Google Friend Connect is a free social networking site established on the 12th of May 2008. Similar in practice to Facebook Platform and MySpaceID, it takes a decentralised approach, allowing users to build a profile to share and … see full wiki
I have several blogs, but my main and most important one is for digital scrappers who can find kits and other elements to download and use for their scrapping needs. I have a great amount of traffic as my posts are automatically added to Twitter, Facebook, and a couple of Search Engine Freebie sites. I have an adequate amount of Members (formally called Followers) but have been searching for more ways to communicate to my Members and entice visitors to become Members. Having an E-mail Subscription on my blog has seemed to be an OK option, but I was looking for something that many of my fellow scrapping bloggers do not have on their blog - and I discovered the Google Friend Connect Newsletter gadget. It's very simple to use; format your widget and create a unique Newsletter - that's it!
Select "Newsletters" from the left side of your screen
You should see a list of your blogs on the left - select "Compose A Newsletter" and choose your blog from the list; if it's not there, you can add it.
Type in your Newsletter Title and the Sender Name as you want it to appear in the "From Address"
As you compose your newsletter, be creative; add future highlights of your blog that you want your members to be aware of, insert images and just have fun with it. There's also an option below where you can choose to include recent members and activities in your Newsletter. Make your Newsletter exciting and unique enough that your Members will look forward to the next one!
You have the option to save your draft so you can complete it later.
Scroll down so you can choose your recipients: if you want all of your blog Members to receive your newsletter you would choose that option. There is also an option to choose Members with certain criteria. You'll see the total amount of recipients that will be receiving your newsletter in this section.
Below this is where you can preview your newsletter, make changes, edit, and send to your members when you're ready.
PUT THE NEWSLETTER GADGET ON YOUR BLOG
Select "Newsletter Gadget" - this will let you format your widget's size, colors and text.
When you've completed this, click on "Create The HTML Code" - the code will appear; select all and copy, sign into your blog and select Design>Page Elements>Add A Gadget - choose the HTML option and paste your code. If you want the gadget to be centered nicely in your sidebar simply add <center> before the code and </center> after the code. Preview then save. You may need to play around with the width size of the gadget as the default size was a little too wide for my sidebar; change the width in the code itself or just redo your gadget on Google Friend Connect; whichever is simpler to you.
This gadget allows visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, but they must be a Member and sign in. When a Member chooses to follow you, an option will show up giving them the opportunity to sign up for your newsletter.
Once your gadget is installed, send out your newsletter.
Your Newsletters are auto saved and can be viewed by clicking on "Newsletter History"
I believe a Newsletter could be really beneficial for most blogs. Since I run a blog that has freebie downloads of kits for scrappers, it would benefit the Members to receive a newsletter because they will be the first to know about up-coming freebies and specials before a non-member would. I receive newsletters from online scrapping stores that I buy from, and I like knowing about specials, sales, freebies, etc. beforehand as opposed to just visiting the store and maybe missing out on something good!
Whatever kind of blog you have, whatever the material is on your blog, sending out an occasional newsletter to your Members may be something that can benefit you and your followers.
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