If you blog do you really need a newsletter?

That’s the question I asked the other day which led to an interesting, and in some cases spirited, conversation. I love that we have the space and freedom to openly share our opinions. And I’m grateful that you feel comfortable enough to be open and honest here, in our comment box.

One statement that was made a few times in our conversation is how your newsletter content shouldn’t be separate from your blog content. So should your newsletter articles be different from your blog content?

This is a question that I get asked often. And my answer has evolved over time. At first I thought, “yes, they should be separate.” But now I feel the opposite. Your newsletter subscribers should be able to find your newsletter content on your blog…AND, before they get your newsletter.


Let’s think about the purpose of an e-newsletter. While it serves many, the main reasons you have a newsletter is to keep in contact with people who have some interest in your business. In doing so you want to give them valuable articles that can help them, build trust and pitch products and services. In other words, your newsletter is about building a relationship.

Yet a newsletter is quite limited in how it does this. Basically, you send it out and it arrives in subscriber’s inbox. They decide to read it or not. And if they do read it, they decide whether they’re going to select one of your offers. That’s pretty much it. The relationship and trust are built through multiple editions and by giving them great content.

But your newsletter can be so much more in building trust and relationship.

Imagine if your newsletter article was only the beginning of a conversation. With it, you simply kicked off an interesting topic that could be discussed, debated and shared easily. You would gain and your readers would as well. And, the conversation would go much further toward building trust with your subscribers.

Well, isn’t that was a blog does?

So forget exclusive content for your newsletter. Your readers likely don’t care if your content is exclusive or not. What they care about is whether the content adds to their life or their business. And if you help them, they’re going to want to get to know you better. And that’s what your blog can do.

Use your newsletter to direct them to the comment box on your blog. Create conversation…build relationships. Let your newsletter become the beginning of an interactive exchange between you and people who are interested in what you offer.

If you’re doing this already, I’d love to hear your experiences. If not, let’s talk about why? And if you’re opposed to publishing all your newsletter content on your blog, I’d love to hear more. So let’s talk…

Reader Interactions


  1. Tanner Christensen says

    Great insight Dawud. I’ve always wondered about newsletter content and its connection with a blog, now I know which direction to head when I get started. Thanks.

  2. Joanna Young says

    Hi again. I’m not sure there are absolutes here – maybe a question of horses for courses…

    That being said my practice is the way you describe, to provide a summary (and maybe some pointers back) to things that have already appeared on the blog. But I’m not sure I’d look to it as a way of extending the conversation.

    In my experience the e-mail ‘newsletter’ is the least interactive part of the things that I do. The only comments I get back are from friends who don’t have the time or inclination to follow the blog. I kind of think that if people want to join in and comment they will – through the blog.

    I’m not sure that an invitation from an e-mail is going to make any difference – nor reflect what subscribers are looking for. In fact it might be the opposite of what they’re looking for – maybe they’re happy with the summary rather than the conversational dimension of the blogs that we enjoy (but maybe isn’t for everybody).

    To go off on a slightly different tack, in terms of extending the conversation and having more interaction, I’m wondering if we shouldn’t be looking elsewhere altogether. I’m currently experimenting with Facebook and I can see that it has a lot more potential for interaction – you can see who you’re talking to, what they’re about, it’s easy to have quick and easy conversations, perhaps people feel more relaxed there about engaging in quite an easy-osy way?


  3. Jason Alba says

    I link back to some of my favorite posts from my newsletter… but the people that get my newsletter get a totally different message than my blog.

    In my blog I talk about career management, networking, personal branding and some job search. This is geared towards the professional that might worry about a layoff, job search, etc.

    In my newsletter I talk about news about my business… this is more geared towards friends, family, partners (prospective partners), investors, etc.

    Two different messages, two different purposes, two different audiences. I think the medium for each is perfect…

    As a side note, I think there is the potential for a lot of terminology getting mixe up in the discussion from yesterday. I like Drew’s comment about the consumer being in charge… so to take it up a level and not get hung up on “jargon” – what about just asking “who wants what, and how would you like it?”

    Jason Alba
    CEO – JibberJobber.com
    Author – I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???

  4. Charlene says

    I made a decision to begin a blog instead of a newsletter because I wanted my customers to share with me their experiences on the subject matter I am writing about in my blog.

    As a solo-entreprenuer I knew I could not committ the time to doing both a newsletter and a blog. Also, I didn’t want to produce a newsletter packed with sales pitches. There are many blogs out there now that pack their blogs with sales pitches too.

    The openess and two-way discussion that a blog allows felt like the right approach for how I run my business.

    Bottom line, there is a time and a place for newsletters, blogs and other social media venues a business owner should do what is within their value system.

  5. Kalena Jordan says

    Hi Dawud. I actually use my newsletter to highlight the most popular blog posts of the month (for persons who don’t visit daily) and package it up with an article and offer. But that’s a good idea to encourage further conversation on the blog itself. I’m going to add “discuss this!” links to each blog entry in the newsletter from now on.

  6. Mark Silver says

    I totally get your point Dawud about the push/pull technology- and I sorry I dropped out of the last discussion, I wasn’t getting the email updates.

    And that kind of proves the point. It’s true that email is ‘push’ technology. And yet, if the content is great, and people want it, then the push is welcome- at least in my inbox, and from what I can tell, from lots of others I know, too.

    I didn’t get an email update about the discussion from the previous blog post- and so I didn’t know more posts were coming in, and so I didn’t think to go back and check until now. And I missed out on the conversation.

    It’s the same with my ezine- and with ezines I subscribe to. Sometimes it’s the article or the content. Sometimes it’s a sales offer. Either way, if I like the person and I appreciate the content, then I have a deep appreciation for them dropping something in front of my nose so I don’t have to think about going to look and see.

