That is the question.
There are numerous methods for you to get the word out regarding your products and services including:
- marketing/posting/blogging on your own website,
- mailing a newsletter using tools such as MailChimp and Constant Contact,
- posting on social media,
- and/or posting on a forum or blogging platform such as Substack which has become popular lately.
Here is my assessment of the pros and cons of each.
If your site is created in WordPress, as is my preferred approach, blogging is built in. That is how WordPress came to being – its original purpose. Notification to subscribers can be set up with some well-tested plugins. An example of an organization using post notifications for 8+ years is https://www.awsaeast.org/. Note the breadth and organization of posts in the left sidebar. It can be a challenge to fine-tune 1) the addition of subscribers amongst spammers, and 2) the receipt of notifications by subscribers in their inbox and not in their spam folder. If generating revenue is important, paid membership can be established, and this improves the ability to add subscribers and reach them seamlessly. Although these take time, cost, and some technical knowledge, the biggest benefit is having a permanent record of everything you want to share on your own branding – your portfolio. Poise yourself as an expert. Find everything in one place rather than hunting for emails and in which newsletter you sent something.*
An email service such as MailChimp can be set up for you to send a newsletter. You can import a list of contacts, but be sure you have everyone’s permission. A signup form can be added to your website for new followers to add themselves to your list. If using a newsletter, my recommendation is still to put the full text on your website in a post. Provide partial information in the newsletter and provide a link to the website post so that you drive people to your website where they might learn other helpful information as well.
You can post on social media. As you probably already know, all of these efforts take time and reach a certain audience – not everyone. Plugins can be used on your website to include feeds or to attempt to cross post, but they can be problematic and will break every so often when the platforms change their methods. My biggest pet peeve about posting on social media is that older posts take time to find while loading the page by scrolling. Additionally, if anything you have said changes, like your holiday business hours or a sale price, it can persist on the internet because Google may have indexed it at one time.
The benefit of using a blogging platform such as Substack is that if you generate a large following you can easily turn it into a membership site. The con is that your material is on another platform.
*This post is a prime example of saving time and repetitive writing. Any of my clients or followers that read my tips will see it, and I can point people to it easily with the URL.