Popular blogs have two things in common: one, new and interesting content is added on a regular basis, and two, the blogger constantly promotes his or her work. But while many bloggers lean heavily on social networking to spread the word, plenty of authors overlook email as a powerful, effective and cheap promotional tool.
If you’re not sure the email marketing and blogging combo lives up to the hype, one merely needs to check out the plethora of popular WordPress plugins for building an email newsletter list. Once you’ve built a nice list of newsletter subscribers, here are four ways you can promote your blog with email:
Give a sneak preview
What do you plan on writing about this week? Are there special posts that you can’t wait to share with your audience? A solidly crafted email campaign that gives a sneak peek of what you’ll tackle in the upcoming days will easily build excitement and anticipation amongst your readers.
Besides getting your readers on board with what’s coming up, an added bonus to your preview is the nudge reminding subscribers that your blog is alive and kicking. Blog readers abandon RSS feeds like defective cribs at a flea market, so that quick note in their inbox may be their only clue that you’re still around.
Create a Best of recap
Take you best posts from the past month and put them together in a best of email, and even your errant readers can check out the great content they’ve missed. With some people spending as little as 10 seconds on Website, and even less so on an email, a streamlined recap with links back to each individual, best of post gives each reader the chance to skim your email, click on a link, and swoop in to read the post that most piques their attention.
Show off your comments
Comments for a blogger are like the Holy Grail of affirmation, and if you’ve got an active-or even not so active-comments section, it’s time to show off what people are saying. To do this, craft an email that includes the title of one or two posts, a short summary and link back, and three or four good, eloquent and intelligent comments on the topic at hand.
Remember: the more crowded your comments section seems, the more likely your email subscribers will jump in and add their own two cents. If you want double the action and even three times the ire, choose a comment that takes sides on a controversial topic. Some email subscribers will hit up your blog just to rebut the highlighted comment, others will visit to back up the original poster.
Harness social network chatter
If one of your posts begets retweets, Facebook Likes, Diggs, Stumbles or more, create an email that showcases that post’s trackback pins and social networking action. With Twitter, list out both retweets and tweeted comments about your blog post, with Facebook, pick a few high-profile likes.
For any other type of activity, a social footprint like a Digg or Delicious bookmark that clearly shows the link back to your original blog post will do. Boasting about your social media qualifies as shameless self-promotion, but the attention not only gives your blog street cred, but another legit reason for your email subscribers to pay you a visit.
As most failed bloggers can attest, you can have the best content in the world, but if no one knows when you post something new, your blog will die on the vine. With so many smartphone users checking their inboxes obsessively, email promotion should be a mandatory piece of your marketing plan.