Where should your blog live? 👩🏻‍💻

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My favorite blog post topic prompt for content marketers.

It's funny how the universe conspires sometimes. Over the last few months I've had multiple clients bring up a very interesting (to me) question:

"Should I blog on my business website or should I blog somewhere else?"

Maybe this isn't interesting to normal people, but as someone who has blogging to thank for their entire career, it's absolutely riveting!

At one point in my career, I would have simply said, "You should always blog on your own website," simply because of the search benefits. (Those are great, when done correctly. Case in point: I've been actively working to rank for people looking for experts in the Squarespace platform since Squarespace replaced their Specialists list with a reverse affiliate program. I've crafted helpful, educational blog posts that are now ranking in the top five for a number of searches, which is helping reverse the declined in ranking the SM+Co site has received from losing that backlink. This has taken maybe a month—done right, search can have big impact.)

However, I no longer think this is a cut and dried issue. Kind of. Sort of.

Blogging on your own site is still generally the recommendation I make, for a number of great reasons:

  • It can be amazing for search engine optimization.

  • Blogging can help you educate potential clients/customers about your service or product.

  • Regular posts on your blog can reinforce your "brand voice" and help people understand your personality and style.

  • It can build trust—sharing means a lot to people!

  • An updated blog can do a lot to make your site feel like an "authority website" rather than simply a brochure or sales tool. This is a huge deal and something people need to really think about. (Actually, this is going in the newsletter topic bank!)

When does it make sense to blog on a different domain, outside of your business website?

The number one reason for a standalone blog outside your business website is positioning. If you are, say, a business advisor who provides a number of implementation services under a company name, but you want to position yourself as a consultant and speaker on a different topic (say, marketing for other business advisors) then it would make sense to establish a blog under FirstNameLastName.com or what have you. It's about selling your expertise, not your company.

Similarly, if you've grown your business into a larger company and you want to differentiate your voice from the rest of the company, it makes sense to consider a standalone blog. For example, if you're a partner at a law firm you may want to also have a personal website with insights and perspectives that aren't a good fit for your firm's content marketing strategy.

Another circumstance may be if your website is larger transactional (for example you sell products) and a blog from the owner simply feels odd or out of place and your customers will be confused. Start a blog on another domain and link to your commercial site as appropriate.

Finally, if you want to test a completely different audience, think about blogging elsewhere. Basically, you're a brand designer for online course creators and you want to see if you can connect with dentists in need of modern branding, then start a blog related to that new topic.

Also consider a happy medium (warning: this is a pun).

I also don't see this as an either/or question. For many people, you can cross-post blog posts to Medium, which uses a great canonical tool to prevent the duplicate content risk from an SEO perspective. This is particularly useful if you're in a niche that's big on that platform, such as tech, design, entrepreneurship or travel. I cross-post my own content there selectively and the reach seems different from my usual audience. I use Missinglettr to make this nearly effortless, which yet another reason I love that simple but effective little app.


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