn’t working out and I needed to try something different, I could back out if need be. So, I ordered my first plan and went from there!

  1. How do you use it? 

I am using the Classic plan and I use it for most meals of the week. (I do not use the dessert recipes or the lunch recipes, usually, but tend to use most or all of the dinner recipes.) It is just my husband and I in the house, so I cook the meals as directed, and we bring the leftovers for lunch the next day. I am a teacher and can’t leave the building for lunch, so it works out for me. If the protein or main ingredient in the recipe is not on sale, I usually substitute it for something else. (i.e. a whole chicken instead of a pork roast.)

  1. What are your meals like now? 

My meals are awesome! My husband is constantly going for seconds and is always giving me compliments. Plus, it’s saving me a huge amount of time planning the grocery store trips! I no longer have to search and search for recipes. I’m spending about the same money at the store (I wasn’t spending much before the plan), but it’s cutting down on SO much time!

  1. What are the biggest benefits you see from this plan? 

I truly see this plan as a way for people to save money, save time, and eat healthier! A lot of these meals are healthy for every member of the family and they use basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

  1. What do you like best about the $5 Meal Plan? 

I really like the new Meal Plan Builder option. If I don’t like one of the recipes on the current plan (which is rare, but sometimes happens!) then I can swap it out with one I like using the same main ingredient. Again, such a time saver!

  1. Any downsides? 

The only downside to this is sometimes the portion sizes are way off. They are all supposed to feed a family of 4, but sometimes we have way more leftovers than for just one day.

  1. Who would you recommend this to? 

I would recommend this to anyone with a family or anyone who is trying to find an easier way to cook at home, rather than resorting to fast food or take out every night. It really has helped our family.

A Final Note!

Also, there’s an option for dietary preferences, which is really important to me since I don’t eat meat or dairy (or sweets now, too!).

Jessica and Andy have had great experiences from it, and I love hearing first-hand how it’s saving them both time and money, while bringing in good food into their homes.

Cheers to spending less and eating better!

The post $5 Meal Plan – How We Save Money On Groceries appeared first on Natalie Bacon.

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I rarely do guest posts, but today is an exception! I am excited to have Jacquelyn Pica from The Penny Hoarder guest posting here. Please give her a warm welcome. Take it away, Jacquelyn!

2018 is here, and everyone’s looking for their new annual goal.

The most common themes of the “new year, new me” mantra typically cover eating better or getting in shape. But what about financial goals?

I’m going to cover a few ways to boost your savings account and earn a little extra cash in 2018.

This goal is actually possible to achieve, too. If you stick with it, you’ll have $3,000 (or more) at the end of the year.

Save $3 a Day: $1,095

If you save $3 a day for one year, you’ll end up with $1,095. You don’t have to physically put aside three $1 bills each day. Instead, set up a manual transfer with a savings app for $3 daily, or $21 weekly. That’s a daily cup of coffee or a few drinks with coworkers.

I got this idea from CNN Money, and it seems so simple I’m not sure why more people aren’t doing it.

Natalie wrote about a similar spending challenge, where you save $20 per week and end up with $1,040. She also has a helpful chart, so you can check off each week as you go. If you add $1 to this weekly 20, then you’ll end up with a bit more cash.

If $21 per week is difficult to save, take advantage of some easy ways to make money online. You can get paid to watch TV, test websites or even sell your own photos.

Saving a certain amount within a year can be hard without creating some kind of fixed amount to save per week. I use the 52-week money challenge, which holds you to a standard and sets the bottom line.

The other saving methods mentioned in this post can vary — providing you with more, or less, money depending on how you choose to cut costs or earn extra income.

Balance: $1,095

Round Up Your Purchases: $500

I recently downloaded the savings app Qapital. I set up a few savings goals and implemented what’s called “the roundup method.” With this method, all your purchases are rounded up to the next dollar or whichever amount you choose.

This has become my new favorite method of saving. It’s so easy. And the best part? You don’t have to think about it.

Say you purchase a coffee for $2.35. Qapital would round that up to $3 and deposit 65 cents into your savings account. This money is kept separate from your regular checking account, so it’s less tempting to quickly transfer it.

You could easily save $500 in one year with this method. My roundup savings average around $100 per month — depending on how many purchases you make with your debit card, this total could easily exceed $500.

Balance: $1,595

Bring Your Lunch to Work: $572

I’m not saying you need to completely stop going out for lunch, but try to eat out one less day per week. Or, if this makes it easier to stick to, plan on Friday being the day to treat yourself to lunch. This helps you save money and gives you something to look forward to at the end of the week!

