Blogging is a great way to promote yourself and your company online. This week we came across an interesting discussion in the networking section of the Harvard Business Review, which tackled the question of where to publish your blog.
In the article Have LinkedIn and Medium Killed the Old-Fashioned Blog?, Alexandra Samuel opens with the line: “I didn’t start my business: my blog did.” Alexandra discusses the rise of “Web 2.0” over the last decade and how this has resulted in many businesses moving their company blogs onto third party platforms such as LinkedIn, HubPages, WordPress, Blogger and Helium. Businesses are also making great use of platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, for sharing links and images.
The argument is that recently these hosted blogs have become “blog-killers”. The great advantage of these platforms is that you can sign up and start blogging immediately (most business managers already have a LinkedIn profile) and your blog posts will be visible to your connections, who can comment on your articles and share them on their own profile pages.
Many businesses are solely using these platforms to speak directly with their market connections, but is this the right choice? Building your own business blog is a huge challenge that requires a huge investment of time and resources. So, why bother with writing on your own website?
Producing quality content on your own site has its advantages. First, well-written content can help increase referrals from Google and other search engines (SEO). It also allows you to build up your own mailing list for marketing purposes.
Alexandra recommends that businesses blog on their own websites and then cross post to sites such as LinkedIn and Helium to gain maximum exposure. This essentially allows you to reach a wider audience while keeping control of your content.
Risk of Blog Platforms
Although some blog platforms can help boost your online profile, they do all come with the same inherent risk: you have no control over how the platform operates. You could invest time and money into creating a great blog only to helplessly watch it vanish a few years later. It was not long ago that Yahoo! decided to shut down Geocities, a platform that was incredibly popular among small businesses and social groups in the UK.
If you run your own blog, you have the total control over who can see your content and how you use it. You can also more easily edit older posts and optimise your content to meet the needs of a changing market.
Writing a blog post on your own website is also likely to increase conversions. If you link to your product and service pages in your blog, people are more likely to click through if the blog is on your own website than if it is on a third-party platform. You may have fewer readers on your own website, but those readers may be more engaged with your brand.
The best approach for the moment is to create quality content on your own website and share this across social networks, by cross-posting on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google, and also sharing images on Instagram and Pinterest.
If you are going to write a blog on the Web 2.0 platforms, get to know your readership and tailor your blog posts to engage people on those platforms – your LinkedIn connections will most likely have a very different relationship with you than your Twitter followers.
If you need help developing a voice for your business, our copywriters are skilled in creating engaging and thought-provoking articles that will help you to develop a stronger brand. Get in touch today to learn how our copywriting services can help you.