Another Great Resource on Understanding GDPR with Gemma Gibbs

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Hey guys, are you stressing over GDPR? Below is another great resource (podcast) on the General Data Protection Regulations and will give you advice on what’s important, what to ignore and how you can ensure compliance with these new regulations. As I understand it (from all 3 sources I’ve read so far), you always needed people’s permission to email them (obviously) so it’s not recommended to send a mass email to your list asking them permission or you’ll look like you never had permission in the first place (opps). In the podcast, they talk about how two big companies have already been fined for doing just that. And even if you are not in the EU but you are collecting email addresses of people in the EU to add to your mailing list, then you still fall under the GDPR regulation. Having said that, I think it’s wise to ask for confirmation from your current list if you’ve made any significant changes in your privacy policy by which you’ll need peoples consent to continue to email them.

Also in the podcast below are some great examples of how to word your landing pages. It is all about the permission to control and process data. You have to let people know exactly how you are using their information, is what I got from all of this.

CLICK HERE TO STOP LISTENING TO EC AND TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST ON GDPR FROM THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. 🙂

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Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by Anne R. Allen

Title: The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors

Author: Anne R. Allen

Print Length: 176 pages

Publisher: Kotu Beach Press

Publication Date: December 4, 2017

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B077Y5DKP9

 

*I received a copy of this book as a gift from the author*

*Due to the high volume of reads I am behind on, reviews will no longer be restricted to Fridays. I will be publishing reviews on whatever day I get them out until I am caught up*

 

Anne R. Allen is no stranger to the blogging world. Writer’s Digest named “Anne R. Allen’s Blog…with Ruth Harris” one of the “Best 101 Websites for Writers”, and the blog made The Write Life’s list of the Best 100 Websites for Writers for 2017. Her advice and suggestions are shared daily by bloggers and authors such as myself. As her book is targeted, I am a busy Author but I also love to blog. Blogging. It has become one of the things I must incorporate into my schedule. I love interacting with the WordPress platform, networking with other authors, readers, and bloggers and being able to share my post on social media. In short, if there was a book out there for busy author bloggers, I am definitely one of them which is why I definitely knew I was going to need this book. I was not disappointed.

This book is extremely easy to understand which I think makes the “Easy” in the title so critical. It helps to guide those authors who are new to blogging in a way that leaves no stone unturned. Whether it is Blogger or WordPress, if you are an author (even if you’re not a busy one) Allen’s book will give you the tools you need to make blogging part of your platform. What I loved most of all is the information on how an author blog is different than a business blog. I also enjoyed the part on writing an author bio, which I applied immediately. What I loved least is some of the information on author newsletters.

While I don’t think everyone should do it at all (and I also agree with the author on some of the focus of some newsletters), I still think the email list can be beneficial for staying in communication with an author’s target audience. While my blog is more interactive and people can subscribe and also get email notifications of new posts, the email list helps me to organize exactly who the people are who are subscribed. I do not think the email list is for hard-selling (it doesn’t work) or anything most people tell you it is for but I do think it can be helpful to know who your supporters are more intimately. I love my blog. I have more interaction, feedback and more subscribers but I don’t know who everyone is, who is actually reading my content or what percentage of them are no longer paying attention. With an email list, I know exactly who is active, who is inactive, who clicks links, who open emails and who doesn’t. People who are no longer interested can also unsubscribe, giving me, even more, insight into the people who care and the people who do not care.

Nonetheless, there are still some really good pointers here so my disagreement with this part didn’t downgrade my thoughts on the book. Allen brings up some good pointers, such as: not using your list to advertise hard sell, promote or spam. How blogs show up on search engines, can be shared on social media and is interactive. I also like that she brings up the Street Team newsletter where everyone is treated as members of the author’s team to help to review and promote the work. I don’t like the idea either and have always thought there should be a separate list for this.

I wouldn’t recommend this book just for busy authors. I recommend this book for author bloggers in general. It’s an easy read and gives all the tools you need to start your author blog today.

 

Entertainment Factor: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors is available now on Amazon. Authors, go get it!

Anne R A

Anne R. Allen is the author of nine comic novels. THE GATSBY GAME, FOOD OF LOVE, and THE LADY OF THE LAKEWOOD DINER are available singly or in a boxed set called BOOMER WOMEN. She’s also the author of the hilarious Camilla Randall mysteries: THE BEST REVENGE, GHOSTWRITERS IN THE SKY, SHERWOOD, LTD., NO PLACE LIKE HOME, SO MUCH FOR BUCKINGHAM, and THE QUEEN OF STAVES. She is currently published by Kotu Beach Press.

