Everyone from food bloggers to business bloggers to design bloggers is running a newsletter these days. Have you thought about joining them? Do you think a newsletter could build your community, or would it only add to your list of things to do? How do you know if you should start one?
To help answer those questions, let’s take a look at the pros and cons!
Benefits of Starting an Email Newsletter
For bloggers who decide to run an email newsletter, there are several clear benefits. Consider some of these powerful advantages!
- Engagement: Newsletters give you an opportunity to reach out to your audience beyond typical blog posts—via opt-in emails that provide new or different information. This means not only new ways to target readers but also prime opportunities to build engagement.
- Value: Bonus content does more than build engagement; it creates real value for your brand. Whether you use the newsletter to share resources, videos, tutorials, or photographs, when you make the content relevant and useful, your credibility and reputation flourish.
- Authority: The more that readers see you as knowledgeable, the stronger your authority becomes. Through email newsletters, you take one more opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.
- Traffic: If you link within your email newsletter to content on your website, your newsletter becomes a great traffic referral source. Link to relevant posts within the body of text, include a list of “recent articles” at the bottom of the email, or regularly highlight archived content somewhere on the side.
- Metrics: When you send out your email newsletter, you’re not just publishing into the great unknown. The built-in email marketing tools included with most newsletter services will not only track your subscribers but also give you stats on how they’re responding to your email—What percentage open it? What do they click on? This intel helps you learn more about your audience and gives you wisdom on how to reach them best.
The Downside of Starting an Email Newsletter
Still, though, even looking at all the benefits of an email newsletter, how can you know if it is right for you? Are there disadvantages, and, if so, what are they? Consider the following:
- Time to Build Audience: Just as it takes time to build a blog audience, it takes time to get newsletter subscribers. You may be publishing to a small, select group of readers for a while in the beginning—is it still worth it to you?
- Time to Create Content: Even beyond the time it takes to build an audience is the time it takes to create content. Think of the effort you put into your blog posts each week. Do you want to add additional responsibilities to that schedule? Coming up with fresh newsletter content means spending creative energies on something besides just your site.
- Financial Costs: There are many ways to create and distribute a newsletter, but few are always free. You can start out with a free option like MailChimp’s, which allows you to send 12,000 emails a month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers, but once your audience grows larger, you’ll have to upgrade for a price.
Helpful Resources for Building a Newsletter
If you decide to start a newsletter after considering the pros and cons, here are some resources to make the process easier, along with their starting rates:
- MailChimp (Free monthly for 12,000 emails sent to up to 2,000 subscribers)
- Emma ($30 monthly for unlimited emails sent to up to 1,000 subscribers)
- AWeber ($19 monthly for unlimited emails sent to up to 500 subscribers)