I had a birthday over the weekend. Nothing milestone, just another notch on the yardstick of life. Other than Greg spending way too much for dinner, it was a really nice birthday.
Birthdays always make me look back on my life. What have I accomplished? What more do I want to try?
At this stage of my life I'm more interested in experiences than amassing 5,000 friends on Facebook.
My blogging (and blog reading) is reflecting that too. I've been more interested in reading about people's experiences than blow by blows of a novel's word count, or the author's editing frenzy.
Nonetheless, I still have a weakness for learning the best way to stay on people's radar. That led me to this article. "Why you shouldn't create a newsletter." It's an old article, but useful.
Basically, it states that you're better off writing good blog content and signing up people to read your blog through email, rather than have them subscribe to a newsletter.
It made sense because the reason I don't subscribe to many newsletters is due to time constraints. I barely keep up with blogs.
That said, the author's reasoning isn't foolproof. I get tons of mail. Too much mail, even after I deleted many newsletters, forum notifications, and even blog posts, so putting your blog on a subscriber list can backfire.
But...and this is important...when it is a good blog post, I LIKE having it in my in box for easy access. If said blogger says equally brilliant things regularly, I'm likely to even create a subfolder for him/her so I can reference their posts more easily.
Emailing a blog post has a dual purpose in that not only do you increase your mail list, which is the whole point of newsletters, but you also make sure that people see your post. Will they read it? The only way to know for sure is if they comment.
The subject of comments merit a whole blog post in itself. I generally leave thoughtful comments, and love people who do the same for me. It makes me feel we made a connection, at least on one topic.
You don't get that benefit from a newsletter, unless the reader writes to tell you so.
I don't think there's one right way to gain visibility. Some people are brilliant at Twitter. I suck at it. Unlike my friend, Jenny Schwartz who rocks Twitter. (And by the way, she's signing up subscribers to her newsletter right this minute.) She's got a great giveaway.
Other people reach a lot of followers/fans through Facebook. Since I use FB strictly to be social, I'm fairly likeable there. But blogging is my zone. It's where I feel I reach the most people regularly.
Some of my readers never leave comments, but they do send me lovely emails, or hire me for design work, which is its own compliment. Some of them mention me on their blogs. And some Like my post on the Facebook feed to show me they read my post. It's all good.
The important thing is to be visible where you feel you make the most impact. Whether you're an author, a book blogger, an artist, or a homesteader like me, make your mark so it can be seen, not just for today, but in the future.
How do you feel about newsletters? How about emailed blog posts? Where do you think you're most in the zone?