Blog vs newsletter

One of the Ten Commandments of marketing is ‘thou shalt have a newsletter’.

The idea behind it is that people who subscribe to a newsletter automatically care about you, your product or the service you provide, so the newsletter helps you communicate with these dedicated people.

But I’ve always wondered why you would bother if you already had a blog?

The people who come to my blog do so of their own free will, and there is no obligation on their part to Like, Comment or Follow. Yet many of them do, so I’m already communicating with them. How is this any different to a newsletter?

In the interests of fair play, I have to admit that:

  1. I rarely read the newsletters to which I am subscribed [but I do visit blogs that I follow].
  2. I abhor the lack of privacy and the assumption of entitlement to data that is practised by the companies that provide free newsletter functionality [the owner of the newsletter may not abuse subscriber data but the companies do].
  3. And I’m lazy, meaning that I can’t imagine where I’d get the time and energy to create yet more worthwhile content for a newsletter.

For all of those reasons, I don’t have a newsletter, but I do still feel guilty about not having one, especially when I read articles by successful writers who swear by them… 😦 Then again, those same successful writers also have the money to spend on advertising of one sort or another, so I’m not sure the efficacy of newsletters is that black and white.

Anyway, my questions to you are:

Do you have a blog alone, and is it a successful form of marketing for you?

Do you have a newsletter alone, and is it a successful form of marketing for you?

Do you have both a blog and a newsletter, and have they been more successful together than either one alone?

I won’t ask about advertising because I don’t want to sound as if I’m asking people how much money they have to spend. I’m old fashioned like that. But if you have any other insights, on anything at all, I’d love for you to share.

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

59 responses to “Blog vs newsletter

  • The Opening Sentence

    Back in the day I followed the advice of a successful author (who I suspect actually made most of his money selling advice to other authors) and went down the free novel if you sign up to the newsletter route. Nothing. And Mailchimp insisted I put my real address on the newsletter which would be the digital equivalent of handing my wallet over to Russian mobsters.

    At the end of a tiresome several months I came back to the inevitable conclusion that success only really comes from spending $180 000 per month on Facebook ads. And if the billionaires on YouTube are to be believed, if you’re born poor you’ll alway be poor.

    Like

    • acflory

      Ouch, and double ouch. Loss leaders do work as a way of building product awareness, but what no one says is that there has to be some ‘brand’ awareness there already. AND…no one says is how you start the ball rolling in the first place.
      My ball is still moving at a glacial pace because I can’t afford any of that advertising. -sigh-
      Good luck with yours.

      Like

  • tracikenworth

    I have exactly two subscribers to my newsletter, lol. It seems pointless to rely on something that people obviously don’t want to sign up to. I put more effort into my blog. I do read a few newsletters of those people I know but most of them I’ve unsubscribed from. I pay more attention to blogs.

    Like

  • Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

    I read newsletters for Starbucks because I’m always interested in their deals, lol. I subscribe to a handful of author, publisher, and writing organization newsletters and (gasp!) I actually read them because I value their content. Email lists are still considered the best way for authors to stay in contact with readers. Following a blog via WordPress doesn’t grant access to an email list. As I gear up to start publishing more short magazine pieces, I am only going with a newsletter. I write too slowly to try to do an author blog proper justice, and the newsletter can be a place where I feature bonus creative works. Email lists ran through MailChimp and the like also provide analytics, which are priceless when it comes to marketing.

    Like

  • Widdershins

    Blog only too. I don’t know anyone who has a newsletter or who reads them. I certainly don’t. I have a set amount of time I allocate to reading blogs and commenting etc, which is the extent of my ‘social media-er-ing’.
    The rest of the time I’m writing or doing writing business stuff, or living the rest of my life. πŸ˜€

    Like

  • annabellefranklinauthor

    It’s all I can do to keep the blog going, never mind a newsletter! I very rarely read them, either.

    Like

  • The Story Reading Ape

    I blog daily, all my posts (or links to them) are also uploaded to Twitter, two FB Pages, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Bloglovin’, Pinterest, Flipboard and Mix (that replaced Stumbleupon) and, until recently, Google+, so I don’t have time to do newsletters (which, I personally, loath and never read) 😳

    Like

  • marianallen

    I blog daily, so when would I do a newsletter? There is one newsletter I always read and one I always mean to read but forget about, just because those writers tickle me. They have blogs I don’t follow, because…because I don’t know why. I think I’ve sold a few books through blogging (I know YOU have, because I’ve bought your books after reading about them here).

    Like

    • acflory

      You have? YOu did? OMG….massive hugs! Guilty secret…I’ve read some of yours too. πŸ˜€

      Ahem. Okay, I have no idea how you and Chris blog daily and you definitely don’t need a newsletter. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • DawnGillDesigns

    ok, for what it’s worth, I don’t have a newsletter and, as you know I don’t use my blog much. I sign up to both for various people /companies and I expect newsletters to contain ‘essential’ info, such as sales, their own promotional offers, new work/classes (for authors and teachers) and to ask for specific feedback and nothing else. I expect a blog to contain all that but primarily to be where they put their personal, chatty stuff – general life stuff really. That way, I can dip in and out of the blog, and not feel I’ve missed anything crucial, and I always read a newsletter. If I get newsletters yoo often I unsubscribe. By too often, I mean if they aren’t business like.
    Hope that was of some use!!