She also has a collection of short stories and verses called WHY GRANDMA BOUGHT THAT CAR.

She’s the co-author of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE…A SELF-HELP GUIDE, written with Amazon #1 seller, Catherine Ryan Hyde.

Her latest book is THE AUTHOR BLOG: EASY BLOGGING FOR BUSY AUTHORS.

Writer’s Digest named “Anne R. Allen’s Blog…with Ruth Harris” one of the “Best 101 Websites for Writers”, and the blog made The Write Life’s list of the Best 100 Websites for Writers for 2017.

Anne is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and spent twenty-five years in the theater–acting and directing–before taking up fiction writing. She is the former artistic director of the Patio Playhouse in Escondido, CA and now lives on the foggy Central Coast of California with an imaginary cat and a lot of fictional people.

MailChimp Moves to Single Opt-In: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been wondering what Mailchimp’s Single Opt-In is all about and whether to go with it or keep your double opt-in, I’ve found the article for you. Kirsten Oliphant has the scoop:

Single Opt-In: Essentially when someone enters their email into your form and clicks “I Want It What Way!” (because “Subscribe” is so 2011), they are automatically subscribed. Right then and there. The end.

Double Opt-In: When someone enters their email into your form and clicks “Send Me All The Things!”, they will receive an email asking them to confirm. If they do not click, they will not get an email from you. They are not, in fact, a subscriber.

Legally Opted

Single opt-in is not legal all over the world. (True story.) The un-apt-ly named CAN-SPAM Act (which says you CANNOT, in fact, spam people) doesn’t care about opt-ins, surprisingly. You can single opt-in all day long legally in the USA and many other countries.

Just not Germany.

I’m sure there are others, but Germany has super strict laws on privacy. So if someone from Germany signs up through your single opt-in form, you’ve broken their laws.

Are you really going to be hunted down or fined? Probably not.

But do you want to be breaking international laws when you send emails? Um…probably not.

KEEP READING THROUGH TO THE ORIGINAL HERE

The PBS Blog on Amazon

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Next month will mark three years that I’ve been blogging. I am also dangerously close to the 2,000-subscription mark (8/18…I keep track of it because WordPress won’t remind me since I signed up with a different blog. It therefore only alerts me to that anniversary, not when I started  PBS but I digress, you didn’t need to know all that….).

To celebrate, I am trying out Amazon Kindle for blogs. This means that if you really enjoy this blog and would like to see it grow, even more, you can now support The PBS Blog with a paid subscription. (It’s only 99cents a month and your first 14 days are free). You can also rate this blog and review it.

The advantage is that my blog posts will be delivered to your Kindle device instead of you having to click through to the email. Additionally, you can access my content even when you are not online. You can now take The PBS Blog with you.

(Plus, I finally wrote the third Chapter of The Men with Blue Eyes which I’ll be sharing soon. I am thinking of turning it into a novella. Nothing big, just something fun to put out there. Showcase my Sci-Fi side. Who knows. I’ll let you know).

For those of you who have been subscribed and active with this blog for the past three years, you can help by leaving a review on Amazon. This is a unique and exciting experience as your reviews are specifically as it pertains to this blog and my writing on it. What do you love the most about The PBS Blog? Why do you stick around? Why do you share/reblog my posts on your social media? Why do you comment and stay engaged? There must be a reason and if there’s a reason, there’s a review in you!

Here’s the link.  Again, go ahead and drop a review for me!

https://www.amazon.com/The-PBS-Blog/dp/B0746P8SJL

(I am unusually excited about this…lol)

P.S. Hold your stones. This is something new I am trying for myself. It may work or it may not. In either event, I won’t recommend it until I’ve tried it. What you choose to do is your business. I’ll let you know if I have to unenroll. The program is still in Beta so I’ll leave it at that for now.


Yecheilyah is an Independent Author, poet, and blogger. Her latest Historical Fiction novel, Renaissance: The Nora White Story, is available now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. Learn more at yecheilyahysrayl. com

“Yecheilyah Ysrayl is a gifted story teller. I love the way she weaves history into the story line of Nora’s life as she finally escapes home and searches for her dreams. I also enjoyed the way her parent’s past interjected throughout, giving you hints of what has made Nora the young woman she is.”

