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The 3 Essential Components to My Online Publishing Business: Blogging, Social and Email

In the #BlogChat Twitter Chat earlier in the week the discussion was on using social media as part of your blogging. During the chat I made the following tweet:

My generalized view: Blogging is for showing expertise (CONTENT), SM is for interaction (CONVERSATION) and Email is for CONVERSION

The tweet was Retweeted 40 or so times and generated some interesting discussion however  while I still stand by it on some levels I was never really completely happy with it.

The tweet was overly simplistic/generalised (as you often have to be when you only have 140 characters to say something) so I thought maybe I should expand a little.

Let me start by saying that 'Blogging', 'Social Media' and 'Email' are 3 important parts of my approach to online publishing. Each plays an important role - however none are simply about one thing.

1. Blogging
Blogging is at the heart of what I do. My blog is my Home Base (I talk about home bases here - http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/10/06/social-media-home-bases-and-outposts/) - and is for me where I put most of my efforts. My blog is a place that another company like Twitter, or Facebook or G+ can't take away from me if I break their terms of service or if they change their approach. It is in my control and it is where I ultimately build my brand and community.

My blog is a place where conversation and conversion certainly does happen - but if I had to name my primary focus for my blog it would be that it is a place which I use to produce CONTENT that is useful to people. 

My hope is that every single day that on my blogs I publish posts that solve problems (big and small ones) for my readers through the content I produce there. 

My blog is a place that is often the first point of content that I have with people and is a place where I hope I'm able to create an impression upon them that will drive them to connect in some way. 

2. Social Media
Social media is a place which I primarily use for conversation and community. Yes these things also happen on the blog in comments - but I find increasingly people wanting to connect and converse OFF my blog with the rise of social media.

I tend to focus upon Twitter primarily but Facebook has increasingly become a place where my photography blog readers go and G+ is also growing for me in this way.

I DO use Social Media for other purposes - I use it to drive traffic to my blog for example, I occasionally produce content on it (particularly on G+ where I often 'think out loud') and I even promote my eBooks on it from time to time too (although I find it doesn't convert anywhere near as well as email - more on that soon).

All these things can be done on Social Media but for me it is more a place for conversation and interaction.

3. Email
I've written about the importance of email for me many times on ProBlogger (for example: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/10/31/how-i-use-email-newsletter-to-drive-traffic-and-make-money/) - it is the single most important thing I've added to my blogging since starting out 10 years ago.

Email does many things for me - it is a great way to drive traffic, it can help with building community and driving people to points of engagement, it can even be used to deliver content - but for me it's stand out benefit has been around driving sales  - CONVERSION.

Check out this graphic (http://digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Screen-Shot-2012-12-10-at-12.53.44-PM.png) which shows where sales of our eBooks come from:

- 87% of our sales come from email
- 7% come from our blog posts
- 3% comes from our social media
- 3% comes from our affiliates

Over the last few years since starting to publish eBooks I've tried many ways to promote them but the #1 method every time I've tested it is email.

3 Mediums Working Together
Blogging, Social Media and Email for me all have become really important aspects of my business. I can't imagine leaving one element out.

Each of them are useful in a variety of ways - in fact I often use each of the elements to promote the others as I find it reinforces them. 

For example - when someone signs up to our newsletter on dPS they get an email shortly after promoting to them our social media accounts. From time to time on our social accounts we promote the email newsletter and we regularly promote the blog posts we publish.

In sending people back and forth to the different parts of what we do I find people become more integrated into the community and the brand grows.

This post is a work in progress - would love to hear your thoughts, reactions, ideas and experiences!
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22 comments
 
I Can Typing!*

How often do you find that people just comment for the sake of commenting, or share for the sake of sharing +Darren Rowse I guess that a lot of your notifications add little to the article or other readers. Is it really difficult to find good comments or response to reply to and engage with to make 'social' media really social? 

Also, when you going to start playing with Hangouts and Hangouts On Air here?

*from  https://plus.google.com/u/0/111048918866742956374/posts/ETYUVzCmiZx
 
"My hope is that every single day that on my blogs I publish posts that solve problems (big and small ones) for my readers through the content I produce there."

Your blog DOES solve many problems, at least for me, and provides great information and help for bloggers. :) Thanks for this post too. 
 
You've always been a great source of relevant information for me.  Thanks.
 
+Rupert Wood How can you tell the difference between someone that's moved to share or comment and someone that's only doing it for the sake of it? 
 
+Simon Pollock tricky to answer that definitively! I know many innocently think a 'great post' comment is a worthy contribution to a discussion, others use that type of 'lol', 'Hi Darren' etc, to try and appear active and to get a follow back or new followers, google bonuses etc. 
The way that I see it is - if you don't have anything to add to the post or a comment worth others reading, you should really just use the +1 button as that's what it is there for.
But, this is my opinion, and many may consider a raft of 'hi I can typing' comments as a sign of successfully engaging their audience. 
I'm sure though that google only gives 'points for author rank' to comments over a certain length, shares where the sharer has added some personal introduction to the share, and discounts blank re-shares, and comments below a certain number of words.
 
I like your view.

Content and Conversation. I wold like to add Care ( the e mails can show that you really care on personal level. )
 
Bonuses! Where! Haha.. Yes, an interesting one for sure +Rupert Wood ...I do have a few people in the different social sites I look after that post the same comment across multiple posts - not sure what they're contributing, but c'est la vie! Thanks for your reply. 
 
+Simon Pollock do a little reading up on the rumours regarding author rank going around, and you'll see that many believe that engaging on posts is being scored, whilst short comments and no intro's to links are not (edited as appeared to have said are here originally!). Others also state that by 'engaging' on ones posts when comments are made is also a 'metric' that google are using to score authors based on their use of G+.
This link may be a good start to read a little into 'Author Rank' (not to be confused with Googles Authorship) - https://plus.google.com/u/0/107022061436866576067/posts/XmH3S1W9wEg 
edited to add this other good post about author rank
https://plus.google.com/u/0/110779935325706809622/posts/G6yE4XmmrAL 
 
I shall, thanks for the link +Rupert Wood and sorry to mess up your comments, +Darren Rowse ...i'll make it up next BBQ by not burning your lunch :D 
 
+Rupert Wood
New to blogging, new to Darren Rowse, but I was moved to reply because "hi I can typing" is the best thing I've read so far today. Thankfully I work from home, or the church giggles could pose a problem.
 
+Darren Rowse If you don't mind sharing, what are the main sources of traffic to each of these components? (e.g. blog traffic may be mostly from organic search or perhaps even from your email marketing campaigns).  These would be interesting statistics to understand how your community move into and around your network.
 
+Evelyn Stice ;) Glad you got giggles from that! But... Y u no share posts from blog public on G+? (I was curious enough to go have a look at a 'New Blog' and I like your style of writing... but, really think you should perhaps share blog posts at least on your profile for anyone not quite curious enough to scroll all the way to the bottom of your 'about' tab...) #JustSaying ;)
 
+Rupert Wood
You are completely right, of course. I actually just set the blog up, and I've been trying to do my due diligence with SEO and social media and such. Just hadn't got to that bit yet. But you have inspired me; I shall do it posthaste.
 
+Rupert Wood
Aaaaannndd done. Sort of. I didn't realize about the silly read-only API, so while I'm looking for something better, I'll just do the posts on G+ manually. New post today, in fact. I'd link it here, but I'm not quite sure if that's gauche or not, and I'd rather not be gauche if I can help it, since so often I can't.
 
Darren, this post is 100% gold! Thank you.
 
This great insight into how to approach social media thanks Darren. 
 
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