Driving Traffic To Your Website

Where Should You Host Your Blog?

Just a quick blog post this week to answer a common question about where to host your blog. In the last week I’ve seen this question come up on several Facebook group pages and I’ve also been asked it directly, so I guess some people would like to know…!

Should You Self Host Or Use A Blogging Platform?

There are two main options for hosting your blog:

  1. Self-Hosting: Typically this would be a blog attached to a company website for which you own the domain name. If your website doesn’t have a blog function you can bolt on WordPress to provide a blog, or migrate your entire site to WordPress.
  2. Blogging Platform: WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr etc. are all blogging platforms that are hosted by the provider. This means you don’t need a domain name, although you can have one if you like.

How to decide what’s best for you

The best place to host your blog will depend on your objectives for your blog. For many companies this will mean a self-hosted blog on your company website. Why?

Self-Hosted Blogs

If your intention is to provide blog posts that drive customers to your website, where you can build relationships, share your USP, demonstrate your expertise, and ultimately sell your products or service, then a company self-hosted blog is the best option.

Here you will be in the best position to point readers to other areas of your site, case studies, product pages, newsletter sign ups etc., without them having to click on an external link. This will also have a positive impact on your website’s overall SEO as you increase the number of relevant pages on your site every time you post a blog.

Blog Platforms

However, if your blog objectives are not so closely aligned with your company’s – for example you want to blog for more personal professional reasons, such as to be seen as an expert authority in your field, or as a go-to ‘blogger’ for information and insights on a particular subject; then a hosted blog on a recognised platform is a good solution for you.

This doesn’t mean you can’t make money from your blog, in fact traditional ‘bloggers’ often make money by affiliate marketing, sponsored posts etc.. Alternatively you might be a consultant and your blog provides a platform for thought-pieces that help increase your assignments. This can be a very good solution for establishing an online presence without the need for a self-hosted website.

Blogging platforms also come with communities, those other bloggers and followers on the platform. This is a distinct advantage over self-hosting for those who want to build a following. However, it can be just an ego trip! You may get plenty of engagement from other people interested in what you have to say, but if they’re not your target audience and can’t help you fulfil your objectives, you could be wasting your time.

Blogging On Social Media

Of course the other platform is social media where you can create micro-blogs in the form of social media updates or long form posts on LinkedIn. Again, you will need to decide whether this is a good use of your resources based on your objectives. If you’re just looking to increase brand awareness – whether that’s personal or your organisation’s – micro posts on social media can deliver very good engagement and reach.

Micro blogs can also be used to drive prospects to your website and company blog. For example, by posting a teaser that shares just a certain amount of content with the rest available on your blog, or by using compelling calls to action to persuade readers to leave Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google + and visit your site where you will have them all to yourself!

I have a talk coming up at The Farnham Hub where I will be answering more questions like this. If you have a question about blogging that you need an answer to, add it below and I will address it during my talk – and also provide you with the answer here, for those who can’t attend the event.

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