Greetings from Anaheim, CA. I’m at the ASA Advanced BV conference while my wife is holding down the RV in Grand Junction, CO. The temps are getting cooler, and we will soon be heading south to Big Bend, TX where we will be spending the first half of winter.
In las week’s conversation, I gave you my best prospect pick up line. Have you had a chance to try it out yet?
On to this week. I must be wearing you down! Lately, I have gotten several emails with asks that boil down to this: I want to start writing for my audience … but which is better a newsletter or a blog. This is a great question because there are really some important differences that you need to consider … some of which may not be so obvious.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
I am proud to say that I had a hand in crafting the questions for BVR’s current Firm Economics & Best Practices Guide. The Guide gives you insight into matters like firm performance, compensation, billing rates, marketing, and practice development. If you are in a position to take part in the survey, click here.
Survey participants will receive a free Executive Summary of the results, plus an offer to purchase the full report for $99 (regular price is $299) and a chance to win a free year of BVResearch Pro (a $1,595 value). The deadline for responses is October 19.
Both email newsletters and blogs allow you to communicate with your audience of leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources – but in different ways and with different results.
Here’s a rundown of the most important things you need to know:
#1 – Readership
Email newsletters are sent to a very specific group of people that you control.
A blog resides on your website, and can be read by anyone – including your competition.
#2 – Relationships
Email newsletters help you make deeper connections with people you already know.
A blog will gives you an opportunity meet new people and bring them to your tribe.
#3 – Delivery
Email newsletters go right into your audience’s inboxes – this is a big deal. But there are also spam filters to contend with.
For blog posts to be read, your audience must purposely navigate to your website.
#4 – Sharing
Email newsletters can only be shared if a recipient forwards their copy to a colleague.
Blog posts can be shared via social media buttons to a whole swath of potential new readers.
#5 – Archives
Email newsletters are gone once they are sent out.
Blog posts remain live/archived on your website forever unless you delete them.
#6 – Authority
Email newsletters contribute zero internet search engine juice to your online presence.
Every blog post is a new web page and increases your reach and ranking in search engines.
#7 – Monetization
Email newsletters can be put behind a paywall, allowing you to charge for your content/expertise.
Blog posts are free to your readership.
#8 – Frequency
Both are governed by your audience, i.e., how often they want/need to hear from you. Too often, and you are a pest. Too little, and you don’t gain any traction. But once you start, both need to be written consistently in the pattern you establish.
What does Amy do?
Amy does both – because she has always been an overachiever. (If you are new to my newsletter, Amy is my wife, and she runs the GoPetFriendly.com website.)
She blogs three times a week to an audience of known and unknown people who want to know what we’re up to and get tips on how to travel with their pets.
She also writes a monthly newsletter to the list of people who opted in to receive it. These people get a little more insight into what we do, pet travel news updates (e.g., changes in airline rules for pet travel), and access to free products and services provided by her sponsors.
What does Rod do?
I started writing my weekly email newsletter in July 2015. If you are interested, my email service provider is MailChimp. Why? Because the service is free up to 2,000 email subscribers.
But the demand for copies of prior newsletters I had written caused me to reconsider what I was doing. And then I added video into my mix.
So in January 2018, I copied all of my previous newsletters and videos to a blog on my website. And I found a nifty little hack in MailChimp that allows me to create my content on the blog first and then have that post go out via email, which is what you are reading now. So now I get all of the advantages of a newsletter and a blog.
What should you do?
What will be a bigger win for your practice, email newsletters or a blog? Well, it primarily depends on what you want to accomplish.
The #1 reason to write an email newsletter is to strengthen your relationship with an existing audience. If you already have a list of people you want to reach, start with a newsletter.
The #1 reason to write blog posts is to reach new people. And a blog adds strength and value to your website. If you don’t have a list of people to send a newsletter to, start with a blog.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.