Write Exciting Mailchimp Newsletters That Sell

Have you ever read a newsletter and silently applauded the writers ability to say so much about so little? My favourite newsletters ever were about cleaning up. Once upon a time, somewhere on the internet, I was searching for ways to get myself into a daily cleaning routine. A very kind person recommended signing up to a particular newsletter that sent daily tips and kept you on track. Excited and raring to go, I duly paid with my name and ‘best email address’. Then the bombardment started.

A full 300 words about cleaning your sink. I shit you not.

After the sermon, an offer to buy some micro-fibre special cloths that make the task easier. Only $15 for 5. I’m looking at this absolutely dumbfounded. Not only because I can buy 5 for £1 in Home Bargains, but because I’d read those 300 words and actually considered buying the cloths. I mean, 300 words, they must be better than the cheapo ones, right?


And that’s the power of a newsletter. To show that what you have is different. It’s special. If you can find 300 words to write about a dishcloth, your reader will probably ask themselves at some point if they should buy it.

Don’t just write any old crap though. Compare and contrast, people:

Mr. Dishcloth Newsletter

My dishcloths are made of the most special dishcloth material in the world. You should buy these because they get a great shine on your sink. They come in a range of pretty colours. They wash really well too. I hope you enjoy my newsletters. Click this link to purchase,

Eurgh.

Cleaning Lady Tips Newsletter

My grandson came up to me last week and asked why I had so many tiny blankets in my cleaning basket. He’d used them to make beds for his teddy bears and tried to climb under one himself. After wriggling around and trying to squeeze underneath one of my special blend micro-fibre squares for 5 minutes, he asked me for a bigger one.  I explained that although they’re velvet soft they’re so small because they’re cleaning squares, but he still looked puzzled. He wanted to know why they were so colourful. When I showed him my Colour Coded Cleaning System™, he was amazed. ‘Wow! Cleaning sure is fun, Grandma!’

Try them for yourself – only $15!

Mr. Dishcloth sounds boring. I’d go to Home Bargains any day rather than buy from him. They’re probably just cheapo dishcloths repackaged. But a Colour Coded Cleaning System™. I’m in with both feet. The kids might even help me, or better still do it all while I watch Jeremy Kyle with a packet of biscuits.

So what’s the difference between the two newsletters above?

Storytelling. Conjure up a scenario. Don’t just keep regurgitating why someone should buy what you’re selling. Show your product in a real life situation, or talk about it in a scenario. Include it in the background of a funny story. But for the love of all that is sacred, don’t try the Mr. Dishcloth method because it sucks.

Did you find this helpful? Have anything to add? Leave a comment and let me know.

Start Blogging Without Spending Money

If you’re methodical and sensible, there’s a way to start blogging for free. The one thing that will determine whether that figure is zero is your domain name and hosting choices.

There are lots of free services out there but the downside to those is a lack of control over advertising. That isn’t a bad thing because you’re aiming to have lots of advertising going through your site. That’s how you’ll eventually make a passive income. You need control over those ads though, right?

The other problem with free domains is that they’re often sub-domains. That’s not a problem if you’re getting direct visitors by the truckload. It is a problem if you’re depending on search engines throwing more than a handful of visitors your way.

So what’s a sub-domain?


A domain name is like a home address. It leads directly to your online front door AKA your home page. It’s your house.

A sub-domain is a room within that house that has it’s own key and tenant. When someone types in your sub-domain name, the internetz has to look up the home address, then the specific room it’s been asked to find. When you’re getting a free sub-domain from a provider, the original domain (house) has LOT of rooms (sub-domains).

Search engines tend not to index all of the individual rooms very well, if at all, because that would be a nightmare. Imagine there’s a hosting company specialising in offering art prints. They’re called BLUE ART. They have 100,000 sub domains. Anyone searching for BLUE ART via Google would end up with a 10,000 pages of results all thrown back from the same domain.

This is why you really have to pay for your hosting if you want to be able to effectively work on your discover-ability through search engines.

By now, you’re probably wondering why people go the sub-domain path. Well, there are two reasons.

Lack of funds
Easy set up

But there is another way to start blogging. It’s not a free way, but it is a cheap way. You could have a set up just like mine up and running for less than $12.

