Home or Abroad: How to Decide Whether to Publish on Your Own Blog or Third-Party Site
It’s an important question to figure out, especially when your content marketing should correspond with your overall online marketing strategy. Here are the pros of each approach. (There are no cons to publishing content, wherever.)
This is the dilemma: You just finished writing a piece of content. You lean back, pretty content. You’re thinking, where should I publish it? On my company blog or submit it for publication elsewhere?
Before we try to solve this dilemma, please, lean forward and shut your laptop on the tips of your fingers because you’ve been a bad content writer. You researched, outlined, wrote and revised an entire article without knowing beforehand where it would be published? Bad, bad content writer.
The Purpose of it All
The overarching purpose of content marketing is to attract new customers. The outcome of (effective) content marketing is enhancement of brand recognition, traffic driven to company’s website and education of prospective customers about the company, its product or service.
So we could divide it like this: Company blog better serves the purpose of education, third-party sites better serve the purposes of brand recognition and traffic. But that’s in very broad strokes. Let’s drill down some more.
What Kind of Blog Are You?
The first thing to consider is, what kind of blog does your company have. Is it a corporate blog dedicated to product and feature announcements, Google style, or is it an educational-actionable one, Kissmetrics style?
Most company blogs are some sort of a mix between the two, so that doesn’t help us much. But if your company blog is clearly one and not the other, than you are one step closer to figuring out where to publish.
How Do You LIke Your Content Strategy - Short or Long?
The main question to be asked in order to understand where you should publish: Is your content marketing (and your overall online marketing) configured for the short or long term? Again, in broad strokes, if your are geared for the short term you should publish on third-party sites, and if for the long term, you need to publish on your own company blog. Here’s why.
Publishing on third-party sites is a quick traffic driver. You should always choose to publish on sites that have more traffic than yours (obviously), or that have audience segmented perfectly for your needs. Usually, a focused audience is more valuable than a larger audience and produces higher-quality leads.
Publishing ‘elsewhere’ is also a quicker way to enhance your brand recognition and online presence, since you are relying on existing audiences rather than starting to build your own.
It is similar to the difference between PPC and SEO. PPc is more costly, but it produces quick results and traffic that is essential for fast growth. SEO on the other hand is meant for the long haul; it takes a long time to ripe, but once it does, it is by far a more cost-effective and efficient way to drive traffic to your website.
Patience is a Virtue: The Long Term Benefits of a Company Blog
A young company needs traffic, a lot of it, and fast. So going after quick gains - PPC, widely read industry publications - make sense. But then comes the time to start thinking long term, to slowly make sacrifices of the here and now for the sake of sustained growth.
A well-reasoned, well-written and relevant company blog can become a strong traffic generator. It sure takes time and diligence, and insistence on quality but once it catches on it will be worth its weight in bitcoins.
On top of constant traffic, a performing company blog reduces the cost of lead acquisition for the simple reason that you don’t need to take by the hand every prospect from your purchased media, to the landing page, to fill the form and click the CTA. A well-respected blog will attract prospects by the power of its content and the ripples of its authority. The thing to remember: If you impressed me with your knowledge, if you taught me something that I didn’t know, I’d be very much inclined to hear about your product or service.
One more thing. If you’ve been thorough with your SEO strategy from the get-go, targeting the search terms that are the most relevant to you in your blog writing, then your blog stands the chance to become a mega lead magnet. Because if a post of yours appears on the first page of Google search results, tied to a popular search term in your industry, there is absolutely nothing more valuable than that.