– Deborah Ann

7 Things I Learned about Email List Building

I’ve learned so far that there’s a lot more to building an email list than getting people signed up. I’ve had an email list for years but I feel that only now am I starting to really understand how it works. A little. OK so maybe I just have an inkling of an idea. Who knows but it’s a start.

While having one is great, building an email list and the upkeep is not easy! OK, well, it’s not hair-pulling difficult but it does take some tending to. I don’t want to scare anyone away. It’s not brain surgery or anything like that but I guess that’s why they call it “building”. You don’t build anything over night. There are lots of steps and parts to keeping an email list updated and valuable.

(Click Here to read 7 Common Sense Reasons You Should Build an Email List)

Here are some things I learned, or I should say I am learning, about the email list:

  1. More Subscribers Mean Little to Nothing

At first, I was concerned with getting more subscribers. I mean, that’s a start, right? Yes and no. Yes because of course I want readers. No because that’s just the beginning.

I learned that getting people to subscribe, as challenging as it can be, turned out not to represent as much of the process as I’d thought. While getting subscribers is great, you should know that it’s never a guarantee that people will:

  1. Stay subscribed to your list (people can unsubscribe anytime)
  2. Open the emails you send
  3. Click on your links
  4. Support your product / service

One of the first lessons I am learning in my continual quest to better understand list building is that subscribers mean little to nothing in the grand scheme of things. It is not so much how many people are on the list so much as it is how many of these people are engaged: open emails, read the content, click links and offer feedback. Are they part of my target audience or just taking up space? Are they at all interested in what I have to say?

I’ve learned that an email list of only ten people on it in which eight are engaged and supporting is better than a thousand who can care less.

2. The “From” Address – Use the name that is the most popular and noticeable to your readers

When setting up an email list, part of the process is to enter a “From” Address or the name you want to appear as the person the email is coming from. For the two years or so of sending emails through Mail Chimp I used Literary Korner Publishing, my business name and all was well.

Toward the close of last year, I decided to do something different. I stopped using my business name and used my name, Yecheilyah, instead. I wanted to see if my open and click rate would increase. It did. It worked because it is the name most familiar to my readers.

3. Email – Use a business email address

Another thing I started off with is using my personal Gmail account as the email linked to my list. When setting up an email list, you’ll also have the option of choosing where the emails will come from / people can reply to. In the beginning, it was my Gmail account. I have since changed this.

Toward the close of last year I changed my email. It required an upgrade but it was worth it. It does look more professional but I’ll be honest in saying I didn’t do it for how it would look. I did it to make sure my emails aren’t going into my subscriber’s spam folders. As a result, my open rates did increase. I didn’t get a snapshot so you’ll have to take my word for it. I’ll remember to snag some images next time.

What’s a good business email address?

Your name (at) your domain name dot com (yourname@yourdomainname.com)

4. Headline – Choose a headline that will speak to your list

I didn’t start off paying much attention to my email list headline. If people opened the email they opened it. If not, oh well. That’s how I saw it.

And then I grew up…

I am not doing this for my health which means that it does matter if people are finding value in the content or not and if I am seeing a return as a result. So, I started to pay more attention to the Headline of my emails or the title that people see that tells them what the email is about. It didn’t occur to me that if this didn’t speak to them there would be no reason to open the email! Yikes.

Somehow, I’d taken it for granted that people, though signed up, are not obligated to open and read the content. I thought about blogging and how important the title of the blog post is. (Click Here for 5 Creative Ways to Headline Your Blog Post) I decided to apply this to my list.

Just like someone must be interested enough to click on the blog and read it, someone must also be interested enough in the email headline to open the email and read it.

The headline is the first clue to the reader on what the email is about. If it is something they can care less about, they will not open the email. I have noticed that putting more thought into my email headlines has increased the open rates as well. Meaning, more people are opening the emails and clicking on the links. (A decent open rate is anywhere from 30-55%. It means that most of your list is seeing every email. But do not expect everyone on your list to be engaged. I’ve learned that even if only 20% of my list is communicating with me, that’s good).

5. Dividing the List – Sub divide your list by interest

I really didn’t want to do this. The only reason I can think of is laziness. I didn’t feel like splitting anyone up and sending more than one email.

