Day #19: Creating a Weekly Newsletter to Drive Traffic to Your Posts
Nothing makes a blog catch on more quickly than teaming it with a strong email list. You can use your blog to build your list—and use your list to build your blog. They go hand in hand, like the proverbial horse-and-carriage.
A successful newsletter is just the same as a successful blog. It focuses on a single, clear goal—getting people to go to your blog and read more.
So when you create your newsletter, each edition of your newsletter should focus on a single theme or topic. For example, say your specialty is financial coaching—just before tax time, you might release a newsletter containing:
- The latest tax change that will affect your subscribers
- A big tip that will help them with a tax-related issue (e.g. an exemption they may not have heard about)
- The headline and summary of your latest two blog posts—on tax time
- A link to an infographic on “Ten Tax Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague”
Would these be of interest to your readers who are just preparing to do their taxes? You betcha!
And if this would all be small potatoes to your type of client, then adjust your newsletter’s focus and release your special tax issue on “What Your Accountant Didn’t Tell You”. Focus that issue on topics revolving around dealing with accountants.
Just make sure that your newsletters invite your subscribers to find out more through hyperlinks to your latest blog posts on at least two of the topics you’re including in your email newsletter.
Let’s take a look at how Tawra Kellam of Living on a Dime does it.
- She starts out with a quick, cheery personal paragraph, as if she is talking to a friend (you, her subscriber)—enhanced by a couple of photos.
- She continues with a link to a recipe on her blog.
- She drives traffic further to her YouTube videos, since the latter is another way she likes to share her message.
- She finishes with a call to action, to check out her Living on a Dime YouTube channel.
The perfect newsletter should not only have a theme unique to that edition, it should include enough personality to stand out from all the other similar newsletters that are going to be out there. It should contain a balance between helpful, relevant content, promotion and entertainment. You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, most likely: Well, apply it to your newsletters too—80% helpful content; no more than 20% promotional content sending people to offers or asking them to undertake an activity that benefits you as well as them.
So sending out a regular newsletter is an effective strategy, but to make it even more effective, make sure you lay out clearly:
- What to expect from your newsletter
- How often to expect it
- What the big benefit of signing up for it will be
- Why it will help them
Then stick to the schedule you’ve created. Plan your topics/themes for each edition well in advance—that way, you won’t be scrambling after the fact for material to fill your newsletter: You’ll be able to recognize an event, a piece of relevant information, a tip, etc. the moment you come across it—in advance. Doing it this way makes creating a regular newsletter much easier—and far more enjoyable (especially when you see real results).
Newsletter sign up strategies:
Invite people to subscribe to your newsletter in more than just a website contact form. Use a popup. Invite them via email or in your YouTube videos or Podcast show notes. And make sure your message really shows the benefit.
This example shows a nice-looking popup with a colorful, eye-catching button—but there’s not a really strong incentive to subscribe. Any publication will email you about their “best” stories or “top” stories—but your sign up form or popup should answer the subscriber questions: “Why would I want to read them?” And it should be one single, really powerful reason. A free checklist, e-book, or course would be a great incentive to encourage people to sign up to your list.
This popup also makes the worst mistake it could make: It doesn’t make the most of the powerful real estate in that coral-colored button. It merely tells you to “Subscribe”—and the command “subscribe” has long been proven to be an off-putting message that actually lowers sign up rates. Something like “Yes, I’m in!” or “Click Here!” would be better options.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what type of newsletter to create, start by writing a one-sentence summary—almost a mission statement for your newsletter. Focus on:
- What it is
- Who it’s for
- It’s big benefit
Make a plan to send out a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletter to your email list, depending on your schedule. Try to plan how often you send your newsletter based on how often you add a new post to your blog. If you post weekly, a weekly newsletter would be best to highlight that week’s post – if you only post monthly, then a monthly newsletter would work well.
I have found that, as my email list has grown, it has become one of my biggest sources of traffic to my blog.
Does writing an email newsletter sound like one more overwhelming task? It doesn’t have to be! Even if you just sent an email with a cheery greeting to your list and an intro to your latest post with a link to click to read it, that will drive traffic to your blog.
Need more inspiration for your newsletter?