My answer… you need both!
And here’s why:
Creating a blog post is much easier to do than going down the whole ezine publication route; however, as you do not know who is reading your blog you cannot begin to build a relationship with the reader in the same way you can when publishing an ezine. Therefore you are missing out on building the like, know, and trust factor that is so important for a business owner. That said, a blog is also an essential online communication tool simply because there are some people who do not wish to subscribe to a regular newsletter, but will subscribe to a blog’s RSS Feed.
RSS Feed? Put simply, anyone can come along to your blog, and subscribe to your RSS feed thereby receiving any blog posts that you submit as soon as you submit them. By not publishing a blog you are missing out on this whole other target market reach.
My preferred tool for blogging is WordPress. Each time you post to your blog, you're creating fresh content for your website, which the search engines love, and all of this goes towards improving your search engine rankings.
A blog allows you to interact with your target market as readers can leave comments. However, as it’s not directly delivered to your target market’s inbox, it can be much harder to develop a relationship.
So let’s just take a look at some of the pros/cons of a blog vs. a newsletter:
- You can really show off your expertise by posting on a regular basis.
- Blog posts don’t need to be very long – approx. 200-350 words.
- If you have some important information to share, you can instantly create a post – no waiting for your next newsletter to make your announcement!
- If you use a blogging platform such as WordPress, this is hosted on your website. Each time you post to your blog you are creating fresh content for your website, which the search engines love!
- You need to post regularly – at least once a week, or a bare minimum of once a month – in order for this to be an effective marketing strategy.
- You need to have a strategy that will help you write fresh content regularly.
- It can be difficult to build a direct relationship with your blog reader.
Now, this can be a dilemma. It’s important that you post to your blog regularly in order to provide fresh content to the search engines; some experts say you should be posting at least two to three times a week!
Now that’s a big commitment if you’re not really a writer, so here’s what I advise to get your blog going…
Each time you publish your newsletter and write a fresh article for it, post that article on your blog.
And then try and make other posts throughout the month so you’re keeping your blog content continually updated. Posting to a blog is not as rigid as publishing an ezine so it can be difficult to create an editorial calendar or some other system. You want your blog posts to be spontaneous wherever possible. You also want to have in place a sign-up box to your ezine on your blog either in the sidebar or at the bottom of every post.
Some possible topics for your blog posts:
- Links to other blog posts of interest to your target audience
- Any new products or services that you’ve launched
- Any places where you’ll be speaking
- Events that are taking place within your industry
- An opinion that you have about something that is happening within your industry
- Links to resources that you’ve found to be invaluable