I’m now running email newsletters for a total of four sites. Fat Stacks is one of those four.
I never have much difficulty attracting subscribers. It’s pretty easy coming up with and creating enticing free offers.
What I struggle with is making the newsletter pay. Actually, that’s not an issue with Fat Stacks, but it is with niche sites.
I’ve dabbled with niche email newsletters for years (on and off). Not only is it hard to make them pay but it’s hard to come up with content for them in a way that appeals to readers.
Sure, I can paste new articles into the newsletter or use some email newsletter template software like Elink.io to create newsletters and I do.
What I really want to do is create newsletters that people open, read, click-through in droves.
What that means is coming up with article ideas that target specific keywords that has broad appeal. It’s not so easy.
For Fat Stacks it’s easy because most of the content I produce is with the email newsletter in mind. I publish some on the blog but it wasn’t written for the blog. I’m fine with this because the Fat Stacks newsletter pays well.
Why is search-content different from high engagement email content?
I think it boils down to the push vs pull nature for each type. Search content is pull content. People seek it and want it. If your article ranks on page one of Google for a particular search, chances are the article is relevant to what people are searching. There’s strong alignment.
An email newsletter is push content. You push something out to thousands of people. It needs to have fairly broad appeal to the audience yet offer something specific enough to be interesting or helpful.
Email is disruptive so if you want it to be effective, it must be good and interesting. Subscribers have to be interested in the content concept communicated by the subject line. Then the content must deliver on that promise.
It’s not tricky to do if you’re only writing for email. It gets tricky to do when you’re writing for both the email newsletter and scoring free traffic from Google when it’s published as a blog post.
I’ve been working on this quite a bit. I’m not sure I’ve cracked the code but I’m getting better at it. Email is one of the missing puzzles with my niche sites.
Even if I do succeed, email will never be as lucrative as search traffic or as lucrative as the Fat Stacks email (B2B niche). I’m not delusional but it would be good to make it worth doing… and it’s only worth doing if the email content succeeds as published blog posts in search. This is critical.
I’ll use the vehicles niche again since I’ve used it the last few newsletters.
It’s safe to assume anyone who subscribes to a vehicle-oriented email is interested in cars or was once upon a time.
This means we need to come up with article ideas that have mass-interest yet is still specific.
What could we do?
Here’s an engaging topic with wide appeal for an email newsletter in the vehicles niche.
Could this electric vehicle problem ruin Tesla?
The big problem I would reveal is EV battery lifespan and the cost to replace it.
Yes, that subject is clickbait but you need to come up with enticing subjects when doing email marketing (unless your audience reads anything you write).
Compare that to something such as “10 fastest electric vehicles” or “How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?” or “What are electric vehicle batters made of?” all of which would make for fine blog post because of the search volume for those topics but they won’t perform well when pushed to email subscribers. Sure, some folks will read them but they don’t have that mystery and intrigue quite like “Could this electric vehicle problem ruin Tesla?”
How to rank or at the very least, benefit the website with this topic?
The topic “Could this electric vehicle problem ruin Tesla?” doesn’t really target any good keyword. As a stand-alone post it’s not good.
Instead, create a section in an EV article with the heading “Could this electric vehicle problem ruin Tesla?” and link to that section in the article from the email newsletter.
What this does is it allows us to have engaging email marketing content and add great content to the site at the same time. In other words, we get to leverage that content for both newsletters and the website… but in a way that’s also engaging and enticing.
You could do this so easily and quickly by inserting super interesting chunks of content in existing and new articles targeting good keywords.
What I typically do is come up with interesting email topics and then I figure out where to put it on my site.
If you do happen to come up with an article concept that works for search and email, that’s terrific… but it’s not easy to always do. This “link to a section in an article” concept for email solves the problem.
It’s simple and it’s free. I use the SimpleTOC gutenberg table of contents plugin or Table of Contents Plus plugin for Classic Editor. It creates links to every heading in the the article. I just ensure the email topic is a heading in the article and link to it.
Important benefits of driving traffic directly to your niche site
1. Traffic is good for SEO: Not only do you develop an engaged readership, but you send traffic to your content. Traffic is always good. Always, always good (assuming it’s real traffic and not bots).
2. Earn revenue from ads.
3. Amazon commissions: You can’t promote Amazon in email. If you want to promote Amazon, you need to send email readers to your website.
Bolster older content
You can write engaging content chunks and add them in old content. You get to update that content and drive traffic there again. Maybe that’ll help bolster rankings. Remember, it’s a numbers game. Not every article you update will improve. Not every article you drive direct traffic to will improve search rankings. But if you do it enough, results will materialize.
The sooner the better IF YOU HAVE THE TIME. You might as well start testing ideas now if you’re interested in email traffic to your site. It’s not for every site. It does take time and effort. No one can blame you for focusing 100% on search traffic.
The one thing I like about email is it’s automated. You can use “email sequences” so that every new subscriber receives every email you create. It’s a good way to leverage your effort. I do this with each email newsletter… every time I create a new email newsletter, as long as it’s evergreen, I add it to the automated sequence. Fat Stacks is the exception… I do have a sequence but most emails, like this one, is a broadcast. Again, Fat Stacks is different than run-of-the-mill B2C niche sites.
It was only recently I figured out this linking to specific article sections concept. I never liked how good email content often didn’t perform well as blog post content. Now it can. While email content may not target great keywords, the additional content to existing articles will help and the direct traffic to those articles will definitely help.
What email software provider do I use?
I use Convertkit for every email newsletter. I create a new Convertkit account for each site so it’s all separated properly. The cost is based on the number of email subscribers I have. I scrub regularly to keep the cost down. Scrubbing is removing subscribers who haven’t opened an email in a stipulated amount of time such as the last 3 months.
For some sites I use the email sign up forms provided by Convertkit. When I need better functionality, I use Convertbox. For example, I have one email list where I segment men and women (the fashion site) because when it comes to fashion, there’s little chance that the same content will appeal to both men and women. I use two-step sign up forms by Convertbox for this.
Jon Dykstra is a six figure niche site creator with 10+ years of experience. His willingness to openly share his wins and losses in the email newsletter he publishes has made him a go-to source of guidance and motivation for many. His popular “Niche site profits” course has helped thousands follow his footsteps in creating simple niche sites that earn big.