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Email Blogging: What’s Your Opinion?

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Email Blogging EnvelopeOnce in awhile, I come across an idea that’s so awesome that I kick myself for not thinking of it first.

Recently, Glen of ViperChill.com wrote about a concept called Email Blogging.  (You’ll definitely want to read this one.)

The idea of email blogging is pretty simple.  You combine email marketing with blogging to get the best of both worlds.

You’re still providing great content.  But you’re doing it in a systematic way that benefits your readers while generating  income.

Now, I’m not going to rehash what Glen’s written.  So again, I recommend checking out his post to learn more about this technique.

What I am going to do is list a few advantages/disadvantages about email blogging and then get YOUR opinion on this topic…

Email Blogging Advantages

There are two major positives about this technique:

#1 – Email Blogging is Profitable

I know from personal experience that email marketing is one of the best ways to generate Internet income.  It’s what I’ve successfully used for the last five years.

Obviously, Email Blogging is different than Email Marketing.  You giving away more free content with email blogging.  But ultimately the same principles apply:

Email Blogging Outline

Really, the only difference between the two is with email blogging you’re providing a lot more education.   But you’re wrapping it around promotional stuff that makes you money.

#2 – Regular Blogging is Time Consuming

Sometimes blogging can really suck.  You spend a lot of time on activities like:

  • Creating top-notch content
  • Commenting on other blogs
  • Responding to comments you get
  • Networking through social media
  • Answering personal emails
  • Tweaking and testing your blog

It’s been my experience that blogging can be a huge “time suck.”  And it’s definitely not passive income.

With email blogging, you’re still creating great content.  But it’s done in a streamlined manner where subscribers receive blog posts in the order you determine.

So let’s say you have a 10 week sequence of articles.  You really won’t have worry about creating new content until the 11th week (and beyond.)  This saves time because you’re not required to come up with new article ideas every two or three days.

Disadvantages of Email Blogging

Glen mentioned a few disadvantages in his post.  But I see a few major ones he didn’t discuss:

#1 – You Lose Interactivity

Yeah, for a couple of years I made money with email marketing.  The problem is I never felt connected to anyone online.  I simply ran an email list and promoted my affiliate site.  That’s it!

On the other hand, I’ve made a lot of connections in the last year or so of blogging.  I consider many of the people I’ve *met* online to be friends.  Yes, we’ve never met in person.  But I feel like they would be there for me if I ever needed help.

I think you’d lose some of the interactivity with email blogging.  It’s hard to make connections when all you’re doing is sending email to people.

#2 – Not Everyone will Be Interested in Your Topic

Most bloggers publish a variety of content every month.  For instance, some of the things I regularly discuss are:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Productivity and time management
  • Info product creation
  • Internet marketing techniques

In my opinion, it’s a lot harder to discuss multiple topics with email blogging.  If you have a list about affiliate marketing then most of the content will be about affiliate marketing.

The problem is talking about one subject will alienate some of your audience.  Frankly some won’t care about what you’re discussing.  And it’s way too easy for them hit the unsubscribe link.

Steve's Opinion?

Ultimately I think email blogging is a great idea…But I’m not ready to ditch my blog.

What I am thinking about is putting a different spin on this idea.  Basically you’d use email to promote a series of blog posts related to a specific subject:

Email Blogging BlueprintFor instance, let’s say you’re a “running guru.”  You might have a have a sequence like this:

  • Email 1 points to a post that shows how to start running
  • Email 2 points to a post that provides stretching tips
  • Email 3 points to a post that details a 5K training plan
  • Email 4 points to a post that talks about a recent marathon experience
  • Email 5 points to a post that promotes an marathon training product
  • Email 6 points to a post that shows how this product helped you cut 10 minutes off your marathon time
  • Etc., etc.

You’re still providing regular content on a blog.  But you’re also leveraging the power of your old posts.  Even better – It’s done in a step-by-step format where your content is helping people achieve a specific goal.

What do YOU Think???

Overall, I think email blogging is a great idea.   Done correctly, you can make a lot of money while eliminating some of the regular blogging hassles.

Now I’m interested in what you think.  Would you ever try email blogging?  If so, would you ditch your regular blog or try doing both?

Respond below and let me know your thoughts…

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Chuck

Hey Steve,
I like the concept. I read Glen’s article a while back and loved the concept. I am not a huge writer so email blogging is a great alternative to a blog. I’m actually incorporating it into my autoresponder techniques that I learned from your Affiliate Marketing without the BS course. I feel that it has less overhead than a blog and for someone like me that doesn’t like to bang out article after article for content, it works for me.
If I had a blog, I think I would use it to stay engaged with my subscibers.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Chuck,

Glad you are liking the report. One thing many people think is that they NEED a blog to make money. I think having one can be a TOOL, but it is in no way an absolutely necessary tool. I was making a living email marketing long before I started the Steve Scott site or any other blog. Mainly through article marking, landing pages and email marketing. Surely a blog is a great way to engage and build real authority. ON that level, it can’t be beaten, but simply for making money…. it CAN help…but isn’t needed.

