Is a blog or an email newsletter better for writers? Should you have both?
Jane Friedman, an author and speaker with an award-winning blog, has an April 2021 blog post with her short answer to the question of which is better:
· Neither is better; everything depends on the writer and their goals.
· If forced to choose, a free email newsletter is the better strategic option for writers focused on long-term career development.
· Blogging works better for reaching new readerships but requires research and skills that take time to develop.
Here are two key quotes from that April 2021 blog post (see more at https://www.janefriedman.com/blogging-vs-email-writers/):
“When I refer to ‘blogging,’ I’m referring to online writing that you publish at your own site or at a group blog. Blogging started about 20 years ago as a very personal, voice-driven form of expression. Today I consider blogging a professional form of writing that may come across as personal and informal, but requires a developed content strategy to be effective,” she writes.
“Great blog content can attract new and sometimes very large readerships to your door. However, most of us don’t avidly follow blogs these days. Instead, if we find something we like, we follow that writer on social media, sign up for their email newsletter or—if we’re really excited and enthusiastic—buy something from the author of the blog.”
One of the blog posts in Friedman’s archive has detailed advice on how authors can use blogs primarily to connect with followers with common interests rather than promoting books for sale. (See https://www.janefriedman.com/blogging-for-writers/). In the post, Friedman discusses the following:
· What it takes to become an effective blogger
· Frequency of blog posts
· Subject matter
· Choosing the right blogging platform
· A checklist before launching a blog
· Making it easy to browse and share blog content
· Improving discoverability through search engine optimization
· Posting interviews with other writers and bloggers
· Guest blogging
Using interviews with other writers to connect with followers is the focus of the blog by Deborah Kalb, another professional blogger, who is also an author, and a freelance writer and editor. (See http://deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com/). Kalb is one of the authors I follow regularly, and she has posted hundreds of Q&A interviews with writers on her blog since 2012.
If you’re interested in other examples of good blogs, check out an article by Publishers’ Weekly that says Friedman’s blog “is as good as it gets.” (See https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/60852-six-great-blogs-for-indie-authors.html)
Disclosure: Sometimes, blogs can lead indirectly to book sales. I bought Friedman’s 2014 book about publishing and promoting books and I bought Kalb’s 2016 children’s book about George Washington as a gift for one of my grandsons.