Should you write blog posts or email newsletters?
Your time is limited. You have to choose between writing a weekly blog post, or writing a weekly newsletter. Will a blog post or newsletter be a bigger win for your business?
The #1 reason to write a newsletter is to strengthen your relationship with an existing audience. Each time you write a newsletter and hit send, you have an immediate audience.
Newsletters are push instead of pullWhen you run a blog, someone has to discover that there’s a new article EVERY TIME you post. Sure, there’s RSS, but let’s face it, only geeks subscribe to RSS feeds. People who want to hear from you won’t remember to go regularly to your blog to see new articles. Let’s say your target is to reach an audience of 1000 people who care about the problem your business solves. With a newsletter, you can build an engaged audience of 1000 over time. Direct people to your newsletter sign up page. You can even start building interested readers before you write your first newsletter. But, newsletters are not without their drawbacks. Blog posts address some of these drawbacks.
Benefits of writing posts on a blogThe #1 reason to write blog posts is to reach new people
Blog posts are more sharablePeople often ask for an archive of our newsletters to share with friends. If you’re writing interesting content (and you should be), then people will want to spread it on twitter, linked in, and Facebook.
Blog posts are indexed by googleIf you write articles and let’s say you write an article about “cylon flavored turkey gravy”. Chances are that when someone searches for that in the future they will find your article.
Hybrid approach: Blog + NewsletterCan you have your pumpkin pie and eat it too? There’s a pretty good chance you were directed here from our newsletter. It’s a new format we’re trying. I want show you how a few other companies handle the hybrid approach:
Zero-extra work: Feedburner SubscriptionRand Fishkin from SEO Moz has an email capture form on his website: Like Rand, you could use Feedburner, a service to let people subscribe to new blog posts.
A little extra work: Separate EmailHere’s a snazzy looking example from Help Scout: They’ve done some extra work to prepare an image to use in the email along with a teaser. They have a call to action to “Keep Reading” at the bottom of the email
An experiment you can learn fromIm going to share with you how it goes, but for the next few weeks, I’m going to try the hybrid approach. I’ll let you know:
- Do opens and clicks in the email take a hit?
- Are people sharing the content more?
- Is that driving more visibility and more signups to the email list.