Reply

Brankica

I read an email Glen sent about it. It’s been a while and I did give it some thought but never actually decided to try to do it. And I don’t think I will. But I love your idea here and I will combine that with some other ideas I had for emailing to your subscribers. Thanks for this!

Reply

Steve Scott

Glen’s idea is an extreme, and a good one. The important takeaway in my mind is that providing good content should be a major part of any email marketing. You don’t need to go to the extremes. But you have to do more than offer sales tip offer after sales tip offer if you want to really make it work. But I know you understand that, just felt like preaching to the choir

Reply

Brankica

Preach away, cause I sometimes feel like that. You really make a great point. I think it would probably work great in some niches, probably those that are as far away from IM as they can get, cause those are about the only people at the moment that will actually always open and read emails, lol

Reply

Raj

We had yahoo groups earlier which was kind of blogging but to the members of the group who would be intimated of new posts through their email. When they reply, it goes to everyone. Well, thats interactive email blogging – don’t you think? :)

Reply

Steve Scott

Sure,

I have done some “groups” stuff. I don’t know if I would consider that to be email blogging really, but it is not a bad way to interact

Reply

Scott

It seems like there could be another way to make money from Email Blogging.

What if the instead of sending free content to promote a website or an affiliate, you set up the emails as a mini-course. It could be 5 or 10 weeks and you could charge a membership fee to sign-up to the course.

Reply

Steve Scott

Sure. EMail mini-courses are great. But for those just starting out, trying to get people to sign up for htis could be a little bit difficult. Once you have built up a dedicated list or blog following, sure this could be a great way to mix email marketing with some really solid content.

Reply

Satrap

Hi Steve,
I love your idea of using email to promote related blog posts. I think it will work much better. While you providing good content to the list, you are also making your old posts come alive and getting some new traffic to them.

Reply

Steve Scott

YEah, that is what I mainly do for this site. because i simply don’t have the time to create blog posts here, craft original emails of new material, create the new sites I am working on, backlink, comment and create original emails for my other niche.

Whew, I get tired just writing that stuff.

Having a full blown blog AND using the blog email method is probably overkill. It could be an either or for those that perhaps do not want/have a blog.

I don’t think it is anything I could do in the near fiture, personally…but it is a great idea for those that lean that way.

Reply

Marko

I wouldn’t ditch my blog for email blogging, but it sure is an interesting concept of which I have never thought about before reading your post. Having said that you don’t really need a blog to make money, but is sure makes things a lot easier.

Reply

Steve Scott

I don’t think I am ready to ditch my blog for it either. Not after a year and a halfs work and finally starting to gain traction. But If I was on day 1, I might be tempted to try that.

In my other niche I have blogs. But they are more like “hubs” I don’t really comment or interact on them. In those ones email is my primary communication form. I don’t quite go to Glens level. But I pack a lot of (almost) blog level content into the messages.

A blog really is not always necessary, unless of course you want authority. Where it is pretty damn important.

Reply

Jay Gumbs

Read Glen’s post on Email Blogging a while back but didn’t really like the idea. I liked your spin on it though.

I just don’t think once you’re using a regular blog that it’s the same email blogging. It’s just that you’re using email as a traffic source to promote your blog.

Reply

Steve Scott

I don’t really follow Glens method. I think it -could- be a good method, but don’t have the time to follow that AND blog, and I am not willing to drop the blog to do it.

I do think it IS something interesting for those who may not have an actual blog, though

Reply

Omar Von Gimbel

I have actually watched the free 12-video course Glen put out about email blogging called Cloud:Blueprint. Aside from you, Steve, and the plethora of email marketing examples I have come across in the dating niche, Glen has been a major influence on the structure of the business I am creating.

I have been slightly torn on how to implement email blogging into my plan. Glen suggest that we put a group of 5 post, a launch and follow-up….an 8 post group, a launch and follow-up…..and an 11 post group, a launch and follow-up.

He said the products we launch should be our own creation. Since I do not want to run SMS marketing campaigns for companies and other services necessary for mobile marketing, I thought it might work to act like a normal blog.

I will have post that would be found in the “start here” section of blogs covering all the major types of mobile marketing and why a business needs them. Then when I reference a company I recommend, it will be linked to the affiliate page.

You still gain the benefit over regular blogging, because in a regular blog if they don’t buy your affiliate recommendation they move on away from your blog. While they still might move on from a link in their email too……you send the blog back to them in a couple days.

Plus it is the ultimate in having your blog “book-marked”. Any time they want to find you, they just open their email service.

