BTS021, Migrating Away from MailChimp and Merging My Two Websites
BTS021, Migrating Away from MailChimp and Merging My Two Websites
Coming up in this show, I discuss why I migrated away from MailChimp and the steps involved. And, I also discuss my decision to merge my author and writing tips websites. In terms of writing, I will share where I’m at with Missing, Book Two, and the steps I need to take before I start writing my short story. But, first an update on my favourite cup of tea and what I’m currently reading.
Favourite Cup of Tea
As I’m recording this episode of the podcast diary, I’m drinking a cup of Jasmine Tea by Tea2. One of the reasons why I love drinking Jasmine Tea is because of its delicate flavour. It’s not too overpowering like some other types of green tea. Today, as I’m recording this episode it’s 11:43 am on a Thursday and this is my second cup of green tea of the day. I usually have a cup of sencha tea with my breakfast.
What I’m Currently Reading
While I was on holiday, I ended up not doing any reading. The reason for this is I tend to do the majority of my reading while I’m working on my businesses during the week. Because I was on holiday and spending time with my husband, it was hard to squeeze this into my new holiday mode. To avoid this in the future, I need to incorporate reading into my night time routine. I’ll let you know how I get on with this.
Actually, now that I’ve said that I remember that I did read Killing the Top 10 Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing and Killing the Top 10 Sacred Cows of Publishing by Dean Wesley Smith during the first week on my USA Trip while Roland was working. Nevertheless, at present, I’m three books behind my reading goal for the year.
An Archaeological Thriller
As of last Thursday, I started reading the Temple of the Gods by Andy McDermott while attempting to catch up on my task list for my author and coaching businesses. At the end of last week, I reached forty-nine percent mark of the story in the Kindle Whisper-sync for Voice edition. I know not everyone loves to be read to, but I obviously do not have that issue.
The Temple of the Gods is the eighth book in the Wilde/Chase Series. At this point in the series, the discovery of Atlantis has already occurred, which is starting to encourage me to purchase the previous books in the series. Even as I say this now, there’s a part of me that wants to open Amazon and search for those books.
Reading to Learn How to Write
What can I say? I’m a sucker for an Archaeological Thriller, which leads me to point out that I’m trying to get familiar with the series, so I can start writing the first book in my Maximilian Nicholls thriller novels. Yes, I want to write two types of thrillers at once.
I realise that in the Behind-the-Scenes podcast diary episode twenty I mentioned that I would be filming a few other podcast diaries in the same location. As you can see that didn’t work out as planned. For some crazy reason, I thought I had an extra week in San Francisco, but I was wrong. I’m putting that down to jet lag.
Another Tech Fail
The other business fail I experienced while travelling had to do with my plans for video blogging. I brought my monopod and Manfrotto grip for my iPhone and for some reason, the clamp no longer holds my smartphone tightly. Instead, it jiggles around, this made it challenging to film travel vlogs. And, I was worried that my phone would either fall off or get stolen while I vlogged. While packing earlier in May, I thought I made a great choice not to bring my mirrorless DSLR. But, I now regret that choice. So, that was another lesson learned.
My USA Trip
During May, Roland and I spent ten days in San Francisco, five days in Los Angeles, and the weekend in Vegas. After that we spent three days in the super hot and humid Miami, followed by seven days in New York before boarding a plane to fly back to London. Upon arriving in London, we spent the day recovering, unpacking, and packing a small suitcase for our trip to France for the weekend.
The France trip was to meet up with family for the baptism of Roland’s youngest nephew. At the end of all of these trips, I ended up putting on a bit of extra weight and developed three blisters on my left foot due to the walking around Miami and New York. And, the blisters were massive. For those of you who are curious click the button below to see photos from our USA Trip.
Migrating Away From MailChimp to MailerLite
While I was in New York, I received a super disturbing message from MailChimp Legal about the changes to the MailChimp features and billing. I thought it was kind of ironic considering it came from MailChimp Legal. After reading the email and various other blog posts by indie authors, including David Gaughran, I’ve decided to migrate away from MailChimp.
My decision to move had a lot to do with the fact that I’d been using MailChimp since 2013 and they couldn’t guarantee that I could keep my existing monthly payment plan and features. Well, they could only guarantee the price for a limited time. Because I listen to the Self Publishing Journeys podcast religiously, I’ve decided to migrate to MailerLite after hearing about the host’s experience with the company.
Steps to Migrating
At the moment, I’m still paying for MailChimp until the subscribers sitting in my three-act-structure Scrivener template automation queue have reached the end. And, that’s the painful thing about moving Mailing List providers, at some point your paying for two products. While moving your list is as easy as exporting your list as a CSV file and uploading it somewhere else, you have to set up your automation queues from scratch.
