Drip.Com — the Savior of Newbie Bloggers

For email subscription management, there are hundreds of services available. Only a few can do the job — especially for newbies.

Bloggers like me stay in touch with our audience through email newsletters. And we often give visitors a free ebook or a guide for their email id.

I looked for a subscription management service and stumbled on MailChimp — probably because it’s popular. It’s free up to 2k subscribers. Sounded good to me and I signed up for the free tier.

In search of a better solution, I also got my hands on ConvertKit, the problem: it doesn’t have a free tier. Same goes with Infusionsoft; but, it has far more features though.

Don’t get confused here.

Free trial — a particular period for which you can use the service for free.

Free tier — the service would be free forever until you reach certain limits.

I installed a WordPress site on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It doesn’t matter where you host your site as long as it suits your needs.

MailChimp didn’t provide a native plugin for WordPress. That means to place popups and forms on my blog I had to touch the code. But I was little afraid I would screw it up.

Well, I did screw up many times before.

I found, however, a third-party plugin that supports MailChimp integration with WordPress.

With the help of that plugin, I placed a newsletter sign up form in the sider bar and at the bottom using the widget option.

And I planned a popup that would come across the bottom-right corner. For that, I got my hands a little dirty with the code. But it was easy though.

When checked, the pop-up gave problems: Sometimes it wasn’t at all showing up, and the other times the close button on the popup wasn’t working.

I spent few hours on that issue, and I couldn’t resolve it.

After two days, I googled, “email marketing providers,” and clicked on the first link. That is from wpbeginner.

I checked the first one, Constant Contact, on their list. And it wasn’t convincing as it didn’t provide a free tier.

The second one was Drip. And the description said it is the most beginner friendly service and has a WordPress plugin.

I checked it out.

Here’s what drip offers:

  • Free up to 100 subscribers
  • Every feature will be available
  • Unlimited email sending
  • Charges start from $41 per month if you exceed the free limit
  • Yes, you must file a credit card to sign up

Let’s look back at MailChimp free tier:

  • Free up to 2k subscribers
  • You can only send 300 emails per month, you have to buy extra.
  • Not all features will be available: Like automation, rules.
  • The forms are not intuitive like those of Drip.

For me, Drip is the real deal.

I installed the Drip native plugin for WordPress. And placed a popup box in the right-bottom corner. It worked so far very smooth with no glitches.

Also, the Drip interface felt so lovely to work on.

I spent two hours on Drip, and I was able to set up a popup and a few campaigns. It felt so easy. Trust me, and try it; you would also feel it comfortable and fast to set up.

Concluding Thoughts

I don’t know how Drip would compete when you compare its premium plans with the other services.

Drip is, however, to my knowledge, is the best one for newbies. You can manage it yourself. And the best part, you don’t need to spend a ton of time.

If you have found something free that is better than Drip’s free tier, please let me know. I’d be happy to use it.

It’s Easy to Feel Overwhelming, Just Do Your Work

I wanted to write about cryptocurrencies. And I started researching to find a topic. But the content available on the web is overwhelming. Many people have explained and detailed what I want to write about.

And I asked myself:

  1. Can I do better than them?
  2. Would my writing matter?
  3. Do I have what it takes?

Seriously, asking myself these questions doesn’t do any good.

Why?

I don’t need to compete. I have to develop uniqueness. That’s what matters.

Anyone who wants to start out as a singer, writer, or even an engineer who wants to let his thoughts out to the world would feel the same way. But you have to get out and do the work – and should improve yourself over time.

Remember, Albert Einstein did not find the mass-energy equation E = mc2 in a day or two. Put the doubts in attic. Start doing the work you love.

Why I Started a Blog?

I often write something up and would throw it in a dark corner of my hard disk. I wasn’t serious about the craft until April 2017.

One morning in the summer, I woke up at 5 AM and could not go back to sleep. I took my Android phone and wrote 200 words.  And I published that piece on Medium. From that point, I wrote now and then. Medium became my base for posting the work for over a year. But, I wanted something more.

Why I can’t stick to Medium?

Medium is excellent, comfortable, elegant, and smooth. However, It didn’t have many variations and bored the hell out of me. I wanted a separate blog where I can tweak anything as I want.

I’m a computer science graduate, however,  had never done serious programming. Jumped from Java to Haskell to Python, took salesforce classes and abandoned it in three weeks. The learning was futile. So, having no skill or money to hire a full-stack web developer, I had to turn to a Content Management System (CMS). With that also, I ran around WordPress, didn’t settled on it as I could not find a perfect free theme, and hovered around Joomla and Drupal. After all, I concluded WordPress is the only one that can do the job for me.

Now I needed a hosting service and looked into SiteGround, BlueHost, HostGator, GoDaddy, and few others. Their WordPress hosting plans did not feel worthy of the price tag. Or they needed an upfront commitment for a minimum of one year. Having no idea whether I would keep writing on the blog, I couldn’t afford them. Moreover, I hated the cost of an SSL certificate. It was cheaper for a Certificate Authority to issue one. But the third party vendors try to bang the bucks out of customers. Anyhow, Let’s Encrypt provides free SSL certificates.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) give free credits and trials of their services. These cloud services, however, are not as easy as you could manage hosting on GoDaddy. And the technical support costs extra, which if I pay, doesn’t make sense not choosing a service like SiteGround. I believed I could manage a public cloud like AWS on my own, and they’re not new to me. I experimented with both GCP and AWS before.

AWS is stingy to give freebies for newcomers. So, I signed up for GCP with a new email id and got 300 USD credit that is valid for 12 months. I spun up a pre-built Bitnami WordPress image. It saved time and frustration I would have faced if I had poorly configured the servers and network. However, I played around with the server through CLI (Command Line Interface) to set up SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. It was not a difficult task though.

What can I do now?

I had spent few hours to pick a theme and selected the one you’re looking at right now. If I feel the appearance of the blog sloppy, I have free servers and hundreds of free themes to tweak. I can change pretty much anything. Now, the boring pig would never come across my way.