I do want to have a blog as well. I mean, why not get some SEO traffic too. For that reason, my email will have more blog post style, yet resemble a course in the order of the autoresponder sequence.

The idea I mentioned about the “start here” page might work well to get email subscriptions sooner than later. Instead of having a “start here” page with all the info, have a start here opt-in page that sends all those post to them in order to their inbox.

When I introduce the blog in part B of my business, it won’t interfere with the email list. After the course is over, I can direct them to blog-post like you do Steve.

Plus it gives more incentive to sign up to my email if they find me from the blog, because it offers unique content from just the blog-post. Not *just* a lead-magnet, but an entire mobile marketing training course.

Reply

Steve Scott

Omar,

Thanks for an awesome comment! You did a really good job of adding some extra depth to conversation from your comments on how you plan to implement this method.

There is a ton of work involved in setting up both the blogging series AND an actual blog. If you are up for it, though, I do agree with a lot of your insights on how they could work in tandem.

Specifically the turning them over to posts from your blog after they run the main autoresponder sequence.

The great thing about these ideas, is that to some extent they can be tailored to the individual. You certainly could dovetail the two together.

Reply

Duy

Dunno Steve, as I don’t have blog at the moment.

But I understand the concept. It looks cool. And in my opinion, it’s more about “passive income” than regular blogging. But you’re right, email marketing will be a huge turn off when it comes to interactivity.

I don’t know about others. But my experience (as subscriber to many email lists) tells me that a regular email subscriber won’t take too much time to “really” read an email. They will scan the headline, scan the bold words and click on the link immediately (if it’s a promotional email). What I mean is unless the email is really eye-catching and the subscriber knows the sender to some extents, nobody will really care.

Reply

Steve Scott

Well,
The things you said as negatives are kind of the point. You will establish yourself as someone who does more than just marketing emails. because you do more than marketing emails. lol.

Of course there is upside and downside. When most new readers come here, they will never see my old stuff and just look at the new (unless they come through twitter link or some-such)

In the email method, they will always start at the beginning. So a year later you will still have those early contents drawing them in.

There are definitely trade offs. Pros and cons. Personally, right now it isn’t for me. But for someone in YOUR shoes who doesn’t have a blog, it could be something worth thinking about.

Reply

Omar Von Gimbel

Glen loosely based his Cloud:Niche email list. On that list, he does nothing but explain online, money-making niche ideas he gets.

Since he thinks of ideas faster than it is possible to impliment, he shares them with that list.

He did have a following to start with, and he has only promoted a product for sale on it once. Yet, he believes that it is the fact that it is so light on promotion, that this list gets a rediculously high open and response rate.

In some ways the concept make email better because the audience is more engaged. For that reason we wouldn’t even need as large a list to make money from it.

Reply

Duy

Exactly Steve,

With Email blogging, new subscribers will always know where to start. In many cases, it’s best for them. Especially someone who is new to the market. Thanks for your elaboration :)

Reply

Rob Cubbon

I saw Glen’s video series on this and I still refer to it – I’m a huge fan of Glen’s.

There’s a few ways I’ve differed from Glen’s approach – not saying I’m right to do this but … As Omar above says, Glen advises an email sequence of 5 content emails, followed by a launch and a follow up, then 8 content, launch, follow up, then 5 content, launch, follow up. I thought that was too many content emails because you lose a lot of subscribers naturally after only a few emails so I tend to do 3-5 content emails, then one with content and a mention of an affiliate product, then a follow up more salesy email about the product. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.

The important thing, of course, is to get as many subscribers as possible. Glen advocates only having a few pages on the site with the email sign-up, I think. I just can’t do it like this. I need a blog on the site to attract the traffic in order to get the sign ups. The link building you have to do to that site is more difficult if you don’t have a blog and are posting consistently, imo.

Reply

Steve Scott

There are certainly pros and cons. Like anything it is best to tweak, monitor and see what works for YOU.

What you say makes some sense…on the other hand since you want to establish that you are giving tons of content in your emails, it is also important to establish that in peoples minds right away. Hence the initial 5 in Glen’s method. I can see that logic too.

Even for those not really following Glens method, For those really invested in email marketing, I really thinking putting more content into emails (even having some link free emails) is important. Sort of like banner ads, people can become blind email marketing unless you do something to make your name recognizable to them.

Reply

Mihai

Yet i never experimented email marketing, i read a lot about it and everyone is saying it’s the best deal. But because of my reduced budget, i never had the chance to use it until this month. I started a campaign 3 days ago on a new website and i just cannot wait to see how things will work out at the end of this year.
Thanks for the great post :)

Reply

Steve Scott

Mihai,

Email marketing can be done with almost no budget. For a lot of reasons Aweber is by far the best program out there, but mailchimp is a free alternative. if your budget is tight, you can go mail chimp rather than aweber until you “earn” enough to get aweber and transfer your list.

