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The Problem with Almost All Blogs—and An Easy Solution

This guest post is by John Trayhorn of the ECHO Affiliate Blog.

This post describes a problem that affects almost all bloggers, and almost certainly affects you. Implement these changes, and you should see page views, revenues and social sharing soar.

How it begins

You start off a great blog.

To start with almost nobody reads it. Hey, it takes time to build up an audience. (If you’ve just started, don’t give up—longevity is one of the keys to a successful blog!)

As time passes, you slowly gain an audience. When you publish a new blog post, you get a surge of readers.

But:

  1. Most of those readers will never see your old blog posts.
  2. Despite your increasing popularity, many people who do visit your blog and like it will miss many of your new blog posts.
  3. The readers never see your blog organised into a logical and coherent sequence.

There’s a solution.

What’s more, it’s easy to implement, has huge benefits and doesn’t take a lot of your time.

The solution to the problem

I first found the solution when I ran an Adsense website.

I noticed that most of the revenue came from our articles about jobs. We were already using an autoresponder website to send out our newsletters. But to maximise revenue, we needed to do something more.

Email blogging, done right

You may well have heard of autoresponders, or use one yourself, but hang on in with me—there’s more to it than sending out a few emails when you write a new blog post, or have something to sell.

Instead, you send out an email about every post you have ever written.

Not at the same time, of course. If you have an old blog with a lot of posts, the process could be spread out over years! And don’t include the post in the email—the aim is to get the reader back to your blog.

Instead, explain how each blog post will create value to your reader, and then include a link with a call to action back to the post. Remember to use a fantastic headline and to test these over time, so you get more and more opens—and more and more clickthroughs.

In my case, I took all our jobs articles, organised them into a logical sequence, emailed users about them over a couple of months, and watched our Adsense revenue explode from a few few hundred dollars to a peak of just under $3000.

You can see an example of one of our autoresponder emails here:

Autoresponder example

As I found out later, this approach works even better if you have a high-value product to sell.

Benefits for you, benefits for your readers

Think of this:

  1. Everyone you sign up gets to see every great post you have ever written (if any have bombed, you should cut them out of the email sequence—if not your blog).
  2. A one-off visitor can be turned into a person who visits your blog multiple times over the years using this technique.

What’s more, an increase in regular visitors leads into other benefits, such as:

  • more social sharing
  • more links
  • more comments
  • more revenue
  • and the much greater relationship you get with long-term readers.

This approach does require a change of emphasis on your blog. If you use this technique, your primary goal should be to get readers to sign up, not just to read.

You will also need to create a clear benefit to signing up, such as a free guide, an email course or, if you are selling a product, discount codes. (An email course can be as simple as your existing blog posts organised into a more logical sequence.)

Don’t think you are being selfish, either. There are clear benefits to the reader, who gets an organized sequence of free blog posts about a topic they’re interested in.

Have you used autoresponders to get traffic to your old posts? Tell us how it worked in the comments.

You can read more tips like this on the ECHO Affiliate Blog. And, of course, make sure you sign up so you get all of our fantastic tips via auto-responder!

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Comments

  1. Drewry says:

    I can surely understand and see where you’re coming from with this blog post, when talking about “blogging and e-mail blog marketing.” For the moment, DrewryNewsNetwork is not doing any current e-mail marketing, nor sending e-mails to current site subscribers every time a new post is made to the site. It’s not that e-mail blog marketing doesn’t work, the site founder just hasn’t had time to set up the e-mail blog marketing function. congratulations on reorganizing all of your articles about jobs and watching your AdSense income go through the roof :-)

  2. I actually like this idea! Maybe I’ll use it for a weekly newsletter once I have more content on my blog.

    • Hi Chihuahua,

      I’m pleased you liked the idea behind my article, another way of getting your old blog posts out there if you are using WordPress is to use a plugin called ‘Tweet Old Post’ this will post your old posts to your Twitter account. Maybe that’s another post for here at sometime!

      Thanks,

      John.

  3. Justin Mazza says:

    Hi John,
    This is a great idea and not one I have used before. I will definitely take a look at my older posts and link to them in my email newsletter. Maybe posts around a certain topic each time.

