Solution: Here's a FeedBurner kludge that does what you need. It's also free.
High-level directions (detailed directions below):
- Let's say you've got a blog called furryoverlords.blogspot.com. Create another blog called newsletterxx.blogspot.com
- Set up FeedBurner on newsletterxx
- Create a gadget/widget on furryoverlords that lets readers sign up for the newsletterxx newsletter
- Every time you want to send out a newsletter, create a blog entry on newsletterxx. That will be your newsletter.
Detailed directions - Here's how I set it up on my photography blog, Shot at Dawn
1. Create a blog called shotatdawnnewsletter.blogspot.com
2. Edit layout and add a gadget
3. Add the "Follow by Email" gadget
4. Click on "View stats and learn more"
5. Set up FeedBurner for the newsletter blog
6. Go to Email Subscriptions
7. Activate it
8. Paste the code you got into it
9. Problem solved. Whenever you want to send a newsletter, make a post on the newsletter blog you just set up. That post will be sent out. It will be your newsletter.
Note: When people sign up, they'll get an immediate confirmation mail. When they confirm, they'll get an automated blurb telling them that they're gonna get an email every time you post. With luck, that won't scare them away. They will not get an email every time you post to the regular blog. They will get an email every time you post to the newsletter blog you set up.
You'll want to test this out before you put it in action to make sure it's working the way you want it to.
And now for my rant, which gives a bit of background but is absolutely not necessary to read.
I really wanted to set up a newsletter. It's great for staying in touch with my readers. No one wants to fill up their bookmarks. When I bookmark a blog, it's almost a guarantee I'm never going to read it again. I've got 200 bookmarks, who wants to wade through that?
I also get continual "newsletters" from jerks I've never heard of. I've also gotten perfectly nice newsletters that I liked, but I unsubscribed from because they came too frequently. FeedBurner lets people sign up to get an email every time I post, but that's too much. I write on Examiner.com and it does the same thing, that is, if I subscribe, I get an email every time the person posts and every time the person updates. I unsubscribed from myself.
So, I wanted to see if I could just let people give me their email and then I'd send them something fun every month. But on Blogger, there's no way to do that. I found lots of instructions on how to do it with WordPress, but I think WordPress is a hassle. Yeah, it's more powerful, but what good does that do me if I don't like it and I never use it? aweber and 1shoppingcart might be great, but aweber, at least, costs money. Formlogix might be great too, but it was taking me too long to figure it out.
That's how I got this brainwave about collecting email addresses using FeedBurner on Blogger. Do me a favor, and don't use this method to spam anyone. Spam sucks.