Blog vs. E-newsletter Content Tips

See list of resources below

By Debbie Weil


Read debbie's blog at www.debbieweil.com


The first thing you should know is that a blog does not have to be "cool." The second thing is that a blog, or Weblog, can be the perfect complement to your e-mail and e-newsletter marketing.

Blog content is often short

Content that works best in a blog is short and links to other resources. In fact, you can use a blog to quickly summarize and point to other articles you find on the Web that are relevant to your audience.

How blog content can work with your e-newsletter

You might also offer a quick synopsis and link to a full-length article in the previous or current issue of your e-newsletter. (This is one way a blog and an e-newsletter can work together.)

Blogging can sidestep "e-newsletter procrastination"

A blog post can be as short as one sentence or as long as several Web pages. But a short paragraph with one or more links works best; it's easier and quicker to write and will help you sidestep the procrastination that often accompanies publishing an e-newsletter. It's also easier to read and digest.

Litmus test for "what to blog"

The litmus test for "what to blog" is that it be useful in some way to your readers. It can be a snippet of news from a trade publication, a link to a blog post on a related topic, a pointer to a free downloadable white paper or a quick observation about an industry trend. You get the idea.

Your blogging "voice" doesn't need to be edgy

As for writing style, your blog doesn't have to be informal or edgy if that doesn't mesh with your company's culture. A business blog doesn't need to be clever. Concentrate instead on being authentic and avoiding corporate-speak. Your voice will develop over time.

In summary, be succinct and follow blog etiquette by always linking to the sources of your information.

Blogs & e-newsletters have overlapping objectives

Remember, the objective of a business blog is similar to that of an e-newsletter: to build credibility and an ongoing relationship with your customers and prospects so that your product or service is top of mind when they're ready to buy. A blog filled with short, useful pointers will do just that.

 

Useful Resources

Good explanations of RSS

Using RSS Feeds to Promote Your Website by Ralph Wilson

Chris Pirillo's RSS 3-Step Quickstart Guide (includes list of RSS newsreaders)

Quick explanation of RSS (from my article "5 key questions about business blogs")

Yahoo explains its RSS feeds

EEVL's RSS Primer (a little techie but very complete)

RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers by Mark Nottingham
Thanks to Mark Brownlow for a pointer to this resource.

Great FAQ on history of blogs by techie author Andreas Ramos



Popular Blogging Tools

Blogger
(free tool; now owned by Google)

Movable Type (software you install; it powers many professional-looking blogs)

TypePad
(hosted version of Movable Type; easier to set up)

LiveJournal

pMachine

WordPress

 

The article above was first published in Crain's BtoB E-mail Marketer Insight


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