One of the more common questions we’re asked at the studio is: “should I have a blog on my website?”. To which I usually answer sarcastically: “do you have anything to say?”. This is often met with look of bafflement, but beyond my irritatingly dry cynicism is a question worth asking yourself. If you feel compelled to blog, then yes, by all means blog away! If it feels like a chore just thinking about it, then it’s probably not for you. Some people outsource their blogging to eager beavers that offer content creation as a service, but personally I think it’s something that needs to be done by in house staff or not at all. The only thing worse than a blog full of boring regurgitated crap is a blog that hasn’t been updated since June 2012.
Blogging for the love
There are a many reasons why adding a blog to your website is a good idea but, in my humble opinion, the number one reason is because you WANT to blog. Ideally you’re already working in an industry you love, your website is an extension of this passion, and your blog is going to be an exciting and engaging way for you to share your working life with the world. The vast majority of our clients at Design House are entrepreneurial individuals who’re starting out on (hopefully) one of the most rewarding career paths out there; running your own business.
If you’re in this category, and you love what you do, then blogging once or twice a month should be a piece of cake. It’ll be fun sharing your thoughts with your customers and friends, and it’ll bring greater depth and context to the language of your business because blogging allows you to extend the often rigid boundaries of how you communicate with your customers. It can be less formal, more experimental and potentially more rewarding for yourself too.
Blogging for Google rankings
Now, we’d never be so foolhardy as to suggest that starting a blog is going to rocket you to the top of page 1 on Google. No no no no no….. BUT, having interesting and relevant articles on your blog could very well mean that these individual pages get picked up and ranked highly for the specific subject matter that they’re exploring. The main principle here is that ‘pages rank, not websites’. This means that each individual page on your website has the potential to rank highly on Google for a different search term. This principle is exaggerated further in the blog, where a wide range of very specific subjects can be explored, and potentially ranked, in tandem with the main website pages.
It’s always surprising when you look at the analytics, how people found you and what they were searching for. If you’re blogging about niche subjects within your industry, the competition for those niche search terms is likely to be quite thin on the ground, and a well structured blog, with quality content, can do surprisingly well on Google as a result.
So there you go. My thoughts on whether or not you should have a blog. If in doubt, try writing the first few in secret, save them up and see how you get on. When it feels like it’s something that’s got legs then release them to the world and try and keep the momentum going!
Somewhat ironically it’s one of those things that we’ve talked about doing at Design House for years, but never managed to get off the ground. If you’re reading this it means we’ve finally pushed the button, and decided to share our ramblings with the world! Happy blogging.