Email marketing takes time. Whether you use glens method or not, you need to put a lot of energy into creating more than just sales pitches. But in the end it is REALLY worth it.

Good luck with your campaign

Reply

Mihai

Thanks for your kind response :) Never knew about mail chimp and i think i will only take the trial with aweber now and switch to mail chimp until i will earn some money.

Thanks again :)

Reply

Steve Scott

Cool! Glad to help! Aweber is worth it once you get serious about email marketing. The extras do make it worthwhile and increase your sales. But FREE up to 2000 followers is a great option for those on a tight budget. Glad to help!

Reply

Chris

I think email blogging is good if you can pull it off, but I don’t think everyone can do it. There’s only a few marketers that I know that can consistently provide enough awesome content with every email that I’ll take the time to open and read everyone of their emails.

Eventually, most people become too promotional and I end up filtering out their emails when they come.

So basically, I think email blogging is easier said than done. :)

Reply

Steve Scott

Chris,

I agree, everyone couldn’t pull it off. But the same could be said for blogging. If you have enough to blog about, you should have enough to talk about in the email blogging. All you are doing is changing method of delivery, really.

The “too promotional” thing is a definite risk. That is why glen talks about having a certain amounts of the posts to be link free. The idea is to really impress on people that it is NOT traditional email marketing.

Reply

Justin | Mazzastick

Hi Steve,
I remember reading that post from Glen but I never did anything with it. I will definitely give it a go this time and see what kind of results I can produce.

Reply

Steve Scott

Justin,

To be honest, I haven’t done much with it either. I just don’t have the time to run all my online businesses and do that right.

For those of us who are busy with other things, a really important takeaway is not to be “scared” of putting a lot of content into email marketing messages. They may dip sales for a moment, but it can work to build trust.

Reply

Ming Jong Tey

Hey Steve,

I like your opinion to point the email back to your old post. This is what I am doing for my list, lol. However, I think to point them to content not available on the blog is even better. This is like premium content only available for the subscribers.

You can make sure that no one else would have seen the content except your subscribers. So, you don’t need to worry about them complaining “they have read that already”.

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers,
Ming

Reply

Steve Scott

Ming,

I mainly point emails emails to the old post because I just don’t have time now to do much more with email list. (I have another list in different niche I do a lot more with…but not to Glens level)

But you make a great point. Giving people on your list occasional specials is well worth it. I am actually working on that. One idea I am trying to implement is a series of mini-reports. Some of these will be posts or a few posts, greatly expanded into an ebook. These will not be “full blown” ebooks. So I will just sell them here on the website for $4-6. I am hoping I can manage 1 a month. And without any “fanfare” I will just give these away to people on my list. (kind of like your special “page” + )

Reply

Timo Kiander

Steve,

After thinking this idea for some time and comparing the pros/cons, there is a place for this strategy.

However, like you, I still wasn’t ready to ditch my blog after all. Instead, I want to give this strategy a try by creating a separate site that operates on the cloudBlueprint model.

This way I’m able to see how it works and decide what I want to do next.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Steve Scott

It certainly seems like a viable strategy. Running both could take a hefty bit of effort. But it could be an interesting comparison. Doing both could be a chance to do some crossover too. Like was mentioned in the comments, you could “hand over” the list by making a push for them to join your blog in the “end” too.

Reply

Radu

Sounds like a great idea because in this way you will target much better the visitors and also you will serve your ads as granted.
There is also possibility of spam so you have to be careful.

Reply

paul wolfe

Steve

I remember reading Glenn’s post a while back and thinking about it.

The main issue I had with it is that for sure you can set up an autoresponder sequence – but you’ll always have to prime the autoresponder sequence. People may be with you for years on your list….and if you just stop the sequence then you’re automatically throwing the time you’ve invested in creating a relationship with them away.

Plus if you’ve got good content out there on a blog format – people can find it. Recently I’m starting to get tweets and comments on old posts. And I’m sure you experience this more than me – those tweets and comments are chances for me to create new interactions and potentially new relationships.

If that content was ‘hidden’ in an email only autoresponder sequence then those events don’t happen.

Does that mean it doesn’t work? Of course not. I’m sure done right it works like gangbusters. The biggest ‘discovery’ I’ve made in the last 12 months is that the hardest part of creating sustainable online income is finding the way that works for YOU. (For example we agree on just about everything – but you do a lot of affiliate stuff and not only do I not really do that, but the only time I get involved in affiliate stuff is when people are affiliates for ME! That doesn’t make me right and you wrong or vice-versa – it just means we’ve found different ways to make our business models work).