    Like

    • acflory

      Worth a great deal! Thank you. I like how you’ve separated out the ‘business’ side from the personal side. I can also see how the newsletters you read might be of value because you’re the Silversmith. Catalogues? Physical items? Sales, yes. I can see that, but…do you read any newsletters from writers though?

      I fear we don’t produce enough to satisfy that essential info criterion.

      You’ve given me something to think about, Dawn, thank you. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • DawnGillDesigns

        I do read newsletters from authors, and exactly the same rules apply. i want my newsletter to be succinct. DVB and JaneD and JJMarsh have the balance down perfectly, to my super critical and demanding mind πŸ˜‰.

        Like

        • acflory

          lol – now I’m going to have to sign up to see what they do. To be honest, I really can’t imagine what ‘it’ is. Thank you though, as I said before, you’ve really given me something to think about.

          Liked by 1 person

  • Mick Canning

    I would never know what to put in a newsletter, since I would probably have already put it up on my blog. And I don’t read them, like you, whereas I read blogs.

    But. Having. Said. That…

    I can see the one point, the one advantage of a newsletter, in that it can be geared 100% towards sales, and that in no way conflicts with whatever I choose to put up on my blog.

    But I won’t bother, though.

    Like

    • acflory

      Hi Mick. You’re right about the ‘sales’ but for me, the rigmarole of trying to set up a ‘special offer’ just for newsletter subscribers would drive me crazy. You’d need either your own website so people could download freebies, or something like BookFunnel to do the same thing. But…those options don’t match the convenience of getting something straight from Amazon where it goes straight to your Kindle without any side-loading. And even assuming you did all that, would it lead to sales? I really don’t know. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  • MELewis

    Like you, Meeks, I have a blog and know I should do a newsletter to follow good marketing practice but, as others have said, not enough news to justify the effort! In the meantime, I delete almost all of the newsletters that arrive in my inbox without reading them, so not sure it’s really effective. Also, while my personal bog is active, my other business blog is an occasional thing. Basically, I’ve been looking towards a future where I will combine the two and focus all my efforts in one direction. Then, maybe, I’ll do a newsletter… 😏

    Like

    • acflory

      lol – I didn’t even know you had two blogs! But yes, you and the others have put your fingers on it – we don’t exactly have a lot of ‘news’ to tell.
      I’m so glad I’m not the only one having this problem! -hugs-

      Liked by 1 person

  • Audrey Driscoll

    My blog IS my newsletter. I don’t have an email list either, and reading about the laws around gathering personal information, I’m glad I don’t. I’ve read posts recently by a couple of well-known bloggers to the effect that newsletters are more irritating than otherwise. Quite a few people disagreed with that in the comments on one of these posts, but I’ve decided I’m not going to feel that niggle of guilt about this. I notice a lot of the newsletter proponents recommend MailChimp. Hmm.

    Like

  • D. Wallace Peach

    I have a newsletter, Andrea, but I give 99% of my time to the blog. I seem to be a dog that only knows one trick. πŸ™‚

    Like

  • cagedunn

    I don’t have a newsletter, and probably never will. A newsletter would have a short story or news, which people who know me would also find on the blog (the short stories, they have to be quick, because I do housework on there, and things go back in the cupboard when their time is up).
    What has worked for exposure is the short stories I put up as free (on Smashwords) or in KU (depends who I publish the new novel with), and those things bring in new readers, not necessarily sales. Time, I’m hoping, will boost that exposure and the number of readers.
    When I get to the ‘ten novels I’m happy with’ criterion I set myself at the beginning, I’ll do a bit of paid advertising – but limited. I’d rather people who know me, at least a bit, will share their knowledge with their groups …
    or is that wishful thinking?
    Marketing – wishful thinking – same, same, but one costs more …

    Like

  • Candy Korman

    I had a newsletter for about 15 minutes. The blog… twice a week for years! If I had some kind of thriving business with lots of connections to other organizations, then the newsletter would have CONTENTβ€”as well as context & connections. Blogging is more flexible. Sometimes I write about writing; sometimes I write about reading, about travel, about life… Newsletter require…. (drum roll) NEWS! LOL!

    Like

  • Berthold Gambrel

    I have a blog. No newsletter. I have no idea if a newsletter would be helpful or not, but I do know that I read tons of blogs, and never read newsletters. IMO, newsletters are just a gimmick that marketing people cooked up as a way to get user emails. Blogs are much more civilized, IMO.

    Sorry, that was a bit of a rant. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • acflory

      -grin- Rant away Berthold! We’re birds of a feather. And you’re right about those emails. I was horrified when I read the privacy statement of MailChimp. I’ll bet their revenue from ad networks is huge.

      Liked by 1 person

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