Do You Need A Newsletter Or Blog?
We all hear about the importance of using a blog or newsletter to grow your business, but WHY does it help and HOW can you easily implement one of these options?
We all have limited time, so it’s always important to be clear on where you should be focusing your energy.
Today I’m going back to basics to discuss the benefits of having a newsletter or blog and how you can incorporate it into your busy schedule.
What’s the difference between a blog and a newsletter?
The first question that often comes up is, what’s the difference between a blog and a newsletter – and which should you use?
There are many different ways to describe what a blog is, but for health and wellness entrepreneurs like you, it’s a component you can add to your website that contains articles and/or recipes that you write and want to share. Each article or recipe is called a blog post.
What you’re looking at right now is my blog. And this article that you’re reading is a blog post.
A newsletter is simply an email you send out with an article and /or recipe. Newsletters can link to a blog post (if you have a blog) or you can simply include the entire article in the email itself.
The benefits of having a blog or newsletter
I’m guessing that one of your goals is to grow your list. So you’re thrilled when you get new people entering their name and email on your website or landing page.
But what happens AFTER they join your list?
You may have a free opt-in gift you send them. You may even have a series of emails they receive that shares more about you and how you can help them.
Some new subscribers will sign up for one of your programs right away, but in most cases it will take time to build a relationship (and trust) with your new subscribers.
That’s why it’s VITAL that you stay in touch after those initial emails – because this is what will help motivate them to buy from you in the future.
The mistake I often see coaches make is that they get new subscribers, they promote a program to them, some of those subscribers may sign up, and then they let their list go “cold.” This means that they don’t continue to email them with free valuable content. Then, several months later, they promote another program… and then they’re disappointed when you no one signs up.
The easy fix is to email your list regularly (2-4 times per month) with a newsletter or a blog post.
When you do this strategically, it can help you get more clients. Yes, it’s true and let me explain why…
Imagine that a prospective client lands on your website. They start browsing around so they can learn more about you. While they’re doing this, what they’re really wondering is…
“Can she help me?”
“Does she seem to know her stuff?”
“Do I like her style and personality?”
If the potential client answers “yes” to these questions, they are VERY likely to get on your list and/or contact you to learn more.
Your blog posts and newsletters can help them answer “yes”, because each of them provides an opportunity for you to share your knowledge, personality, and areas of expertise.
This free content also helps keep your audience engaged with you, which makes them see you as a valuable resource and keeps you “top of mind” when they’re looking for information or support in the areas you specialize in.
How does your newsletter and blog keep your audience engaged?
By writing and sharing new articles/posts, you’re providing them with free valuable content. The better and more relevant your content is, the more engaged they’ll be!
What should you write about in your blog or newsletter
If you’re like me, writing content for your blog or newsletter takes a chunk of time. (I typically spend 3+ hours on each blog post.)
Ideally, you want to post a new blog article once a week. If you are just starting out with blogging and that feels overwhelming, posting once every 2 weeks is a good place to start.
As we’ve discussed, consistently sharing content with your audience will allow you to build trust, credibility, and a relationship with your audience.
One of things you’re probably wondering is “what should I write about?” I know this can feel overwhelming, so I’m going to share the best ways to generate topics that will be of interest to your audience.
#1: Get ideas from your clients
With this approach, I’m not necessarily suggesting you ask your clients for ideas of what to write about.
You can certainly do that, but what I’m suggesting is much easier…
Write about the things that are coming up with clients and program participants.
Imagine that earlier this week a client asked you what they should be eating for breakfast. (You may take for granted that people know what constitutes a healthy breakfast, but the truth is that people are confused.)
This sparked the idea to write an article or blog post entitled “3 Best Foods for Breakfast.”
When you’re writing about a topic you covered with a client, you don’t have to include EVERYTHING you shared with the client. That said, be sure to share valuable information and tips. This is what will keep them coming back for more.
BONUS TIP: Keep a post-it note handy during your client sessions and jot down things you discussed or questions your client asked that would make a good article/post. You can then transfer your ideas to a google doc or Evernote so you have a running list of topics to pull from.
What I love about this approach…
You can feel confident that your topics will be interesting to potential clients. Heck, if one of your clients is asking a question, you know that people similar to them have the same questions.
I find that the hardest part is coming up with a topic. But once I have a topic nailed down, the words start easily flowing.
#2: Draw from your own experience
With the first tip (we just discussed), you’re drawing from the questions and topics that are coming up with clients. With this tip, you’re getting inspiration from what’s going on with YOU.
This could be sharing your new favorite recipe, a time-saving cooking tip, or how you’ve been struggling with low energy and what you did to turn it around.
What I love about this approach…
You’re able to bring your personal experience and your story into your writing.
People love when you share your stuff, because it gives them a chance to be “a fly on the wall” and get a glimpse of your life, how you eat, how you take care of yourself, what you struggle with – and how you overcome your challenges.
All of this strengthens your relationship with your audience – making them much more likely to want to work with you.
How to share your newsletter or blog post
One of the questions I get asked frequently is “how should I send out my newsletter or blog post?” There are 2 great ways to get your content out to your audience.
Email your List
It’s a given that you’re going to send out your newsletter and blog posts to everyone who’s on your list. But you may be wondering if you should have a text only vs. html (with graphics) newsletter. Or whether you should have a short newsletter or a longer one with multiple sections.
I typically recommend one of these options when choosing an email format:
Option #1: Recommended if you don’t yet have a blog
With this first option, you’ll write an article and simple include the entire article in the body of the email. This can be a text-only email, with no graphics.
This option makes it easy for you, and also easy for your audience – because they don’t have to click anywhere in order to read the entire article.
Option #2: Recommended if you have a blog
With this option, you would send a short email with minimal graphics that has a teaser for an article, and then a link to the article on your blog.
What I like about this format is that it is easy to write, it’s easy for your readers to read and digest, and it drives traffic to your website and blog, where people can comment and engage with you.
You’ll also find that once people are on your website, they may click to other pages and may sign-up for a consultation with you or for one of your programs.
Note: You can also use option #1 if you have a blog. In this case, you’d include the entire blog post in the email – which makes it easy for your subscribers to consume the content. AND, you’d post the blog on your website – making the content available for new website visitors to access.
Share on Social Media
In order for blogging to be effective at growing your business, it needs to be seen! If you’re making the time commitment to blog, you want to be sure as many people as possible are seeing your blog posts.
You can do this by sharing your content on every social media channel you’re active on so all of your followers will get the opportunity to view it.
This is a great way to keep your social media audience engaged and set you up to be seen as THE go-to person in your field of expertise.
It’s also a great way to generate conversation. When you post your blog articles, include a question or discussion point to get people talking. This will help build a sense of community with your audience and allow you to interact with them.
BONUS: When people interact with your posts on Facebook (like, share or comment on them), your posts are more likely to show up in your followers’ news feeds. You are also more likely to get NEW followers, as people share your post or tag their friends they think might be interested in your content.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Are you consistently blogging or emailing your list? If so, how do you generate content to share with your audience? If not, what’s holding you back?