Patricia Iyer

By Patricia Iyer

Do You Need Both a Blog and Newsletter?

Do You Need Both a Blog and Newsletter? 150 150 Patricia Iyer

Does your company you need both blogs and newsletters? How are they different?

Maybe you’ve been writing a blog for a long time, or perhaps you’ve just begun. Either way, you know it takes time and a regular commitment to keep your blog from gathering dust and cobwebs.

I know you’ve seen the blogs showing the most recent blog was from 2 years ago. Crickets!

The idea of adding yet another writing responsibility to your list may worry you. Let me reassure you. Whether you write a daily, biweekly, or weekly blog, you won’t need to write a newsletter as frequently. A regular monthly newsletter represents the minimum commitment you should make.

Here is another frequency: What I do is write a blog once a week and make it part of my weekly newsletter (I call it an ezine). That way I am repurposing my blog. I start my newsletter with the first part of the blog, give readers a button to click to read more, and then add one or two additional items, such as announcements to my newsletter.

The click on the button in the ezine brings them to my website, where hopefully they see other information that encourages them to linger. I also know by their click which topics interest them, and can give them more of the same kind of content.

With attention spans decreasing, keep in mind that blogs and newsletters should be short. Sometimes you may add special, time-sensitive announcements to your mailing list. Please note that magic phrase, “mailing list.”

Opt-in offers of “sign up for our newsletter” are rarely attractive. What is the value in a newsletter? The visitor to your company website needs to see the value in asking for information. We are all inundated with information. But offer me a free report on the 3 ways I can do X, and if I have that need, I am interested.

Getting people on the company opt-in list solves a couple of pf problems: it is permission-based marketing, which avoids the CAN-SPAM laws, and it enables you to study your prospects’ behavior and continue to offer them value.

Without a list, you have no reliable method of contacting website visitors. Your only way of knowing who specifically has read a post comes when someone makes a comment.

In contrast, you ask people to subscribe to your newsletter. You may offer an incentive, like a special report or free e-book. You want to collect email addresses; they can form the nucleus of a loyal following.

Many authors offer some type of free report or course in the front or back matter of their books. I highly recommend this. Amazon and the other online booksellers won’t give you the email addresses of people who buy your books. An announcement within a book gives you the opportunity to make direct contact.

You Can Experiment with a Mailing List

Email delivery programs offer ways you can test the effectiveness of your promotional efforts. You can split your list in a variety of ways and send slightly different messages or use different email subject lines to these different sections in order to test the effectiveness of varying approaches.

You can also determine how many people have opened your newsletter and how many have clinked on links within it. You can’t do any of the above with a blog.

You Can Go In-depth with a Blog

While people debate about what’s a good length for a blog, you can often write something longer than you would in a  newsletter. You can quickly respond to news in your industry.

For example, if important news relates to your area of business, your clients or potential clients will be looking for opinions. You may need to drop everything and write about it.

That kind of pressure doesn’t exist with a newsletter. You may want to review the news, but you can do so in a less rushed manner.

Speaking about avoiding rush and making reading convenient, this year I’ve created a way of sharing with you through new app, BizEdu for iPhone and Android phones.

Get our mobile app here at patiyer.com/biz-edu. Receive videos, blogs, free reports and more related to writing tips.

Pat Iyer is a C Suite contributor, one of the original 100 people to join the network 3 years ago. Business professionals hire her as a ghostwriter and editor to help them shine without having to do the work of writing. Contact her at patiyer.com.

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