Blog posts and newsletters are the peanut butter and jelly of content marketing. They’re both pretty useful on their own, but come together in a magic combination that’s sure to attract potential customers to your business’ website. While blogs help you reach new people, newsletters strengthen relationships with your current audience. Here are some tips to combine both tools in a successful content marketing plan for 2018:

1. Plan Out Useful, Practical Blog Topics

Readers like to know that they’re doing business with a knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneur — publishing useful blogs on a regular basis is your chance to shine. By offering tips, how-to’s, and explanations in your area of expertise, you’re both giving people a reason to engage with your website and establishing your credibility.

And believe it or not, this credibility matters to Google, too — posting informative content and posting it often will bump your website up in Google rankings. For example, if your blogs can offer authoritative answers to frequently asked questions, Google will make your website more discoverable to online searchers — especially if you use search engine optimization (SEO).

One downside to blogging, however, in addition to the time it involves, is that even your most loyal customers won’t remember to check for your weekly or monthly post. That’s where an email newsletter comes in.

2. Market Your Blog with Thematic Newsletters

A blog’s job is to market your business, but it can’t be successful if no one knows it exists…that’s why you have to market the blog itself, through newsletters that inform your audience about the latest updates, announcements, and information you’ve provided on your blog. The best way to do this is to establish consistent themes between your newsletter and the blog it previews.

For example, a food blogger who has just published a weekly post with five Thanksgiving recipes might send a newsletter about tips for Thanksgiving food preparation. The newsletter could include a brief introduction followed by a sneak peek at the blog, a call to action such as “read more” or “learn more” with a link to the blog, and a free offer or sign-up to get people engaged with the business.

Try a user-friendly platform such as Mailchimp, Aweber, or InfusionSoft, which make it easy to design, schedule, and send emails to your whole audience in one batch.

3. Plan for the Long Term

Create an editorial calendar for 2018. Decide how often you’ll publish blogs and send newsletters, and come up with enough topics to for the full calendar year. Keep in mind that even though planning for 12 months out can be time-consuming, you’ll save time in the long run. With the brainstorming out of the way, you can make best use of your time each week for writing blogs and designing campaigns. And entrepreneurs know better than anyone else that time is money!

Marketing useful and interesting content through blogs and email campaigns can be the most powerful tool to grow your business, giving old and new customers ample opportunity to spend money with you. However, creating a comprehensive content marketing strategy takes a good amount of time, and the results aren’t always immediate. But don’t throw in the towel!

It’s my job to help small business owners with tasks that they either don’t have the time for or familiarity with. I’ll lend my own marketing experience and work with you to develop a plan for the year. Whether you’ve already started planning or are just launching your blog, reach out and see how I can help you grow your business in 2018 and beyond.