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Christopher Knight

Why Ezines Still Beat Blogs
By Christopher Knight

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Ever since chicken little said the sky is falling and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) would replace Email, there have been a very vocal group of bloggers (term given to people who write or maintain a blog) that think blogging will replace or exceed ezines in value. They are wrong and I'll tell you why. 1) Blogs are not a replacement for the ezine. RSS is not a replacement for email. If youíre not blogging yet, Iíd highly recommend it, but donít stop publishing your ezine. If anything, begin offering an additional email newsletter for new blog posts or weave your blog posts into your ezine. If you have a small email list, you might think that a blog is a replacement for the ezine but make no mistake about it: Itís not a question about one or the other, but BOTH should be used. 2) Producing an ezine is getting easier by the day. While itís true that producing a blog once it is setup is easier for some than producing an ezine, once you have your ezine templates setup Ė producing new issues is as simple as cut and paste. You can also automate the assembly of your ezine with simple PHP scripts if you do a lot of copying and pasting when creating your newsletter. 3) Ezines are the lowest common denominator to reach the majority of potential audience members. Early adopters and the early majority are the only folks using RSS today to read your blog and the rest are only surfing your blog website. Itíll be years before the greater majority of people will figure out how to configure an RSS reader to subscribe to your blog, whereas the majority of everyone online knows how to subscribe to an email newsletter today. 4) When you publish a new blog post, you post it and wait for your audience to launch their RSS reader to view it. With an ezine, you can create a larger and more immediate impact with your message. Example: Today, this article is going out to 12,000 list members in about an hour. 2500 of them will open it within 36 hours and 250 will visit the site to view the full article. It would take me a solid year to generate that level of RSS subscribers (ohh wait, I already did that a year ago ;-). My point: Your ezine can create just as powerful, if not a faster impact than a plain old blog post that waits to be read. Ezines Are Better Than Blogs Summary: Just like RSS is not a replacement for email, blogs are not a replacement for ezines Ė but rather, they are both a technology you use IN ADDITION to your ezine. Your RSS/BLOG To-Do List: If your ezine does not go out via RSS, this is your first step. Get your tech folks to help you figure out how to publish your ezine via RSS. Once done, then I recommend that you add a blog to your business this year. After your blog is added, then add an email announcement list for new blog entries so that your blog readers can enjoy your posts via email as well as via RSS. Lastly, let your ezine know about your best new blog posts with each issue (cross promoting). Long live the Ezine. Donít give up hope and keep building your email newsletter list!

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for June 06, 2005

Ezine-Tips Reader Comments:

Hi Chris and Suzanne, I was very interested in both your comments about blogs vs. newsletters. I read Chrisís comments in his newsletter and Suzanneís on her blog (I guess thatís unsurprising). I have both a newsletter (two, in fact) and a blog. Currently, Iím leaning more heavily on my newsletter although given both your comments Iím about to rededicate myself to blogging.

There are two reasons that I use both a blog and a newsletter. They do different things for me: a blog gives me a way to

*get more content out there at lower effort on my part

*attach something to my website to increase my link popularity my newsletters let me

* provide programmed content on an editorial calendar

* collect a list of people that I can do direct marketing to (although

I understand from Suzanne that blogs may do this soon)

The strongest argument for a newsletter for me is that I can create an editorial calendar of programmed content. I do two things with my newsletters. First, I offer an electronic support curriculum≠Mastering Empathy≠ for folks whoíve gone through my training. I can create it once, and send it many times at different times for anyone who goes through my training. So that becomes very efficient for me. Second, I send a monthly marketing newsletter, visibly better care, that gives an argument that empathy skills are highly leveraged and can create a significant payback for CXOs in healthcare. I write two articles each month. The first gives the boardroom argument for how empathy skills help health care organizations meet some strategic goal (increase revenue, decrease liability, provide better care). The second gives an example of how empathy can be implemented in concrete ways on the medical floor to help reach that goal. I donít trust my blog (my comments on current events) to do that effectively. I think thereís a huge obstacle that most CXOs believe communications skills are ďnice to havesĒ and not strategic. So my newsletter attacks that belief in a way that I donít think regular opinions could. Though, Iíd be very interested in an argument that Iím wrong.

Thanks for your thoughtful articles.

Tim Dawes, President, Interplay, Inc. Empathy skills for healers, 877-845-2608 Sign up for our free newsletter: insights for providing visibly better care for patients.

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