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Blogs vs. E-Zines: Round One

December 20th, 2004 by Bob Bly

A number of bloggers have told me, ?There?s not much difference between a blog and an e-zine.?

I disagree. There are at least three important advantages I get with my e-zine that I (can’t speak for others) don?t get with my blog:

1. With my e-zine, I own all the names in my subscriber database. That list has commercial value. I can rent it, swap it, and sell other people?s products to it as an affiliate (I make thousands of extra dollars a month through such affiliate deals — with zero work on my part). With my blog, the RSS feed owns the names ? I never see them.

2. With my e-zine, I can send out a message and know it will be received by my 63,000 subscribers the same day. With my blog, I have no idea how many people get it via RSS feed — or how many of those go to the new blog entry when notified.

3. With my e-zine, I can actively promote my own products and services to the list. E-zine readers accept and expect promotions. I wouldn?t dare do that on my blog; it seems to violate the unwritten rule of blogging as a ?pure? content medium.

Bloggers: do you promote products and services on your blog? Can you track the results?

Do you read blogs that blatantly pitch products and services? Do blogs influence your buying as a business or consumer?

Is it appropriate or inappropriate to advertise on one?s blog?


This entry was posted on Monday, December 20th, 2004 at 9:00 am and is filed under Blogging. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

76 responses about “Blogs vs. E-Zines: Round One”

  1. Gerold Braun said:

    Good points, you have made Bob.

    “Is it appropriate or inappropriate to advertise on one’s blog?” you ask. “Yes it is” is my answer. And it works. I own a blog and i do a little! advertisement there (in the right column, i have a pic and a link to the edu-lessons i offer).

    I have had 30 clicks in the first, 20 clicks in second week. And still have 5 clicks each week since then (the ad runs for 8 weeks now). There are 9 leads in pipeline (ordered example lessons) and 2 booked a course.

    Thats pretty good.

  2. B.L. Ochman said:

    As a blogger: Yes, i sell my reports, seminars, and services through my blog. And of course I can track sales. You read your site stats and you see where your traffic originated. And you get credit card info on all sales, including email.

    Yes, i read blogs that pitch products and services, but only as long as they are not heavy-handed and as long as their blog is not an ad for their services. I judge a blog by its content. Most bloggers sell their reports, etc on the sides of the blog, not in the content. There has to be integrity to content.

    Advertising on one’s blog. It absolutely is appropriate. We are all out here trying to make a living.

  3. Derek Scruggs said:

    Subscriber capture and metrics are currently serious drawbacks for blogs/rss. I don’t know if the subscriber capture part will ever be solved (though Bloglet hints at an “old is new again” possibility). FeedBurner is on the right track when it comes to metrics, though I’ve dealt with web spiders enough to know it’s not very precise. For that matter, neither are log file analyzers. There is a LOT of machine-generated traffic out there that people are not aware of.

  4. Shelle Castles-Melton said:

    I blog mainly for content, but also include affiliate links in with the content. I also have a subscription box on my blog for my e-zine. I get quite a few sign-ups per week through that alone.

    I think the type of “advertising” you can do on a blog, successfully, depends on the relationships you develop, just as with your e-zine. True, you can’t “own” the readers, but you can get closer to that step. Plus, with RSS and feed technology, the benefits of owning a business blog far outweight the time it takes to create a post.

    I’m in the same business as you are Bob and if the question was whether or not I pulled clients with my blog – the answer would have to be a resounding – NO.

    Just my thoughts.

  5. Joel Heffner said:

    It doesn’t have to be better to be useful. Regardless of whether a blog is as effective as email, direct mail, radio, or television, it’s good. As a new medium, it’s not fair to start comparing. In a few years, answers may be a lot different. Just like the Web…getting on board early can’t hurt.


  6. Gerold Braun said:

    @Joel – As an early adopter one does not ask for the price or the reason, that’s ok :-))

    @Bob – I’m still thinking about what you have pointed out. And as a passionate blogger -of course- i am looking for advantages of blogs.

    One huge advantage of a blog vs e-zine is, one get in front of web-surfers who are rigth now looking for the topic one writes about.
    A frequently updated blog which focusses a special topic (marketing for german smb’s in my case / copywriting for the fortune 500 in yours :-)) is google-juice for this topic.

    I run a newsletter, issued once a month. Within a google-search with “my terms” my newsletters will show up at rank 30-40 out of xxx-thousand, normally. One of my blog-postings with the matched terms, will show up among the top 10.

    Seen from the marketing angle: An e-zine’s strength is to convert sneak-peekers into buyers, a blog’s strength is to convert strangers into sneek-peekers.

  7. Marc Snyder said:

    There’s also a downside to your e-zine: you get caught by my anti-spam app every single time, whereas my RSS reader shows me at least the first few words of your post.




  8. Yvonne DiVita said:

    E-zines are okay. E-zines have their place. Professional writers know how to use e-zines and blogs to work together- to build a larger readership, and track more content. You say that you KNOW your ezine was delivered to the Xnumber of subscribers…but you DON’T know if they opened it, or if they read it, or if they deleted it. You say that with your e-zine you own your list and can sell it or whatever! EEEEkkkkk!!!!! Exactly why many of us are shying away from ezines! We don’t care to have that personal information shared all over the net…without our consent! When I opt-in to an ezine, I expect the owner to keep my personal information PRIVATE! Since that happens less and less now, I find myself opting in less and less. As for advertising…puh-lease! Blogs are way better tools for advertising. They aren’t ‘canned’ content– readers know immediately if the blogger is not being him or herself…they connect openly to other professionals who offer support and testimonials…(even some competitors– many bloggers tout both their own work and the work of colleagues who are in the same industry) and blogs INVITE comments…quick, easy notes to the blogger about what he or she has written. In an e-zine, hitting the reply button gets you nowhere. Writing a separate email isn’t worth my time. Give me a blog, where I can voice my opinion in short order…like this. Cheers, Bob. Happy Holidays. Love the new look.

  9. Jennifer Rice said:

    Bob, great to see you trying your hand at blogging. My view on this topic is that each medium is appropriate for a certain goal, and also that new innovations never replace what’s existing. TV didn’t put radio out of business. Video rentals didn’t put the movie theater out of business. And blogs won’t put any traditional media out of business. Blogs are linky content networks. They raise your visibility and enable you to connect and converse. E-zines are terrific ways to maintain connection with those people who have no idea what an RSS reader is. I like what Gerold said: “An e-zine’s strength is to convert sneak-peekers into buyers, a blog’s strength is to convert strangers into sneek-peekers.” My blog is in the top 10 rankings for a lot of marketing/branding/positioning searches, all because of the inbound links. A traditional web site can’t do that.

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  11. Wolf Erika said:
    Blogs vs. E-Zines: Round One
    Blogs vs. E-Zines: Rou…

  12. Anja Roxin said:
    Blogs vs. E-Zines: Round One
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  13. Anja Roxin said:
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  14. Venna said:
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  19. ProCopywritingTactics said:

    I think that it’s perfectly fine to advertise on your blog, provided that you give great content as well. After all, you want some ROI for the time you put in.

    You can use your blog as a relationship building tool and a sales tool. The 2 are not mutually exclusive.

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    Isn’t the blog an opening of a conversation? Then if readers subscribe, you can do a mix of advertising and information?

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