How to set up your own domain and hosting

My background is fundamentally online media and web design. Since I first sat down to learn about this stuff in 2002, a lot has changed. Between then and now, I’ve set up a lot of sites and used lots of different hosting services (and domain registries).

The hosting I have now is pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good (if you don’t know Larry David, that probably looks a bit OTT. If you do, high fives).

The best thing about my host is their ‘One-Click Install’ system. When I made my first WordPress site to start blogging, I had to manually copy all the files over via ftp. So the concept of a one click install was like MIND. BLOWN.

They also have a 97 day money back guarantee, a phenomenal 99.97% uptime guarantee and unlimited bandwidth. Add their amazing customer service to the mix and they’re worth every penny (trust me, I’ve been burned by other companies in the past).

STEP BY STEP

I’m trying to pace this just right so if this moves too fast or isn’t explanatory enough, all you’ve got to do is comment and I’ll make changes or explain in more detail where I can.

Dreamhost are my provider and the first thing you need to do is sign up for their monthly hosting plan. Unless you’re feeling flush, their 7.95 per month plan is all you need.

Choose WordPress Hosting and choose one of the plans. As I said earlier, the 7.95 per month plan allows you to host multiple WordPress sites. That means you can buy as many domains as you like and host lots of sites. If you know another blogger, or maybe your partner or kids want to have their own sites too, you won’t pay anymore other than the cost of the domain names (which start at $0.99).

So here we go. You need to enter your email address and choose a password. Once that’s done, you’ll get a screen that asks you what domain name you want. For the purposes of my less than $12 claim, I’ll show you how to set up with a .xyz domain name.


If it’s available, just click the ‘Register Now for …’ button and you’re on your way. If not,  keep searching until you find a domain that isn’t taken. Then you click the button.

The next screen you’ll see asks which plan you want. Well it’s the $10.95 per month plan! Once you’ve chosen that one, you’ll be asked if you wan’t to add extras. The only one you’re interested in at this point, is the ‘Install WordPress’ option.

Now you have to enter all of your details and pay the monthly fee. That’s it.

You now own your own little place on the web.

I’ll be writing a companion piece on setting up your WordPress blog soon, so keep an eye open for that. In the meantime, familiarise yourself with the backend, choose a them and start getting your copy together for your ‘About Me’ section. That’s the hardest part.

I hope this has been helpful. Don’t forget to leave a comment letting me know how you got on.

Disclaimer: I know it’s 9.95 per month but it only works out to 7.95 if you take a 3 year plan, on a monthly billing cycle it’s $9.95 but still refers to itself as the $7.95 plan.

 

 

Organisation Is The Key To Regular Blogging

Do you ever wake up in the morning and suddenly feel like the go-getter you are? Like Rocky with his theme tune on loop, big band style. You hurtle to your office and skid across the laminate in your chair. Then you get a look at your desktop and forget everything because it looks like the devil’s sandpit. Five million icons just floating in space, all as duper-important as each other (that’s why you saved them there after all) with not one scrap of organisation.

desktop icons with no organisation from www.eatworklove.blog
You’ve been doing it wrong.

I know this because I’ve been doing it wrong too. I’ve procrastinated my ass off looking for files, folders, just moving that one there and this one here…But I’ve finally sorted it out.

I’ve been meaning to make my desktop pin-board for a long time.  Truth is, I could have made it instead of piddling about and procrastinating but I didn’t. So what is this amazing pin-board I’m talking about? It’s a background that will change your life.


Have you ever organised your icons into clumps and then forgotten what those clumps were for? I have. Then I make more clumps that I forget about a few days later. It gets a bit boring after the first couple of years but you carry on anyway, because your head hurts.

Those clumps are what I’ve based this pin-board around. With definite labels and ares for each clump, I know exactly where to look for my deadline related work, pending approval, inspiration, development…I can find them all in the blink of a cursor.

If you’d like to give it a try, I’m giving it away to you for free. I know this is going to change your life. In return, do something nice for me, follow me on Twitter or Instagram. I don’t mind which.

Click here and download away!

Do you have your own version of a desktop pin-board or one you think I should develop? Let me know in the comments!

Facebook Friends … The Ones You Don’t Want

I made a decision to get on top of the EWL Facebook account today. After hobbling along with a handful of friends for a few days I thought I should reach out and mingle. So I added a few carefully selected people that seemed to have similar interests and aims to me.