    Here’s an article that I wrote on the subject that I think explains this sometimes misunderstood phenomenon:

    Why a personal secretary is critical to your response rates.

    I was writing this from the perspective of someone making an offer, but it applies equally to content, in my experience.

  7. Dawud Miracle says

    As I wrote in response to Drew, I agree that the reader should decide.

    I see your point. Do people signup for your newsletter on your blog? If so, do they expect different content?

    Clarity is the bottom line for me. You simply have to know what you want to do with each. What’s the goal? For me, it’s about conversation. But then again, I’m an advocate that conversation leads to relationships that leads to increased business.

    Absolutely, business owners should do what they feel is right…in service to their readers.

    What I don’t see is that if you’re just publishing your blog posts as a newsletter, is it really a newsletter? Or is it just an email update of your feed?

    I think it takes more than just inviting. People can be shown that if they choose to interact with you in the comment box, there’s benefit for them. But I’ve found it takes more than just the invitation. It also takes some education – and constantly reminding people until it gets in their consciousness.

    Good idea. Let me if adding ‘discuss this’ to your newsletter changes anything about it, your blog or your business as a whole.

  8. Abel says

    I think it’s not crucial whether you have to have different newsletter content than your blog. What is more important is creating your list. This must be the first thing every blogger/marketer should do.

    I use the list to send out email updates on new content. I use snippet to attract them to click and read full on the blog.

    The point is as you said, Dawud, is to use repetition to build rapport and eventually credibility.

    That said, there’s no harm creating different newsletter content, if you have the resources.

  9. Paul Cahney says

    I’ve feel strongly that there can be real synergy between a blog and an email newsletter. In fact, I’ve talked many times about how a blog can become an idea “seedbed” for use in the development of newsletter content.

    Email is not dead…yet, and I think it, paired with a blog, can be a useful marketing strategy; an online marketing peanut butter & jelly sandwich!

  10. communicatrix says

    I love your ideas, Dawud, even when I totally disagree with them, as I do now.

    You’re presuming I’m making offers: that’s not what everyone’s newsletter is for. What if it’s there to share, only in a different way–a quieter, cleaner and more leisurely way?

    I’m not saying that’s the only way to go, of course. But I find that the newsletters I gravitate towards give me everything right there, they don’t make me go somewhere else to get it.

    Not that I’m anti-conversation! That’s what blogs are for…

  11. Dawud Miracle says

    What you say is true. I know it works – it has for both of us and many others we know.

    Yet new methods are changing how we communicate. RSS is one. Devices like iPhone is another. And there is a wave of products and software coming that will push how we use technology to communicate even further. I just feel it’s important to keep up with the times. Not the bleeding edge, but certainly the trends. And all trends show conversational and relationship models of marketing are quickly overtaking the more traditional, interruption-style marketing. And it’s happening on all levels.

    There’s certainly no harm. I just think it’s unnecessary to create different content between a newsletter and blog. The blog has so many advantages over a static website. Leveraging these advantages can only increase the viability of a newsletter.

    Exactly…email paired with a blog. As you allude too, email is dying. Spam is really helping push that process. And people really want some control over how they’re marketed too.

    Oh, I don’t disagree with you at all. I think the newsletter should be a full, stand-alone article so that everything is ‘right there.’

    Yet I also see the advantage of inviting people to join in the conversation from their inbox. It’s just difficult to do that if your blog and newsletter content are different.

    I also don’t feel it’s wise to publish all your blog content to your newsletter list. I would choose the recent post I feel my readers would be most interested in.

  12. Danny @ Blogs for Money says

    I use Feedburners feed-by-email thing on my blog. I try to promote it as if it was a “mailing list”, since the only people still subscribing to mailing lists seem to be those that don’t udnerstand/use RSS. This way everyone gets all the content in the format they want 🙂

  13. Chino Yray says

    I never made a newsletter for my blog yet. But thanks for this. I’ll definitely use them. It will be good though if you’ll post more tips on this so I can regularly visit your site. 🙂

  14. Email Marketing Company says

    Nice article…all good points. I second the notion that more important than the actual content is the consistency and regularity of the email communication.

  15. Dawud Miracle says

    Certainly. A newsletter can serve a different need for a different audience.

    Email Marketing,
    Now, I need to take my own advice and get back into publishing your newsletter.

  16. Stefanie says

    I’ve experimented with doing it both ways, but for sites with a lot of RSS subscribers, I’ve definitely found it beneficial to have unique newsletter content. It gives those people a reason to subscribe in a different way, and if you want to monetize your newsletter, that’s important. Otherwise, I don’t see the problem with posting blog material in the newsletter.

  17. Dawud Miracle says

    I’m playing with this as well – still. For me, the jury is still out. I’m about to launch a new direction for my newsletter so we’ll see where it goes. And you can bet that I’ll write about my findings.

  18. Mobilario Infantil says


    I want to put a free RSS Feed on my blogs (free ones and payd ones) or instead, an eMail Marketing software, like Aweber or iContact.

    A friend of mine told me to forget the RSS Feed and spend the $19/month with Aweber or other EM SW.

    Can you give me your opinion?


  19. CPA, Orange County says

    I just started my blog and have had a newsletter for a while to promote my CPA services in Orange County. I post article from my newsletter in my blog, but I still need to market in a way to attract potential CPA clients.

  20. notebook tamiri says

    I never made a newsletter for my blog yet. But thanks for this. I’ll definitely use them. It will be good though if you’ll post more tips on this so I can regularly visit your site. 🙂

  21. Donnau1 says

    I recently started a blog with blogger and I have never thought of making a newsletter. I heard that is very effect too. Thanks to you I now realize the difference it makes when you write a newsletter for your blog or websites.


  1. Why Your Newsletter Content Should Come From Your Blog…

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