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Private Blog Conversion Happens At Once

Some blog owners consider changing their blog, to private membership - but have a problem with managing the membership volume, during the conversion.
How can I populate my membership list, with email addresses, before making the blog private?
This is a question seen occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger - and it's a question that can't be answered.

You can only add members, to a private blog. A public blog allows access to all - and has no member list.

Admittedly, it would be useful to stage a blog, being made private.

Using FeedBurner EMail Distribution, to collect email addresses, will get you started.
  1. Inform your readers, in a post, that the blog will be going private, on a given future date.
  2. Setup FeedBurner EMail Distribution, to collect everybody's email addresses - and add a gadget to the blog.
  3. Start collecting email addresses, and inviting members, as they add themselves to your FeedBurner database.
  4. When everybody (up to 99 members total plus you) has accepted, and joined, you are ready to pull the switch.
  5. You then make the blog private.
  6. Nobody else can read the blog.

Unfortunately, there are several flaws, to the above project plan.
  • You cannot send out invitations, to a public blog.
  • You cannot accept membership, in a public blog - even if you have an invitation.
  • After the blog becomes private, nobody else will be able to request membership.

The best that you can do is to use FeedBurner to collect email addresses, while the blog is public. As soon as you make the blog private, there won't be a blog feed - and FeedBurner will be inoperable, for the blog. And with the blog inaccessible, nobody will be adding their email addresses to your FeedBurner email address database.
  1. Inform the regular readers, that the blog will be going private, on a given future date.
  2. Setup FeedBurner EMail Distribution, to collect everybody's email addresses.
  3. Start collecting email addresses, as they add themselves to your FeedBurner database.
  4. You then make the blog private.
  5. Nobody else can read the blog.
  6. Start inviting members.
  7. When everybody (up to 99 members total plus you) has accepted, and joined, you will have a functioning private blog.

There are several flaws, to the latter plan.
  • The more members that you have, the longer the gap between Steps #4 and #7 will be - and the longer some members must wait, to resume blog access.
  • If you have over 99 established readers (less the administrator / author complement), a private blog may not work, for you.
  • After Step #4, and with the blog private, nobody will be able to access the blog, and add themselves to your FeedBurner membership email database.

The bottom line is that a blog with an established reader population can't go private, without inconveniencing you - and your readers. Some readers, inconvenienced, may lose interest - and may discard your membership invitation. This will leave you with an open, and (likely) never accepted membership invitation - and possibly, contribute to the membership invitation latency problem.

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