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Email list vs blog - where does new content go?



I’ve been trying to do more email marketing, including sending valuable information to my email list, but naturally blogs are important too because they’re easier to find, and to reference in the future. How do you guys manage content between the two? Is any of it exclusive? Posted first via email and then to the blog, or vice versa? One thing you could do is email first, then post to your blog - but… will Google ding you for duplicate content, assuming that you keep archives of your email campaigns?


I believe @brennandunn twitted just this week about what he does: first post to his mailing list and about a week later post to the blog. That makes sense since it gives your mailing list “priority” yet still makes sure to put your content online where it can get SEO and more people that learn from you, trust you and hopefully see why they should join your mailing list as well.


It would seem that @patio11 is now hosting his old mailing list content himself:


Going on one I pulled out of my email. Other emails from him (let’s see… mini course) don’t contain a link to a web archive at all.

So perhaps this is indicative that the best route is:

  1. Post the email. Do not archive it on the web.
  2. When it’s ready, tweak it a bit and put it on the blog.

If done this way, I suppose you lose the ‘link to this email on the web’, unless you’ve already set that up, but for a first approximation, it seems like it covers most of the bases?


One thing I’ve wondered about on this topic is if you only have infrequent updates. Perhaps blogging and posting a link on Twitter occasionally is better than sending out emails every few months and being marked as spam.


You give me way too much credit.

So, out of the box, MailChimp will let you get a permanently archived version of emails. I really hate the UX for it, and if you have e.g. user-specific links embedded (which I do for my emails sometimes, especially for e.g. sales or links that trigger auto-login), then the link gets published. That’s highly suboptimal for me.

So I thought I would do my own version of the email auto-archiving. Bonus points: it is trivially easy to do, since my Rails app generates the email HTML anyhow (I literally just copy/paste it into MailChimp since I hate their WYSIWYG interface), and it gives people easy, obvious share-this-with-others URLs.

Additional bonus: I edit all of my emails for the web version to include a paragraph 2 CTA to join my email list. This is, far and away, my largest source of newsletter growth.

As to whether to add new content to the email list or blog: I personally have two audiences in mind. Stuff for my blog is general interest to the tech community. Stuff for my email list is for people who have business interests in it, only. I typically don’t cross-publish between the two, but might make an exception in the future.