To blog or not to blog
I am sure that we are all familiar with standalone blogs. Someone decides that they wish to express him- or herself on the Web, sets up a blog site and away they go. There are plenty of blogging tools and sites that will help them do so.
However, this post is more about whether a Web site owner should consider including a blog as part of their web site. Integrating the blog into the Web site, or more likely wrapping the Web site around the blog, is not hard to do, and the results can appear seamless.
There can be several advantages to the Web site owner. The rest of the Web site can be structured with pages which deliver content and services in a conventional, carefully structured way, complemented by more newsy contributions designed to reinforce the site’s messages. The conventional pages can also benefit from content written as posts, giving them a more current, up to the minute feel. And search engines like blogs: the regular updating of content scores well with their algorithms.
Consider this Web site for a moment. Though it may not look like a blog, and does not feature a blog (not yet anyway) it is written on a blogging platform, WordPress. These FAQ posts are in fact blog posts, styled to look like pages. This enables the owner (me, in this case) to edit them easily, and also to create effects such as featuring them in the sidebar of my home page.
“Robert encouraged me to consider a blog to complement my published work, and this has indeed given an added dimension to my writing.
Since the site went live, Robertâ€™s assistance has given me confidence to become a regular blogger â€“ something I could not have imagined a short time ago. I look forward to further collaboration over the site.â€ť
Adrian Clark, www.britishandirishart.co.uk
Perhaps more relevantly, have a look at a Web site I created recently, www.britishandirishart.co.uk. Here, my client wished to showcase his writings on the subject, published in book form and articles in journals, and also to share more current thoughts gleaned from visiting exhibitions, researching future articles, talking with others and so on. Note that, in addition to a page given over to the blog (which we call ‘News’), the most recent blog posts are highlighted on the front page.
“OK”, I hear you say, “but I don’t have time to be blogging endlessly”. Well, you don’t really need to. Consistency is more important: you can, to an extent, set your readers’ expectations. If you feel that you are only likely to have time to contribute one blog a week, that’s OK – so long as you do so consistently. It will bring the benefit of keeping your site and its content more current and therefore more interesting.
And finally, of course it’s not appropriate to everyone and every Web site – for example, I don’t have a blog page on this site. But I would urge anyone considering a new Web site to consider whether inclusion of a blog page could enhance the site.