The final thing that I think is a good idea – especially when your blog matures (i.e. has a ton of posts in the archives) is to create autoresponder sequences for new subscribers that link them to those posts. Copyblogger does this with their Internet Marketing For Smart People newsletter list – it’s a 20 series list which links to old posts. (Worth checking out to see how they do it too….)

Have a great weekend.

Paul

Reply

Steve Scott

Paul,

Of course you make some great counterpoints. While I like to put some content into my AR sequence (I just haven’t really done it yet in this niche). I don’t do whole posts worth very often.

Like you pointed out, this is an option. It will work for some, and not for others.

Actually, from what I read into what Glen was saying, he was actually recommending it more for ONLY your own products and less for affiliate marketing others. Which makes sense. If you are going to extremes to build relationships through email, it isn’t really worth it to dump it all for a small commission. You would only want it for the big stuff…your stuff.

SO it comes with being a little creation machine. Which I would think might be easier if you are not poring energy into a blog.

Like you I actually -don’t- think it is for me, but it is interesting and something that can be great for some.

Again…like you pointed out, it all depends on the person.

Reply

Eugene

I did see this from Glen a while back. I’m just not seeing the difference between “email blogging” and a “newsletter” or “autoresponder”. Is there something significant that sets them apart?

Reply

Steve Scott

Eugene,

Some of it is semantics. These terms to -some- extent probably are interchangable the way I see it.

(Sorry if I am repeating stuff you know)
There are two basic ways to send emails Broadcast and autoresponder.

Broadcast goes out right away. Autoresponder goes out as a carefully crafted series of emails (with set time lags between messages)

Newsletter (IMO) is broadcast. People tend to mean that it will be up to date and NOT heavy on marketing. Perhaps updates to new posts. fresh ideas, etc. I think I do more newsletter than email marketing for this site,

Autoresponder is the more crafted series. Often it runs someone through XX amount of posts and then transfers them to a new list, where they will then get only the broadcast.

Email Blogging is autoresponder, but rather than having marketing messages. it is more tightly woven with content. Basically it could be 5 blog posts only sent thru email. A sales post. Then more blog post in email. Sales message Rinse and repeat.

I guess rather than having posts that inform AND sell. You have a whole series of inform only posts to really build trust and increase open rates.

There is a lot more to them than that, but that is how I see the “core” differences

Reply

John T.

I’ve never heard about email blogging, but I think It consumes less time than the usual blogging. Like you said you need to spend time on your blog like answering the comments on your blog and commenting on other blogs to promote your blog.

Reply

Steve Scott

I think It definitely takes up less time than blogging. Effectiveness is a little harder to gauge. But I would say writing the actual content takes maybe 1/3 of the time I spend on the blog so…. no doubt a lot more effective time-wise

Reply

Ana

This is an interesting concept and I can see how it can work. No reason it can’t be incorporated into what you already do.

Reply

Steve Scott

For sure…just a matter of finding the time.

Reply

Janet Callaway

Steve, aloha. Thanks for introducing me to this concept. While I would not switch over completely, because of some changes that I see on the horizon, I will incorporate parts of it. Also, as always, I am enjoying what I am learning from the comments thread–Paul’s comments are so insightful.

Steve, thanks for showing me new possibilities. Until next time, aloha. Janet

Reply

Steve Scott

Personally I am about in your boat. While incorporating MORE content can always be a good thing, I couldn’t see myself ONLY doing email blogging. It is an intriguing idea. I love it when people try new things.

Reply

Omar Von Gimbel

OK, so I’ve been thinking more specifically about the interaction problem with email blogging. The biggest complaint ->in so many words-> is the lack of a comment box. Yes, there is the SEO part too, yet I have been trying to think of a way to regain some of the loss.

This is a hybrid idea from Glen’s yet I am interested in some good feedback…….

Traffic comes in from the web to my opt-in, mini-site. It will use video to convert more, and offer a kick-ass lead magnet. The thank you page will be another video telling them about the *bonus* kick-ass lead magnet they get for confirming the email subscription.

This will hopefully do a couple things (in my logic, anyway)…….1. build more trust/relationship with my subscribers &……2. Incentive to confirm email. 3. Butter them up for another of Glen’s ideas; Cloud:Flood (or something just like it). The idea is that to access the freebie, they shout out about you on facebook or twitter.

This has a couple of nice hopeful outcomes. 1. Takes your opt-in page viral. Glen claims it produces random and increased spikes in opt-in activity. 2. It gets a compliance (commitment & consistency) from them right away. In other words, they feel more obligated to keep liking you longer after sharing with their friends about you, and they get used to doing what you ask in little ways from the start. Hopefully it will lead to them clicking on a link and buying more too.

The third page is the video lesson promised with like/follow buttons and a facebook-style comment form at the bottom. More viral exposure, and the beginning of the interaction lost from email blogging. And I’m bringing it to a squeeze-page site.