Since I’m a one-man band, I had to do this all on my own. First, I had to recreate my email templates then setup the automation queues. At present, I have five, and one of them has fifteen emails that are delivered on a weekly basis. During the process of setting up my new list, I made a mistake with my list segmentation.
List Segmentation with MailChimp
When you use MailChimp, you cannot have one list and have subscribers sign-ups for multiple things. It’s a straightforward system. So, if you have more than one lead magnet or have more than one blog or genre that you write in, you’re required to have multiple lists. This multiple list thing means you can have one email address signed up for numerous lead magnets, and thus you pay for them multiple times. I found a way to get around this feature in MailChimp using a feature that not too many people know about.
Just a side note, I’m considering creating a tech tutorial on how to use this feature for my Patreon audience. It will be exclusive to this audience for a certain period before I publish it publicly.
List Segmentation with MailerLite
But, this isn’t true with MailerLite. In MailerLite, you have one list that you can segment into multiple groups which remove the need for the complicated CRM system that I had implemented with MailChimp. And you’re not charged multiple times for the same email address like with MailChimp.
Now back to my mistake.
I added custom fields upon importing my list, which was populated by the data in my hidden MailChimp fields. After realising my error, I had to move my subscribers around into multiple groups, which wasn’t difficult. So far, I’m pretty happy with the transition.
Changing My Website
But the migration does not end here. I then had to go back to my website and create nine new email opt-in forms, and change the sign-up at the bottom of all 116 blog posts and twenty website pages. And, that took me several days. However, it wasn’t all that bad. It presented me with an opportunity to go over my blog posts and change any link errors and gave me a list of blog posts that I need to update.
Merging My Two Websites
During the first week of my USA trip, I decided to merge my author and my authorpreneur websites together. What prompted this was, I got tired of maintaining two websites and blogs. I tend to focus more on the authorpreneur blog and podcast website because it’s larger, and I tend to forget about my author website and blog, which is for marketing purposes. Because I use the Divi theme, I have to option of having two blogs on one website.
Technically, I don’t have to blogs. This appearance is achieved through categorising the two types of posts and creating blog pages that only display posts in a specific category. As a result, I have three blog pages, one for the podcast, the authorpreneur blog, and the behind the scenes author blog. I also have a blog posts page for season one and another for these podcast diary episodes.
So, that’s five blog pages, not two or three.
At present, I’m taking a break from my thriller novella, Missing until I receive feedback from my editor. I’m expecting a report from the editor towards the end of June. So, I’ll have to drop whatever I’m working on and focus on those edits until I need to resubmit the novella for the second round of edits.
Book Two Update
In the previous podcast diary, I mentioned that I need to rewrite quite a few scenes from Silence because of a change in the settings. And, I also needed to work on the motivations of a few of the characters because their actions weren’t making much sense. I had planned on doing all of this while I was on vacation. You can probably tell by the language I’m using; nevertheless, I didn’t get this done. When I packed my bags for the trip, I forgot to include my research from my weekend at Oxford and a pile of materials where I tagged images of the locations. Let’s be honest. I could have looked up the locations on the internet, but it turns out that I needed a break. And, as a result of this break, I’ve returned from my holiday feeling refreshed and ready to get back to writing.
Writing a Short Story
Since I’ve returned from France, I’ve made a bit of progress on my short story. How much, you ask? I’m excited to announce the working title for the story is The Lawn. Essentially, this short story will be an Easter egg for Missing. There’s a brief reference to the event that occurs in this short story towards the end of act one. In the final version of the ebook and paperback, the reader should notice a footnote with a link to get the free short story as well as a sign-up page at the back of the book.
The lawn is about an art theft gone wrong James Lalonde is at the Carmichael Estate having afternoon tea at the request of Alistair Carmichael who wants to show James his private art collection before it’s opened to the general public. Alistair is hoping to drum up interest through the Northampton Tribune newspaper. But, the painting goes missing and something unexpected turns up on the front lawn.
So far, I’ve figured out what painting goes missing and how much it’s worth. And why the painting is stolen. It’s actually a real painting that was sold in an auction to an unknown buyer around the time the story takes place. I’m super excited that all of these elements are lining up. This week I need to start writing the first draft, which will be somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 words. After this, I will need to revise the story and then decide what type of editing I will need and whether I want to hire a professional beta reader.
My Tasks for Next Week
So, in light of all of these updates, what are my plans for next week?
- Write the first draft of The Lawn.
- Write the final three scenes of Silence.
- Iron out the plot and character motivation issues for Silence.
- Outlining the first two writing tips episodes for season two of the podcast.
- Start up my improve your fiction writing weekly email series.
- Film a tech tutorial on my MailChimp Mailing List Segmentation Secrets to release to my Patreon audience.
Next week, I’ll let you know about my progress on my short story The Lawn, my revision plans for the short story. And, my decision about whether will hire a professional editor and a professional beta reader for The Lawn.
Thanks for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody.
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