Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Should bloggers expect people to read their emails? Here's when.

“Blogtyrant” (Ramsay Taplan, in Australia) has another detailed article on how professional bloggers should maintain email lists.  This means deleting some non-responsive subscribers, sometimes.  It was interesting how much time and attention Ramsay gives to maintaining his interaction with subscribers.

There is a lot of technical discussion in the comments, which seem as important as the original article.

The obvious question to the novice would be, why expect people to engage your emails when there is so much spam around?  (How about using a Facebook page, or Twitter, or Instagram?)  Is this a “do unto others” problem?  I rarely open emails about which I have the slightest suspicion,  Or sometimes I open them on an older computer, and find many of them just plain naïve and silly in the business deals that they propose.

The short answer is that a niche blogger, a subject-matter-expert in a narrow field, might have a chance of attracting subscribers who “know” you because they opted in (and it’s important to offer the opt-out).   The narrower the subject and more specific the need being met, the better the chance it works.  Some subjects that actually make blogs money would not appeal to many mainstream writers and bloggers, which is how a market like this works.  I can think of some unusual topics – like doomsday prepping (which sounds ironic).  The needs of refugees and asylum seekers (legally different categories) and the responsibilities and possible liabilities for those assisting them sounds like a good topic for this.  So would something like adoption by same-sex couples or even singles, or transgender issues.  But these are very specialized and narrow and nor always in public debate.

It would seem that most niche blogs that make money are associated with small businesses that themselves have to be successful.  That can mean that the business owner has to hire someone or a company to manage email lists and other services.  That would seem to create an employment market, perhaps especially for college-age people in tech corridors (like Research Triangle Park and the Austin RX area).

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