DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»

DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» is a community of 963,673 amazing developers

We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.

Create account Log in
Brandon
Brandon

Posted on

Start an email list, right now, this second

You need an email list. If you create content on Dev, Medium, your personal blog - you absolutely cannot survive without an email list.

With the news of Free Code Camp moving from Medium
https://dev.to/ben/i-m-concerned-with-the-move-that-freecodecamp-just-pulled-by-leaving-medium-io8
You need an email list.

Imagine you wrote exclusively for Free Code camp. You built up a following of 20k followers. You were enjoying your life. Suddenly, out of nowhere, with no warnings what so ever Free Code Camp moves from Medium.

You no longer have followers. Your entire following just died within a matter of seconds. Their new publication doesn't have followers. There's no way to "upvote" an article. Your entire 20k following that you worked towards has just died. This has just happened to hundreds of people. Your followers no longer exist. They are dead.

Now, imagine you put social media links everywhere in your posts. You now have a social media following. Congrats! But, the platforms change their algorithms. You're no longer relevant. No one sees your posts. Your social media channel is now dead. You've just lost most of your following.

The only thing that won't betray you like social media or a platform is an email list. There are no algorithms in email lists. Let's say you built an email list and Free Code Camp died. You've lost 20,000 followers on there, but your email list is 10,000 strong. You move to a new platform and your followers join you there. It's a lot easier to start again from 10,000 than it is from 0.

Even if you think your platform is safe, like Dev.to. Why do planes install so many crash landing safety equipment if the plane doesn't plan to crash? Because it's safe. This is the same reason you need to start an email list right now. Free Code Camp was seen as a safe bet a few days ago, now the platform is on fire and your following is dead.

If you think "Dev is great, it's not going to die anytime soon" think back to the plane example. It probably won't die for a long time, but you might want to install crash landing equipment just in case.

How to start an email list

This should take you 10 minutes. Max. 10 minutes to save you from disasters like this. Personally, I use ConvertKit. Note: this is an affiliate link. I'll get money at no extra cost to you if you use this. You can use Mailchimp (free) if you like.

When you make an email list, you'll probably be forced to create a signup form in the tutorial. At the end of all of your Dev articles, simply link to your signup form and say something to get people to signup.

This is the easiest way you can get signups and create insurance for yourself. There are many ways to do this, but this is the simplest and possibly easiest method.

Top comments (16)

Collapse
 
antonrich profile image
Anton

I want to start a newsletter where a user can choose which one he/she wants. What service can provide that functionality?

Collapse
 
brandonskerritt profile image
Brandon Author

Hey! Convertkit does this really well. You can give a user a survey such as:

[Click here to subscribe to newsletter A](link)
[Click here to subscribe to newsletter B](link)
[Click here to subscribe to newsletter C](link)

When the user clicks a link, Convertkit will tag them as having clicked it. Now you know that the user is interested in that newsletter and can receive it :)

Collapse
 
antonrich profile image
Anton

I checked out convertkit. They don't have a free tier. So I googled alternative to convertkit and found emailoctopus. I'm gonna try and see if I can do it there.

Thread Thread
 
brandonskerritt profile image
Brandon Author

Mailchimp has a free tier :)

Collapse
 
andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

I remember AWeber but looks like there is a really good one called Active Campaign in terms of feature set.

If CovertKit can't do A/B testing that is a deal breaker for me.
SMS is super powerful and Active Campaign can do it so that's a strong consideration to utilize Active Campaign.
Active Campaign doesn't come with a landing page so that's sad, but I know how to build my own I suppose.

marketingautomationinsider.com/awe...

Hard for me to say since I do already have a way to make a form using AWS Lambda collect them in DynamoDB and then use AWS SES. But there we go where I have to do the work. AWS PinPoint is for engagement but I have yet to make use of it.

Hard call.

Collapse
 
brandonskerritt profile image
Brandon Author

CK can do A/B testing on titles, they're working on A/B testing of content right now :)

Collapse
 
lautarolobo profile image
Lautaro Lobo

I really wanted to get into some blogs newsletter... but they didn't have one! And I'm not going to download an rss reader or something like that. So yes, if you want to increase your audience, create a mailing list (I'll premiere mine soon)

Collapse
 
terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

Any article recommendations about what to do once you have the email list set up? (Preferably targeted to a beginner)

Collapse
 
brandonskerritt profile image
Brandon Author

backlinko.com/list-building
All of Backlinko's articles are superb!

Collapse
 
brandonskerritt profile image
Brandon Author

Hey! I have some notes here:
notion.so/How-to-write-a-blog-post...

I'll link you some more articles once I'm home in an hour or so 😁

Collapse
 
nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚π₯𝐒𝐞 𝐝𝐞 π–πžπžπ«π

Just ensure you're GDPR compliant with your mailing list for us Europeans!

Collapse
 
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

I find them slightly annoying but I can't unsubscribe, I might miss something. So for that reason and mentality, you are spot on.

Collapse
 
renegadecoder94 profile image
Jeremy Grifski • Edited on

Just going to take this opportunity to shamelessly heed your advice.

Collapse
 
brandonskerritt profile image
Brandon Author

Signed up! You might want to remove first name / last name fields. People in tech are very wary of other people owning their data, you don't want to cause them too much friction :)

Collapse
 
renegadecoder94 profile image
Jeremy Grifski • Edited on

Thanks for the tip! I believe they’re optional. Only there to personalize the emails.

🌚 Friends don't let friends browse without dark mode.

Sorry, it's true.