Emails Versus Blog Posts (Your Questions Answered)

posted by Andrea | 01/27/2020

emails versus blog posts

Last week, I shared the BIG BLOG NEWS that I plan to reduce my blogging frequency to 2 or 3 blog posts each week — down from 5 new posts each week which was my normal schedule for the past 10 years!

I was surprised by how many people thought I was completely shutting down the blog! 

NOPE! 

I’ll still be here 2 or 3 times every week, sharing simple-living tips, easy weeknight recipes, and clutter-busting motivation!

That said, if you’re a reader who really enjoys starting your weekday mornings with content from me, I have a super simple solution for you…

All you have to do is subscribe to my email list and you’ll get something from me most weekdays.

Thousands have already subscribed to my mailing list… thank you so much! 

However, announcing the new email list brought with it a host of additional questions (which I will answer below).

apple computer on farmhouse desk

Will you sell our email address?

Honestly, I was totally taken aback by this comment. It’s something I never ever thought of — and my answer is a resounding “NEVER!”

There is no way I’d ever sell or share or distribute your email address to anyone for anything! Dave is potentially the only other person who even has access to your email address — and you know he’s not doing anything with them! 

Rest assured, your email addresses are safe with me! 

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When will you send emails out?

My plan is to send some type of email communication out each weekday morning — shortly after 6 am. 

This might change if I feel 5 emails are too “noisy” for one week — but many of them will be short, with a few quick tips or ideas to motivate you each day. 

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When will you post on the live blog?

I don’t have my new schedule 100% set in stone yet — I want to give myself a chance to see what it feels like to publish 2 or 3 posts each week — then determine what feels MOST doable for me right now. 

My plan is to ALWAYS share a new post on Monday mornings. I hope to get a post up on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well. 

I will not post on Fridays unless it’s something time-sensitive that requires a Friday post. 

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What type of content will be in the emails?

Many times, my emails will highlight a handful of relevant blog posts (including any new posts I wrote that week). 

I will also share recipes I’m trying, quick organizational tips, life/family updates, little home projects we’re working on, and some of my favorite products. 

You really should just subscribe and see for yourself — you may always unsubscribe at any point (there’s an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email — no hurt feelings, no worries!)

computer desk and ball chair

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But how will you make money?

I love that so many of you are concerned with my income. Several of you even offered to come to my blog each day and scroll through old posts so my ad revenue wouldn’t go down. 

Seriously, you are all THE BEST! 

You are so much nicer, more thoughtful, more supportive, and more responsive than most. I rarely ever deal with rude or snarky comments these days (I know so many bloggers who deal with them on a daily basis.)

You are like a sea of sisters, mothers, and grandmothers, cheering me on from afar each day — I appreciate this more than I can possibly express in one blog post! 

Rest assured though, there are MANY ways I can earn an income through email: 

1. Ads:

Within each email, I plan to include links to blog posts that will direct readers back to my site (and thus, help with my ad revenue).

2. Affiliate Links:

I also plan to include affiliate links within my emails (I will disclose this in each email).

With affiliate links, I earn a small kickback from the company for my promotional efforts IF you buy the product.

There is NO extra cost for you, and often, you get a discounted rate by shopping through my link — so this really is a win-win for both parties (I only promote products and services I actually use in my own life). 

3. Product Sales: 

One of my goals for 2020 is to create and SELL products on my website (eBooks, eCourses, etc.) One of the best ways to market these products is to share them with my email list.

You will have NO obligation to buy anything. However, you will be the first to know about any products I sell (and you’ll probably get a discount too!)

4. Sponsorships: 

I usually share one sponsored post a month on my blog, but there is also an option to send sponsored emails — with links and images for the sponsor worked into regular email content.

I currently haven’t accepted any of these offers yet, but there are a few companies I’ve worked regularly with over the past 10 years that are interested in this opportunity. 

Also, as you’ll see by my answer to the next question, I plan to work SIGNIFICANTLY fewer hours each week, so even if my income decreases, it really isn’t that big of an issue for me. 

It’s sort of like working part-time after working full-time — you expect to make less, and that’s OK because you’re trading time for money!

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emails versus blog posts

Ok, so how are 5 emails any easier than 5 blog posts?

GREAT QUESTION! 

I didn’t think to address this question in my previous post, but I definitely should have based on how many questions I got! 

