So, there is this website that is offering something free and you want it. Let's face it, free things are always good — well, most of the time they're good. However, the moment you sign up for that free thing, handing over your email, you know you're going to be giving the owners of that email list permission to send you spam. You don't want that. So, what is a girl to do?
Easy. Use an email specifically intended for nothing but spam.
But for writers, it's not a simple matter of spam versus general communications. You also have administration details, submissions and blog subscriptions. The email inbox of a writer can quickly become a nightmare. Important emails can become buried without you even realizing it.
Do you want to fight the email crazies? Well, here's how.
Some people make full usage of email filters, sending emails from particular sources into particular folders. This works to a point, but things still get missed and can easily get out of hand, especially if your filter is set up to recognize a particular email and the owner of that email goes and changes it on you. However, with the ease of use for systems like GMail, there is no need to set up filters when you can easily create a new email address intended for a specific purpose.
Due to the nature of the activities of writers, it is actually recommended that writers have in the order of 4/5 emails, just for their writing-related activities.
The Administration Email
The first email is an administration email. This is the one that is connected to all your accounts. If there are security issues that need attending to, or bills to be paid, this is the email that will be notified.
WARNING: Do not have your domain registration connected to a domain email address. If you lose access to the domain email, then you lose control over your domain. It's best to use a GMail account.
The General Communications Email
This will be the email that you will have added to your business cards and is the one that you give out to people you meet within the writing community. No bills are going here (unless you feel the dire need to have bills go to a general communications email). However, you know that any email that is going here is going to need your attention at some point.
Aunt Sally will be wanting a copy of the chocolate cake recipe eventually.
The Spam Email
The third email is intended for use on those "send-me-something-free" websites where you know they'll just send you spam. If it goes to an email intended for that purpose, then who cares?
The Blogger Email (Spam You Want)
There is a special category of spam that is actually spam that you want (which I suppose means that it's not really spam, but I digress). I'm talking about the blog and newsletter subscriptions. However, if you're like me, then you subscribe to over a hundred of blogs. If you happen to be away for a weekend, then that could easily amount to hundreds of emails — all of which are actually spam. But you want this spam.
So, instead of using an email intended for general communications, or your spam email, create another email just for all your blog subscriptions. The added bonus: if you're away for a few days and the inbox is full, you can do a generic delete message, because you know the nature of all the messages sitting in that inbox.
ADVICE: Connect WordPress.com accounts to your blogger email, not your administration email. This is because of the nature in which WordPress.com works with subscriptions. For those with custom domains on WordPress.com websites, you will get bills going to this account, but that's only once a year and you can keep an eye out for them.
The Submissions Email
The fifth email for writers is for those who are looking at traditional publication, or those who submit stories to external publishers. Have a dedicated email for ALL submissions. You don't want that email from that coveted agent to be buried by your general communications. If you have a dedicated email, then you know that anything going there needs your attention, not tomorrow, not next week, but NOW!
Five emails might sound like a lot, but trust me, it does help with the crazies to keep emails compartmentalized. I have much more than just the five emails for my own writing-related activities, but I also run an editorial business with its own set of emails.
To help you get started and set up your emails, you can find below a checklist with little reminders of the things that you need to be looking out for along the way.
Emails for Writers Checklist
Within today's society where almost all communication is done through email, a single email is not enough. To help tame the crazies, a writer will want 4/5 emails, just for their writing-related activities. Use this checklist to help set up the necessary accounts. No specific detail is provided in this document as it is meant to be used in tandem with Hidden Traps: A Writer's Guide to Protecting Your Online Platform.
This is one of the many tips in the following book:
There are so many different elements that go into forming an online platform, but there are many traps that writers are unaware of. Are your social media posts just links with a few disjointed words, making you look like someone who can’t complete a sentence? Were you hit with charges you never expected when you created that website? Are you leaking your personal contact details across the web without even knowing it?
Learn about many of the hidden traps of building an online writer’s platform, and how to avoid them. At the end of the day, it’s about protecting yourself and your reputation.