A high-quality blog, consistently filled with high-quality, customer-focused articles, video and other content is the cornerstone of many marketing initiatives. But what do you do if you don’t have a blog or enough internal support to launch one within your corporate website?
There are two easy ways you can launch a low-cost blog to test the idea, gather data and build the case for a more extensive content marketing initiative:
Option 1: Set up a blog on Medium.com
The first solution is to launch a blog on Medium.com, a popular, free blogging platform that features a simple, easy-to-use interface that encourages writing and storytelling, and also provides a delightful reading experience.
Like any online tool, Medium has its pros and cons:
- It lets you focus on writing, instead of the technical aspects of managing a blog.
- Setup and formatting options are limited, which means you can get started publishing content quickly, with a short learning curve.
- You can use a Medium blog to hone your writing skills before you launch a dedicated blog on your corporate website.
- Medium can help you build an audience by locating others who have similar interests.
- You don’t own the audience – Medium does.
- You have limited control over customizing the design of your blog.
- You have limited ability to create a unique audience experience.
- Medium owns your blog and can change the rules that govern it at any time.
- Your content is competing with many other authors and their articles – it REALLY needs to stand out!
- Because it’s hosted on a website that’s completely separate from your corporate site, a Medium blog won’t give you any search engine optimization (SEO) benefits.
Option 2: Set up a blog on a separate but related domain
The second option is to set up a blog on a domain name that is closely related to that of your company website. For example, if your company’s website is acmewidgets.com, you could purchase the domain name of acmewidgetsblog.com. If you want to take it a step further, you could set up a redirect for the URL acmewidgets.com/blog so it automatically displays the blog that resides at acmewidgetsblog.com.
Here are the pros and cons of an external WordPress blog:
- WordPress blogs are fairly easy and inexpensive to set up.
- You own the domain name and the blog. You’re not at the mercy of a third party pushing a series of monetization schemes on you and limiting your audience’s ability to find and read your content.
- There’s a large global community of WordPress experts who can help you solve any technical and customization challenges you may run into.
- WordPress gives you more freedom to customize the content and appearance of your blog. Thousands of themes and plug-ins are available that can make a WordPress blog do just about anything you can imagine.
- If you want extensive or complex customizations, your development costs could rise quickly. That’s why you should start out with basic functionality and expand it as you become more comfortable with the WordPress blogging platform.
- Search engine benefits are slightly better for your blog posts than if they were hosted on Medium, but still not as good as if the blog was hosted on your corporate website.
No matter what direction you take, now is the time to start self-publishing your own blog so you can be known as the subject matter expert in your field.