In a discussion I had with a VP of Marketing earlier this week, he mentioned that his company was interested in developing an e-newsletter. I asked if they’d thought about creating a blog, to which his response was “Yes, but I’m not sure we have the resources.”
The myth persists that corporate blogs are somehow incredibly resource-intensive. News flash: they’re not. Or at least, they don’t have to be.
Four months ago, we at CDI made the decision to abandon our highly successful e-newsletter, the CDI “Tip o’ the Month”, and replace it with the blog you’re reading now (see: “Why We’re Dumping Our Newsletter And Why You Should Do The Same.”)
It seems an appropriate time to give a report card on that experience, particularly for those of you still standing on the blog sidelines:
1. We have more blog subscribers now than we had newsletter subscribers four months ago. Our biggest fear was that long-time newsletter readers would revolt. It never happened. We lost a handful at most, and now pick up new subscribers to our e-mail alerts on a daily basis. And that doesn’t include those who choose the RSS option.
2. The blog is far less work. It’s essentially self-service, which means I compose and post the content, and my fabulous production staff sends out the e-mail alerts every month. (We considered having the alerts broadcast automatically, but we’ve found that it’s just as easy to do so manually, plus it gives us more control. The e-mail service we use is Zookoda.) In the newsletter era, our art director had to compose a new HTML document every month, and always in a rush, since inevitably I’d only write the newsletter at the last possible moment.
3. The blog is more viral. A very pleasant surprise (though perhaps it shouldn’t have been unexpected) is how other marketing bloggers have picked up our content and commented on it within their own blogs. This creates links to our blog, traffic to our Website, and new subscribers. The content also seems to be picked up very readily by Google and other search engines, which means even more traffic. (Our publishing platform, WordPress, does an exemplary job in providing statistics: where traffic is linking from, what posts are most popular, where readers are clicking, etc.)
4. The blog is easier to write for. I said this when we first made the decision, and it has been borne out, and then some. I don’t have a deadline staring at me every 30 days, and yet I’ve written more for the blog on average every month, than I did for the newsletter. One, because the blog lends itself to commentary and other types of content, and also instead of procrastinating until the deadline as I used to, now I just write when the mood strikes. Which apparently is somewhat often.
To those blogophobes out there, I say: take the leap. If you’re still nervous you won’t have a continual source of content, then build up a store of posts, enough for a few months, and just roll it out slowly as needed. If you need help, let us know.