Blog vs Newsletter – which is best for my small business

Blog vs Newsletter – which is best for my small business

Are you confused with a blog vs newsletter? Are you unsure which is best for your small business? Then read on and find out the answers

What is the difference between a newsletter and a blog?

Newsletters for business

A newsletter is sent to a specified group of people that have subscribed to your mailing list. This group can also be segmented down according to their interests, location or any other criteria you set. This allows you to target specific people with tailored messages.

Newsletters can contain a range of content on different topics. A newsletter can be as short or as long as you want.

Once a newsletter is sent, the reader will not be able to see it again after they have opened it unless they save the original email.

Blogs for business

A blog is available for anyone in the world to read who visits your website. It helps position you as an expert in your field and if written in line with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) best practices can help drive traffic to your website.

A blog usually focuses on one specific topic. A blog should contain at least 300 words but 1000 is recommended.

Blogs can be updated as and when you need to as they stay live on your website until you remove them.

When should I use a newsletter?

You should use a newsletter to keep in contact with your subscribers, provide valuable and relevant information and promote your products and services. This helps create a relationship with your subscribers and to keep you top of mind for when they are ready to buy.

Newsletters should be sent on a regular and consistent basis so your subscribers don’t forget who you are. This should be a minimum of once every quarter.

When should I use a blog?

A blog helps position you as the industry expert in your field. Regular blog writing can help drive valuable traffic to your website and if you add an opt-in can help gain new subscribers to your newsletter for tailored marketing.

Blogs should be written on a regular and consistent basis at least once per month.

What should I put in a newsletter?

Newsletters can include:

  • Latest industry or company news
  • Top tips
  • Updates on new products and services
  • Special offers and discounts
  • Case studies
  • Product reviews
  • Link/s to blog posts
  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Request for feedback/survey
  • Recommendations on anything from useful resources to books, software etc
  • Seasonal greetings

What should I put in a blog?

A blog should be written about a specific topic related to your business. It’s useful to listen to what your target audience is talking about and what questions they are asking and use this as your topic.

It should include:

I would suggest these three additional items at the end of each post.

  • A call to action telling people what to do next.
  • A comments box to encourage people to interact
  • Social sharing buttons to help people share your content with others.

Blogs should be written in line with SEO best practices to help them be found by the search engines.

Which is better – a newsletter or a blog?

Both newsletters and blogs are a valuable part of any marketing campaign, and they should be used in conjunction with each other.

Your blog will help attract visitors to your website where they will see what you do and be directed to get in touch, buy or make a booking. It will also direct people to your newsletter for targeted marketing.

Your newsletter will build relationships where you can promote your offerings and direct people to your site to find out more about you and see what else you have on offer.

blog vs newsletter

Now you know the difference between a blog vs a newsletter but are you still unsure how to proceed? If so, take a look at the resources below. Learn all about blogging for business with a step-by-step course or get your content written for you via The Small Business Kit hands-on services.

Valuable resources:

Blogging for Business Course

Access the Blogging for Business course with workbook and planner for just £27. It includes everything you need including how to come up with ideas on what to write, how to create an attention-grabbing headline, how to build your audience and how to write for the search engines (Top SEO tips)


Copywriting service

Get your blog written for you with The Small Business Kit’s hands-on service.

The key step to creating a successful business

The key step to creating a successful business

A top tip to creating a successful business from a 42-year-old millionaire.

Whilst on holiday, I got chatting to a chap who having retired at the ripe old age of just 42 appeared to have the key to creating a successful business.  From what I could gather he was a very wealthy individual and I had to dig deeper into what he did to become so successful at such a young age.

The very short story is that he took over a failing company, built it up, sold it for millions and retired.

When I asked how he built the business up so quickly, he told me he focused purely on customer service. Yes, the product had to be up to scratch but he concentrated on giving the best customer service he could, and then some. And the interesting thing is that after a year of him selling the business, it had started to fail and has since fallen bankrupt.

I can totally relate to this, as those of you who know me, will know I bang on about how the customer is the person who will make or break your business and if you are serious about creating a successful business, you need to give exceptional customer service at all times.

Aeons ago, I built up a failing estate agency practice to become one of the most successful in the chain of offices by focusing on customer service. As many of you may have discovered for yourself, customer service is severely lacking in the majority of estate agencies. I made sure every single vendor and buyer was contacted each week to let them know what was going on with the sale and purchase. I made sure every single person looking for a property was contacted at least once a month to update their details and discuss what was happening in the marketplace.

All our clients and contacts knew we were working behind the scenes to do the best for them and that our staff cared. This resulted in a HUGE turnaround for the agency and we won many awards.

Focus on customer complaints

When I started as Operations Director for another company, it had no less than six full-time workers dealing with customer complaints. I was asked to help sort out the sales staff so more customers could be brought on board. Rather than doing this, I focused on the complaints, what was causing them and ways to stop them from happening again. This resulted in eventually having just one person answering the phone to complaints on an ad hoc basis with a huge increase in turnover due to cancellations being reduced dramatically.