Guys, a literal shit-storm of friend requests started pouring in. Great I thought. People really want to hear my news and see my blog. I’ll be able to put my own Facebook ads out soon and monetise this baby. They are wild for me. But no. The first inkling I had that something wasn’t right came with a simple ‘Hi’ message that pinged into my inbox.

I replied in a friendly an polite manner. Then *ping* ‘I’m Kalim. I’m from Morrocco. Send me your pictures’.


It dawned on me that these new friends may not want to see my blog. They wanted to see something else entirely.

Here’s a nicely decorated and blurred screenshot of my inbox from earlier…


And they’re still racking up now. One every 2 minutes at least. I won’t show you my inbox but I’m sure you can use your imagination.

So just how do you weed out the Hi-Guys (aka pervs) from the genuine people looking to connect? Here’s my strategy:

Check who your mutual friends are and then delete them.

Once I’ve done that with a few of these guys, I can see that there are one or two names that keep cropping up as mutuals. I go straight to those mutual accounts and delete, delete, delete. The Hi-Guys are systematically going through their friend lists and adding them all.

Make your own friends list private.

So they can’t use your friends list and you don’t get deleted, or even worse, blocked. You can do this via your Facebook privacy settings.

Visit their profile and look at their friends, posts and photos.

If they have photographs of their penis on there, or a penis belonging to someone else, they probably aren’t interested in reading about your new shoes, hair or what font to use on their blog. This applies to dodgy handbags and sunglasses too.

Be vigilant and selective about your friends.

This also applies in real life. We all know that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet but I think that’s just a rumour spread by strangers looking for their next victim.

Anyway, I hope that was helpful…Can you think of anything to add?

Making Money Online: I Actually Did It!

Not millions, or thousands, so if you’re looking for a 007 lifestyle this is not going to help. But if you’re looking to to save for a holiday, buy yourself something nice every month, or pay off your credit cards, this is for you.

A couple of months ago, I was poking around the ‘Make Money Online’ type sites and shaking my head. The rates offered by some of these sites (most?) are grim. Even the benefit of being able to work in my pyjamas with unbrushed hair and last night’s makeup on doesn’t really make it worthwhile.


If you know me IRL you already know that my day job involves working from home anyway, but that’s something different. That’s  for my salary/wage/to survive. I want to make a supplemental income online with the time I’d usually spend filling online shopping baskets with stuff I don’t really want and never actually buy. So maybe an hour or two each day.

I trawled through some sites. I tried matched betting (on football…I hate football) and made a £100 but it felt grubby so I I ditched that after a couple of days. You can go and look that up if it sounds like your thing but I’m not going to link it here because there’s a lot of info knocking around on the interwebs about that.

I’m already signed up to  a few copy writing sites but the pay isn’t great. You’d have to bust a gut for silly hours every day to make a decent supplemental income from that alone. I keep my membership mainly because I exercise my brain every now and again by picking up a few Copify assignments.

While I was scrolling through those forum posts, I noticed people were referring to LF and just making the assumption that everyone on there was signed up to it. I dug a little deeper and found that they were referring to Leapforce (which to my own shame I thought was a children’s learning device). Turns out that this particular company pay a fair bit more than the other avenues I’ve looked at. And you get a job title that sounds pretty nifty too – Search Engine Evaluator: put that on your CV and smoke it.

So I’m sure the big questions are:

What do you have to do?

You have to evaluate information that is presented to you, like ads in a social media channel. Depending on what LF offer, you can work as many hours as are available to you. And when you get paid $14 per hour, that soon racks up.

Is it a scam?

I did wonder. I waited until after I’d been paid for my work to write this post. And yes, I did get paid. I worked an hour each day for around 18 days and ended up with almost £200. And I didn’t have to move out of my chair. And when I did, I used my mobile.

Where do I sign?

Well, you may have a bit of a wait before you hear anything, then you have to take a test online. It’s nothing too taxing as long as you read through the notes and guidance about what they expect from you. That said, it’s worth it. For an hour a day I’m paying off my credit cards in pretty big chunks and adding to the shoe collection without any guilt at all.

You can make an application to work for Leapforce here if this sounds like your thing.