What’s the point in having a blog?
This is a question that I am frequently asked. Many people do not see how a blog creates business. These people are absolutely right to have these doubts.
Sometimes good blogs are simply ignored. As we saw in my last article, there is not a lot of point in having a blog without readers. We looked at three ways in which you can promote your blog more effectively.
But even if you create a popular blog, you still face a problem.
How do you keep people reading your blog?
Most people will find your blog on social media. But it’s one thing to momentarily pause on a blog to read an interesting piece, and something completely different to remember to keep coming back and visiting it.
If you want to create customers from your blog, it’s important to have regular readers who value your content.
That’s why you need to create a newsletter
So what’s the difference between a newsletter and a blog? The good news is that they both can use the same content. However, they are sent out in very different ways.
The blog is published. You put it on your website and anyone can come and read it. The newsletter is sent out, typically as an e-mail, to people who have specifically requested to receive it.
Blog readers and newsletter readers are typically at very different points on the buyer journey. The blog reader is someone who may never have heard of your company before. Or they may have a passing interest. The newsletter reader is aware of your company and blog. They are sufficiently interested to have committed to receiving information from you regularly. They are potential customers. That means that you should encourage readers of blogs and newsletters to take action in different ways, as you will see.
Finally, as it’s sent out to specific readers, the success of a newsletter is much more measurable. So there are many reasons why having people subscribe to your newsletter is much more desirable than having them as casual readers of your blog.
How do you encourage people to sign up to your newsletter?
The most important thing is to give people a reason to sign up for your information.
Promising people “regular news from our company” is not enough in today’s era of information overload. Instead, you should give people a useful resource in return for signing up. For instance, if you sign up to my newsletter, you will receive an e-book about how to use social media to sell print (you can find out more and click through at the bottom of this article).
There are four ways to promote the newsletter and your sign-up incentive:
1.) Tell current customers
Your current customers will often be happy to become regular readers. It’s also a great way for you to stay front of mind for these clients, as well as building extra engagement. Make sure that every time you talk to your customers who have not signed up that you remind them about the list. Tell them about the incentive and why your information should be of interest to them. Ask if you can sign them up.
2.) Use your blog to promote your newsletter
The end of every blog article should have a call to action. Encourage people to sign up to your newsletter list. You can even embed a sign-up form at the bottom of the article so they don’t have to search for it. Make it as easy for them as possible.
3.) Use your website to promote your newsletter
Make sure you promote your newsletter on your website. Most pages should have a click-through to a sign-up form. You can also look into widget plug-ins, such as having a mini-sign-up form in the side bar or at the bottom of key pages.
4.) Use e-mail
Make sure you do not send out lots of unsolicited promotional e-mails about your newsletter. This is regarded as spam. You can expect severe consequences if you send out spam e-mail. However, do think about mentioning your newsletter as part of your regular e-mail signature.
Remember to comply with all e-mail legislation
It is vital that you comply with legislation regarding list mailing. Here is a useful guide to where you can find out more for your country.
There’s one other question to cover when it comes to running a successful newsletter.
How do you turn your newsletter readers into profitable customers?
That’s what we’ll look at in my next article.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on how to effectively leverage digital media channels to drive sales:
- I Have a Small Social Media Audience: How Can I Drive Sales?
- Tips for Attracting Readers to your Blog
- 4 Ways to Drive More Readers to your Newsletter
- Driving Sales with your e-Newsletter
PS If you’d like more information on how to use social media effectively to drive readers to your newsletter and to sell printing services, download my free e-guide “Ten Social Media Rules For Print Sales People”. You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to use social media and sell print effectively.