Too many businesses don’t focus on existing customers and are always looking to find new ones. Take care of your existing customers and clients who will appreciate your efforts, keep coming back to buy from you and bring new people with them.

Remember, it can take months to find a new customer but just seconds to lose one.

Create an exceptional customer experience

If you would like to find out how to create a customer experience that is the key to creating a successful business and gets you remembered for all the right reasons, check out the module in my member’s area which includes:

  • Customer service review sheet to score your business in different areas
  • A client touch point sheet with examples of how to ‘wow’ your customers
  • A sample follow-up plan to stay in contact with your customers
  • A client contact sheet template

Access the module now.

FREE marketing for your business

FREE marketing for your business

We all love free marketing for our businesses and here are a couple of ways that you may not be utilising.

You probably already know that Google is the top search engine in the world, but did you know that Bing is second?

And more importantly, did you know that both Google and Bing allow you to promote your business on their platforms for FREE?

But MOST importantly, ARE you promoting your business through both these search engines?

If not, you’re missing a trick. You’re missing the opportunity to promote your business in front of endless more people without having to pay a penny. Why would you not want to take advantage of that?

Google Business

When you type a search term into Google you will see local business listings appear at the top of the page with a map showing their location. This is where you can place your business.

Google Business allows you to list your business and add information such as your website, opening hours, list your products and services and post updates. And it’s absolutely free!

The other thing with Google Business is that it allows your customers and clients to leave reviews which can help build your credibility.

Once your listing is set up it’s super easy to go in and amend any information whenever you want. You may want to post updates about your business, add a new product or service, or amend your opening hours such as at Christmas time.

You can find out more about Google Business and get questions answered on the Google Business FAQ page. And to get your business set up visit their How To Claim or Add Your Business page

Bing Places

Bing Places basically works in the same way as Google Business by allowing you to list your business and add your website, photos and opening hours. It’s currently not possible to create new posts as you can on Google Business but you can add deals and discounts.

You can find out more and how to add your business on the Bing website

Take advantage of free marketing

It really is worth getting your business listed on both these platforms, particularly if you trade locally. As search results tend to show businesses local to you, having your business pinpointed on a map in the local search results is essential. It’s great for directing visitors to your website so is a great tool for SEO (search engine optimisation).

Anything that helps increase your online visibility can only be a good thing and with free marketing for your business, it’s a win-win. Block some time out in your diary right now and go get set up.

If you find the whole thing quite daunting and don’t know where to start, do get in touch. As part of The Small Business Kit Hands-On Service, we can do it for you.

How to build an online audience

How to build an online audience

A question I was asked today in my Facebook group was:

For someone starting out what advice would you give to build your online audience?

Here is my short and sweet answer:

How to build an online audience

  • Identify your ideal audience
    • you can’t talk on the same level as someone if you don’t know who they are
  • Identify what their biggest challenges are
    • you need to be talking about what they want help with, not just posting pics of your dinner and walks with your dog.
  • Be clear on what your page/group/list is going to be about and include and what your chosen audience will get out of it.
    • A little planning goes a long way in saving a lot of time with meaningless ad-hoc posts
  • Ask yourself why they would want to join.
    • If you can’t find a reason, keep thinking! Get creative and find a compelling reason for others to join and stay.
  • Create a mix of posts to include tips on how to solve their pain point and posts to encourage interaction and engagement. Run competitions.
    • Constantly posting the same old thing gets boring. Your audience will turn off.
  • Answer all comments. You want to work on building relationships and trust.
    • Ignoring people who have taken the time to interact with you is plain rude. They won’t bother again.
  • Give loads of support to your audience. Again, this builds trust and helps position as the expert to go to.
    • By giving good quality advice and support you will start to create an environment where people will want to buy from you when they need the products or services you offer.
  • Post valuable content consistently and persistently. It will take time.
    • Don’t give up or let your posts become sporadic if you don’t get a good response from the beginning. People will be watching you behind the scenes.
  • Interact in other groups and invite people to join your page/group/list
    • (if in groups check what the rules allow – pay close attention to this!)
  • Add the link to your online channel everywhere – on your website, bottom of email signature etc
    • Don’t waste any opportunities for people to join your online tribe.

And if you need more help coming up with ideas and planning to build your online audience, come on over and join my member’s club. Everything you need is right there.

When emails can be bad for communication

When emails can be bad for communication

Lost in communication

A word of caution and why emails can be bad for communication.

I sent an email yesterday and was stunned to find that someone took offence to it. When we discussed it, they had read it in a completely different way from what it was intended.

They had read what was meant as a supportive sentence as an accusatory one. I felt sick to the stomach that I had unintentionally upset them. But when we had a phone conversation to find out what went wrong, it was like a light bulb came on in both our heads.

We had both read exactly the same words but read them in a completely way due to the way we read them.

Thankfully, all was sorted out but do be aware of how our words come across and that the written word can be lost in communication.

What I mean by that is each person who reads it may glean a different understanding of what you have written depending on which word they put the inflection on.

