Smart from Scratch is a course I created to walk you through the process of choosing and testing a business idea, as well as getting your first customers. If you already have a business, this course isn’t for you, but if you’re just getting started—or you don’t know where to start—this course is for you. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through the Genius link to the right.]
With so many new things to contend with and trying to grasp the bigger picture, it is easy to forget that ..er, the newsletter (of some kind) has to be set up. So my “complaint” was that there was no reminder nor alert that I might want to set up a newsletter. A very useful and needful reminder/alert for a newbie! But one does not turn to Customer Support for that!
For example, if a particular subscriber’s message number is 4, that means that that subscriber has already received follow-up emails 1,2 and 3. So if I have a 7 part follow up message sequence and I write a brand new followup email (message 8 in the sequence), there is no real way for me to prevent this subscriber from receiving message 8 unless I make his or her message number higher than 8. But if I do this, then that subscriber will never receive messages 4,5,6 or 7.
If you’d like to check out ConvertKit, my referral link is here [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit], and if you have any questions about ConvertKit, both Nathan and I will be actively popping in and out of this post to reply, however we’re currently at the LeadPages conference in Minneapolis so we may be slow to reply at first.
You will benefit from a range of tools when you use the email marketing service from Benchmark, with features such as the ability to add links, social media, and other interactive features to your marketing materials. You can also create surveys and send them out with the Benchmark Email marketing system, and this is part of the package which is not always the case with some competitors. - Joseph Raspolich
Check your ‘Form Type’ settings to alter the width of your signup box.  This is important as you need to make sure that it is the right size for your site.  Think about where you want the box to appear on your site – for the sidebar, you will want it reasonable small (perhaps 250-300px wide) whereas if it’s for after your post, maybe something much wider (e.g. 600px).
With the rapid pace of change you don’t have to know everything there is to know in your niche to get started. If you’re only a few steps ahead of your audience then you’re the leader. As you apply your knowledge and follow your passion you learn even more. This becomes valuable information which you can package and pass to your audience. So how do you get paid?
AWeber has a lot to offer, especially to companies that frequently utilize autoresponders. The autoresponder series set up was among the most intuitive and simplest I’ve ever seen…and of course, once your series is set up, you can allow it to run in the background with no further actions on your part. The WYSIWYG editor has some nice features and recent updates have improved the email design experience significantly. The analytics and reporting capabilities are a step above par, as is AWeber’s number of integrations.

I wasn’t sharing my affiliate link for ConvertKit (but I am now – I earn a commission if you buy with this link) as this move was happening because I wanted to take a couple of months to really test it out.  After using it for more than three months now, however, I’m extremely happy with the results and am confident in my recommendation. Please note that I do receive a commission from the affiliate links to ConvertKit that are on this page. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
I asked him several other questions and he took me deeper into the software to show me some cool automation tools and how tagging and segmentation worked. He also took me into the analytics and even some of the early integrations ConvertKit has with companies like Gumroad, which make it incredibly easy for me to new link customers of The Smart Podcast Player to a “course” in ConvertKit to send them a pre-written autoresponder series.
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4. Affordable: I was willing to pay more money for better features, but wasn’t convinced I needed to be paying $200-$300/month for those. I know many, many, entrepreneurs who pay those fees and like I say above, use a fraction of its capabilities. I didn’t feel that was necessary for my business – at the point of consideration, I didn’t have a complex business with numerous products or sales funnels. For the past couple of years while my kids are home on crazy-small school schedules (right now I have 2.5 hours per day), I have been primarily working 1:1 with clients and offering My PRO Plan. This will change in Fall 2016 when both kids are in school full time (I can’t even imagine!?!) and I have more time to execute on my ideas, but for now, the big shot services weren’t needed.
Are you considering building an email list, but have some doubts about why it is needed? Many bloggers and business owners don’t realize the importance of building an email list when they’re first starting out. Most people usually change their mind when they see the impact email lists can have on someone else’s traffic and revenue. In this article, we will share the top reasons why building an email list is important (with real case studies). We will also show you how to start building your email list – step by step.
Click through rates. Once your subscribers have opened your email, are they actually taking the action you need them to take? If you think that you have a low click-through rate, perhaps your body copy is not as effective as it needs to be. Consider the following: Is the copy of your email relevant to the subject line? Did you offer real value to your subscribers in the email? Is your call-to-action clear enough? Is the link easy to find?

