This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Not long ago, someone asked me what the difference between a blog and an email newsletter is.
In my mind, it really comes down to 1 main difference: control.
Sure, there are other differences, but I think this is the key factor.
I’ll try to explain.
This is permission based marketing. Your fans opt in to receive emails from you on a regular basis. They are interested in what you have to say or offer. They have given you permission to contact them. This is huge.
And the 2 biggest benefits?
- You control when they hear from you. You take the message that you want them to receive when you want. You have control.
- You know who is receiving your newsletters. You have some info about them. You know if or when they open your newsletters. You know how often. Because of this, you can customize or target your message.
But with a blog, they have to come to you to get the message you have out there. They are in control of when they receive your communications. Yes, I realize that some of this is overcome with RSS feed. But the RSS feed is anonymous. You don’t know who or how many people subscribe. You have no control. Nor do you know anything about them.
(Well, what about getting the blog delivered into your email inbox? I’m not very tech savvy, so I don’t know whether this option is anonymous or not. Someone who knows more can chime in and let us know. If I were to guess, it is becoming less and less anonymous.)
So, as I see it, that is the main difference. With the newsletter you have more control of when the message is communicated and you know who is receiving it. With blog, it’s more anonymous. You put your message out there and hope people come to read it. They have more control.
Why Use Both?
So if you have more control with the newsletter, why use a blog? Web traffic.
Blogs are rich in written content (unless you just post an image with no text – please, don’t do that). The written content will increase the ability for search engines to find you. Your SEO will result in higher rankings.
Blogs also have comment features and have the potential to grow into a community of fans who actively participate. Conversations take place. There is more interaction..
But with newsletters, there is nothing for the search engines to find . The message goes into the recipients’ email inbox. There is no conversation among fans to grow a sense community. For this reason, I always include my feature article from my newsletter in my blog. That way, someone who receives my newsletter can comment and become part of the conversation on the blog. This is the one area that I overlap content. I do that to bring my newsletter subscribers into the blog community.
But, by offering something of value that is exclusive to your newsletter, you can convert anonymous blog followers into newsletter subscribers.
But what about content? Should the content be different or the same between your blog and newsletter? What do you include in each?
That is personal. For some, they are very different in content. For others, they are nearly identical. For me, it is somewhere in between. Some content is exclusive to the blog. Some is exclusive to the newsletter. And there is some overlap – my feature article from my newsletter, for example.
But, the themes that I visit are found in both places. I write on a variety of topics. This is also an important point. Give your fans something of value. Give them variety. If you do, they will continue to come back.
Share with us what works for you.
Unless you have a FASO website with the built in newsletter system. FASO websites allow you to public archive your newsletters. This contributes towards your SEO, just like having an integrated blog does. Yet another reason to make FASO your website service.