Newsletters and Community Building

Having been involved in internet marketing for more than a few years, it’s interesting to see ideas fall out of favor only to come back in fashion, specifically email newsletters and true community building.
I’ll admit that I’m a big fan of RSS as it allows me to consume larger amounts of information as I scan thru headlines on my feed reader. However if you are looking to have a deeper level of interaction with your audience, going to a newsletter is the way to go. For those of you who think I’m drinking the kool-aid, I’ll point you to a post from Seth Godin … in the middle, Starting. To explain it simply if you are reading my newsletter chances are you know who I am and know some of my stories and conventions, and there’s no need for me to go back and explain things to you, as we have an established frame of reference. If I’m writing a blog and publishing posts, I don’t have that luxury, in fact after the initial publication most of the readers will be drive-by users coming from search engine traffic. Starting a newsletter was the reason Jason Calacanis quit blogging, and my friend Loren of 1938 Media also started an email list with exclusive content. (both of which I recommend signing up for).

Running an email list does take some level of commitment and time investment. If you aren’t convinced there’s value there yet or can’t make the investment, you can dip your toe into community building with a blog. Sugarrae in conjunction with Joost de Valk released two wordpress plugins in the past two weeks. The Customize Your Community Plugin and Social Profiles Plugin were designed to to help you start developing that sense of community with your blog readers. (Since I’m trying to guilt Joost into working on a plugin for me let me shamelessly plug his wordpress newsletter).

Maybe you don’t buy all this touchy-feely develop deeper relationships with your audience stuff. Well friends let me point you to a classic article Andy Haggans wrote back in 2006 “Double Your Blog’s Stock With a Newsletter”. The point of the article is by having an email newsletter your blog is worth more should you ever try and sell it. Since Patrick Gavin wrote about (which is on a wordpress platform) selling for 15 Million Dollars in the past few days, I’m hoping that if I can’t appeal to heartstrings maybe I can appeal to your purse strings instead …

email newsletters and real community building is a good thing …

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