Newsletter versus Blog: Which Option is Best For My Business?

February 20, 2012

by Justine Parsons

 

I was recently asked the question by a client, “Should I start a blog or a newsletter, I know of some businesses who just do one or the other – do I need to do both?”Newsletter versus Blog: the differences

My immediate reaction was yes!  If at all possible, publishing both a blog and a newsletter will give you maximum exposure.  But this is a client so I thought I’d best do some research to back up my own opinion!

In creating a strategy which utilises both email and blogging to engage with your current customers and expand your reach, you can set realistic goals for your available resources while building your subscribers and raising your profile.

Putting it together: Send out your e-newsletter. Tell them about your blog and why they should read it. On the other side, make sure you have the capability of collecting email addresses on your blog and/or web sites with an offer to send an informative newsletter. This is a great way to collect email addresses of interested parties. Therefore blogs and e-newsletters work in tandem, so there are no versus, only compliments.

Newsletter vs Blog: The Differences

Blog Newsletter
Target specific groups No Yes
Improve search engine optimisation for your website Yes No
Can be personalised No Yes
Majority of your readers Site Visitors Clients
List promotions, sales, events No Yes
Establish a profile as an expert in your field Yes Yes (to a lesser degree)
Engage with site visitors and keep them on your site Yes No
Draw new prospects to your site Yes No
Share through social media channels Yes Yes (to a lesser degree)

 

Be realistic

With both blog posts and your newsletters, start small.  It is important to be consistent and if it is realistic for you to start with quarterly newsletters and weekly or fortnightly blog posts, then do so.  As both become easier and you are confident that you can increase your publications while maintaining quality content, increase slowly to the point where you are meeting your goals.

Measure

Using Google Analytics or other statistical tools, measure your traffic behaviour religiously.  Which blog posts are being shared, which newsletter links are clicked through and by whom, how long are your blog readers staying on your site and which pages do they visit?  These measurements can be used to adjust your blog posts and newsletters to suit your audience.

Neither your blog or your newsletter is a vehicle for adds.  While you may mention a special in your newsletter, the main focus for both publications should be answering your client’s (and potential client’s) questions.  Put yourself in your customer’s shoes; what are their challenges, what motivates them, what do they want to learn more about.   Balance your content between promotions and specials with industry related content; a client will only open a ‘advertorial’ publication if they want to buy something at the time your publication reaches them.  If, on the other hand, they are used to blog posts and newsletters with interesting, relevant content which they enjoy reading – they will be much more likely to read, and share with others.

If your content is helpful, it will be shared. If it’s shared on social networks, people will find you, and the more it’s shared the more the search engines will love you. If the search engines love you, they’ll show your content to people searching for those topics you’re writing about. New people will click on the search engine links and land on your blog.

Encourage Followers and Subscribers

Make sure you have your subscribe or RSS displayed where your reader can easily find it (often at the top right hand of your page).  Give your reader the option between email or an RSS feed reader and most important, a reason to subscribe.  Whether it’s a free e-book, a free consultation or hearing company news and updates first – your reader sees subscribe boxes constantly and an incentive offered to sign up will greatly improve your chances.

Good luck and have fun with your blog posts and newsletters.  The best part for me is reading the comments and feedback, so – your turn!  Is the question blogging versus newsletters or do you see the need for both?

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