The short answer is:

Writing email content is much MUCH less time consuming than writing blog content. Emails are more casual, less “polished”, and much shorter in length (500 words versus 1500 – 2000 words). 

The long answer is: 

For those of you who have no idea how much work goes into publishing ONE blog post… let me enlighten you 🙂

These are the many steps I work through in order to publish my blog posts…

  1. Draft a bunch of blog posts ideas (I usually try to draft 3-4 weeks at a time)
  2. Write rough drafts of each post (I work in batches of 5 posts at a time, writing roughly 1500 words per post.)
  3. Take whatever pictures and videos I might need for those posts (usually 10-15 pictures per post)
  4. Edit all images and videos.
  5. Create “pinnable” images for each post (the photos with words on them)
  6. Create recipe cards for recipe posts.
  7. Do keyword research and then choose a specific keyword or keyphrase for EACH post (this can be quite time-consuming)
  8. Optimize each post for that keyword (this is also very time-consuming)
  9. Follow all other SEO (search engine optimization) “best practices” for each post — optimize text, add “alt tags” to images, create a catchy title, provide proper “metadata”, optimize recipe cards, etc. etc. 
  10. Add links to other posts from past blog posts (and from around the web, if relevant)
  11. Finalize the post and make sure all ideas flow and all content is relevant
  12. Create social media “snippets” and the little blurb that shows up on the home page.
  13. Proofread the post (Dave does most of this for me).
  14. Promote the post on various social media channels throughout the week it goes live.
  15. Monitor and respond to comments.
  16. Eventually, go back and update the post (if necessary) to keep content relevant (I’m not great at following up with this).

If I’m writing a sponsored post or doing a giveaway, the workload is even greater because I need to go back and forth with the brand to assure I’m sending the correct message, tweaking and changing things until the post is finally approved. 

Nope, I’m not joking — this is what I do for ALL of my blog posts each week!

On the flip side — this is what goes into sending an email: 

  1. Write about whatever I want to share with you that day (roughly 500 words or less).
  2. Include 1 or 2 pictures.
  3. Include a few links back to relevant blog posts from my archives.
  4. Hit SEND!

I’m guessing that my decision to switch over to email makes a little more sense now… right!?

This picture of baby Clara sums up my reaction pretty well. 🙂

surprised baby

Some of you might think I’m absolutely insane for actually writing 5 blog posts a week for the last 10 years — honestly, I’m starting to wonder myself! 

However, blogging was not always so complicated! 

Back in the “good old days” I could write a short blog post with 1 picture, post it on Facebook one time and the masses would flock to my site. Over time, there has just been more and more and more added to a blogger’s to-do list… and frankly, I’m tired of it! 

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My Main Goal:

My intentions are not to somehow swindle my subscribers, sell your emails, or create the world’s most lucrative email funnel. Certainly, anyone who has followed my blog for more than a couple of weeks should believe this.

I simply want to WORK LESS and LIVE A SIMPLER LIFE while still connecting with readers and providing near-daily content to help you simplify your life. 

I absolutely LOVE writing and sharing my thoughts online… I just don’t love all the extras that are now forced upon bloggers.

It’s not a sly business move, it’s not a sneaky ploy, it’s just me living out my desire for a simple life — practicing what I preach every day here in this space. 

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Hopefully, this all makes sense. 

If you have more questions — ask away! I’ll do my best to answer them. 

In the meantime… click on the image below to join my email list

join my email list

Filed under: WorkBlogging

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48 comments

  1. Pamela

    02/06/2020

    Hi, Andrea.

    I don’t mind you changing up the way you do things….but I am wondering if I am missing something obvious because this change has complicated things for me and I know you are all about simplifying!!! I used to read your blog once per weekday, but now I am having to check it daily (to see if you may have written any new posts), as well as read your daily emails. So I am spending more time, for less content. What am I missing? Is there a way to know when you have posted on your blog without checking (often in vain) each day? Please help me simplify this process!

    My goal is to read your fantastic content (even if it’s occasional). So I’m not sure the email subscription is right for me. Is there a blog-only subscription?

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Pamela!
    If you are getting my morning emails, you won’t miss any content. EVERY time I publish a new post, that post link and information will come to you via the email (usually 3 new posts each week). You’ll also get links to older posts I’ve updated and other seasonal posts from the archives.
    So as long as you’re reading the email each morning, you really don’t need to “check” the blog to see if a new post is there 🙂

    Does that make sense?