This was all possible with Aweber, with some drawbacks (and one of the reasons I switched to ConvertKit). While you could set up an autoresponder sequence in Aweber, it was not easy or convenient to segment out those users who were in the sequence from getting your main newsletter or blog broadcasts. So, it was possible that people were getting multiple emails from me a week.
As you can see in the flowchart above, when someone subscribes to this particular form, they go through a confirmation sequence. Once confirmed they get “tagged” as having signed up for my eBook, and then they are directed to a specific thank you page. If they are already confirmed on my list, they skip over that part and just go directly to the thank-you page.
Write great subject lines. David Ogilvy once said that 80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines. With emails, the subject line is just as important. If it doesn’t catch your attention, you won’t open it. So, spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line. A great email subject line entices curiosity about the content of the email. It’s also personal, and highly relevant to the recipient. To learn more about how to write amazing subject lines, we have an entire blog post on the topic: 30 Successful Bloggers Share Their Best Converting Email Subject Line.
4. Affordable: I was willing to pay more money for better features, but wasn’t convinced I needed to be paying $200-$300/month for those. I know many, many, entrepreneurs who pay those fees and like I say above, use a fraction of its capabilities. I didn’t feel that was necessary for my business – at the point of consideration, I didn’t have a complex business with numerous products or sales funnels. For the past couple of years while my kids are home on crazy-small school schedules (right now I have 2.5 hours per day), I have been primarily working 1:1 with clients and offering My PRO Plan. This will change in Fall 2016 when both kids are in school full time (I can’t even imagine!?!) and I have more time to execute on my ideas, but for now, the big shot services weren’t needed.
The Smart Passive Income Blog started in October 2008 simply as a place for me to report and talk about everything that was happening with my business at GreenExamAcademy.com. Starting an online business changed my life and saved my butt after getting laid off, and it was the least I could do to pay it forward and hopefully help others that had met struggles during the recession, too.
If you’d like to check out ConvertKit, my referral link is here [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit], and if you have any questions about ConvertKit, both Nathan and I will be actively popping in and out of this post to reply, however we’re currently at the LeadPages conference in Minneapolis so we may be slow to reply at first.

On the other hand, you have pointed out a problem that Aweber should address and that is their training and instruction materials. They should definitely have better video and written tutorials on how to use everything. And while I found the ‘get started’ webinar extremely helpful, years ago, you shouldn’t have to get on a webinar to learn about the product. At the very least, they should record one of those webinars so you can just click and watch any time you want!
The newsletter is something you can offer in addition to the normal follow ups. You can write a number of very short posts on news in the industry, summarise and provide links to the best articles over the past month, year and then add short mentions of products eg use your aweber and Bluehost affiliate links under a products I use section at the bottom.
Follow-Up Series (Autoresponders): In addition to one-time email blasts (called Broadcasts), AWeber allows you to create chains of autoresponders (campaigns). An example would be a welcome email which is sent to each new subscriber who signs up, then a series of weekly “How To” emails explaining the various applications of your product. You can set the interval between these messages to anywhere between 0 and 999 days. You can also start subscribers at different points in the cycle if you wish (so for instance, if you had a separate signup form for advanced flying widget users, you could start them on #5 of your series (“New Applications of Flying Widgets”) instead of #1 (“What is a Flying Widget?”). You can set up separate follow-up series for each list, and you can copy them between lists. You can even set it to stop sending messages once the email has been opened.

I have tried just about every membership platform out there. The are either buggy, cumbersome or WAY too expensive – especially if you are just getting started. ProductDyno fills a much needed void. It’s easy affordable and they have thought of everything. This thing has so many integrations and features you might think you are… “Finally The Perfect Solution Made Affordable”

Tip: We often suggest that you mention what you’re going to talk about in your subject line. However, Nathan Latka of Heyo once told us in a webinar that he usually goes for a really short subject line that provokes curiosity. (He claims he has even used knock-knock jokes.) In the right context, something like “Hey …” can be surprisingly effective. The casual and familiar tone coupled with the slight recognition of your email address may be enough to prompt an open.
Hi BlogTyrant. My question is related to an older post whose comments option was closed (just read that it is one of the visitor-bringing tricks:)). So, a while ago you said that got 11,908 visitors in just 3 weeks. Did you get that performance with blogtyrant from scratch? (I mean without using your other blogs or social media connections, etc?). It is hard for me to understand that a beginner will get such a huge traffic in about 20 days, when actually that is maybe the time necessary to make the blog a little known, probably just indexed by google and slightly ranked.
To start, you’ll have 700+ templates to choose from. There are some very nice layout customization options here, once you learn how to use them. AWeber uses both “sections” and “blocks” in its organization. Blocks are elements like text boxes, images, etc. Sections are the frameworks in which they exist. Most programs use similar organization, though they may use different terminology. The difference comes in your ability to edit or customize the sections themselves. In previous versions, the ability to customize elements like buttons was limited–you couldn’t change the text of buttons–but you now have the ability to easily customize those elements.
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