The average cost to go out to lunch is around $11. If you bring lunch to work one more day per week, you could save $572 in a year or more. If you cut out two days of eating out per week, this number doubles!

Look into meal planning if you need easy lunch recipe ideas. It usually only requires one day of prep for a week’s worth of food.

Balance: $2,167

Pick Up an Easy Side Gig: $1,040

If you have spare time in the afternoons, evenings or weekends, pick up a dog-walking side gig.

You could earn $20 per walk. If you only do this for one day per week, you’ll make $1,040 in a year.

Sites like Rover, Care.com and Wag can help you find a few easy pet-care gigs. Looking through Care.com listings in my city, I see about 20 available dog-walking and cat-sitting jobs.

If you’re a cat person (like me), I’d recommend looking into cat-sitting gigs. Most only require you to stop by once a day to feed them, clean the litter and play with them a little.

I pet-sit for a few coworkers, and it’s a great way to earn money around the holidays when everyone’s out of town. I offered my services last year and made $400 in December!

Balance: $3,207

Can you believe we already hit $3K, just by making a few changes and setting up small savings methods? It’s easy to save money by cutting costs on other things, but it’s also helpful to increase your income — even just $20 at a time.

Other Ways to Save

If some of the methods mentioned above won’t work for you, here are a few more additional ways to save money and continue growing your savings account.

  • If you paid off a credit card, loan or car this year, put that bill money into your savings account. A lot of budgeting strategies state you should put every dollar to work, and this is a good way to re-allocate money that may have lost its “use.” Think about how quickly you’ll save up money if you start putting your $300 car payment into savings!
  • Cancel any unused subscriptions by downloading Trim. This free app analyzes your credit card charges and finds all the subscriptions you’re paying for, from Netflix to Birchbox. It’s easy for small, recurring charges to go unnoticed. Once you find something you want to cancel, Trim will do all the work for you — it will even send snail mail on your behalf!
  • Follow a budget and reduce your expenses. Natalie’s mentioned this throughout her blog before, and it’s something that resonates with me. To feel more comfortable financially, you either need to increase your income or cut your spending. Cutting spending can seem daunting at first, but the most important part of this is to stay organized and stick to a budget. Keep track of said budget by using a budgeting app, bullet journal or a plain old Excel spreadsheet.
A Final Note!

There are tons of ways to make and save money. This post should give you a solid foundation, and help you figure out which methods will or won’t work for you.

No matter what you’re saving up for, it’s important to always have financial goals in mind and continue to make smart choices with your money.

Cheers to 2018 and accomplishing your financial goals!

Jacquelyn Pica is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Find her on Twitter @jacquelynTPH.

The post 4 Ways To Add $3k+ To Your Savings This Year appeared first on Natalie Bacon.

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Email marketing is the secret sauce to making money blogging.

If you’re a pro blogger, you already know this. It’s often said that “the money is in the list,” which refers to the email list.

If you’re a new blogger, take note – you need to start captures emails asap. No other metric is more important that your email list (more on that here). If you haven’t started a blog yet, here’s my tutorial on how to start a blog.

I had such a significant uptick in income when I switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit that I want to walk through four different email services with you so you can make the best decision for your blog. It’s too important not to.

Here’s a look at the four best email marketing services for bloggers.

1. ConverKit

ConvertKit is the email platform I use now. It is the reason my email list is over 25,000 subscribers. I did this in under two years, while it took me an entire year just to get to 1,700 subscribers with MailChimp. The reason for this is that ConvertKit makes it so easy for you to capture emails from your readers. It’s easy to put forms on your site, set up sequences (which are a must), and create and send emails. The customer service is fantastic, and because it was founded by a blogger for bloggers, everything works smoothly and makes sense. It’s the best email platform out there. One downside is that it’s a paid service. Another downside is the limited control over subscribers. For example, if you want to delete users who haven’t opened an email in a year, you can’t. You can only delete “cold” subscribers, which is defined by ConvertKit. However, it’s still the best platform out there and will make your life easier and help you monetize much faster.

ConvertKit Details:

  • $29 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers (followed by increases at specific subscriber levels)
  • Unlimited emailing for the price you pay
  • Includes forms, sequences, and automations for your website
  • Designed by a blogger for bloggers
  • Incredibly intuitive and easy to use
  • Limited subscriber management
  • Advanced list segmentation and tagging features
  • Good customer service

I recommend ConvertKit for signing up for an email platform because you will be able to grow your email list most effectively with ConvertKit, which will largely contribute to your ability to make money blogging. I use ConvertKit and highly recommend it over all other platforms.

