Thinking of starting your own blog, but worried the platform you choose might go the way of the dinosaurs? Or are you concerned that no one will read your content if it’s placed on your own website?
Exactly where to start your blog is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly or made hastily. With so many choices — integrating a blog on your own site, using an external blogging platform, or using new long-form options in social media — it’s key to understand and weigh all the benefits and drawbacks.
Is it best for your business to have an internal blog, ensuring more content is housed on your site, or more beneficial to place content on external platforms in hopes of increasing exposure?[bctt tweet=”In-house or external blog? Weigh the pros & cons before deciding where to place your content!”]
There are both pros and cons of being a homebody (internal blogs) vs. being a little more social (external platforms or long-form social options).
Where Should My Business be Blogging?
Blogging: A Concise Digital History
Back in the dawn of the blogging age (yes, I swear that’s a thing), blogging platforms emerged as a way for individuals to begin putting down roots in their own littler corner of the internet.
In the late ’90s, LiveJournal and Blogger were the platforms du jour, ruling the period like the T-Rex and Triceratops. The early 2000s saw an influx in platforms and bloggers, with WordPress and Typepad joining the pack. Bloggers also began covering more wide-ranging topics, including politics — and the mainstream media began taking note. Some blogs that persist to this day emerged in this period, including Gizmodo, Gawker, and the Huffington Post. In the mid-2000s, blogs were officially mainstream, and the evolution of form and platforms continued, with microblogging rising to prominence on Twitter and Tumblr.
Now, several social platforms have introduced their own versions of blog platforms, offering even more options for businesses and individuals to share their content. LinkedIn started the trend with their Pulse Blogging option for individuals; Facebook followed suit by revamping their “Notes” and rolling out “Instant Articles” — a new form of interactive content — to select publishers in March 2o15. Just yesterday, Facebook announced that all publishers will be able to create Instant Articles beginning April 12. And since 2012, users have posted long-form content on Medium, a platform created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. (Check out Kira Hug’s take on Medium at Copy Hackers).
Why Stay Home?
Many SEO experts agree that when it comes to blogging, you should be posting content to your own site.
Blogs can help drive traffic to your domain, building your authority; allow you to better target keywords, including crucial long-tail terms; and give new users an entry point to your site, encouraging them to come in and stay a while. There’s also the potential for people to share your content, further driving site traffic.
The traffic boost from blogging on your own site is nothing to sniff at, either — you can net a whopping 5x traffic increase if you write 15+ posts monthly. If you aren’t blogging on your own domain, you risk missing out on these new users.
Furthermore, when you blog on an external site, you’re engaging in what Copyblogger calls “digital sharecropping” — a risky move, indeed! Basically, this means you’re investing a lot of time and effort into creating content that ultimately, you have little control over. Why? At any point, if the social network were to (GASP!) shut down, you’d lose the content. Copyblogger compares this to a landlord-tenant relationship — the landlord (Facebook) can kick the tenant out for violating the terms of the lease. It’s a classic rent vs. buy scenario. Though maintenance may be more involved, blogging from the comfort of your own home base can be more ultimately rewarding than renting out a space on the interwebs.
Why Go Social?
So why would anyone consider blogging on an external platform or social media site? Well, for one, these sites have the potential to drive new users — ones that may have otherwise never stumbled upon your blog or your business.
Take LinkedIn Pulse, for example. Before joining forces with the professional networking site, the Pulse app had over 30 million users; now, on average, there are 130,000 original articles published there every week. The regular influx of new content is a huge draw for avid readers, and if you join the ranks of publishers there, you have the ability to spread your content to new users. (LinkedIn itself has more than 360 million professional users across the globe — a much wider potential audience). Since LinkedIn already has a ton of domain authority in Google’s eyes, you also don’t have to work as hard to get credibility with search engines. When you post content there, you publish alongside industry authorities, building your own reputation.
Bottom Line: You Should be Blogging Somewhere.
Whether you choose to blog on your own website or post to an external platform, your business will still realize the benefits of blogging, like building brand authority and educating or engaging consumers. And in a sound content marketing strategy, you can use external blogging to support your internal content, and vice versa, allowing you to capitalize on the captive audiences social blogging platforms provide while strengthening your own website’s authority.
Turn The Page Online Marketing has a team of content marketing dorks (I’m one of them, so I’m allowed to say that!) at the ready to help your small business or brand deploy a truly freaky and fantastic content strategy! So go on — be a little social and give us a call. (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 — you can even ask for me!