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A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with an accessories designer who asked me, “What’s the difference between a newsletter and a blog? And do I need both?” I’ve heard this question many times – and I understand it can be confusing – but I was surprised she asked it because she’s a well-established fashion designer, not a newbie. So let me explain…

What is a Blog?

A business blog is an ongoing series of (usually) short articles (pictures, video, graphics) that you publish online. The word blog comes from web-blog. Blog posts are generally displayed in reverse-chronological order.  Your blog is where you share value-added information and you can indirectly market your product. It’s not the place where you make a direct sales pitch, it’s more about giving information that will help your target customer, sharing behind-the-scene details and tips to help your readers’ lives. (Not sure what to write about? Here’s a post to help).

A blog is an informal mode of communication and you can add your personality to what you write. This casual interaction can help you build relationships with your readers so they know you’re out there and keep you top-of-mind when they’re ready to buy.

Business blogs are usually hosted on your business website. Sometimes they are the website (like mine). It’s worth mentioning that you do not have to write every article on the blog yourself – you can have guest bloggers and other people in your company write posts too.

What is a Newsletter?

Most of us understand the old-fashioned newsletter, which was (and sometimes still is) mailed out every month to customers and prospects. I still get one from my financial planner and it’s pretty clear they use a newsletter service with canned articles – the cure for insomnia, if you ask me. 

old-school Newsletters are pretty dull

Today’s newsletter is usually sent through email (also called an e-zine) which reduces costs, is faster to produce, and can reach more people more effectively.

Your newsletter is a direct marketing tool. It gives your customers some educational information, but it also tells them what’s happening with your business and what you’re up to.  A newsletter shares upcoming events you’ll be participating in, news and big happenings in your business, tips and value-based info relevant to your target customer, new products, any specials you’re offering, and a link back to your website. 

Your Blog vs. Your Newsletter

Here are some simple guidelines on the differences between blogs and newsletters (e-zines). And remember, you can use the same articles that you post to your blog in your e-zine.

Your Blog:

  • shares useful information from you and other sources about topics related to your customer and your business
  • allows you to have an ongoing informal conversation with your readers
  • explains a subject – perhaps something your customers are always inquiring about
  • lets you communicate as often as you want – some blogs post every day. You definitely do NOT need to do that! I recommend shooting for once a week or even every other week to start

Your Newsletter:

  • provides value-added information and tips
  • shares information that’s timely for the reader
  • offers special discount or sales coupons
  • provides value-added information and tips
  • is only sent to those people who have specifically requested information from your business
  • is sent out regularly – I recommend you start with once a month and you can send it once a week if you like.

The Wrap Up

You want a blog because they are extremely attractive to search engines like Google. The goal of your blog is to attract your target customers to your business via keywords in the blog content.

But then you want to get these readers on your e-zine (newsletter) list so that you can keep in touch with them, build a relationship, make offers to them sell more of your product. And please know this… it’s OK to re-purpose the content on your blog in your e-zine. Using the same article on both platforms is OK.

Now it’s YOUR turn. Are you using your blog or newsletter in a creative way to help find and keep customers? Do you have a question for me? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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2 Responses

  1. Very concise and helpful! I am teaching a course for folks who are starting their own water marbling art-based business. I will share this article with them (via email, so they can take access your other offerings if they wish.

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