Why Blogs Are Beating Out Ezines ... And Matter So Much to Your Platform
By Suzanne Falter-Barns
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I was all set this morning to write about something totally
different in this issue ... but thanks to the power of blogs,
I'm here to deliver a totally different message. Namely the
ascendance of blogs over ezines.
First of all, you may notice that you're not getting a whole lot
of issues of this ezine from me. Why? Because I've come to
understand that blogging is faster. It's more immediate. It's
got a wonderful airstream of energy that follows each post. And
because it's less formal, it's less work -- but still
communicates just as effectively as an ezine ... perhaps even
This point was made wonderfully clear for me just this morning
by Stacy Brice, who runs the noteworthy VA training program,
AssistU. Stacy sent up a very thoughtful comment to my 'Painless
Self Promo' blog, under the header 'The Future of the Ezine'.
Which led to an email, which led to a lengthy phöne call. Stacy
and I had a real heart to heart about this ezine vs. blog thing
... and here's what I've decided is the state of things at the
1. We're in a transitional shift from ezines to blogs. This has
mostly to do with people being reluctant to give up old comfy
ways for a few minutes of learning new technology, downloading
RSS desktop applications, etc.. It was like this just before we
traded in vinyl for CD's, telepathy for cell phones and to-do
lists for Palm Pilots. And some of us have nevër moved forward.
Those of us who did are pretty happy.
2. Blog technology has finally leapt up to the plate. It's
happening; it's here; it's on the cover of Business Week. Blogs
can no longer be dismissed as fringe techie territory. They've
gotten so easy to use, and read, that there is simply no denying
them. Blog creation software du jour is typepad and wordpress.
Typepad blogs exist on their website for a small monthly fee.
Wordpress blogs exist on your own site for frëe. Typepad's more
elegant. Wordpress is more basic and functional. I'm running a
test to see which will eventually work better for me.
3. It's no longer all about the list. I am still an advocate of
ezines, but I believe the list/email connection is rapidly
unraveling. My own lists have declined in size as have those of
every Net marketer I know. Ezines have peaked and crested in
their usefulness and appeal. Meanwhile, blogs are hot. AND you
can capture names on them. (See my blog for details on how to do
4. We're no longer happy with passive activities. Maybe as a
culture we've grown completely sick of sitting around doing
nothing ... all those hours of reality TV? We've nöw begun to
expect to participate in our entertainment, even when it comes
to reading websites. So blogs -- which allow comments from
readers -- are the perfect medium. (This is also why my current
theater project, at serenityhawkfire.com, is an entirely
interactive theater piece.)
5. We've become a less formal culture. These days, our world is
all untucked; clothing is big and slouchy, coffee is slurped in
paper cups on the run. Even TV has let down its defenses,
showing us as we 'really' are. So it makes sense that blogs,
which feature faster, less formal entries more in the style of a
diary, are becoming bigger than ezines. Blogs are casual. Ezines
take planning, layout, require regular entries and take a lot
6. Blogging is faster. How long does it take to make an entry?
Five to ten minutes, I'd say. My ezine, meanwhile, takes 1-2
hours. Yes, you need to do more blog entries, but they're hardly
brain surgery. Instead, they are quick insights you offer up
from your life on the go. And so they are read in the same
7. Blogs are beloved by the media. This is where a majority of
all media research on who's who and what they're up to is nöw
done. It used to be that your credibility as a media subject was
evaluated strictly by your site; that's where the media looked
first to get a beat on you. Know they want to know what you're
posting on your blog -- even if it doesn't have a 'media room'
like your site (hopefully you'd have that linked somehow in your
margins.) And they want to know what kinds of posts and comments
If you're still working on building up your ezine list, I
recommend you beef it up by including a blog in your offerings.
It will energize your website, attract Google and Yahoo ranking
and generally create more buzz.
If you have a blog but have not maximized it by setting up a
name capture tool, or do not post frequently, give that a whirl,
too. You'll be amäzed at who stops by!
And if you have thoughts on the tender blog-ezine dynamic, email
them to me -- or even better, drop by my blog and post them on
the most recent comment. Then we'll all be able to see them and
add comments of our own.
Here's to the continuing discussion. May your blog bring your
platform, and set people talking!
Suzanne Falter-Barns' website at http://www.getknownnow.com/ offers tips and tools that help you build your platform and get known as an
expert in your field. Sign up for her fr.ee ezine, Expert
Status, and receive her frëe report, "25 Top Self Help Literary
©2005 Suzanne Falter-Barns LLC.
Ezine-Tips for June 06, 2005
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