How to Start a Blog Newsletter with MailChimp (and Squarespace)

Looking to start a blog newsletter but feel like you're stuck in absolute overwhelm!? I've got you, girl! It's a good thing you popped over here today.

I'm a huge fan of MailChimp for my blog newsletter(s)--I've tried ConstantContact and it's just not my cup of tea. Did you know they will call you multiple times if you don't complete your account set up!? I dunno, to me that's a tad creepy.

If you're wondering why you should get a newsletter, you can read all about that in this post.

First, sign up for a MailChimp account:

Then, you'll need to create a list for your blog newsletter subscribers. You are able to create multiple lists for different subscribers - say, you have one for your business and another for your personal blog. Lists are how you will also implement sign-up forms on your blog and other areas of the Internet.

Once you create your list, go ahead and click under "Campaigns" to set up your very first email!

Once you fill out the basics of your campaign, it's time to choose a template for your email. Be sure you select "Regular campaign" if you want emojis and HTML to be enabled.

On the next screen, you'll see an option list for templates or a chance to create your own from scratch. I took from the preset templates, or "Themes" and customized one of them, but feel free to choose from one of their default "Basic" templates and create your own entirely!

I've shifted through three different designs before finally choosing the design on the far right (pictured below):

Most all aspects of your email are customizable (and EASILY) - much more than I can say for other email newsletter hosts.

Once you create a template you like, be sure you save this as a "Saved templates" on your account so you don't have to recreate the same design each time you make a new email (wouldn't that be a pain!?).

Go crazy, design, add in your content and be a newsletter rockstar! When you're ready to go, you'll be ready to schedule your email out to your list of subscribers.

Finishing your e-newsletter earlier in the week and scheduling it to be released at a certain time and date can provide consistency for your audience and productivity for yourself. I'm a big believer in the scheduling feature!

If you use a blog host such as WordPress, Blogger, etc., you can stop reading now. The following is a tutorial for optimizing your MailChimp newsletter with Squarespace websites!

After you've completely set up on MailChimp, hop on over to your Squarespace website. Squarespace has a beautiful "Newsletter" block feature to help you implement your sign up forms anywhere on your site - yes, ANYWHERE, and as many times!

Since you're already a user of Squarespace, I don't need to convince you to use it, but I'm such a big proponent of the platform because of this customization ability.

Go on over to any page that you'd like your newsletter sign-up form to be embedded on. You should also do this in any blog post you'd like it to be found as well. Emma and I embed our sign-up form into each individual blog post we write (just scroll down - it's in this post, too). Once you've selected the page or post you'd like, create a new block:

new block.PNG

Once you locate the "Newsletter" block (seen above), double click and create your new piece. Here in the "Display" unit of the block, you'll want to fill out what you want the title (the text displayed at the very top of the block in bold), description (the text displayed below the title in normal font) and disclaimer (the text displayed beneath the submit button in normal, smaller font) to read. Below is what ours says:

Then, we'll move on from the "Display" unit within this block and click to "Storage" where you will then link your newly created MailChimp account to the Squarespace block. Click MailChimp, then a secondary Internet browser box will pop up, prompting you to login to your MailChimp account. Login as you normally would. The secondary box should now disappear. The Squarespace block will now ask you to choose which newsletter list you want this block to route to. Find the list you just created and you're done!

Now, we're going to move on to the final and third step: the "Advanced" unit within this newly created Squarespace block. This is where you will fill in the final bits & bobs that will finish your beautiful newsletter sign-up form!

Choose the text for the submit button (generic: "Submit", "Sign Up") and the post-submit message (what will display after users submit their information to you - most often a thank you message). You can read ours here below:

Then hit "APPLY"! You're good to go!

That's how you start a blog newsletter and create a seamless way to gather new subscribers. Two thumbs up for cultivating a happy tribe!

You're on your way to greatness. xo




Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.