My ever-so-brilliant BFF wrote an interesting piece about whether blogs should be a primary marketing initiative or if email newsletters should still be in play. Lisa’s question was prompted by a blog post by Dawud Miracle which poses the same question. And Yaro Starak believes he has the answer: no.
I’m with ya, pal. Lisa writes about how Bruce Clay has both a blog and a newsletter. She says that the newsletter (surprisingly!) has more readers than her oh-so-personable blog. Surely, you’d think more people want to read Lisa’s humor and wit. I sure do.
But Lisa has a point. And yesterday I had a phone conversation with Gary Price about how podcasters are so immersed in their shows that they lose sight that the average person is not familiar at all with podcasting technology. To be completely frank, I still have doubts about the lifespan of podcasts and think that the multimedia overload is still too much to handle. (That doesn’t stop me from making occasional guest appearances on one social media podcast, though.)
This analogy relates to blogging because we bloggers are in a similar boat. If we’re trying to target a more technologically savvy audience, we’d hit the blogs. But the average computer user does not check a blog on a regular basis and does not understand how (or want) to use an RSS reader. These aren’t stupid computer users; the technology simply isn’t as mainstream as we think it is. Many people are still afraid to experiment with the newer RSS technology, despite their incredible reach of power and ease of access. Therefore, having a blog and focusing on email may be just the right recipe to attract your audience. It depends on what they want, and some people’s desires are different than your own.
Lisa summarizes it rather nicely when she says the following:
I think that when used in tandem, blogs and newsletters are actually really great complements to one another. Why weaken your Internet marketing message by using only one?
I’m with ya too, BFF. If your message is being well received by a good number of individuals who are not visiting your blog, you should continue to accommodate them. If you’d survey your blog readership versus your email readership, chances are you’ll see big differences in the types of readers who opt in for traditional email marketing versus those using RSS readers. And chances are, my assessment that RSS readers are not as technologically savvy is not incredibly far off.
I don’t maintain an email list nor do I intend to start one. But for those who have been considering choosing one over the other, I urge you to reconsider and remember that your users come in many different shapes and sizes, and they should always come first.