2. MailChimp

MailChimp is the email platform that I started my blog with. It’s free, which is the biggest selling point.

You can’t use affiliate links inside Mailchimp emails. This is really strange and I’m not sure why. But it’s good to know ahead of time. If you plan to make money blogging, you shouldn’t use Mailchimp.

Another downside is that you can only send 12,000 emails per month, which means you won’t be able to send more than 3 emails per week if you have 1,000 subscribers.

Finally, the free version of Mailchimp is only up to 2,000 subscribers. Once you get up to 2,000 subscribers you’ll have to switch to a paid version anyways, and at that point I’d definitely want a better platform if you’re going to pay for one.

MailChimp Details:

  • Free up to 2,000 subscribers
  • Can send up to 12,000 emails per month
  • Includes forms, sequences, and automations for your website
  • Not created specifically for bloggers, so there are many options that make the platform somewhat overwhelming and not intuitive to use
  • More difficult to edit and send multiple emails
  • More difficult to incorporate many forms and sequences

If you absolutely must sign up for a free email platform, then I recommend MailChimp. This would be best only if you are a brand new blogger. However, be aware that your blog income is largely determined by your email list, and you’ll be very limited with MailChimp.

3. AWeber

AWeber is the OG of email marketing (aka the original gangster) for bloggers. I say this because it was one of the first well-known and widely used companies for email marketing for bloggers. But now, many people have moved away to a more customizable and targeted software specifically for bloggers. AWeber hasn’t adopted many of the segmentation features that are necessary for bloggers who want to send emails to different people on their lists. AWeber is a paid platform, and will likely be a bit less expensive for you compared to ConvertKit; however, if you’re going to pay for a platform, you might want to consider the added value of the features you’re getting.

Aweber Details:

  • Free trial for 30 days
  • $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers (followed by increases at specific subscriber levels)
  • Unlimited emailing for the price you pay
  • Includes forms, sequences, and automations for your website
  • Advanced subscriber management available
  • Limited segmentation features
  • Not entirely customizable and intuitive for bloggers

AWeber is still a leading company when it comes to email marketing, but if you’re a newer blogger or looking to make a switch, I don’t recommend going with Aweber because of the limited segmentation and tagging features on the platform that are essential for bloggers, especially with a paid platform.

4. Drip

Drip is a new email marketing service that many very advanced bloggers are talking about lately. It has the advanced subscriber management that some say ConvertKit is lacking in, while also have the advanced segmentation and tagging features that AWeber lacks. The downside is that it’s verrrrry expensive compared to ConvertKit (like ~25% more). So, this is really something that only advanced bloggers sign up for. It’s also a bit more complicated to learn because of the advanced features.

Drip Details:

  • The first 100 subscribers are free
  • $41 per month for up to 2,100 subscribers (followed by increases at specific subscriber levels)
  • Includes forms, sequences, and automations for your website
  • Unlimited emailing for the price you pay
  • Advanced subscriber management
  • Advanced list segmentation and tagging features
  • Somewhat more complicated to learn

If you are an advanced blogger who is looking to invest in a very robust email platform that has both advanced email list segmentation and subscriber management, then Drip may be right for you. However, you need to be willing to pay a lot more (~25% more) in cost for this.

A Final Note!

Here’s my two-cents on who each platform would be good for:

MailChimp – Free option that is good for newbie bloggers who can’t afford to pay for an email service and don’t want to make money blogging with affiliate marketing (this is what I started with back in the day, but regret it).

ConvertKit – Middle of the road pricing that is good for bloggers who want the biggest bang for their buck and also want to make money blogging (this is what I use now).

AWeber – Middle of the road pricing that is good bloggers who care a lot about subscriber management but not list segmentation.

Drip – Most expensive option that is good for advanced bloggers who don’t mind paying the extra 25% for advanced segmentation and subscriber management features.

I started with MailChimp because I was super cheap and didn’t want to pay for a service. Then, I switched to ConvertKit because I reached the end of the free version and wasn’t making any money blogging. I almost immediately tripled my list and increased my blog income by using ConvertKit.

I wish I would’ve started with ConvertKit sooner, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
For all of my blogging posts, visit my Blogging Page. Happy blogging!

The post My Review Of 4 Email Marketing Services For Bloggers appeared first on Natalie Bacon.

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