Starting a blog can sometimes feel like you’re in an obstacle race where the sizes of the hurdles keep changing. You’ve set up your website; your images are looking sharp, you’ve even found a great rhythm for editing your content. You are finally feeling confident with blogging, and it seems everyone around you is talking about increasing their email lists.
If the thought of sending emails in addition to blog posts makes you want to scream know that you aren’t alone. But just because it seems overwhelming doesn’t mean bloggers shouldn’t develop and send emails. Before you make a final decision take some time to consider your audience. Would your readers prefer to receive your content in their inboxes? Today we will explore the question “Should Bloggers Send Email Too?”
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Consider Your Audience
As a blogger, you likely have a particular type of reader. The majority of your content resonates with stay-at-home moms or single millennials working their way up the corporate ladder, but not both. There is always the outlier post that connects with to a broader audience, but they are not likely to be the group who will sign up for your email list, so for this process, don’t include them.
Focusing on your consistent audience, ask yourself:
- Is your blog content convenient to read?
- Is your blog read on the train commute to work?
- Is it read in the school pickup line?
Maybe your blog provides technical content that is appropriate to read at work and is saved to review from an office computer. In two of these cases, if you answered yes to the questions above, it’s likely your post is read from a smartphone.
Next, consider how busy your reader is. Would they benefit from an email reminding them you have a new blog post up? Consider how your audience reads blog content similar to yours. As you continue to answer questions, a reader persona is developing.
The better you know your reader, the easier it will be to respond to questions about whether it’s time for you to consider developing an email list. My guess is you will discover the same thing that thousands of other bloggers have learned. Your audience is reading your blog because they feel they have a connection with you. Whether personal or professional, your blog is one that inspires, encourages, or teaches people in a particular niche. Email is a continuation of the conversation that you are already having, but this change in the platform can also increase the personal connection you have with your reader.
Why Emails Work
Even your most loyal reader is going to forget about your blog. This isn’t a personal slight; it’s just the reality of how busy society is these days. Social media algorithms are a bit of a mystery and seem to change frequently enough that it can be easy to miss seeing a post even when shared on multiple social channels. When you send an email, you are adding a layer of communication to help your audience find you in the ever-increasing noise of the web.
When you create a space for someone to sign-up to receive emails from you, you create an opportunity. When you send an email to that list keep in mind that previously you were granted permission to do so. Your audience requested to hear from you. Still, when sending emails, it’s essential they add to the conversation and aren’t perceived as noise so to speak.
What Should My Email Say?
The variety of options in emails to send seems endless, but this is another benefit of having a fully developed reader persona.
Here are a few ideas for emails:
- Send a monthly or weekly recap of what has been going on within your blog and social media niche
- Send an email each time you post an article to your website with either the whole post’s content or some of the material with a hyperlink to the specific post you are featuring.
- Send exclusive content that isn’t read any other place.
Regardless of what types of emails you send, keep these details in mind:
Mobile Optimization is Necessary
Choose an email platform that optimizes for mobile. Hubspot surveys (source) report that of emails sent, 54% are read on mobile devices and that 81% of smartphone owners state that the number one thing they use their devices for is to read email.
With stats like this, it seems like an obvious thing to optimize content, but not all automation programs standardize optimization. Check out a few automation software comparisons here. Is automation software necessary? That depends on how often you are going to be sending emails. If you send one every time you write a post, you are doubling your work if you don’t automate. Also, this software will act as your database hub, so you always send emails to the most up to date group.
You may not feel that email is a necessary tool for you to utilize right now, but what about down the road? Do you think you might create an e-book or publish a book at some point? Do you have a goal to develop a webinar or an online class? Your email database can be a tremendous asset for future income ideas.
Email readers will appreciate receiving exclusive information and perhaps a discount code to purchase your book or course. This list can become a built-in group of promoters for you. Best of all, they can direct your choices. Send a survey out to gauge interest before you dedicate hours to a project. Let your readers decide the next level of communication to engage with, and you will likely see that product be a successful endeavor.
Regardless of the type of emails you decide to send, don’t stress about things. Remember, this is an additional layer of communication with your blog readers, so they have already decided they like hearing from you! Send emails that invite your readers to engage with you, and respond when they do.
Still have questions about sending emails? Send us a note; we’d love to help get you on the right track.