|February 14, 2005
Reasons To Publish An E-Newsletter AND A Blog
With spam filters on high alert, delivering a newsletter by email is not as easy as it
was even one year ago. Should it reach your subscriber's inbox (without getting siphoned
into a junk folder), it still has to vie for attention amongst dozens or even
hundreds of new messages.
1. A blog is not "email"
A Weblog or blog, on the other hand, is a page on your site that can be updated several
times a week with fresh content. If a reader has subscribed to your blog, he
or she gets an alert (consisting of the headline and brief summary) every time you post
I.e., much the same way you can include a teaser paragraph in your e-newsletter with a
link back to the full article on your site.
If you're thinking that subscribers have to proactively "visit" your blog (a
"pull" tactic) vs. having an ezine or e-newsletter delivered to them (a
"push" approach) there's good news.
You can subscribe to a blog using downloadable software called a newsreader. NewsGator www.newsgator.com is a popular one as it integrates
seamlessly with Outlook. There are lots of newsreaders to choose from, many of them free.
Once installed on your desktop, the newsreader (also called a news aggregator) grabs the
latest updates to your blog via an RSS feed.
No need to worry what RSS is (it stands for Really Simple Syndication). Just have faith
that RSS is a new way to publish and distribute content on the Web without using email.
And thats the point. No email. So, no worries about spam filters or delivery
2. A blog is an instant publishing tool
A blog is an easy-to-use content management tool. When you blog, you are
instantly adding new content to your site via a Web interface. No technical or programming
skills are necessary. Anyone can update the copy and content on your site. In fact, think
of a blog as just another page on your Web site.
Set Up Your Blog Now!
Key point: a blog doesn't have to be cool. A steady stream of short tips with
links to other sites or articles can be extremely useful. (See my article 5 tips for a
useful resource blog.) In fact, this is the same kind of useful information you may be
cramming into each issue of your newsletter. With a blog, you can parcel it out in
digestible bits - with more impact.
3. A blog makes your site search engine friendly
Search engines love blogs and will index individual entries (no matter how short) if
you've got your blogging software configured to create a separate page for each new post.
In other words, think of each blog post or entry as a Web page with its own title.
By incorporating a blog into your site you are creating multiple new mini pages. Search
engines crawl sites which are updated regularly with fresh content. So
blogging raises your sites rankings in search results.
OK, but are blogs a fad or a trend?
I love this question. Here's my answer:
Newsletters or ezines are still the e-vehicle of choice for most marketers. Two things are
slowing the adoption of blogs as a channel for business communication:
- The term blogging is associated with online journals; personal, unedited writing; and,
er, needless bloviating.
- Most folks don't know what a news reader is and why you need one to subscribe to a blog
or any other RSS feed. (Again, dont fret over RSS. Visit www.newsgator.com for a good explanation and to see
how easy it is to download a newsreader.)
Use a blog to extend the reach of your e-newsletter
My advice for now is to continue publishing an e-newsletter. If you're sending it in
HTML, trim your design down to the bare minimum and make the file size as small as
possible. This will give you a better chance of getting past the spam filters and other
blocking tools being used by major ISPs like AOL.
Of course, don't forget to link back to your blog through each issue of your e-newsletter.
You'll probably need to explain to your newsletter readers what your blog is, where to
find it and how to subscribe to it.
If you think your email subscribers are not ready to embrace newsreaders, then
dont mention this downloadable software - or RSS for that matter. Simply include a
prominent link to your blog in the layout of your newsletter and remind readers to
visit often for updates between issues.
Bottom line, consider adding a blog to your site for two reasons: as an instant publishing
tool and as an adjunct to your email marketing efforts. You may find you can use a blog to
trim down the extraneous information that's clogging the regular issues of your newsletter
and making it less effective.
Good explanation of RSS
Using RSS Feeds to Promote Your
Website by Ralph Wilson
Quick explanation of RSS
(from my article "5 key questions about business blogs")
Popular Blogging Tools
Blogger (free tool; now owned by Google)
Movable Type (software you install; it powers
many professional-looking blogs)
TypePad (hosted version of Movable Type; easier to
About the Author
Debbie Weil is the publisher of award-winning WordBiz Report, read by close to
15,000 subscribers in over 80 countries. She is also an Internet marketing &
communications consultant and the author of the ROI of Business Blogging. She
sells special reports &
award-winning starter kits, and
produces audio conferences on
topics related to marketing with e-newsletters or ezines... as well as blogs. Download
your free copy of her mini guide to online copywriting (value $10) instantly when you subscribe to WordBiz Report.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
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