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Why I Chose MailChimp Over Aweber

Now you’ve all heard about Aweber and how it’s supposed to be the bees knees of auto-responders? Well I decided against it because I just couldn’t see the value in it. These guys are so up themselves they won’t even offer a free trial! Instead you have to pay $1 to sign up for the first month and after that the cheapest rate is $19/month and if you have more than 500 subscribers you can expect to pay a lot more, up to $149/month. No wonder people using them have to keep shoving stuff down your throat, if they don’t they’d be losing money.

I sampled several auto-responders, more about them in a future post, and once I was through trialing them I decided that my list would be powered by MailChimp. As long as you don’t have more than 1000 subscribers and you don’t send more than 6000 emails a month your account is absolutely free. That knocks Aweber completely out of the ball park as far as trials goes.

Image via CrunchBase

What I love most about MailChimp is that you still get so much even though it’s a free account. I’ve actually had list members compliment me on the quality of my ‘newsletters’ and it’s all so easy to do because they have a large collections of templates that you can use to design absolutely stunning campaigns. You can even design your own templates.

There are so many features available to you with a free account, some of which include;

  • Multiple Lists: If you want to run more than one campaign targeting different lists then you’ll be happy to know you can do this with MailChimp
  • Good Reporting Features: There are so many reports you can keep track of. You can see who opened the mail, who clicked on what links. Whether or not any got bounced. Who’s unsubscribed. You can even connect it to Google Analytic and check whether a particular campaign has increased your traffic.
  • Connect With Twitter: Not only can you send your campaign to your lists, you can also send it out as a Tweet or via other social networks including FaceBook, Digg, Delicious, Buzz and MySpace. This is a Tweet of my last campaign.
  • Video Tutorials: I love the fact that they have video tutorials that help you to get the most from their site.

As far as I’m concerned these guys offer me all that I need to run a campaign and it’s all for free! If I ever grow my list to the extent that I need to pay for their service then I’m more than happy to do that.

Email Marketing Best PracticesThere was one point that was brought up by Ben Wan who mentioned that their TOS didn’t allow the use of affiliate links in the campaigns. This didn’t bother me all that much as my list was more for informing my subscribers of new posts than it was for promoting affiliates. Still, I could see how this would be important   for others so I decided to email support.

I spoke to a bloke called Edwin and I asked straight out about affiliate links and their TOS. This was his reply.

Hello Peter,

It’s nice to virtually meet you.

In the general sense we can only support affiliate content that is being sent to a list that is current and has been collected through a double optin process.  Also affiliate content can compliment newsletter content but can not be the entire focus of a message itself.

We would have to see an example of your newsletter to be able to say for sure if we could support it or not.

Feel free to email us back if you have specific questions or comments beyond this that we can assist you with.

Regards,
Edwin
MailChimp.com / Client Services

Well, I thought that was entirely reasonable. It’s obvious these guys are as much anti spam as I am, and let’s face it most of those guys that have lists send out so much crap it may as well be spam. These guys want to make sure people don’t give their product a bad name and I can understand that. Anyway, I purposefully put in an affiliate link into the next campaign and emailed him a copy.

He got back to me the next day saying that the example was fine but warning that the word “affiliate” in the content could have some spam filtering issues.  No worries then, that means I had absolutely no reason for not using MailChimp, I could even use affiliates in my campaign as long as I wasn’t a complete ass about it.

So, have you joined my list yet? If not you really should. As a member you will be listed on the My List page. You will never miss out on a post again. I will always try to include a link or two to other members blogs so that they also benefit from my campaigns. As a subscriber you may even learn a thing or two about what makes Sire tick, something that others will not be privy to. :wink_ee:

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Are Your Goals For 2011 Achievable?


It’s now 2011 and we have a whole year ahead of us to make something of our blogs, so what are we going to do about it? I’m not one to make any New Years resolutions and I’m definitely not one to set any goals, but I know that setting goals can be an important tool for many. I also know that although there are many bloggers who achieve their goals there are just as many, nope that’s not quite right, there’s probably more who don’t.

The question is, why aren’t these bloggers achieving their goals? Let’s face facts here shall we, if you’re not achieving your goals there’s no point blaming anyone else because the fault is entirely your own. Perhaps you’re simply setting your goals too damn high? This comes as no surprise when you consider that the reason so many bloggers dream of financial freedom is because  they read of how all these other bloggers are doing it? What they need to realize is that not all of what they’ve read is the truth. A lot is an exaggeration of the truth and some is just utter bullshit! Why do they do it? The obvious answer is that they’re trying to sell you something and that something is usually the idea that they know something that you don’t. That they have the secret to success and they’re willing to share it with you.

That’s right, the key to success and all it will cost you is your name and email address. They will even sweeten the deal by offering you a free Ebook, one filled with enough knowledge to get you started on the road to success but it won’t take you the whole way, for that you will need a detailed map and unfortunately that’s gonna cost you some dollars. Naturally you don’t mind paying for something that works, it’s just that most of the time what you get isn’t all you thought it would be.

Anyway, enough waffling on, it’s time for me to tell what you need to do when setting your goals for 2011.

Goalpost @ Lowestoft, Suffolk

Don’t Aim Too High!

This is the number one mistake most people make when setting goals. I reckon that this is the main reason why so many blogs disappear from the blogosphere in such a short time. Those who start a blog thinking it’s an easy path to riches are usually the ones that give up when things don’t go the way they expected it to.

