Nov 8, 2009

A Newsletter For Your Garden Blog

I signed into Google Friend Connect to moderate a couple of "members" of my garden blog when I noticed that there is a newsletter gadget that you can add to your website or blog. If you use the followers gadget on your garden blog your garden blog has an account at Google Friend Connect. All you need to do is follow the instructions given for adding any of those gadgets to your blog or website.

The newsletter looks pretty interesting and easy to use, and the best part is that it is free! I've been thinking about ways I could interact with visitors and readers of my garden blog without creating posts and the newsletter gadget may be the answer.

Sometimes I get offered products to test or I may have extra seeds, plants or bulbs from my garden. My first inclination is to offer them on the blog, but I've noticed that sometimes on these giveaways people come out of the woodwork. I'd rather give them to loyal readers and people who take the time to leave comments and offering them in the newsletter could solve this problem.

If you're interested in creating a fanbase around your garden blog you could use the newsletter gadget to inform people of events you're participating in, your accounts on social networking sites, new blogs you're launching or past posts on your garden blog they may have missed.


  1. i saw you post this on Twitter. great info. thanks for sharing!!

  2. No problem, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  3. Thanks for the post and passing on the info. I've thought of doing something like this. Seems like it could be a intro to posts, a teaser of sorts so the recipient could browse and pick what they found interesting.If it could be sent out to a email list as well, then even better. I'll put it on my "let's try this out" list. :-D

  4. Hi,

    If you give it a go do feel free to shoot me an email and let me know what you think of it.

  5. A newsletter is a great idea. I'm not sure I'd have time for it right now, but still think it's great.

    I have mixed feelings about commenters who seem to come out of the woodwork for giveaways. Some may be regular readers who don't typically leave comments. In those cases it's kind of cool that a giveaway inspires them to de-lurk. Others are new, and a giveaway may raise your blog's profile and increase future visitors. Of course there are others who visit only when there's a giveaway and don't come back.

    I wonder how giveaway sponsors would view this. I suspect they'd prefer a blog giveaway since it's open to more people and raises their product profile. On the other hand if a giveaway was also announced on the blog but entry was only through the newsletter, that could be a possible compromise. It also might ultimately increase readers since a newsletter subscription delivered to an email address has the potential to increase blog readership.

    I've done, I think, three giveaways on my blog. Most of the commenters were regular readers and commenters. All three times random drawings resulted in regular readers winning. When I gave away five packets of Renee's seeds, one or two of the winners weren't regular readers.

    I haven't noticed either the non-regular winners or participants returning to future posts with comments. Maybe they read sometimes. It's hard to say since I don't pay much attention to my site meter.

  6. @Garden Girl,

    Thanks for the comment. I hadn't thought about how the companies who do the giveaways would feel about doing them privately. I was mostly thinking about stuff that I either own or wanted to share, for which I would have to pay shipping. If it is coming out of my pocket I'd rather it go to someone who I've seen before,(either in the comments or followers gadget) that someone who may have stumbled upon the giveaway looking for something else and who may never return.

  7. I love giving away stuff on my blog. It's such hard work building up a blog's readership, I really appreciate the readers that Life on the Balcony has. That being said, there are ways that you can prevent people from gaming the system. For example, you could have a comment contest and make it a rule that the comment has to be substantive (not "great post"). That way, the people who regularly comment on your blog will actually have the advantage, because they have the chance of getting rewarded for something they do normally. If people de-lurk for the contest, they might realize how much fun it is to not only interact with the blogger, but the other commenters, and become a regular themselves.


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