Is Email the New Blogging?

Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

The meme these days seems to be that e-mail newsletters (or content marketing through e-mail) is the new blogging.

Actually, I lie.

It's a fairly old meme—I can at least trace it back to this blog post by Jason Calacanis, a longtime respected blogger, who decided to start a paid e-mail newsletter instead of continuing to blog for free. (However, he's back to blogging now.)

What is content marketing? Here's the broad definition according to Wikipedia:

An umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases.
Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality,
relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives
profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of
retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.

Or, to use an analogy that I'm stealing from Kevin Smokler: content marketing is like giving out cheese cubes in the grocery.

Content marketing is a big deal for nonfiction authors, but can be a tougher thing to wrap your head around if you write fiction. (More on that later.)

So what does content marketing have to do with e-mail?

E-mail is a great medium for content, and helps you directly reach the people who most care about your content (or personality or brand). For anyone with an active newsletter list, I'm willing to bet that's where you get the most return on your effort when promoting something specific (as opposed to, say, Twitter or Facebook).

People who subscribe to your e-mail newsletter are the ones who want to know when you have something new to offer. For example, out of the dozens of links I included in my last newsletter—mostly to resources completely unrelated to me—the top 3 click-thrus were on the following links:

And, within the top 10 clicks: a link to my class on e-mail newsletters.

So, this makes a ton of sense when you have information and advice to share, but how about novelists or memoirists? Here are a few ideas, but this is only limited by your imagination. The only rule is to do something you care about, and that complements your strengths.

  • Extras. You know how DVDs do it. You might not buy the DVD for the extras, but they're fun. Offer some added insight that fans are looking for.
  • Curate / Help Discoveries Happen. Maybe there's a topic you know more about than anyone; hopefully it ties into your work, but it doesn't have to. Curate resources, links, news, etc. related to this topic to introduce people to helpful or inspirational stuff. (Maybe one day I'll do a bourbon newsletter. It would probably get more subscribers than the writing one.)

If you're unconvinced by the power of e-mail, I highly recommend this blog post: How to Build a Six-Figure Blog Without Anyone Knowing. While it's advanced & sophisticated advice, it shows you what's possible.

Want more in-depth instruction on using e-mail as part of your career? Sign up for my online class on Thursday.

P.S. This blog post is a form of content marketing for my online class.

Batra&DeCandido_1:18

Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.

incite_vs_insight_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Incite vs. Insight (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use incite vs. insight with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Cleland_1:17

Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

Award-winning mystery author Jane K. Cleland describes what it's like to write a long-running book series and offers expert advice for the genre writer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: #StartWrite, Virtual Conference, and New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce free resources to start your writing year off well, our Novel Writing Virtual Conference, and more!

20_most_popular_writing_posts_of_2020_robert_lee_brewer

20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.

Malden_1:16

Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.

writing_mistakes_writers_make_talking_about_the_work_in_progress_robert_lee_brewer

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.

Kelly_1:15

Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.