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With so many people deciding to start blogging, one of the first questions they ask is, "Where should it go?" I get that question all the time, but especially from those savvy in organic search marketing, because they are concerned about the links coming into the blog counting for improved search rankings. Should they be?
I say no. Not everyone agrees with me, and they might be smarter than me, but here's my reasoning.
If you host your blog on your own site, that's beneficial for your site's search rankings, because all the links you get to your blog raise the perceived importance of your site. That was my thinking when I set up my blog on my Web site and I think it worked just fine.
But in retrospect, I think setting my blog up elsewhere would have worked just fine, also. If I had set up my blog on a separate Web site, even a free one like Blogger, I'd have attracted links to my blog, which would improve the blog's perceived importance, and my blog would be linking to my Web site anyway, passing along value to my Web site. In addition, when someone searched for me, I'd have two sites coming up in the results instead of just one.
Which approach works better? Who knows? It might make no difference at all.
Which, unfortunately, leads us back to our original question. Where should you host your blog? I think you should look at non-search factors to make your decision.
If you are the kind of person who likes to tinker with the look and feel of your blog, and doesn't mind getting your hands dirty installing software, grab WordPress or Movable Type and have at it. Go install the blogging software on your site and customize to your heart's content.
But if you think you need to wash your hands after handling a tar file, you're better off using something simple, regardless of where it's hosted. If you are fine with picking between the available styles and haven't ever changed the default wallpaper on your computer, don't drive yourself nuts now. It will just set up an impediment that keeps you from blogging.
It's more important that you start blogging and that you write stuff that people want to read. I think if you do that, then you'll get attention and it will help you. Whether the attention comes straight to your Web site or takes a slight detour along the way isn't that important. If you're blog is good, it won't matter where you host it.
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include ClickZ Live, RKG Summit, Ticket Summit, Webdagene, the CiTE conference, and the Forrester Marketing Conference.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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