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Is Off-Site Blogging A Waste Of Money?

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Is Off-Site Blogging A Waste Of Money? 8117-daily-golden-nugget-1054
I'm a big believer in maintaining your blog as part of your website rather than setting up a separate blog on another website. Last year, I was able to present some data that explained why the onsite blog is much better.

Today, I have a few charts that should make this very easy to understand.

I found these charts while recently looking over 2.5 years of data. Let me set the stage of what's been happening.

ABC Jewelers hired a company to write several blog entries that would be posts on several other sites other than their own. The idea was to build organic traffic to those blogs and lead the readers to the ABC Jewelers website. Additionally, these blogs would help to build links (a crucial part of SEO success) to the ABC Jewelers website.

The screen shot below is from the External Links report of Google Webmaster Tools. I've hidden all the personal information but left enough to illustrate what you need to see. It reports 27 links from this first domain name.

You can see the URLs of these blog posts contain the dates /2012/03/ and /2012/04/, which means these blog posts date back to March and April 2012. This particular blog was active for 6 months.

Here's the sample report:
Is Off-Site Blogging A Waste Of Money? 290-1054-link-domain1
(Blog A)

This next sample report comes from a WordPress blog. In this case, a blog was set up on a WordPress sub-domain, for example, some-keyword.wordpress.com. This report states 39 links coming from this jewelry related blog on WordPress. You'll notice that the URL indicated the blogging dates in March 2012. The full report shows dates from a 6 month period in 2012.

Here's the sample report:
Is Off-Site Blogging A Waste Of Money? 9890-1054-link-domain2
(Blog B)

There are only 15 links reported on this 3rd blogging site. The domain name clearly states jewelry and the posting dates were once again reported as the 6 month period from March through August 2012.

Here's the sample report:
Is Off-Site Blogging A Waste Of Money? 2192-1054-link-domain3
(Blog C)

There were 81 links and 36 blog posts created during the span from March through August 2012. That is a real accomplishment for an independent retail jeweler, except that sowing the seeds of all this work yielded very small results over the last 2.5 years.

I'm jumping over to Google Analytics for my next set of screen shots. This first one corresponds to Blog A. Over the last 2.5 years, this blog only brought 4 website visitors. There's no way to tell how many visitors arrived on the blog, but that number doesn't matter anyway. All you should care about is how many people click from the off-site blog and arrive on your website.


(Blog A - Click to view larger)

This next report should call into question the belief that so many people have about WordPress and its power as a blogging platform. Although the WordPress blog has 39 potential links from it to ABC Jewelers, only 1 person in 2.5 years actually clicked one of those links.


(Blog B - Click to view larger)

Finally, here's the referral traffic report for Blog C. Only 4 people clicked one of those 15 links over the last 2.5 years.


(Blog C - Click to view larger)

The above 6 reports illustrate a very simple, and very common off-site blogging process. It's easy to set up several off-site blogs and build them up with content. Every blog entry links back to your website to help with the link building strategies of SEO, but at the same time, these blogs are supposed to attract potential customers. The hope is that those potential customers will click over to your real website.

Websites for competitive industries all need continual support and content building, including these off-site blogs. Paying for off-site blogs is not sustainable because it's just another website that always needs new content and someone to maintain the search engine optimization.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and it's easy to see how these particular offsite blogs were a waste of money. The better approach is to build the blog right into your website.




AT: 08/07/2014 10:51:24 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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