This week, we’ve examined domain names and email addresses as they relate to your brand. In today’s third installation of our Internet branding series, we’re going to take a look at your weblog. The same concepts that apply to your domain names and your email addresses absolutely apply to your blog.
Like email addresses, it’s really easy to get a free blog. Free blog providers include WordPress and Blogger. These free blogs assign a subdomain (the part of the domain that comes before the primary domain name) like yourauctionblog.wordpress.com. Some, like WordPress, even allow you to assign a custom domain name to your blog. This free blog approach is really great if you’re blogging about your grasshopper collection or you want to keep a diary of your trip to to the museum of bad marketing tactics, but if you’re blogging for business, you need to have your blog hosted professionally.
Your blog should be branded. Your domain IS your brand, so your blog needs to exist on your website in order to be properly branded. This rule means that the free sites are out of the question – unless you actually work for WordPress, your blog shouldn’t include wordpress.com in the domain name. Assigning a separate domain name to your blog is certainly better, but it still misses the target of hosting your blog on your primary domain.
But wait! We’ve been singing the praises of WordPress for years, why would we say that WordPress is bad? The answer is that wordpress.com is a commercial service that will host your blog. wordpress.org is a site that hosts the WordPress software that you can download for free and install on your own website. By installing the software, you can leverage the power and ease-of-use inherent to the WordPress package while allowing your customers to go to yourwebsite.com/blog or blog.yourwebsite.com. By having a custom WordPress theme created, the user experience can be seamless among your auction calendar, your static pages and your blog.
WordPress isn’t the only blogging software that you can use on your website, but it’s certainly our favorite. Your web host may have different software that can be just as easily and quickly installed and configured to allow you to post your articles and news by simply logging in and typing.
Internet branding is simple. While it may be easier to simply grab a free account from somewhere, it’s far more professional to have a comprehensive, congruent presence that is consistently branded to provide a seamless user experience.