With spam filters on high alert, delivering a newsletter by email is not as easy as it was even one year ago. Should it reach your subscriber's inbox (without getting siphoned into a junk folder), it still has to vie for attention among dozens—or even hundreds—of new messages.

1. A blog is not email

A Weblog or blog, on the other hand, is a page on your site that can be updated several times a week with fresh content. If a reader has “subscribed” to your blog, he or she gets an alert (consisting of the headline and brief summary) every time you post a new article or bit of information. (It works much the same way you include a teaser paragraph in your e-newsletter with a link back to the full article on your site.)

If you're thinking that subscribers have to proactively “visit” your blog (a “pull” tactic) versus having an ezine or e-newsletter delivered to them (a “push” approach to marketing online), there's good news.

You can subscribe to a blog using downloadable software called a newsreader. NewsGator is a popular one because it integrates seamlessly with Outlook. There are lots of newsreaders to choose from, many of them free. Once installed on your desktop, the newsreader (also called a news aggregator) grabs the latest updates to your blog via an RSS feed.

No need to worry what RSS is (it stands for Really Simple Syndication). Just have faith that RSS is a new way to publish and distribute content on the Web without using email. And that's the point. No email. So, no worries about spam filters or delivery problems.

2. A blog is an instant publishing tool

A blog is an easy-to-use content management tool. When you “blog,” you are instantly adding new content to your site via a Web interface. No technical or programming skills are necessary. Anyone can update the copy and content on your site via a blog. In fact, think of a blog as just another page on your Web site.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Weil is an online marketing and corporate blogging consultant based in Washington, DC. She blogs at www.DebbieWeil.com and www.BlogWriteForCEOs.com. Visit her main site at www.WordBiz.com.