Pat Iyer's Blog

Do 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 publication dates of 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) for legal nurse consultants. 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.

checklist is effective to show listsI also send out this blog to people interested in writing tips. If you aren’t receiving it, sign up for our free Editing checklist on the home page of patiyer.com and you’ll get that and begin receiving these once a week updates.

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.”

No One Has to Sign Up for Your Blogs and Newsletters

You offer that option, but not everyone accepts. People often like to check in on a blog without getting regular reminders to do so. You have no reliable method for contacting them. 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 book sellers 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 offers 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 Newsletter

While people debate about what’s a good length for a newsletter article, you can often write something longer than you would in a blog post. You also don’t have to be so concerned with timeliness.

For example, if an 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.

Have you gotten it yet? No? Get our mobile app here – receive videos, blogs, free reports and more.