And then I grew up…

I have recently began the first process of dividing my list and I feel good about it so far! The feedback alone told me a lot about the people who open and read my emails and gave me an idea into what it is they each want. Right now, I am only working with two lists and it was interesting to see who fell into which group.

Monthly – My monthly email list is compiled mostly of people who have either known me for years (at least more than two years but also as long as ten), enjoy getting everything summarized into one list, or who I know have busy schedules and don’t feel like being bothered with me more than once a month. They know me too well.

Bimonthly – My bimonthly email list, which is much smaller, is compiled mostly of people who have met me recently (anywhere from one week to one year ago), open my emails regularly and give the most feedback, are interested in emails about inspiration and motivation, and who like their emails smaller.

I loved the process of dividing them up! It was fun and helped me to focus on every single subscriber and to get to know them on a more personal level based on their interest.

6. Less is More – Limiting the Creative Mind

I consider myself a boring person outside of writing. But when I am writing and putting together emails I love colors and images! I love doing different things and experimenting. I love being silly and using my cartoon avatar. However, I have since pulled back a little with this.

Maybe I’m just getting older or I just know better but I cut a lot of that out. My avatar remains but outside of this I’ve limited the number of images used, switched to a basic theme with a white background and toned down the colors. While I’d love for my email to look like a magazine spread, images increase the possibility of spam as well and too much going on is distracting. The white background on the other hand made everything pop and it is easier to read.

7. Removal – Taking people off your email list

What? You mean I did all that work to get people signed up and now I have to…take them off?

Yea, pretty much.

It took my numbers down a notch but I feel that the cleaning will do me some good. I am not interested in having people subscribed who really don’t want to be there or who are just there to spy, just for the sake of numbers. That’s never been me. One thing I am sure everyone should do every now and again is to clean up their email list.

This means to go through the list and either (1) reach out to or (2) remove altogether those emails belonging to people who never open your emails or interact with you at all. I imagine they see the emails and trash / spam them but for whatever strange reason they don’t unsubscribe. Or maybe they subscribed because you had a contest or offered something for them and now that they got it they’re no longer interested. Whatever the reason, it’s their business. Growth is not just about gaining. It’s about losing too. I believe trimming the weeds will help me to grow and I will soon have twice as much support as I’ve had to lose.

The point is that I want people on my email list who want to be there. Not people who are just there to spy or be nosy. They hate my guts but they open every email. That doesn’t make any sense. I also don’t want people on my list who never open a single email but they won’t unsubscribe. I don’t understand why they are there.

Even when people unsubscribe themselves, I’ve learned this is not a bad thing. It literally does me no good to have people around who don’t want to be. This is a business not a hobby. Whatever is not contributing to growth has gotta go. Don’t be afraid to get rid of dead weight.

When I look at my list today I feel good. I know that the people subscribed want to be there and if they ever feel bored, I hope they will just unsubscribe. That’s just the realness of it. You win some, and you lose some but you live. You live to fight another day. Yes, that’s from the movie Friday. It doesn’t have anything to do with this article but I thought I’d leave you with a chuckle. Or not.

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Interested in being part of my crew? They’re great! Emails go out once or twice a month based on your preference. CLICK HERE to sign up and thank you!

How the WordPress Blog Subscription Works

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I’ve seen an increase in people who follow this blog outside of the blogosphere (*Waves!*) which basically means they aren’t active on blogs. They aren’t on WordPress, or Blogger or any other blog platform but do follow me through email. For this, I think it’s important to explain some WordPress basics. After all, it wouldn’t be fair not to show everyone around the place. Yes, please have a seat. Coffee?

When you follow someone’s blog, you do this in one of two ways. You either follow them through the Reader—your “Timeline” of sorts where you can read the posts of those you follow when you log in—or you can follow that blog through email. This means you will get an email every time they publish a new blog post. This button is usually located on the blogger’s sidebar (or slide-sidebar) and says, “Click to Follow this Blog and Receive Notifications Via Email”. (For bloggers, you can add this button to your blog by going to WP Dashboard > Appearance > Widget > Follow Button. There are two so make sure it’s the one that says under it “Add an email sign-up form to allow people to follow your blog”. Click and drag to the sidebar.)

The best place for this button is as near to the top of your sidebar as you can get it. I wouldn’t put it at the bottom. If your theme is set up that way (where most of the side-bar elements are at the bottom), I would change the theme. If people are lazy, they may not see your button and therefore you increase the chances of them not following your blog.