Here’s a classic example. Take the following sentence which contains seven words:

I never said she stole money

Now read it putting the inflection on a different word each time and see how the meaning of the same sentence changes. It can be read with a different meaning in seven different ways!

  1. I never said she stole my money. This means they are stressing it was someone else who accused her. Not them.
  2. I never said she stole my money. This means they are stressing they never ever said that.
  3. I never said she stole my money. This means they never actually accused her of stealing money, or that they actually wrote it instead of speaking.
  4. I never said she stole my money. This means they never said it was the girl who stole the money, but someone else stole it.
  5. I never said she stole my money. This means they never said she explicitly stole it, but did something else with it like borrowed it.
  6. I never said she stole my This means they are stressing it was someone else’s money she stole, not theirs.
  7. I never said she stole my money. This means it wasn’t money she stole, but something else.

Their understanding could also differ depending upon what mood they are in. If they are feeling grumpy, they may read it in a negative manner. I know I have had to pull myself up before when I’ve been rushed and stressed and about to react negatively to a message. When I take a few deep breaths and re-read it, I have a totally different perspective.

If you have something important to say, pick up the phone or use a voice app. It may just save a very awkward situation.

Have you had an experience with emails causing bad communication? Share your experience in the comments below.


Why you may be losing customers because of broken promises

Why you may be losing customers because of broken promises

Have you been losing customers and not sure why?

If you’ve been losing customers, maybe it’s because you have been breaking promises you cannot keep.

“What?” I hear you exclaim!  Me?  Break promises?  Never!

Well good on you if you don’t because I have discovered there are far too many out there who do.  And I bet they are losing numerous customers because of it without even realising.

You can have the best product or service on the market and exactly what your customer is looking for, but if you let them down during the customer journey they will walk.

Over the past couple of months, I have been promised numerous things from thank you gifts for completing surveys, to information sheets following up treatments to trial samples of products.  These are the small things you think may not matter. But if they fail to be delivered they matter a lot! The potential customer loses faith in your ability to look after them.

And then there are the bigger ticket items where a potential customer has asked for a quote. You promise to get it to them within 48 hours and two weeks later they are still waiting!

At first, I wondered if it was just me.  But then I started to notice a few times on social media where someone had run a promotion, promised to send the prize to the winner, but had failed to do so.  The winner had turned from being delighted to being somewhat snarky and having to ask publicly when they were going to receive their prize.

And I’m seeing more and more on social media and hearing first-hand of people who have been let down.

And I have to be honest when someone promises me something that I haven’t asked for I am delighted and excited.  But when the said item fails to materialise, I feel a little narked.  Why did they bother offering anything in the first place? And if I’ve expressed an interest in buying from them and asked for a price or samples to try before I buy, if I get radio silence in return rather than what I was promised, I get seriously miffed and vow never to use them again.

Get organised and stop losing customers

Before you go making quick off the cuff promises to impress, think carefully if you can actually deliver on your promise.  And if you can, get organised!!  Carry a notebook or diary at all times and write down what you have promised to do.  And then do it!

If you don’t keep your promises, you could well be losing customers. In fact, I almost guarantee it.

I purchased from a lady recently and was fully prepared to buy again.  When chatting with her she promised to send me a free gift to try first.  When it failed to arrive, I felt that she didn’t really care about my custom and didn’t really care if I went back and purchased again or not.  So, I didn’t.  And I am sourcing someone else to buy from.

I could give you a shedload of other examples from buying a car, a new kitchen, new flooring, a holiday, a spa day and the list goes on.

If you don’t keep up your end of the bargain, buyers will lose trust in you.  They won’t believe that you will be able to deliver in the future and so may take their hard-earned money elsewhere. And the knock-on of this is they will tell others how you let them down gaining you a bad reputation. A survey back in 2020 by Forbes showed that no less than 96 of customers would leave a company if they experienced bad customer service.  Another survey in 2017 by American Express stated that customers who have a bad customer experience tell an average of 15 people! And I bet you it’s way more than that now with the increase in social media being used to out companies.

But the worrying thing is that whilst they are telling anyone and everyone who will listen, they may not be telling you about their unhappy experience with you. You simply don’t understand why they haven’t come back to buy. That’s if you remember them at all of course.

Stop over-promising

The interesting thing is that research shows the companies who break promises tend to be repeat offenders. This could be down to bad organisation or they are just way too busy to deliver on their promises. If you fall into this category, be honest with people and stop making those promises. You have more chance of selling to someone who isn’t expecting something you can’t deliver on.

We all know the old adage of ‘under promise and over deliver’ so stop setting unrealistic expectations and making promises you can’t keep.

Go back and look through past prospects and clients.  Did you promise anything that you failed to deliver?  If so, see if it’s not too late to rectify the situation and gain that trust back.

And for the future, set yourself up with a simple database. Every time you have contact with someone, go update their record and set yourself a task to do what you promised to do. It’s not rocket science.

And look on the flip side. If you do keep your promises, give great customer service and make your customers feel valued, you can create repeat customers for years to come.