The difference between a blog and newsletter is increasingly blurry. So these days it’s come down to the method of delivery: a newsletter can arrive in your mailbox – a blog, typically, doesn’t.
Typical “pilar” content found on blogs is likely to be more prominent in newsletters. Tips & tricks, Tip of the Day, Thoughts. Actually, let’s have a look at some ideas:
- Ingredients: A passionate audience or community with strong (and hopefully misguided) feelings about a subject, person, company, etc.
- Process: Create content through a blog, article, report or statistics that challenges commonly-held beliefs or assumptions or specifically challenges the views of a very popular person or organization. Be prepared to defend your positions, write about them in comments on blogs, in forums, chatrooms, online groups and wherever appropriate. Sometimes, you can even leverage the editorial section of a newspaper and re-print online.
- Results: Heavy traffic levels come through multiple channels, but your biggest source is often the direct response of the disagreeing party. Be sure you’re handling the dispute in a professional and even-handed manner and you can earn a respectable following. It’s all dependent on industry and size, but a between a few hundred and a few thousand RSS subscriptions are usually on the table.
Top Ten Lists
- Ingredients: A great idea and ten little numbers.
- Process: This might be the easiest of the bunch, but it’s also the hardest to make work consistently. Top ten lists are everywhere and unless yours is particularly well-targeted, well-timed and well-marketed, it might end-up fizzling. The keys to great lists are – knowing your audience, knowing your subject matter (and writing as an expert) and presentation (the right content at the right time read by the right people). Tricky? Yes. Worthwhile? Absolutely.
- Results: We’ve seen top 10, 5 and 20 lists make it onto Digg, Slashdot and even into the mainstream press. While tens or hundreds of thousands of visitors certainly isn’t the norm, it can definitely be your goal.
Issue News Releases.
Find newsworthy events and send news releases to print and Web periodicals in your industry. The links to your site in online news databases may remain for several months and will temporarily improve traffic to your site and increase link popularity. Use a online news release service such as PR Web. Placing your website URL in online copies of your press release may increase link popularity temporarily.
Publish an E-Mail Newsletter.
While it requires a commitment of time, creating a monthly e-mail publication is one of the most important promotion techniques. It could be a newsletter (“ezine”), list of tips, industry updates, or new product information — whatever you believe your customers will appreciate. This is a great way to keep in touch with your prospects, generate trust, develop brand awareness, and build future business. It also helps you collect e-mail addresses from those who visit your site, but aren’t yet ready to make a purchase.
You distribute your newsletter inexpensively using e-mail marketing services such as: iContact, Constant Contact, and, of course, AWeber. If you have a very small list, some of these services let you use their services free until you grow larger. Blogs are very popular, but don’t really replace e-mail newsletters. You have to go to a blog to read it, while an e-mail newsletter appears in your inbox asking to be read.
Use AWeber For Your Newsletters!
You can use aWeber templates or free html templates – googlefreelayouts.com. Don’t always ask people to buy anything, just inform and provide value and interesting stuff – and gifts.
- Determine mail out frequency. Daily, weekly or monthly. Daily = very short posts. Monthly – can be longer. But never too long-winded.
- Find an exciting name for it
- Value is key – people will pass it on if they perceive it. Make sure valuable things are there – they may tweet it or facebook it.
- Opt-in box on each copy of newsletter – in case it gets forwarded to new readers
- Use testimonials within the newsletter
- If someone has forwarded this copy to you, why not sign up and get your own – it’s free
- Content sources – make notes as you surf – whatever interests you – becomes fodder for your newsletter
- Look for questions people are asking – create content that answers those questions
- Rule of thumb: if you are interested – others will be too
- Newsletters build customer loyalty, help keep retention and establish you as an expert
Becoming a newsletter contributor
- Many companies have newsletters that need your content
- Google “newsletters” for ideas on who that might be
- Approach each and ask if they want contributors
- Must be original content of course
- Offer free content for their newsletter
- Sometimes you may even want to call them
- Sign up to the ones you most favor