Blogging Archives

A couple of months ago I went to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch.

I showed up at 11:30 but the door was locked, even though they open at 11:00.

I saw workers inside so I knocked. I waited a couple of minutes and almost left.

Finally someone opened the door. She noticed the time and said, “Yikes, I wonder how much business we lost by accidentally keeping the door locked?!”

That’s an excellent question and one you should ask yourself regularly, even if yours is an online business.

Today I want to address two specific areas where I see a lot of marketers keeping the door locked:

Sending out teaser emails that link to a blog post instead of including the entire content in the email.

And:

Not including the entire blog post in the RSS feed. So only a snippet appears in people’s Google Reader inbox.

To me this is the equivalent of a locked door.

When I’m looking at my email inbox I’m almost always in a hurry and focused on which emails I need to reply to. I’m not usually in the mood to click on a link.

I’m also seeing which emails I can quickly delete. If there’s an email from a marketer with the complete blog post in the email there’s at least a chance I will read it right away or save it for later.

If there is only a teaser, the email gets deleted. I usually subscribe to their RSS feed instead so I can see their blog posts that way and avoid the teaser email.

But sometimes those same marketers don’t let their entire post appear in Google Reader either. Argh!

That’s too bad because when I’m in Google Reader I’m actually in the frame of mind to read more leisurely, unlike when I’m looking at my email inbox.

Google Reader doesn’t have the urgency and pressure that an email inbox has, so don’t irritate your readers there by making them have to click to read the post.

Please don’t overlook the importance of Google Reader in your email marketing. If you send out blog posts as emails (as you should, as I’ve written about before) then please check the reading setting of your blog and make sure “full text” is checked instead of “summary” in the feed section.

I know there are those that will say they get higher conversion rates by only sending teasers. That’s cool.

My recommendations are based on what I’ve seen my clients do and all the high profile bloggers I read who let their complete posts appear in Reader. In my opinion, I think this is one door you won’t want to keep locked.

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Tip for broadcast emails

Just read a Twitter post from Michel Fortin in which he says: “After an email broadcast of a new blog post, add it to your autoresponder cycle so that future subscribers will eventually see it too.”

This is great way to get extra mileage from an email that you only write once. I’ve noticed Michel doesn’t have dates on his blog posts so this probably works best if you switch off the dates for the links to your blog posts.

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Blogging and Email: The Two Should be Inseparable

Do you have an email list? Then you should have a blog too.

If you are a copywriter and a client asks you to write email copy, you should always ask them if they have a blog. If they don’t have a blog then offer to create one for them.

Why? Because you can get more mileage from an email if you turn around and post it on your blog too.

Plus a blog gives your readers another way to interact with you. As a marketer you need to do more than just crank out content; you also have to LISTEN to your market and some people will be more inclined to leave a blog comment than they would to reply to one of your emails. A blog is a great way to tune into the thoughts of your prospects and customers.

Also, search engines love blogs. When you send an email it eventually ends up in the trash or falls to the bottom of the inbox. But a blog post can sit there on the web indefinitely and draw traffic to your website. So your emails can have an extended shelf life if you also turn them into blog posts.

If a client of mine doesn’t have a blog but wants email copy, I tell them that the emails I’m writing for their series give them the beginnings of a blog. If there are seven emails, I offer to create a blog and use those emails as starter posts.

As a copywriter I can provide more value to their business this way and also set up a monthly retainer arrangement that includes both email copy and blog posts.

If you are using email copy in a blog post, it’s best to edit and change it a bit for the blog; don’t just simply copy and paste.

I highly recommend WordPress. Even if you don’t know much HTML it’s easy to install WordPress and set up a basic blog. The plugins and widgets make it easy to customize the blog. If you create a WordPress blog for a client, it won’t be difficult for them to update the blog on their own because WordPress is user-friendly.

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