Adjusting Your Settings

If you opt to receive notifications of new post by email, it means you will receive an email every time that blogger publishes a new blog post.

Some of us post frequently. We are usually the bloggers who publish on the hour, every hour or every single day. Some may refer to us as “Powerbloggers”, or just those crazy people over there who spend unfathomable time blogging. You know, those people with the audacity to spend more hours blogging than you do at work.

We are also usually the bloggers who are very active and supportive of other blogs with little patience to be told when and when we should not write. Yea yea, “Quality vs. Quantity”. We get it, but we’re still going to blog like crazy. (What of both? Post valuable information often. Yea, I like that).

If you happen to stumble upon one of our blogs, it’s important that you take the time to adjust your settings once you’ve subscribed.

If you don’t want us invading your inbox, you can just adjust your blog settings so that you receive emails whenever you want. In other words, configure your blog’s subscription options.

The easiest way to do this is that when you get an email click on it and at the very bottom of the page, in the footnote area, look for Modify your Notification Settings or it will say “Manage Subscriptions”. Click that.

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A page will come up with a list of all the people you’re following. You will see something that says “Delivery Frequency”. This is the frequency to which you will receive that blogger’s blog post. Immediate means it will be delivered to your inbox immediately, in real time. If this blogger posts a lot you may not want to get their posts immediately. If this is the case, you can change your frequency to daily or weekly and get the posts once a week or once a day instead of every hour.

Blog vs. Email List Subscriptions

Some people use their blog and email list simultaneously. That is, they use their email list to inform readers of new blog posts. When they deliver a new email via their list, you will also get their latest blog posts. However, subscribing to someone’s email list / newsletter and subscribing to their blog are two different things.

When you hit that Subscribe to This Blog button in my slide-side bar, you are opting to receive emails from this blog every time I publish a new post. When you sign up for my email list or newsletter (through the pop up alert or just by clicking on the link), you are opting to receive my email newsletters. These are not blog posts and are not from WordPress. These are emails sent once or more a month to my list of email newsletter subscriptions. Usually, a person’s email list is hosted through one of these:

  • MailChimp (Most popular because the free version lets you send up-to 12, 000 emails to a maximum of 2,000 people a month before an upgrade is needed).

But MailChimp is not the only program for building an email list. There’s also:

  • Campaing Monitor
  • Infusionsoft
  • Sendinblue
  • Active Campaign
  • Zoho Campaigns
  • Pinpointe

And the list goes on and on. The point is that if you’ve subscribed via any of these, you’ve subscribed to that person’s email list, not their blog.

I hope this is helpful to those of you who are new to the blogosphere and that it will be beneficial to your navigation. I do post frequently so if you don’t want me bombarding your email, you can always adjust your settings. This goes also for those of us familiar with WordPress but who do not like getting lots of email notifications of a post from those to which we are subscribed. Lots of bloggers complain about getting lots of emails. This is unnecessary stress considering you don’t have to stay subscribed to that blog nor do you have to receive notifications immediately. You can always just modify your settings.


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy, Blogger, and Poet. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman who dreams of being a writer in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parent’s struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release spring, 2017. For updates on this project, sneak peek of chapters, the pending book cover release, and full blurb for this series, be sure to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

3 Answers Every Blogger in the World Needs to Understand

Great tips on growing a blog before you dig in for the weekend: Post Quote:

“You have to read a lot of blogs. You have to comment on a lot of blogs. You have to click Like on a lot of blogs. You have to Follow a lot of blogs. You must have a mindset of working your blog page. If you make 1 or 2 posts per week and interact with no one, yet expect the waves of worshipers to pour in, then you are going to be disappointed.”

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Dream Big, Dream Often

blogexciteAre you interested in my thoughts on blogging and my answers to a few questions I was asked this past week?  Here are answers every blogger in the world needs to understand:

“Why does it seem that there are a lot of blogs with a couple thousand followers or less and then 10,000 followers or more?”

This past week I have received quite a few emails asking me about growing a blog and this particular question came up.  Apparently someone else has noticed this trend.  The truth is I’m not sure why this gap exists, but it has existed since I first started my blog in 2014.  I’ll be curious to read other’s opinions and thoughts on the matter.  I think part of it has to do with work ethic and devotion to craft.  Not to say the smaller blogs are not devoted.  What I mean is the larger blogs are…

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