I'm a member of the LinkedIn bloggers group where the following question was asked by one of the members...
I have toyed with the idea of merging my e-newsletter & blog, and just going with the blog. The e-newsletter actually inspired the blog creation, and I used the topics from my newsletter to begin my blog.
My question is this: Have any of you ever merged your blog & newsletter? If you did, any advice? Would you do it again? What would you have done differently?
I've blogged about this before, but felt a solid reply was needed again, so here it is...
I believe blogs and email newsletters are kind of like a digital "peanut butter and jelly sandwich" and can work together very well. To rely on one at the expense of the other is to not take advantage of the full suite of strengths using both can supply.
For example, to use email alone limits the number of touches you can have with customers and prospects. Even a publishing schedule as often as once per week leaves several days when customers do not hear from you. A blog can help fill those gaps. On the other hand, blog posts tend to be somewhat pithy, lacking the full development of an email newsletter.
I like to think of a blog as a newsletter idea nursery. The seed of an idea that's planted in a blog post can be more fully germinated in a newsletter. The blog also serves a knowledge management and archival role. It's a good place to store ideas away for use later on in a newsletter. If you post regularly, you'll have many topics from which to choose to populate your newsletter.
Alternatively, you could fully develop ideas in blog posts (What I'm seeing more and more now are longer form posts, and even series posts.), then link to them from the newsletter which may itself only contain titles and excerpts.
Keep in mind that, using tools like Feedburner or Feedblitz, you can allow people to subscribe to your blog via email. You can even set sending schedules so that posts are emailed daily or weekly. In fact, Feedblitz has now morphed into a fully-fledged email marketing application. It allows you to literally use your blog as an email newsletter content tool.
Finally, there are those who would prefer to receive their updates via RSS feeds and those who prefer to receive them via email. To use both formats is to give subscribers the option that works best for them.
For many reasons I support the use of both techniques and commend them both to you.
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