    [Reply]

  2. Rebecca M Tabb

    01/28/2020

    Okay you’re making me nervous about starting a blog! I don’t know anything about keyword research and SEO!

    [Reply]

  3. Wendy

    01/28/2020

    I love your blog, emails , and everything. Your ideas on living simply are so good.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thank you so much Wendy!

    [Reply]

  4. Cindy

    01/27/2020

    Thanks for the extra explanation! I understand and respect your decision to make a change and to put yourself first. I also wish you had announced that you were switching your focus to simple Instagram posts and stories, instead of to email. Insta posts would still allow us to comment and have a shared experience, while keeping our inboxes clean. Hope you’ll still consider that someday! Regardless, love you and your content.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Cindy!
    Instagram is definitely cool… but in my opinion, the vast majority of things you see on Instagram are VERY staged and exactly the opposite of “simple” or “real life”.
    Also, with Instagram, I don’t have the ability to link back to my website to increase traffic — whereas with email, I can direct everyone back to my site to read more 🙂

    [Reply]

    Cindy Reply:

    I think you’re right to some extent (re: staged photos), but the pendulum seems to be turning to more real world. And an easy fix to link back to your site… use Linktree. Just put it in your bio and you link to pages (lots of examples exist on how to do that cleanly!) Also, as soon as you hit 10k subscribers (which you would easily do in no time!) you could “swipe up” to link in your stories. All this to say I hope you’ll reconsider sometime!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes… someday when I get to 10,000 followers, I’ll probably start utilizing Instagram more — but that could take a while since I don’t use it “well” right now 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Natalia

    01/27/2020

    I am amazed by the incredible amount of work you had to do and still managed to have interesting and useful content! You are a superwoman!

    I was subscribed before and received your posts in my email every time you published something. There were many posts that I wanted to keep in my inbox forever! I would end up deleting them only with the assurance that I’ll find them on your page. So, one of my concerns was that now I won’t have a blog to go to anymore! Boo-hoo!
    Then, I created a specific folder “Simplify with Andrea” where I saved your challenge emails and I will continue to save those emails not published 🙂 Voila!

    Thank you and I commending you for finding what’s better for you right now and bravely embracing the change!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Just to clarify, I WILL STILL BE PUBLISHING POSTS ON THE BLOG EACH WEEK!!!
    I’m just not publishing content EVERY weekday like before! 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. Carol Lorette

    01/27/2020

    Andrea, I completely understand your need for change. Your kids are getting older and your time will be needed even more by them. You do so much already as a wife, mother and homemaker. With all the blogging that you also have on your plate is amazing that you even have time to breathe. I have enjoyed your blog for a long time and even though I am now a great-grandmother you have showed me ways I can have more fun with my family and not go broke and so many ways to keep our home clutter free and comfortable.
    For all of this I would like to say a BIG thank you.

    I wish you good luck in whatever you decide for you and your families future.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much Carol — and “you’re welcome”!

    [Reply]

  7. Amanda

    01/27/2020

    Wow Andrea! That’s an amazing amount of time and work put into each post!! How did you do it?! I am totally glad for you that you can simplify, especially since you’re going to be sending out emails (selfish of me, I know!)! I’ve been reading your blog somewhere between 1 and 2 years (ever since i discovered it); it’s so encouraging, informative and just the boost I need to help me simplify my own life! Thanks so much for all you put into this!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks for being such a loyal reader! I really appreciate it!

    [Reply]

  8. Janine

    01/27/2020

    Good grief, Andrea! I can’t believe you had to do all that for ONE blog post. No wonder you’re moving to email. It’s amazing you did 5 posts a week for as long as you did! Blessings on your new venture! And looking forward to your emails! 🙂 I guess I was one of the ones who thought you were throwing in the towel on the blog for good. I couldn’t believe how bummed I was! Lol
    It lasted for a couple of days! You and your dear family are very loved.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — it just kept becoming more and more and more work to publish ONE post!
    And no, I’m definitely not “throwing in the towel” on the blog — not at all. I guess I should have been more clear in my first post!

