From Feedburner, to MailChimp to ConvertKit?
Sorry, but it’s been a while since I last made a blog post, huh? I’m back in action again and will be giving a full explanation of my absence and why I dropped out in my monthly newsletter.
In this post, I’ll be letting you in behind the scenes a bit to see what it’s like for us bloggers to get a blog post crafted and sent out to our subscribers.
My Early Days of Blogging
Although I had my static website online since 1999, in the early days of “blogging” when I began in 2004, the whole idea of writing a daily online journal, a “web log” as we called it then, was a novel idea!
Who in their right mind would want to read about what someone else was doing in their daily life? And why would the writer, the “blogger,” want to share all this stuff with the public in the first place?
I could see its potential, though, to share my chair caning, wicker restoration and basketry knowledge to a broader market than the reach my static website had established since 1999.
This new “blogging” thing was dynamic, changing all the time with every new entry you made on your weblog. Whereas my website was static and changed very little, all the pages remained pretty much the same once I wrote them and made the page viewable to the public.
I did some research and decided to use the ever-popular, Google-owned, Blogger.com platform since it was free and relatively easy to set up and maintain.
The posts were sent out automatically by Google’s own Feedburner mailing system as soon as I hit, “Publish” and I didn’t have to think of doing anything else, other than adding a few pictures. Sweet!
Those pictures, by the way, had to be really tiny in file size as well as picture size so they’d load on the very, very slow dial-up computer connections we all had. Not so sweet!
This way of writing and sharing my knowledge was really fun and I loved the new blogging gig. I began posting every day for a while, then dropped it down to a few times a week. It was so very, very simple!
All you really needed was your computer, a blogging platform to send the posts out by email (Blogger.com), the ability to write and tell your story, and a few pictures to make the posts interesting.
There were no cell phones with fancy built-in cameras and in fact, digital cameras were still using floppy disks! And we didn’t have any of the social networks like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and others, so making your blog posts were not as time-consuming and details as they are now.
Blog Header Changes
Here’s what my blog header looked like for most of those three or four years when I used Blogger. The header for the rest of my static HTML website was different than the blog header and was hosted by a different host company.
Happily for me in those very early years of my blogging career, I was able to open up the chair caning and basketry field to a much broader audience.
Now I was able to give my viewers and new “subscribers” some really valuable, and useful information and resources, not found anywhere else at that time on the Internet. And through this new email automation, continue to feed subscribers current information on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
I blogged about events for basketmakers & chair caners, told my readers about companies where they could purchase raw material supplies, tools, and instruction books, and share little nuggets about what I was working on, and gave helpful hints that they could use in their own businesses.
Moving from Free Blogger.com to Self-hosted WordPress.org
Then in 2007 or so, I migrated my website from the HTML format to the WordPress.org self-hosted platform, and also migrated the blog from Blogger.com to my own website.
Without the Blogger.com method of sending the blog posts anymore, I now needed a new way to send out those new posts. So that’s when I discovered and started using Google’s Feedburner and was happy with them for the next nine years.
I was very pleased with Feedburner and would have stayed permanently, despite the fact that Google quit supporting it in 2012, but thought I’d better bail before it crashed. Oh, and yea, I changed the blog header again.
Feedburner to MailChimp
As you might have noticed with the last few blog posts, I’ve made the switch from using Google’s Feedburner to MailChimp as the email delivery method for these posts.
There’s been a bit of a learning curve for me since I’ve been with Feedburner for so many years. But I figured I better make the switch since Google is no longer supporting Feedburner and besides, MailChimp has a lot more to offer blog owners.
But don’t get too used to MailChimp either. I’m considering switching to yet another email delivery system, possibly ConvertKit, which offers a new set of features that will make my blogging life easier and provide more for my readers.
Once I get everything in place with this new email delivery system, I’ll be able to segment my subscriber lists into various categories of interests. For example, you’ll be able to make the selection to receive blog posts only, or if you’d like posts and the newsletter.
In the beginning, the newsletter will most likely be an exclusive monthly edition available only to subscribers, items and topics of interest not found in the blog posts. Then after a while, and only if I can maintain a more ambitious schedule, it might be sent out twice a month.
Well, thank you so much for letting me open up and show you a bit of the “behind the scenes” of what a blogger goes through.
You can look forward to lots more posts about chair caning, wicker furniture, maybe a few DIY projects, basketweaving and caning tutorials and videos, too.
Please let me know in the comments below what you are most interested in seeing here and why you subscribed. What are you expecting from and hoping to read on this blog?