Next is the emails themselves. If they are just teaser copy to get readers to link onto a webpage that has the full content as well as more social buttons and the facebook connected comment forms. They would also have the forward to a friend and a link to sign up for those forwarded the email. They get used to clicking on your links every time.

Of course this would mean that technically you would have a blog as well, but the focus would always be to get people on the list. NEVER the blog. Might as well do all of the keyword writing then too if you want, but when they arrive to whatever page that they were directed to through SEO or social sources from…..

their only option is to sign up for your email list to get access to the rest of the info post.

If you pitch the email as the access point or the home page, if you will, I think it could be an interesting twist on both Glen’s idea, and Steve’s MWR blog.

After the main autoresponder series with the 2-3 product launches, then launch a membership blog for whatever is a killer deal for your market. With that they get access to your “normal” blog homepage and continue to get emailed new post as Steve does here.

At the *membership* homepage, they get access to your content for the autoresponder list, and all the new and regularly released content. They can still share all the new post with anyone for free too.

If they land on a blog-post that is part of your autoresponder series, they get the MWR of subscribing. If they randomly land on one of your membership post the MWR is to join the membership which they can get now, or sign up for your autoresponder list and they get offered a discount price through it.

If/when they and the search engines direct people to those membership post for free, they have the one most wanted response of paying below to have *all* the membership content delivered as it is published to their email boxes. Yet creating more list of proven buyers.

No one should mind that they are paying for a site and their friend or a random person can stumble on your membership post for free. You don’t care if someone reads an article from a newspaper or a magazine you bought for free after you are done with it do you?

The advantage is you would get the interaction back that bloggers love, it takes email marketing more social. It takes your blog more “most wanted response” than ever before, and allows you to start charging memberships for your blog.

The email blog becomes a sort of trial period with specific content that prepares readers for your blog. The quality gets them super hooked, and then you make money promoting the continued reading of the blog via monthly membership.

I suggest to make the monthly membership slightly under the market value so it is easy to sign up for. I was reading yesterday how $4.97 was a sweet spot between ease of subscription AND retention.

Any thoughts?

Reply

Steve Scott

Whew, sounds complicated. I almost wanted to start drawing a ” If A) then go to B)” type map. I think I have it pretty clear though.

In general it sounds like a pretty well thought out plan on how to integrate, MWR, Email blogging , some social aspects and membership site.

A couple of thoughts.

1. membership site. Personally I am not crazy about them. I prefer to give out premium content in one shots. If you really have value to give away in a monthly membership fee, these are fine. I DO belong to a couple myself. But make sure the value is there. (Plus enough added value for freebies, email posts and MWR posts and your 2-3 premium offers. A lot of work and a lot of stuff to talk about without being too repetitious).
2. Forwarding to a friend. Again, this is my personal take. I hate these. I don’t mind “liking”, “tweeting” etc. It is non-invasive. If a friend wants to check it out it is up to them. But I would never send a friends info as a lead. No matter how good the offer was. (If it was really good I would contact them personally…but still wouldn’t give up someone else’s info to a third party. All this really does is make people leave or send a “dummy” email account. “Tweet to pay” or “Cloud FLood” is cool, but this one annoys me when i see it.
3. $4.97 is a magic price. It is the “less than 5 dollars number” It doesn’t seem hefty, but over time can add up. But the issue comes back to what I mentioned before…. the volume of “killer” content. the way I see it you need:

1. A good series of (5+8+5+8= ) 26 great email marketing/blogging pieces
2. 2-3 really good offers that are sales worthy
3. Misc. work to get people to join your email list in the first place (guest blogging, article marketing etc. etc.)
4. Membership homepage with depth of content worthy of ($4.97) a monthly fee
5. Work and Rework on opt-in pages
6. Setting up an MWR blog (actually the easy part)

The way I see this is about 200,000 words of writing all told. Quite a bit.

The system sounds like it could work, my main worry is complexity. Any complex system is asking for trouble. One little piece doesn’t work right and the system fails. Again I am not saying it won’t work. Even if this system does fail, the pieces could operate (and be profitable) independently.

Now that I have all the negatives out of the way. Sure this plan is doable and sounds like it could be a good one. It is ambitious, though. I don’t think “I” could write enough to make it All work.

What I would do is build a piece of the system. Perhaps the Email blogging portion. Get it working the way you want to then add in pieces with time. At least wait to build the membership piece. Perhaps have the ultimate site be free and build up great content, with the expectation that “one day this will all be a memberships site. The right before you go “members only” offer a special discount (Like $2.97 monthly membership) for those who got there early. This can be great if you at a forum feature too (a good part of a membership site) since the people who get in early will help you make the forums worthy of the $$. I have never run a membership site, though, so do not consider me an expert on any of this. Just spit-balling ideas from a layman’s perspective.

