There are a few different ways to send your blog out to readers via email. Feedburner has an option, as does the Jetpack plugin. There are some more detailed here. These services use your RSS FEED: more on that here.
My favourite way to send my blog out is via Mailchimp. The benefit of Mailchimp is that it’s a really professional way to create subscriber lists, manage subscribers, talk to those subscribers and create a pretty email version of your blog.
A Mailchimp account is free if you have less than xx subscribers. After that, you have to pay to use the service, but I like it so much I do that.
How does this work?
1. Sign up!
You need to sign up for Mailchimp (it’s REALLY easy to use!)
2. Know your RSS feed URL!
You need to know your blog’s RSS feed URL/address (mine is http://meetmeatmikes.com/feed). If you are on WordPress yours will be something similar (http://yourblogaddress/feed) and if you are on blogger (http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss)
3. Learn how!
Watch this video. It shows you how to set up an RSS triggered campaign via Mailchimp (and how to design a basic Mailchimp email/newsletter)
4. Create a list of people who will receive your blog!
Create a LIST in Mailchimp : call it MY BLOG SUBSCRIBERS or something similar : add yourself as the first subscriber. Don’t add anyone else manually though. People need to add themselves to your list (it’s an ethical/legal thing!)
5. Create your blog’s email version format and tell Mailchimp who should get it!
Create an RSS driven campaign for this MY BLOG SUBSCRIBERS list, using the video how-to and tutorial above. This is where you can add a nice header and any buttons you want in the footer of your email. (Mailchimp will grab the actual email TEXT from your blog as you post!) You can also choose when your blog gets emailed out (whenever you update it? once a week?) Have a bit of a play with the formatting/look of the email using the ‘click and drag’ boxes provided there. Send yourself a test email to see how it looks before you finalise and set it to SEND. (It will send at the time you schedule, not straight away!)
6. Help people sign up for your email!
Add a sign-up form for the new EMAIL VERSION of your blog to your blog’s side bar : you can find those in Mailchimp under your RSS campaign. (Hit SIGN UP FORM and then EMBEDDED forms OR you can use the Mailchimp plugin if you are on WordPress!) You can see mine below on the right hand side of my blog!
7. Get excited!
Keep your eye on your inbox because you will be receiving your blog via email soon!
Now, each time you update your blog Mailchimp will grab your blog’s RSS information and send it to your MY BLOG SUBSCRIBERS in the format you created, at the times you specified. Good work!
Have you used Mailchimp before?