Adding a Newsletter to Your Blog

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Image by SC Flasco

“I don't want to put more junk in other people's mail boxes.”

I don't want to bother people. My blog isn't big enough. I don't have enough time… I hate half the newsletters I get in my box.

These are all the things I keep telling myself about newsletters. But then there are newsletters I get that are really helpful, I enjoy getting them, gosh, sometimes I wish all my content just magically appeared in my mailbox. Newsletters are a useful tool too keep in touch with your readers, to keep them updated with your content, and it also reminds them to visit your site, increasing your traffic.

There are loads of benefits to starting a newsletter for your blog, traffic building, monetization, building a report with your readers, and it's never too early to star

Trust me, it's never too early… some bloggers start from the very beginning, and they've built up excellent blogs. I'm guessing it can't hurt… it reminds your subscribers to come back, and in the early days of a blog, every little bit counts. When your blog becomes more established, well, every little bit still counts.

While I'm still working on my newsletter, I have been thinking a lot about what makes a good newsletter and what makes me mark the sender as spam and never want to see them again.

Keep It Real

Sending newsletters that look like spam and sound like spam will be marked as spam. People love blogs because they have a personal twist, because they are made by humans. If you've ever heard that small is the new big, you'll know that it doesn't matter if your blog is ‘too small' it's the personal touch that makes you stand out.

Keep it Simple

Some of the best newsletters I get are so simple, they have one or two useful points, a self-hosted nice image that links to the site (handy for fashion). I've gotten newsletters are extraordinarily text heavy. While I may have a shorter attention span than an ADHD kindergarten drop out, a long text-heavy newsletter is so tedious I'd be sure to avoid their website, if I had any long term memory.

Be Useful

Nan Kempner once said ‘You can never be too rich, too thin or too useful.' We're going to stick with the too useful bit here. Newsletters aren't merely blog updates, they can offer additional things, like sale alerts, great finds, all the little tidbits that may not work on the blog, but better in a more personal interaction.

I love you, now go away…

There are some schools of thought on how often to send a newsletter. Some do every day, I may hate them, but I can tell you Victoria's Secret is having their last days of summer sale thru Monday. I don't know how frequently The Cool Hunter sends his newsletters, but I read them every single time. Mostly because it's useful. But once or twice a month is generally a nice way to keep in touch. Unless you're Daily Candy, or WhoWhatWearDaily but again, useful.

Where do I begin?

Many sites offer free email newsletter services, Shop Diary recommended Zookoda, and I've heard about FeedBlitz. Feedburner does a great RSS newsletter that offers to email posts directly to subscribers (who sign up).

What are your experiences with newsletters? What do you think makes a good one or a bad one?

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12 Responses

  1. gilda

    i’m in the process of adding a newsletter to my blog too. i tried zookoda before, but i guess it wasn’t right for me. i want to use aweber but $20 a month is too much for a small blog like me. so i’m still trying to look for something that is affordable, and still with some of the html features that i want!

    i hate wordy newsletters too. i already sign up for a lot of rss stuff and get blog posts in my reader or through email, so i really don’t want anything too wordy in newsletters. i usually end up looking and reading those that have a lot of pictures, because i too have ADD. 😉 i like newsletters that give more of an insight into a blogger’s life, something more personal. because the thing i love best about blogging is getting to know all these amazing people!

    Reply
  2. roberto

    i think i really like newsletters/rss.
    i mean – i have to choose them from my own. i’m very lucky, because i’m getting no spam (don’t know why – maybe now, if somebody reads that ;)) and i’m trying to search for the best newsletters that are useful for me. i have a lot of subscriptions to stay in touch with all the information i want to get from the designers, the models, the whole industry in fact.

    i really need pictures. newsletters full of text messages, without any kind of picture are not what i’m looking for, because i need a visual inspiration as well. i know that i’m overloaded with about 50 newsletters which i’m reading every day (also yours!), but it’s a part of my life and i like the fact, that i’m informed of what i like and it’s only me who decides to continue reading the newsletters or not.

    ok, that’s it for the first time – i have nothing to tell anymore. 😉

    Reply
  3. Laverne

    Good entry, I have just been researching a way to create a better looking newsletter as I have signed up for a Feedburner one which is wayyyy too spam looking for a design blog.

    If anyone has found a better one, do give a gal a shout.

    Mzansi Madame

    Reply
  4. Sharon

    Thank you so much for recommending Zookoda! I have been searching all over the place for something like this. I love that it helps you create forms and most of all, it’s free! I feel very comfortable knowing that I can use it to help me manage future mailing lists! Thanks again!!!

    Reply
  5. tom

    great post thank you – just trying to add a newsletter so i can send out some recipes each month.

    will give Zookoda a run for its money – hang on its free?

    tom x

    Reply
  6. Thomas Williams

    it is really hard to build massive traffic on a website. you need to promote your website by blog commenting or PPC advertising:`,

    Reply
  7. Mandi Brighton

    I’m about to get my own blog up and running soon, and this is great advice for someone like me! A newsletter is a very good idea that I will most definitely be trying out! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  8. Ahsan

    i dont understand what to do can you tell me about its easy way to build a newsletter on my blog????????????:(

    Reply
  9. Jordan

    I think creating newsletters are a great idea. I was trying to do o e though mailchamp but it was sk bloody confusing so now I will try ZooKoda thanks.

    Reply