You publish the one post on your blog per week to continue building your base of content and to demonstrate that you are not a fly-by-night blogger. You get the guest posts published on other blogs as a means of building an audience. Before long, your name will be on the lips on many of your prospective readers. Once you have an established audience, you can write more on your own blog, and less on others’, if you feel it will be beneficial to your continued growth.
I have used both, and I agree with your analysis. The great thing about MailChimp is that it lets you see the email in different clients. That is really the hardest thing about sending emails. However, you can use that service without doing everything else through MailChimp. Also, once you get the hang of it and develop templates, it no longer is much of an issue.
In response to “bogus” email subscribers, I will tell you why it is done… because I do it myself. When I am forced to put in my email information just to get some free information, it irritates me. The reason it irritates me is because, I deal with many companies in my business, I can not afford the time to keep sifting through my inbox to delete 50 emails from a company that I just wanted a little information from. Email marketing optin is great, but keep in mind – not everyone wants the bombarding of emails after-the-fact.
Think about implementing referral links to incentivize your subscribers to spread awareness about your brand, too. Referral links allow your current customers to promote trackable links for your business. In exchange for sending new paying customers your way, you can give them incentives like discounts, coupons, vouchers, cash, prizes or redeemable points.