Platform Building 204: Should You Blog From Your Website?

Janalyn Voigt, Author of Novel Books, continues the series on Platform Building.

In one of my favorite scenes in Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, two good fairies fought over the color of Princess Aurora’s ballgown. Deciding whether to blog from your website or from a blogging host site (like http://wordpress.com or http://blogspot.com) may leave you feeling as undecided as the color of that ballgown. Pink? Or blue?

(Sleeping Beauty © Walt Disney)

One advantage to blogging from your website is that links to your blog drive your website higher in the search engines. If you have a common name or write in a well-populated genre, there’s a lot of competition for the top spot in a search (see my Name of the Game post). In that case, your website needs all the moxie you can give it.

On the other hand, blogging from a hosting site rather than your website causes two sites, rather than one, to come up from a search of your name. I once worked at a retail store where employees were expected to appear busy at all times. A writer can labor under similar expectations when maintaining an Internet presence. Having two sites pop up makes you seem more busy. And linking your website and blog transfers some of the benefits of your blog’s ranking to your website.

Ease of operation shouldn’t enter the decision, because it’s no harder to navigate installation of a website blog than to maneuver a template in a blog hosting site. Don’t believe me? Here’s a free video that simplifies the process: Two Steps to a WordPress Website.

In the end, your decision will probably come down to preference. Pink? Or blue?

I won’t even try to go into all the technical ins and outs of the options and software available out there. Others have done so with great knowledge. Here are a few links to articles by knowledgeable folks qualified to ponder such technical questions. Me, I’m an artist. 😉 Still, I want to at least raise the question for you.

http://www.searchengineguide.com/mike-moran/where-should-i-host-my-blog.php

http://www.blogcatalog.com/discuss/entry/should-i-use-typepad-or-host-blog-on-my-website

http://entrepreneurs.about.com/b/2007/11/13/should-i-blog-on-my-own-website-or-a-blog-hosting-service.htm

Like so many other things we’ve touched upon, only you can decide whether to blog from your website or a blog hosting service, or even whether to blog at all. But that’s next week’s question.

Homework

Decide whether you’ll blog from your website or a blog hosting site, assuming you plan (or at least think you might want) to blog.

Do you have an opinion on this subject? If so, please post a comment below.

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This post appeared January 26, 2010 on Author Haven. Used by kind permission.

Janalyn Voigt writes  novel books.

“Flower of Life” by Janalyn Voigt, in THE BOOK OF SYLVARI, Summer 2011.

DAWNSINGER, book one of her TALES OF FAERAVEN trilogy, will release with Port Yonder press in Autumn 2011.

Other publication credits include Focus on the Family, Scripture Press and Pentecostal Evangel. Janalyn is affiliated with ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and has been a NCWA member since 2008.  Visit her website.

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6 thoughts on “Platform Building 204: Should You Blog From Your Website?

  1. thanks for the great article. I have a web site for business and then a blogspot blog for writing. I do have links to make them go together. i did it this way just because the web site was put together about 6 years ago and then the blog came a couple of years later. If I had it to do over…… (and I still may do it this way) is have them all on one site so the clients/readers would be able to navigate easier. The longer the client/reader spends on my site, the better.

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  2. Michelle, good thoughts. Unless you’re looking for SEO, it’s possible to include your blog in your website menu. If you gave it a similar look and provided easy navigation back to your website, most people won’t mind a redirect.

    If you decide to blog from your website instead, do it as soon as possible. There’s always a hit you take in lost traffic when you make a change like this, and the sooner you absorb the cost, the better. You can minimize lost followers by posting about the change several times, and then sending followers a personal invitation (with incitives) to follow your new website blog. I’ve heard there’s a way you can import your followers, but it’s something of a pain. Still, it may be worth looking into.

    I have two blogs in addition to the one on my website. One of them (Author Haven) exists as a ministry for writers. The other is Book Readers Central, which serves as a resource for readers and a promotional tool for writers. Since I operate with co-bloggers on both these sites, blogspot.com is a useful platform for my purposes.

    My website blog is for working writers most like myself. I also maintain a newsletter for readers interested in my books. In this way, I can touch all the people who visit my website.

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  3. Thanks for the info. I don’t really have a website as such (if you mean one with my own domain name.) I do have serveral blogs as well as several squidoo lenses and also a page on authorsden.com. Well, acutually, come to think of it, I can auctually blog from that last one, although I’ve never done it. Never really thought about it. So, perhaps I should start.

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