Abel Mohler

How a Blog can Improve your Site and How it Can’t

I’ve built several sites that have blogs built as a section of the site.  Giving a site a blog these days is only par-for-the-course.  With WordPress of course, this task is extremely easy, making it match the rest of your site is a simple matter in the right hands.  I wonder though how much of this is a wasted effort?

Let’s say you have a “normal” home page, with an introductory paragraph, heading, title, etc, telling you what the site is about. This content doesn’t change much, though you may adjust it from time to time to refine your message and make it clearer to your users.

Now, what if you then decide to build a blog for the site. You put it in a directory, /news/, linked to from your main navigation. You write away. The blog will gradually become its own section, a pile of content. You’ve only linked to it from your navigation, and it isn’t really contributing to the overall nature of the rest of the site.  Users will tend to either stay in the blog or stay in the rest of your site.

Instead of this, what if you instead used the categories of your blog, to display headlines and summaries of recent content on your various pages, even if it just the home page.  Naturally linking to sections of articles, either with certain tags or topics, or just because they are new, is surely good for users, and will make your blog more a part of your site.

Don’t let your blog become an orphan.  No one will want to read it if it doesn’t flow with the rest of your information.  Tools like WordPress are, after all, just a means of more easily publishing HTML pages.  It is certainly not a magic wand that will increase your rankings.

3 Responses to “How a Blog can Improve your Site and How it Can’t”

  1. Andrei Says:

    So you’re suggesting having the blog spider out into the rest of your website? I don’t see why a blog can’t act as a governing body to your website, updating users of what’s going on behind the scenes.

  2. Abel Says:

    @Andrei:

    There’s no one correct solution in my opinion. I guess I get frustrated if a blog becomes a section of a site without really really being a part of the rest of the site. One solution would be to build the entire site as a blog and make the static parts pages withing the blog, but that’s not usually what I do. The alternative that I would propose is to link to sections or latest articles from the rest of your site to give users the ability to interact with your blog or read your latest material without needing to choose the blog from your menu and go there.

    I do this in a limited way, from my main website http://wayfarerweb.com/ Although my blog, this website, is a separate site completely, you’ll notice on my main website, at the bottom, is a link to the latest post I’ve made. I wanted to do this instead of just linking to the blog without giving any indication of what was on it.

  3. Ed Says:

    I had great success with an architecture blog I managed for an architectural company I used to work for. I put the blog on a subdomain but made it part of the site’s navigation. Visually it just shared the website’s header, so it kept a nice corporate brand going through the entire site.

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