Blogging From Your Website vs. Another Site

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Green Sweep, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    I am finally going to start posting weekly blogs to our customers. I have realized for a long time that blogging is one of the best things that you can do for SEO. I have a wife who is a professional writer and can easily put a couple of blogs out per week. Don't know why I waited so long.

    I contacted my web designer and they can incorporate a blog onto our site for a pretty substantial price. Or, I can use WordPress or Blogger for free and just link to it. For SEO purposes, I would assume that having the blog on our site would be the way to go.... wouldn't it? Im just looking for some pros and cons for doing both.
     
  2. britsteroni

    britsteroni LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 334

    Rob,

    A few thoughts...

    1.) What platform is the current site on?

    2.) Why will it be "a pretty substantial price" to simply add a blog to the website?

    3.) Consider moving your entire web presence to a CMS that is easy to work with (I like Wordpress or Squarespace).

    4. I would recommend keeping your blog and website together. Linking them together doesn't really cut it, IMHO.

    5. If you are the lawn care expert, why are you outsourcing the writing to your wife? Does your wife know anything about lawn care, landscaping, irrigation, etc.? Why don't you write the blog posts and have her edit/update/revise as necessary? If you are going to get serious about inbound/content marketing, YOU (as the owner) need to spearhead the effort. After all, as a business owner your number one job is to get more leads and turn those leads into paying customers.

    6. SEO and blogging can work great together, but you should do some research on longtail keywords and how that impacts your blogging strategy. Over 70% of searches done on the web today are for long tail phrases instead of simple search terms that you might think people are using. As an example, someone looking to hire a landscaper might type into Google "What plants should I use in my new landscape for the Pittsburg climate" rather than "landscaper Pittsburg". It is much easier to rank for longtail keywords than to rank for broad search terms with heavier competition.

    Just my two cents...
     
  3. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    I appreciate your two cents. I don't know what kind of platform our website is on as it was created by this company. I'll admit I am a bit ignorant in this area.

    I thought that keeping the blog on the website is the way to go - company is asking for roughly $1500 to incorporate a blog into our site.

    I should have clarified that I will give my wife topics, have her research, and ok all of the blog material. On top of writing several books, she writes weekly blogs for roughly 20 different companies all over the country. She does the research for topics she really knows nothing about - and does a good job at it. She is currently blogging for national agencies - FBI, DEA, ATF. She is also well versed in incorporating keywords, etc for SEO. Again, I will dictate topics, and read over everything before she posts. I would love to say that I will write two blogs weekly. Right now, I could. But I know for a fact that once the season starts, it will fall by the waste side.
     
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,405

    That is...steep. Just adding a Wordpress blog on to your domain, configuring it, creating a theme that looks like the rest of your site, and integrating it in to your navigation should take no more than 3 to 4 hours. At $375-$500/hr, they're putting themselves up on a lofty pedestal. On the flipside, if they have no idea what they're doing, and it somehow takes them a week of fiddling around, $35/hr is more reasonable sounding, no? :)

    - Does your web company handle your hosting/admin, as well?

    - Definitely have the blog on your site. No need to give it away to other sites or another domain. Mixing in some off-site writing might help you, but funnel them back to the good stuff on your own domain.

    - Your wife sounds like the perfect, secret weapon. She'll want to remember to "think local".
     
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,531

    Local as in frequent references to local identifiers, current events and specific names of cities, suburbs and subdivisions related to your area of ops?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    They want almost as much to integrate Wordpress as I paid for my website. Probably not a stellar deal.

    Definitely have the blog as a part of your site though. Sounds like you have a secret weapon you NEED to be using
     
  7. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    Thanks for all of the input guys.

    I copied and pasted a portion of the email response that I received from our web designer:

    "We currently offer a blog module, which requires 16 programming hours to integrate into our sites at our standard hourly rate of $90/hour. If this is something you would be interested in getting for the Custom Turf site, please let me know and I'll see what the upcoming programming schedule looks like in the next two weeks."

    Does seem a little steep to me. I do have the ability to change our website using this: http://www.endital.com/accuCMS.asp. I can: add/change wording, add youtube videos, images, etc. I can probably do more using this site but don't really have the knowledge.
     
  8. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,093

    I don't understand why it would take 16 hours.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,405

    As the esteemed Col. Sherman T. Potter used to say, "HORSE HOCKEY!!!". <---papercutter, click here

    Short of incompetence, or being ethically-challenged, there isn't one reason for that bill rate to accompany that number of hours to incorporate "a blog module". I feel bad for you and their other clients. Maybe it's to pay for the day and a half of time off they'll have after the few hours it realistically should take?

    1. Install and configure Wordpress on the domain: 15 minutes
    2. Add navigation link to every page on your site: 32 pages x 30 seconds = let's round up to a half hour. 30 minutes
    3. Replicate the design of your main site in to a WP template = at most, 2 hours (this includes making it mobile-friendly and optimizing their unwieldy background image down to 75k - 100k from the absurdly not-optimized 503k it currently is).
    4. Push "publish" button on empty Posts page (aka The New Wordpress Blog aka "The Blog Module") = 1 second. 5 minutes if I sip my coffee really slow, as I alternate between tabs while watching clips from this Youtube MASH rabbit hole that I've now gone down.

    Total Project Time = 2h 50m
    Hourly Bill Rate = $536

    (Sure, you could easily pad the project hours due to any issues that arise, but even then I can't see it getting above 5 hours of straight time.)
     
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,405

    Yup. Just don't overdo it with the "frequent" aspect. Write naturally, pair up keywords, and always be thinking exactly what phrasing people search for.
     

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