Regardless, I for one will be curious to see how it all works out.

Steve

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Omar Von Gimbel

So, if I scratch the membership blog…. Instead, I will focus on creating a funnel that is worthy of selling later once built up. If that is what I choose then.

There will be 3 sales-worthy leads…….
1. Initial opt-in offer,
2. Surprise offer for confirming email subscription,
and
3. Facebook/Twitter offer.

I will alter the Cloud:Blueprint #’s a little. I will still focus on three topics in the niche, but they will each be 8 total emails per topic arriving every other day plus the rare broadcast. More to be personal on holidays and such. This should take 1.5-2 months approximately to run through.

The format will be that of blog post-style, value-packed content with the popular 4-video info-product, sales launch weaved in. The launch format I am referring to is used by guys like Eban Pagan, Brendon Burchard, James Malinchak, as well as many others.

The launch is 3 *high* value videos followed by a content-woven sales-push video. I figure I can start each of the three launches with a 600-800 word post AND the first video. The next day a super-blog-post like some of yours, Steve. Then repeat that process through to the end of each launch.

The last two emails of the three launches are the Sales video with little content blog-wise followed by a huge follow-up post with case studies and a survey.

I’ll let them decide which order they want the modules with a welcome email/survey, and at the end of each launch another survey. 4 in all. This will help me research the market well, and more quickly give them exactly what *they* want.

All emails will be designed to get them to click through to the website to get all of the content. This opens up the opportunity to have the comments linked to Facebook for viral and SEO traffic boost, as well as engagement with readers.

The big thing that makes it more email blogging with a website vs. a blog with an email list is……when they arrive to the content through any other way than by already being on my list, they have the MWR effect. They can go to my opt-in page to start the funnel, or leave.

It is the best part of Glen’s version of blogging (I think). Instead of jumping through all these hoops to get them to sign up to your email list….eventually….hopefully. It forces email to be the main focus of your funnel, not the blog.

They HAVE to sign up first. This would require a more impressive group of lead-magnets, but worth it in the end.

Hopefully, you don’t mind my long comments, Steve. That and I hope this version does not require a flow-chart :)

This topic does resonate more with me since I have been so heavily influenced by Glen’s email concept. Thanks for bringing it up Steve.

Reply

Steve Scott

require a more impressive group of lead-magnets” Damn strait on that.
But yeah, all that sounds like it could really work. I am not even saying “don’t” do the membership part. Just that it may be biting off more than you can chew at first.

This one definitely sounds workable. As you pointed out, you are going to need something powerful to draw them in and get them listening. But once that happens it sounds very workable. (and no flow chart required ;) ) It seems like a very well thought out plan.

Now all you have to do it go make all that kick-ass content!

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Omar Von Gimbel

Like you said……”Go big, or go home.”

I’d rather take longer preparing to launch and start off with something more impressive.

It may take longer to create and launch, but I’m hoping that results in not waiting as long to start to see results once I do.

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Omar Von Gimbel

Since I am in the middle of coding my website right now, I have been trying to figure out how to make the whole Cloud: Flood/Pay with a tweet idea less spam-like. This is mostly because I reeeaaly like that concept, and want to find a way to justify it, lol. Also, I want to justify a reason to learn how to code it.

I can leverage the tool in the future for a quality lead or trust/relationship builder.

So, I put this little bit of copy on my squeeze page:

“To thank you for subscribing to your free two-month {name of course here}, you will be automatically taken to my video lesson showing you step-by-step how to {name of video lesson}! You can even tell your friends about {name of course} on the way for a surprise gift that will have you looking forward to all the customers you will get from social media marketing! Sign up to learn more!

This way….. I am bringing it up subtly like a professional marketer, yet bringing it up still.

The next page , the thank you page, will mention in the “how to double opt-in”/thank you/welcome video that if they prefer not to, I understand. They can be directed to the non-share link to the free resource promised at the bottom of the page.

Don’t get me wrong, I will mention the non-tweet link nowhere else but the *end* of the video after the important stuff like “thank you” and how to double opt-in :) Plus there will be the link if they scroll down below the fold.

If the do choose to spread the word, then I reward them with a bonus report that they will love, and I will split my list into 3 right then.

Those that would prefer not to share, those that prefer Facebook, and those that prefer Twitter. That should be some valuable marketing statistics. I mean if more people who prefer Twitter buy from me, then I know to boost my Twitter efforts.

There has to be more value in knowing that info.

I know, I’m keeping you busy on this one, but what are your thoughts Steve?

Are there some hidden values to knowing if your list members preferred Facebook to Twitter or whatever that I wouldn’t know without more experience?