    [Reply]

  9. Amy

    01/27/2020

    Thank you for all of the hard work you put into the blog each day. I have been a faithful reader since your pre-Nora days. All these years later, yours is the only blog I still read daily. At this stage of my life, email is not a way I will choose to get connected but I will still come check out any new blog posts you have. I am sure I will miss fully being “in the loop” but I wish you all the best.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thank you, thank you! no worries on the emails. You’ll still get lots of content on the blog!

    [Reply]

  10. chris k in Wi

    01/27/2020

    Andrea, I did sign up for your emails right away. I have received them! You should have seen me trying to figure out a way to see “comments”! I was clicking on EVERYTHING!! I am used to blogs coming through as emails, and there are always comments to view. I so enjoy those on all blogs. THAT part is a disappointment. Another is if you stop doing your Favorites and at least including one monthly Day in the Life post (I realize a WEEK in the life is too long to do if you are trying to cut back). And how long will the existing “old” blog be coming to us who have subscribed for many years, do you have an end date in mind when we will only receive the emails? Also, so sad for Nora. Hope it turns out the result will be the easiest of fixes to do for her.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh good –glad you’re getting the emails (and thanks for the post suggestions!)

    Sorry for the confusion about the lack of comments within emails 🙂

    As for the old email subscription, I will most likely shut that down within the next couple of weeks. I want to send out one email to everyone on that list to give them a final chance to switch over to my new list before I shut it down 🙂

    [Reply]

    Tabea Schäl Reply:

    Hi Andrea,
    I also signed up for your emails but never received one…but I confirmed my subscription (3 days later). The same happened when I signed up for the 20-day challenge. I only could find day 4 and 6 in my inbox. And there is nothing to find in my spam folder. What could I have done wrong?
    Anyways, I LOVE your blog and believe you’re doing such an amazing and important job. Thank you so much!

    [Reply]

    Tabea Schäl Reply:

    By the way, many greetings from Germany 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    So sorry — I have a feeling it’s because you don’t have a “normal” US email address (like gmail or yahoo). I’m almost certain if you had a more common email address, the emails would come through 🙁

    [Reply]

  11. Ellen

    01/27/2020

    Hi Andrea,

    I only found your blog a few months ago and I’m so glad I did. It’s become one of my favourite places on the internet as you and your commenters have such a similar outlook to me and that’s very hard to find on the internet these days for some reason.

    I’ve subscribed to your emails but I did find myself missing reading the comments section.

    I had no idea that blogging had changed so much and was so involved behind the scenes and I admire your decision to step back.

    I wonder if you would perhaps consider just posting your emails as a simplified blog post. No SEO, no social media promotion etc, just what you would be emailing but with the ability to comment. I hope you don’t mind my making this suggestion, I certainly understand if you ignore it! I just think that reading comments from so many like minded people is part of the enjoyment of your blog.

    I think the sense of community you’ve fostered is wonderful and I really do appreciate the work you put in. I’ve found so many of your tips help with my kids and home and even when I’m already aware of something you write about it’s nice to get the validation that it’s okay to live a slower and simpler life in this age.

    Thank you for all you do and I hope you’re enjoying your extra time!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Ellen!
    Yes, several have mentioned that they love reading the comments — this actually isn’t something I realized SO many people enjoyed!
    At this point, I do not plan to publish the emails as blog posts, but it’s definitely a suggestion I will keep in mind.

    Another thought I’ve considered is starting up a Facebook group for people to comment and share in. Of course, this gets back to more social media (which I’m not in love with right now) but it would be an option to interact with others who value the same things in life!

    Thanks for your input!

    [Reply]

    Ellen Reply:

    I don’t like social media either, I think the negatives outweigh the positives much of the time.

    I’m not surprised lots of people enjoy reading your comments section. I think it’s testament to you and your hard work that you obviously attract such high quality commenters 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks 🙂
    I honestly WAS surprised how many people were sad about the comments being gone. This is something to think about for sure!

    [Reply]

    Natalia Reply:

    Just letting you know that I too enjoy reading the comments…A LOT!!! 🙂
    However, we can still do so on the posts you do publish… just not as often. We were very spoiled to receive such a wealth of info, tips and encouragement 5-days a week!! Thank you so much for the amazing work you did and continue doing.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’re welcome! And thanks for sharing your preferences about the comments — that’s helpful!

    [Reply]

    Lauri Reply:

    I thought maybe I was the only one who was missing reading the comments!

    Andrea Reply:

    apparently not! At least you’ll still have a few posts a week to read comments on!

