What’s the Difference Between a Blog and an Email Newsletter?

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Which type of content marketing will work best for your business: email newsletters or blogs?

A blog contains digital articles that are typically located right on your website. An email newsletter is email content that is delivered directly to your email list.

Both email newsletters and blogs are effective ways to communicate with customers and prospects. But which one should you choose?

We’ll break down each marketing platform, along with the similarities and differences between them. Let’s dive into these two content powerhouses.

Blogposts + Emails: The Similarities

Blogging and emailing are arguably two of the most powerful forms of content at your disposal. In an ideal world, you’d even use them together.

Here are 7 ways the two content platforms are the same:

1. CREATE VALUE

Both emails and blogposts are excellent platforms to share valuable, knowledgeable, and expert content with your audience. While, yes, they’re great places to market your product or service, they’re also value-focused first and foremost.

2. BUILD TRUST + CREDIBILITY

By giving away free information and value, you inevitably build trust and credibility with your audience.

For that reason, they’ll be far more likely to buy from you in the future since you’ve done the work to connect, engage, and provide powerful content.

3. OPPORTUNITY TO TELL STORIES

Stories sell, simple as that.

Stories help us connect to other people and the more connected your audience feels, the more likely they’ll build a relationship with you, and ultimately want to work with you.

You can tell interesting stories on both your blog and in your email.

4. ENCOURAGE INTERACTION

Both blogposts and emails also offer readers to engage and interact with the content.

On your blog, you can allow comments for conversation about your posts (warning here: many modern blogs are getting slammed by spam comments, so I’ve been recommending clients turn these off and engage with their audience on social media instead).

In your emails, simply ask your subscribers to write back to your email. Not only will this boost engagement, but responding to emails will actually tell the email provider that your emails should show up in the Primary box, skipping Promotions or Social boxes, where emails often get lost.

5. SHOWCASE YOUR PERSONALITY

Just like we talked about with stories, people like doing business with people they like. Both your blog and your email newsletter are perfect places to show off your unique personality to better connect with your audience.

While, yes, you might lose readers or subscribers by being “too [fill in the blank,” those simply aren’t your people. Also, showcasing your personality ultimately takes someone in your audience from sort-of-engaged to a raving fan!

6. EASY TO UPDATE

Modern blog platforms (like WordPress) and email newsletter platforms (like ConvertKit) make it incredibly easy to update and operate the systems.

They’re easy to use and you don’t need to know code or HTML, nor do you need to be a designer!

7. INEXPENSIVE TO PRODUCE

Both email newsletters and blogs are fairly simple to set up. You can DIY or hire someone, then it simply takes your time to create content (or you can also hire a professional to create content.

While, yes, time is money, making the time to blog or email is well worth it.

What are the Differences with an Email Newsletter?

Now let’s dive into what makes emails different from blogging.

LOCATION

Certainly, the most notable difference between blogging and emailing is that emails go to (you guessed it!) your subscribers’ email!

This is significant because most of your audience has email and many check their email every single day. You then have the ability to show up in a space that your audience is showing up to regularly and engage directly with them.

What’s more is you’ll need to have some sort of email provider set up (never send directly from your own inbox!) to manage subscribers and send emails from.

The great thing about this is modern email newsletter providers — like Constant Contact, MailChimp, ConvertKit, and Flodesk — is that they not only offer emails, but some also have the capability for landing pages, auto (or drip campaign) emails, and even paid subscriptions. They also provide invaluable data around open rates, click through rates, and more.

Need a powerful email provider?

ConvertKit is my go-to for all things landing pages, email marketing, and now…sales! The best part? ConvertKit makes everything easy and user-friendly…no need to know any code!

AUDIENCE IS BASED ON SUBSCRIBERS

Unlike your blog, email subscribers have to actively opt-in. That means that you’ll have to actively work to grow your list in some way.

How can you grow your email subscribers?

There are plenty of ways to grow your email list, but here are some simple and straightforward ways almost anyone can do.

1. Simple Subscribe Box

It may be as simple as including a subscribe box on your website that looks a little something like this:


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The trouble with this strategy is that it doesn’t incentivize the subscriber. There’s no obvious benefit for me to sign up now as opposed to later.

2. Free Download

Take the simple subscribe box up a notch by providing your audience a free valuable resource in exchange for their email.

That way, they get the immediate value (and gratification) and you get a new email subscriber (who you know is perfect for you, thanks to your niche-focused and well placed freebie).

Here’s what that looks like:

Get clear on reaching your target audience online

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For my free downloads, I simply create a PDF in Canva and attach it to a landing page in ConvertKit, which automatically adds the subscribers to my email list in ConvertKit.

You can use this strategy even if you don’t have a website yet, as you can link to your landing page from social media or even your email signature.

3. Free Training or Workshop

A third way to increase your email subscribers is similar to a free download or resource: create a free training or workshop. These can be recorded or live and, similarly, require attendees provide their name and email to watch.

Here’s what that looks like:

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The setup for this strategy is the same as the free download, and you’ll simply need to record the workshop in training in a program like QuickTime or offer a live version on a platform like Zoom.

BIG CONVERSIONS

Another big difference with email? It’s one of the highest converting platforms out there. 😱

According to MailChimp, average email open rates are 21% (but can be even higher — my average open rate is 43%) and converts at 2 – 5% on average (rather than the 1 – 2% average from nearly every other digital marketing platform).

You’re SIX TIMES more likely to get click throughs from email marketing over social media

Campaign Monitor

What are the Differences with a Blog?

Now that you have a better idea of what makes an email newsletter unique, let’s chat about blogs.

LOCATION

Your blog lives online at a web address that you own (make sure you own it and you’re not at a subdomain like nickiong.wordpress.com). It might be coupled with a website or simply be a blog, depending on your needs and goals.

The power in this setup is that, unlike social media, you own the platform and it will only go away if you choose it to.

AUDIENCE IS BASED ON VISITORS

Unlike emails, with your blog, you’re relying on visitors who come from Google and the other search engines, social media, and other platforms.

Additionally, if you’re using email newsletters and blogging in tandem, this is a fantastic opportunity to send email subscribers to your blog. Not only may they not know about your newest post, but creating content on your blog first and then sharing elsewhere is a great way to repurpose content.

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Which do you prefer: a blog or an email newsletter?

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