FAQ Archive

Should you host your own corporate blog or use a service

There are essentially two types of blog publishing systems, user-friendly hosted systems (like Blogger and TypePad and Wordpress.com) and robust flexible server systems (like Movable Type and Wordpress.org). Building and hosting a server solution can be a huge pain in the butt, and probably not the wisest move for companies with minimal technical resources. However, there are a number of reasons why companies should consider their options carefully.

When it comes to corporate blogging, I recommend setting up your own blog system over relying on a large hosted service like TypePad, Blogger. Granted hosted systems require minimal investment, they're very powerful, easy to use, setup, and design, but they can limit your potential.

Here's why I prefer the robust flexible server systems for corporate blogging.

  1. Server based blog publishing systems are less likely to be targeted by DOS attacks and system outages and slowdowns. With hosted systems, your company's blog is at the mercy of the provider. See this story in a May 3rd edition of Information Week. The headline reads Massive DoS Attack Knocks TypePad, LiveJournal Blogs Offline.
  2. For me the most important advantages to hosting your own blog are the search engine marketing / SEO implications. This is one reason companies are so keen on blogging in the first place. Well if your blog content is hosted somewhere else, the link juice is not helping boost your website link popularity. Also, the content that you are working so hard to produce is not getting attributed to your primary domain but rather something.blogspot or something.typepad. When you are in control of your own blog publishing system then you can decide where the content gets published. Some hosted systems like TypePad allow you to alias to a sub domain but from an SEO point of view I much prefer to publish to a root directory or a subfolder. I have anecdotal evidence as to why I believe this so if anyone is interested in hearing about it just ask.
  3. If you are into blogging for the long haul then you want the links and relationships that you build to accumulate and endure. You may start out blogging with a hosted service and then change your mind and go for hosted. It will be hard to transfer the rankings and subscriptions you have built up. That's like living in one neighborhood and then moving to another town. You can keep some of those relationships that you have built up but a lot of your friends will have your old address and it's a little like starting over.

Now, I know that this subject is rife with exceptions and grey areas. This post is not really about evaluating the features of various blogging systems but rather a discussion about whether it's a good idea to rely on one of the mainstream user-friendly hosted systems.

I have researched it a lot over the past year. This post is intended to get the discussion started but it's not the final word. Just for the record, we use Movable Type for all of our blogs but I think Wordpress (commercial) is also a very nice system.

Filed under: Blogging Strategy, Blogging Tips, FAQ

Posted by Stephen Turcotte on May 4, 2006 10:47 AM | | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

What are the benefits of corporate blogging?

When done correctly, blogging can be extremely valuable to a company. Here are some ways blogging can be advantageous to a company:

1. First and foremost, corporate blogging can create transparency to a company. It allows you to talk to your customers in a more casual environment about your industry and products. Obviously, the blog posts should not read as sales pitches in order to achieve a certain degree of transparency. When written in a casual, yet passionate voice, it's easy to engage customers and offer them a person behind what could otherwise appear to be a large, faceless company.

In Steven Warren's article entitled The Benefits of Corporate Blogging, he says that passion is what can make a blog so great. "Passion sells. People will read and follow you if you are passionate and really love what you are writing about. A passionate blog will reach more people than any high-dollar ad campaign." By an employee using their own passion and enthusiasm, it can really bring something to a corporate blog.

2. Search engine optimization. "Search engines love blogs," says Mark of Web Watching. Because blogs have a lot of text, offer constantly updated content, and are often link heavy, they are easily found by search engines.

3. New content being made readily available at a fairly regular rate. With RSS readers, it's easy to stay on top of your favorite blogs. With a corporate blog, it's the best way to reach a lot of readers quickly. Your brand can stay fresh in your customer's mind.

It's also an easy way to update content regularly without having to fuss with HTML or the actual webpage itself.

4. Instant feedback and communication. If a customer has something to say or ask, it's easy to do it in the comments of the blog. It's also a good way for a company to deal with criticism and other crises. The blogger can instantly respond, which can prove that they are genuinely interested in communicating with customers and bettering their services or products. It can change overall perceptions of a brand.

5. Getting linked to and promoted by other bloggers in the community. Links are really important for search engine optimization. Bloggers often reference and link to other blog posts, so by having a blog it's a great way to get links.

Please tell us what you would add to the list.

Filed under: FAQ

Posted by on April 28, 2006 11:17 AM | | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0)