  12. Kim

    01/27/2020

    I love your content, no matter what form it comes in. Thank you for all you do!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you so much!

    [Reply]

  13. Jen

    01/27/2020

    So maybe I misunderstood…I thought all the content in emails would be published on the blog but only once or a few times a week. Is that incorrect? I’ll be bummed if subscribing to the emails is the ONLY way to get the content, but it seems like that may be the case. Now, if you did a podcast, I’d be ALLLL over that! 🙂

    Also, won’t you still have to edit the emails and create recipe cards, etc? Like if you create a new recipe and share it in the email, won’t the email contain a recipe card or will you just put the recipe in the body of the email? Or, will the email content be mostly a rehashing of old blog posts that direct people back to your site?

    One last question: can people email you back from the emails you’re sending? If yes, aren’t you worried that you’ll just be getting tons of emails (which, to me, is WAY worse!) than just getting comments on the blog that require your response?

    Either way, it’s exciting that you’ve worked hard and are able to do this! Congratulations! Enjoy all your new “free time”!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Jen,
    The short answer is: “Yes, that’s incorrect”. 🙂

    The longer answer is:
    I will send an email out each weekday morning. Those emails WILL link to any new posts I publish during the week… but they will also have significantly MORE information that will most likely never end up on the blog. Things like recipes I’m planning to make that week, pictures of house projects we’re working on, family updates, products I’m using/loving, and more “time-sensitive”. information that wouldn’t make sense to share in a blog post that will live on my blog forever.

    And yes, I will still edit my emails — but they are significantly shorter and less “polished” so it’s much less demanding from a time perspective. As for the recipe cards, I’ll just link back to the blog.

    And yes, people can email me — that’s one perk for me! I know so many don’t want to leave a “public” comment but are willing to email me personally. Yes, it takes a bit of time to respond to them all, but it takes time to respond to comments too. I can respond to emails on my phone, I can’t respond to comments on my phone.

    Sounds like you should just start getting my emails and see what you think 😉

    [Reply]

  14. Alana

    01/27/2020

    I get dozens of emails each day, but yours is the only one that I always open and read completely. The things you write and share are always so relevant and helpful. I’m a homeschooling mom of 8 (seven still at home) and you have given me so much inspiration and so many ideas. I joined the email list the other day and already I’m enjoying those! I am honestly surprised at the work that goes into each blog post. I had no idea! I think it’s a great thing for you to be able to simplify in this way while still reaching out to us consistently. I don’t think I’ve ever commented before, but I wanted to say thank you.

    [Reply]

  15. Rhonda

    01/27/2020

    One of the benefits of paying off your mortgage so quickly – I don’t doubt that you can afford to back off on work and income! 🙂

    Also, I’m happy with any change you make as long as the recipes are still available! I have a few of yours printed off but several others I search for and use on a weekly basis. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  16. Linda

    01/27/2020

    I read what it takes to write one blog post. WOW! I think you are making a great decision for you and your family. You are practicing what you preach!

    [Reply]

  17. Christina M

    01/27/2020

    The big question – Will you still do your monthly favorite things post (or email). That is my favorite post. I look forward to it each month. I love that you post things that you use and love. I know I can trust your recommendations.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past month.
    It’s always a “favorite” post for so many — so I think for February, I’ll probably still share it on the blog. However, I will also share links to favorites in my email as well. Moving forward, I’m still undecided if it will continue to be a blog feature or just in my emails 🙂

    [Reply]

    Christina M Reply:

    Either the blog or the email works for me as I will follow you on both. Can’t wait to see February’s list! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sounds good!

    [Reply]

  18. JJ

    01/27/2020

    You always do a great job explaining things and making sure your followers are taken care of. The thing that separates your blog from others is the quality and connectedness. I so appreciate all the time you put into blog posts and emails, along with responses to comments and questions. I have been loving the emails just as much as the blog posts. Thank you for all you do!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you… and you’re welcome 🙂

    [Reply]

    Barb Reply:

    Yes I totally agree

    [Reply]

  19. Michelle Bonk

    01/27/2020

    Thanks for explaining how you’ll still earn income. I’ll rest easy lol
    Congratulations for taking control of your time and your work product and doing what works doe you!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I appreciate your concern! We won’t go hungry or have the power shut off on accounts of switching to email versus blog posts! 🙂

    [Reply]