by Yaritsa Arenas | Creative Business
I very often hear “the money is in the [email] list”. And I also hear that in order to build an audience, the blog is where you start. However, not much is said about how these two components work together.
Some people find it daunting to have to upkeep a blog and on top of that create newsletter content, but there are various ways to have both while keeping your sanity and having them naturally feed into each other.
I previously wrote about why you should have a blog on your site, primarily because I see a lot of people who focus too much on the mailing list, yet don’t give new followers a reason to join. Opt-in freebies are great, but often someone can join, grab your download and then opt-out once they have it. Hopefully, your content is awesome enough that this doesn’t happen often.
A blog will naturally give people a preview of what you offer and as they see the value of your writing, they’ll want to join your list.
Now that you’re considering running both a blog and newsletter though, there should be some thought as to how these two work together in a way that’s beneficial to your followers, but also allows you to do other things than constantly writing articles and mailings (unless of course, that’s what you want to be doing).
Create new and unique content for each
Consider if you want to have a different approach for your blog than for your newsletter.
Lauren Hooker of Elle & Co. posts articles on her blog several times a week with detailed how-tos, resources and reviews, all with the goal of helping creatives run a successful business. Her newsletter, however, has shorter actionable steps that she sends out once a week. While the core topic and message are the same, the delivery and content are different. Lauren very rarely links back to her blog from her newsletter.
Other bloggers, such as Kara Benz of BohoBerry, have additional content that is available only to list subscribers. When joining their mailing list, you can gain access to her resource library full of printable content for bullet journal enthusiasts. The password to this members-only section is included at the bottom of every newsletter. She still includes links to her most recent blog post, but her newsletter has extra content not found on her site.
In this case, there is distinctly separate content being created for both your blog and your newsletter. It requires a little extra work, but it provides your followers with extra value when they join your list.
Create lead-in content or add-on content
A lot of coaches use the lead-in approach, where they create some additional content for their mailing list, which includes a personal story, additional insight or extra resources which lead to a link back to their blog in order to read the full article.
A good example of this is Marie Forleo. Every Tuesday morning, I would get an email from her with a personal message or a story that relates to the post of the week, and a lead-in to her latest Q&A Tuesday video on her blog.
In this instance, you’re creating a few extra paragraphs that pertain to the article on your website’s blog. This gives your mailing list subscriber a little bit of behind-the-scenes content, while still being lead to the blog article or video that was created for that week. It’s a great way to remind your followers to check back to your blog.
Create re-usable content
I love how Paul Jarvis uses the same content in various outlets. He definitely has a huge following and will be the first to say that he makes most of his income from his mailing list, but a lot of the content that he writes is re-usable. By this, I mean that essentially the same article is added to his site, blasted to his list and also read out loud and uploaded to his podcast. You have options as to how you can receive what he has to say.
Of course, he also has additional content from time to time on his mailing, such as the occasional additional content and details about any upcoming courses he’s leading.
Re-usable content can be the bulk of your strategy, or it can also be used occasionally as part of a larger blogging strategy. Elle & Co, for example, has weekly webinars that are live and recorded, but she has also started typing up a full recap of the content on her blog. The same webinar can be used as content for an article.
In this case, it’s less about cross-promoting our blog and newsletter, and more about giving your followers options in receiving updates and content from you.
Note: Any observations I’ve made above in regards to other bloggers and companies are only that, my observations from following along with them. I don’t presume to have inside details on their blogging strategy.
There are ways you can have both a blog and a newsletter. You don’t have to pick one or the other. You just have to give a little thought to how you want them to work together.
If you’re not sure which direction to go on, pick a route and re-assess after a few months. And always listen to your followers, they are who you’re writing for in the first place so feel free to ask them!