  4. Matt Greener says:

    If you are well focused, the topics that you write about on your blog will come up naturally in your emails maybe due to some recent conversation, current events or questions that you receive suddenly it will be like “oh yeah! I wrote a blog post about that: here”. It’s very good to increase the longevity of your posts as suggested rather than allowing them to fall off the recent posts and into oblivion. Thanks!

  5. Cudjoe says:

    This is indeed a great idea.

  6. Sarah says:

    Hi John, thanks for this article. I’m using this technique on my own blog, and had never had someone confirm that this is a good idea. So thank you ! I do send myself the autoresponders every 6 months or so to make sure the content is still up to date. You don’t want to send your readers to an “outdated” blog post. And I confirm that social sharing went up huge ! Another trick I use to get my old posts read and shared is the WP plugin “Tweet Old Post”. Great tool ! Thanks again for this post.

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for sharing the Tweet Old Post plugin, funnily enough, I suggested that in a previous reply to another comment before I saw your comment. So I think the credit for that one should go to you! Pleased to know that others are using this strategy with success.

      Regards,

      John.

  7. I like your post. This is so thoughtful of you to have put this up. It is very informative!

  8. Ali Zia Khan says:

    I basically write posts in the form of guides comprising seven or more posts and send them altogether in one email…are u saying about sending that one email about a series multiple times or what?

  9. Kushal Azza says:

    Great Idea to get connected with readers.. Thanks for tip… Will be visiting again on this blog.. :)

  10. I like this idea, the auto responder sequence could start with your pillar article and then go into more depth on each suggestion / tip provided in the original pillar. lets get on it!

  11. John says:

    Great advice :-)
    I’m using autoresponders but not that way
    What you suggest is extra work but it seems worth it

  12. Thanks for sharing this blog post. Just what we all need, a little push, encouragement and some refresher tactics we all always procrastinate on!
    Great post! Good Job!
    Thanks!

  13. Dean says:

    This is a great way to get traffic back to your blog, without constantly selling or promoting directly.
    Great stuff. Great post.

    • Hi Dean,

      Thanks for your kind comments, we are constantly bombarded with ads for just about everything these day that people just subconciously ignore it all. Provide them with something that informs and educates and you have a much greater chance of them actually reading it!

      Have a great day!

      John.

  14. Thanks John for the valuable insight.
    I too struggle organizing ‘older posts’. Sometimes it’s difficult to write the same topic, so the old one gets buried under the pile. Guess I should compile one email covering posts on one aspect of sleep.

  15. Jeff says:

    Great advice. I don’t even have enough users yet to send emails out to, but I do have a forum, so I can use that list as a go-to for sending out some blog articles from time to time when the users finally come…I’m in this for the long haul so I hope what you say about longevity is right…

    • Hi Jeff,

      You say you don’t have enough users yet? Are you capturing their info on all your pages by offering them something of value for free? This is the best way to build your list but what you give away must provide real value and should of course be related to your content.

      I guess you could also do this with your forum content? Why not compile some of your posts on the forum in to an email series? Even use the content of your forum, re-write into a blog post? The possibilities are endless!

      Longevity is key, it takes time, but provide interesting and informative content and people will share that with others and bring you more people. Good luck…

      John,

  16. Frank Woodman Jr says:

    Thanks for your insight and thoughts on this issue.

    All of us who use Social Media wither it’s by blogging, Twitting, or posting on FaceBook have the same issues and problems when it comes to attracting people and having engagement with them.

    Just how do we increase our numbers and interaction with people in a constructive way so that we can be successful in creating an online presence.

    Your suggestions and examples for using email certainly give guidance to show us both how you’ve done this using email campaigns and how we may be able to also use email to do the same.

    You can bet that I’ll be looking at email again as an additional tool to increase visitor numbers to my sites and blogs.

    • Hi Frank,

      Thanks for your kind comments, many will say that email marketing is dead but I think that just depends on how you use email. Use it to just sell to people and yes, I agree it is dead. Use it to provide interesting and informative content and it is still very much alive!

      I can’t remember who said it but it goes something like “help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want” Provide education for people and become a leader – People will naturally follow you.

      Kind Regards,

      John.