Baby Steps Is The Key

When your mom popped you out like a watermelon seed you didn’t just start running trying to get away from that nipple now did you? And for those guys out there who’re saying they never tried to get away because they love sucking on a nipple, get a grip guys it’s your mom for goodness sake. :doh_tb: :laugh_tb: No, from the moment of conception you had to learn in stages, you had to learn to crawl before you could walk. You had to learn individual words before you could form a sentence, and even then it took time to learn how to string a sentence together so that it made perfect sense.

Blogging isn’t any different and so when making goals you should do them in stages. This really goes hand in hand with the first point I made. Your goal may be to become self sufficient but there is no way in hell that’s going to happen in the first year. Shit I hardly made a dime in the first year and if I hadn’t developed a love for blogging I would have been among all those others who had given up.

  1. Keeping this in mind you first goal would be to make sure that you set up your blog so that it’s the best it can be before you go out there promoting it. As you know I will normally follow bloggers back to their blog so as to reciprocate the comment and there have been times when all I see is the default WordPress theme. They hadn’t even taken the time to do their first post :bigsurprise_ee: :thumbdown_tb:
  2. Once your blog is up and running with a handful of quality posts, a very achievable goal, then and only then you should set your next goal, to drive traffic to your blog. The best way to do this is to spend a lot of time visiting other blogs leaving quality well structured comments behind.  You do this right and not only will you build your brand showing others you’re a competent blogger who knows what hes talking about, you will also build traffic and links back to your blog. Done correctly I’ve found it to be the best way to Get More People To Comment On Your Blog
  3. Your third goal could well be to start making money but again I think it’s best to do this in stages of achievable goals. Perhaps your first one would be to to make enough money blogging so that you’re actually making a profit. This means that all it has to do is make enough money to cover your hosting costs and such. One you’ve attained that goal you set the next one which is a little higher and then achieving that you set the next one each time increasing your revenue stream.

As you can see each goal that I’ve set out above is very attainable. Every time you achieve that goal you will gain confidence  and that confidence is the foundation block that will set you on the right path to attaining all future goals as long as you don’t set that bar too high.

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Sometimes It’s Better To Just Not Give A Shit

I’m Sire and I am a Blogaholic! That’s exactly how I began my Comment Policy page and I suppose at the time I thought it was kind of cute. The rest of that post explains the rules that commentators have to live by if they expect their comments to be published. It also talks about the a movement I started, and although it never really took off it’s one of the main reasons why this blog is so successful.

I wasn’t always a blogger. I started off as a casual in the retail business while I worked my way through teachers college. I was a semester from completing the course when I decided it wasn’t for me. There were those who tried to convince me to change my mind saying that I should just stick it out until I completed the course. But I knew it was tMood Meterhe wrong thing to do because my heart wasn’t in it and I figured I wouldn’t be doing those kids any favors if I became a teacher. I felt that all those good teachers I ever had were good because they loved what they did and all the bad ones were those whose heart just wasn’t in it and I didn’t want to be one of those.

I’ve now been on this earth for some fifty two years and one of the little gems I can pass on to those who will come after me is that there are times when it’s best to just not give a shit. One of the reasons why there is so much strife in this world is that people get so uptight over the smallest of things. Instead of taking a breath and deciding that it’s not all that big a deal and how it would be better to let things go they get angry.

Anger is like poison. It corrupts the soul and destroys reason. It’s because of anger that people say things they don’t really mean, thereby hurting the ones they love. It’s anger that clouds judgment and causes people to make the wrong choice. Anger should probably be sitting there right alongside envy.

I believe there was many a time when this attitude saved me from making a mistake, both in my business and in my personal life. I have to admit it hasn’t always been easy in the real world because when a situation hits you more often than not you have to deal with it then and there.

Things should be different in the online world and I can’t understand it when I see people getting upset over something that they’ve read. I’ve seen it happen over a bloggers review of a product and how the owner of the product didn’t agree with it. Rather than conversing with the blogger in a calm and orderly manner, trying to resolve the issue he went on the attack and was a complete ass. After reading the comments I could see that his actions was hurting his reputation and credibility, and it was all so unnecessary.

Anger Controlls Him
Image via Wikipedia

I was attacked on one of my blogs by a bloke who turned out to be a huge bigot and I admit at first I was pretty upset. Although I was pretty pissed I knew it would be wrong of me to reply while I was in that mood. I sat there for a long while and I thought about it and I decided that as wrong as his comment was it couldn’t really hurt me unless I let it, so I decided not to give a shit because it wasn’t worth it. He wasn’t worth it.

Once I calmed down I replied calmly trying to show him the error of his ways which seemed to only make things worse. The calmer I remained the more abusive he got. Some of his comments were so vile I had to delete them. What he failed to see was that his actions actually did his cause more harm than good and because of this people sided with me.

As bloggers, online marketers or whatever else we want to be while we are online we must always remember that we have one real advantage over those times when we’re in the real world. That advantage is time! Time to take a breath, count to 10 grab a coffee or whatever it takes to calm us down. It’s only when we’re in a calm frame of mind that we’re able to treat the situation rationally.

Water off a Duck´s BackSo, next time someone writes or says something that pisses you off, and it doesn’t matter if it’s on your blog or via one of the many social medias such as Twitter or Facebook just imagine that you’re a duck and that those words are like water falling off a ducks back. This will give you the time to gather your thoughts so that when you do write your comment it’s one that does you proud rather than one that may lead you on the road to self destruction.

Of you feel you may be missing out on reading a post it’s probably a good idea to join my list. If you Subscribe To WassupBlog’s New Posts you will never miss out on a post again. You may even get some links to some interesting posts that others will be missing out on. :wink_ee:

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About Peter Pelliccia"