Reply

Steve Scott

I mean if more people who prefer Twitter buy from me, then I know to boost my Twitter efforts. Absolutely. This is why I am so passionate about metrics. It is essential (IMO) to spedn your time wisely and do more of the efforts that reward and less of those that don’t. As fo hidden value, I don’t think so. Perhaps you could do paid ads on one or the other if they seemed to really convert for some reason. But I personally don’t go there. You would have to get info from someone who really does paid ads effectively for that idea. I just don’t do that. (at least not successfully yet)

Many people will skim read your copy, but it is good to work to decrease that “spam” feeling. Sounds like you have it under control so far…

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Adrienne

Hey Steve,

I’m a little late to the party but better late than never right!

I can see the benefit of this and I was kind of doing something like this in the past. I guess my concern is that I know I’m generating good content in my blog posts and my emails and although my open rate is high, it’s still not where I would like it to be.

I think the problem is that people get SO many emails that even though you might share some great content, it will still get overlooked at times. I’m guilty of the same thing. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to read all the content that I want. Even if I know it’s helpful.

Great concept though but I would never do one over the other. I would definitely combine the two.

~Adrienne

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Steve Scott

That is a problem for sure. And actually why this works as a solution. IN my main niche I sent a few content filled emails. But not enough to really fall into the “email blogging” category. The idea is to write such content filled emails with NO SALES LINKS that people actually go “WOW” when they read it. You send someone a couple of those…and they take notice. Glen reported something like a 85% click rate on the emails he sends, which is simply astounding. I skip over a lot of emails myself. Even ones I WANT to read. But when people begin to learn (and it is a process) that your emails are never a waste of time it turns that “skip it” reflex into a “must read” reflex.

At least that is how I see it. For now, I am not planning on using this idea. But it intrigues me.

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Sybil

Hey Steve, I think email blogging sounds nice. People nowadays don’t want to be bombarded with advertisements or promotional materials on their e-mails. The way to get customers is to provide them with something useful first (probably a good content) then offer them your products/services afterwards.

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Extreme John

This is such a great idea Steve. I’m quite interested since it could do a lot for my small tanning business. Also, this is one great way to build an online reputation since this makes solid connections to customers. I’ve been doing email marketing but not email blogging. Thanks for pointing this out.

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Steve Scott

It really could be pretty good for your blog, since so much of that revolves around building a personal brand and not always pumping sale after sale.

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Ken

I think that the email blog idea is a great one. There is no reason to do one or the other when you can do both. With my blog I cover a lot of topics and I jump around quite a bit. I think that offering email mini blogs for some to the topics is a great idea, plus the email can steer visitors back to the main blog..

Ken

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Danny

I’m not a big fan of email marketing, even though it has proven to work, I think we have been moving away from this way of giving information (and trying to get sales). People already get a lot email and notifications and when the email arrives might not be the perfect time for them to read it, and by the time they have some spare time to read it, it has already been pushed down by other emails.
People go and get the information they want themselves. So a blog seems better to me.

But the spin you put on this email blogging is really good. Many blogs have a lot of great articles buried in a desert of normal articles. If you can streamline/structure your blog posts so it makes more sense to new visitors then that would be great. Like in your example, that is really helpfull for new readers.

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Steve Scott

I feel ya. I am a huge fan of email marketing, though. ;)

Regardless of whether you email blog or email, “market” it is essential to provide more value than just, “buy my product” those types of pitches are just spam. They may be what most people mean by “email marketing” and I totally understand that aversion. But just like a blog, if you want to connect with people in a real and tangible manner you need to connect. have some personality and do more than just sell. Obviously in some niches it will never work. I don’t see how you could ever email market or email blog about electric pole chainsaws ;) . But you can obviously make a kick ass site about them!

Reply

Danny

Haha true. Don’t see that happening.
Of course it’s all about value, and if the person you email, subscribed to your list first then at least they are somewhat open to it.
But the “They are trying to sell me something” alarm is triggered much faster when you approach the client, opposed to letting the client come to you.

But then again, the biggest mistake most sales people make is not asking for the sale.

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Caleb

Promoting certain blog posts in emails is starting to become quite a trend which is somewhat odd considering Aweber for instance allows you to send blog post broadcasts automatically along with other messages. But the point here is to promote certain posts that deal with certain topics…kinda like using old post promoter plugin except it being inside an email.

Well this just proves there really “isn’t nothing new under the sun” just varing degrees of using what is already present ;)

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Steve Scott

Caleb,
there really “isn’t nothing new under the sun”. Love that!

You are so right, every single thing online harkens back to some other idea, whether it is recent or old. They just put new twists and spins on them

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Mark Jeath

Excellent post Steve! I am going to start doing the same. Thank you very much for all the information. Loss of interactivity is a downside (the biggest one IMO) but with such a great plan it doesn’t count for much. Thank you again.

Reply

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