I know I have a reputation for being a social media cranky pants for pointing out things I don’t like or agree with. I accept that – and I also accept that it can be a turn off for people. I’m all for positivity but I’m not into smoke and mirrors. If something is annoying or doesn’t work for me, I’m just going to come out and say it. I try to do so in a kind way, as I’m not a fan of people who are brutally honest just to get a rise out of you.
I also know that when it comes to growing a blog and getting Internet famous and all that good stuff I’m doing it wrong. I know how to do it right, after all I grew a very successful blog and sold it for good money, but that’s not where I am right now. I do enjoy earning money through my blogs and work on several ways to make that happen with passive income and advertising (which I’m told make my blogs ugly), but I’m not a hard sell kind of person.
Anyway, I’m digressing. I’m trying to tell you that sometimes I just want to blog about the stuff I want to blog about without rules or driving sales.
10 Reasons I Don’t Use A Mailing List
I’m often asked why I don’t use a mailing list for my blogs, but there are many different answers to that. So since I’m on a long flight and have time to kill, I thought I’d share my reasons with you here. This isn’t a how-to or some sort of method to success, because, again, that’s not what I’m working toward. Most bloggers do have much success selling off a mailing list and I’m probably the last person who should help you with sales.
Anyway, since you asked:
1. I say everything I need to say on my blogs
I don’t post often. Back in the day I used to think one or two posts each day were necessary for continued traffic, but I just don’t have time for that any more. I also try not to be redundant in my posting. I’d rather save my content for my blogs than to continuously think of new material for a regular newsletter. It would become repetitive and one-note for me. I’d rather just blather when I have something real to say.
2. On the rare occasion I’m selling something, it’s through my blogs
I don’t have much to sell. I have enough clients and client work to keep me busy, so I’m not currently trying to sell myself. I do have books to sell, but I do so through blog posts and sales pages here and occasionally on the social networks. I’m not interested in blogging to sell, tweeting to sell, Facebooking to sell, and then sending all those same people a sales pitch in a newsletter.
Is this the wrong approach? Probably, but it’s how I roll.
3. I’m not a sales person
I’m not comfortable selling, even in the “pretend I’m not selling by having this conversation” social media way. I don’t want to send a sales pitch to your in box each week. And let’s be honest, a newsletter is a sales tool even if you’re not doing a hard pitch.
4. I’m lazy
I just don’t want to write a newsletter each week.
5. Most people don’t even read their newsletters
Very few newsletters have super high open rates. In fact, a good open rate is about 30%. This is great with someone with thousands of people on their lists, but mine would be in the hundreds. The loyal people who would actually open my newsletter also read my blog. I’d rather not waste my time on something most people won’t bother with.
6. It’s more important for me to build relationships than lists
I’d rather talk to you one on one than send you stuff that you’ll just delete anyway.
7. I write newsletters for my clients, I’d rather not use my down time to write them for myself
After writing newsletters for my clients, I’m just not feeling it for myself. When it comes to my own stuff, I’d rather write for pleasure and passion than open rates and sales. So, again, I’ll blog if or when I have something to share.
8. There are other ways to learn what I’m up to
I don’t have a whole lot of fans and followers, and I keep it that way for a reason. I know the people in my online communities and I’d rather have the ability to hold conversations – online and off – than send them stuff. If I want them to read my blog posts, I’ll get on Facebook or Twitter and ask them. All the people who are interested in following me do so via Facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc. or they already subscribe to this blog via email. I don’t need to give them something else to sign up for. I’m not sharing anything new or innovative. I’m not a thought leader. There’s no reason for me to reach people via a mailing list when they already follow me everywhere else. I don’t want to be a pain in the ass.
9. I’m not an expert
I can’t tell you how to be awesome, I just share things I like or make me cringe. My way of “doing” blogs and social media is most likely the wrong way so I don’t really offer advice beyond the basic how-to — and I save that advice for my books, anyway. There are people doing this who are much better than I am.
10. I have yet to read a newsletter that wasn’t self serving
It’s one thing when a business sends emails around to sell products or share updates and information. I write several of these each week. However, I am not a business. I am an individual who conducts business. For me to send a newsletter around telling you what I’m doing is self serving and egotistical. I’m not comfortable with it.
Your mileage may vary
Currently I subscribe to about 20 newsletters (down from a couple of hundred) and I can tell you that I rarely read any of them. Even though I subscribe with the best of intentions, I just don’t have the time to read them. Very few people are saying anything new, anyway. I have yet to read a newsletter that knocks my socks off with new information and unless I’m shopping, I don’t want a sales pitch.
Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a newsletter. Many marketers and bloggers use them to much success. I’m not one of those people and I’m not interested in writing for a 20% open rate from my already very small online community.
Of all the newsletters you subscribe to, how may do you really, truly read every time you receive it?