I saw this question posed in a LinkedIn discussion, but I hear it all the time: Should I have an email newsletter or a blog? The answer is: it’s the wrong question.
Most small businesses should have both, and the question should be: What kinds of email newsletter and blog should I have?
By “email newsletter” I mean something you send out to an email list. Whether it’s a regular newsletter in the traditional sense is up to you and your particular needs. The key is that every small business should have a list of emails of visitors/customers/clients who want to get updated in some way: new product/service announcements, event notices, special offers only for mailing list members, and so on.
By “blog” I mean any regularly updated content on your site. It could be “company news” or “industry news” or “tip of the month” or “upcoming events” – it all depends on your business and your audience. The key is that you keep adding new information to this area of your website on a regular basis.
You can see how these are two separate parts of your online presence, so it’s not a question of either or. It’s a question of how you’ll use each of them in your particular situation.
You can also see how an email newsletter and a blog might be closely related. In the simplest case, what’s emailed to the list are links to the latest blog posts. More commonly, items that appear on the blog may be included sometimes in what gets sent to the mailing list. Or you may write an article for your mailing list which is later published on your blog for the public to see. Or maybe they have no direct connection at all.