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Start A Blog To Compliment Your Newsletter

If you're new to online marketing, which is better to start, a blog or an ezine? Does an email newsletter do the same thing as a blog? Should I do both?

Priority

Blog: A blog is instantaneous, your content is published immediately every time you post. This allows you to be impulsive and current with issues that affect your readers.

Ezine: An ezine is delivered through email. It has to be composed, formatted and queued into an email delivery system. Depending on your system and whether you handle it yourself or outsource, this takes time.

Distribution

Blog: A blog is a set of web pages published on the Web. Readers either read it on the Web, or can read your latest post through a RSS feed. You may also consider sending out updates via email each time you post something new to your subscribers.

Ezine: An ezine gets sent through email and is subject to filters and deliverability problems. When it gets through and is delivered, subscribers have to open it up and read it. Average open rates for newsletters can be as low as 25%.

Content

Blogs: Blogs have a tendency to be conversational in nature. Ideally blog posts reveal your personality, but stay on topic for business. The idea is to liberally give away information that helps readers, shows your expertise and credibility, and connects with people so they come to know, like and trust you.

Ezines: Ezines have an extensive variety of styles and formatting. Articles generally offer relevant information that benefits readers, establishes reliability, connects with readers, and keeps them informed about business events, including sales.

There may not be that much difference between an ezine article and a blog post, depending on your business. Blog posts are usually shorter and more conversational. Some blog authors send an emailed summary of blog posts instead of a traditional ezine.

Searchability

Blog: Search engines easily find blogs because they are text based and keyword rich. When you write frequently (2-3 times a week) on a blog, people will find you more easily because your site is indexed more often.

Ezine: Your content must be uploaded and archived to your website if you want your newsletters to be indexed by the search engines.

Manageability

Blog: You have direct access to all your published articles on a blog. A blog automatically creates archives and categorizes previous posts.

Ezine: You have to create an archive on your website for your newsletters to access that content.

Selling

Blog: Your blog is a powerful medium for communicating with readers. The sidebars can showcase your products and services. You can set up links for ads, products, and affiliate programs so you don't have to include them in your content.

Ezine: Most experts say your ezine should be 80% informational content and only 20% promotional. However, many ezine publishers overdo advertisement for their products and sales. This may contribute to low open rates and high unsubscribe rates.

Interaction

Blog: Blogs are interactive. Readers can leave comments to your posts and it's been estimated that readers are three times more likely to buy if they have left comments.

Ezine: A newsletter is a one-way delivery system. Although you can put your contact information in the ezine, readers may not make the effort to contact you.

Having both a blog and an ezine will help attract more visitors who become subscribers and who will eventually become clients.

  

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