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Making the Most from Blogging – RSS Feeds are Not Enough

Usually a feature of blogs and forums, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are a great way to keep your visitors up to date with your news and views, what’s happening on your site and in your online business – but the use of RSS shouldn’t be at the expense of a regular email newsletter.

I’ve noticed increasing numbers of blogs offering RSS feeds only – no email updates. It’s important to offer email newsletter subscriptions to a blog as well, and it will continue to be an important feature well into the future, for the following reasons:

a) There’s still many people who aren’t RSS feed savvy or comfortable with the concept.

b) Even for those who do utilize feeds, life gets in the way and they may not fire up their reader service/software regularly – but you can practically guarantee that email is something that they do check often.

c) Email newsletters/updates offer another opportunity to capture the attention of readers who may have glossed over a post.

d) Email newsletters remind people about your site, even if they don’t open the email.

e) An email is easily forwarded to others – it’s a more ‘viral’ form of promoting your blog to others via your subscribers.

f) An email list can help add value to your blog should decide to sell it in the future

g) Like forums, blogs have many ‘lurkers’ – those who read but don’t participate in commenting. Gathering email addresses can give you a better idea of the types of people who have expressed an interest in your writing, especially when your target is other business owners.

h) Some people actually prefer email updates over RSS, they find it more personal. I still enjoy receiving email newsletters and often file them away to refer to later.

i) By including a list of links to other, perhaps non-blog, items on your site in each email update, you expose your readers to other content that may be of value to them.

An email newsletter doesn’t have to be a hugely time consuming task. Include an excerpt/summary from each post over the previous 1 – 2 weeks to stir curiosity, plus a brief editorial, and it can create a quite valuable and appreciated resource for your readers. It’s just another way of helping to keep the existence of your blog fresh in people’s minds and encourage return visits.

Michael Bloch has been working the web as a successful marketing and development consultant since the late 90’s. Michael owns and operates TamingTheBeast.net; a popular Internet marketing and ecommerce resources site providing online business owners and affiliate marketers with valuable free advice, articles, tutorials and tools.

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