Hacks: Mailing Lists with Blogger Pro

06/22/2003

One of the neat features that comes with Blogger Pro is the ability to have your weblog posts e-mailed off somewhere when you publish them. And this presents opportunities to extend your tiny empire right off the web and into people’s inboxes. Why not set up a one-way e-mail list which people can sign up to instead of slogging over to your site each day? Or maybe you would like to start a full discussion list with new debates inspired by your daily fevered rantings!

In order to set something like this up, the first thing you need to do is find a free mailing-list site like Yahoogroups (http://www.yahoogroups.com). Set yourself up a basic list to start off with – and decide whether you want everyone to be able to join in with conversation on the list or not. The only thing you have to do is make sure that the e-mail address you (or you and your friends) use in your Blogger settings are signed up as members to the mailing list and are able to post new messages. When Blogger sends out an e-mail containing the text from your latest post, it will make it look as if it came from your e-mail address. So if that e-mail address is not a member of the mailing list, then it will just bounce right off and no one will get to read it.

The last thing you have to do is go to the settings page on Blogger under the e-mail tab and put the e-mail address of your mailing list in the Blogsend field. If you are using Yahoo then this will be formatted like so:

[name of group]@yahoogroups.com

And you’re done!

Just two more tips for turning your weblog into an effective mailing list. As soon as you click on publish, your post will be sent out to everyone on your list and can’t be taken back. So make sure to edit and revise your post carefully before you publish it – saving it as a ‘draft’ when you’re not working on it. And secondly think carefully about how many e-mails people like to receive in a day – if you’re a prolific poster, why not encourage people to receive all your posts in a ‘digest’ form once a day. That way they’ll never want to kill you with axes.