How Should You Host Your Business Blog?

One of the most frequently asked questions online when it comes to blogs is one that, if you’re new to blogging, you may not even have thought of and it’s about hosting your blog.

‘How should you host your business blog?’ is generally seen as a complicated question – if not for the fact that for many, they aren’t aware of the options available to them – there has been a debate online for many years on the topic, looking into the most beneficial hosting option for a blog.

And if you’re unsure of what the options are, pushing everything else to one side, at the very start of your time blogging for business, you have three options when it comes to deciding how you’re going to host your business blog.

1.  Sub-Domain

When you have your blogging platform ready to upload to your website, there are two options available, with the first being to upload the files to a sub-domain.

This means that to get to your business blog, you would have to type into your browser – as an example – http://blog.theblogshop.co.uk/, as the blogs are stored in a sub-section of the top-level domain (here called ‘blog’).

2.  Sub-Folder

The second of the two options mentioned above is to upload the files to a sub-folder on your domain, which would result in you having to go to http://www.theblogshop.co.uk/blog/ to see your business blog.

3.  Separate Website

The third option available to you is to utilize a completely separate domain that’s dedicated to hosting your blog, such as http://www.theblogshopblog.co.uk/.

In theory, every one of these options can be used successfully. They all have their benefits and are all capable of providing a suitable platform upon which a fantastic business blog can be developed.

It’s at this point in the discussion that most people start to explain which they believe is the best option, why the others aren’t suitable, and just how beneficial their chosen option can be.

Looking at several discussions and their outcomes, the consensus is that using a sub-folder is the best option for a variety of reasons.

From the fact, it’s arguably the most simple to set up through to the value of the domain or quality of any links impacting positively upon both the main domain and any sub-folders – including the blog – using a sub-folder to host your blog is considered by the majority to be the way forward.

At The Blogshop, we always recommend using a sub-folder first and foremost.  It’s not always a possibility and we work with clients who have blogs on sub-domains and completely separate websites, but we always aim to set up a business blog in a sub-folder first.

Now, if I was writing this piece a few years ago, I would have essentially stopped here.  I’d have given some further explanation as to why sub-folders are better than sub-domains and separate websites and urged you to use sub-folders for blogs wherever possible.

However, there have been developments in recent months that mean I’m going to go out on a limb and say something I haven’t seen my peers do:

I don’t believe it makes a difference where you host your business blog – IF the content is of a high enough quality.

For years we’ve debated on whether sub-domains, sub-folders, or separate websites are better for hosting a blog, and at the end of the discussions with a final answer, it’s led people to go off and set up their blog in that way.

The issue here is that as these people have listened to others debate what can be an interesting topic, they believe they have made the right decision and they’ll be on the path to blogging success.

And they will be – but only if they provide high-quality, informative, and interesting content regularly.

A business blog should be about communicating with your customers.  We regularly discuss the primary benefits and by-products of business blogging, but regardless of what you want to achieve from business blogging, the main focus of any business blog should be to utilize it as a platform to communicate with your past, present, and potential customers.

How you communicate with your customers is arguably an internal business decision, but the same fact flows through any business blog, irrelevant of the organization and that’s that the content needs to be appealing to the customer.

It needs to have a title that’s going to draw them in. It’s got to open with an interesting paragraph and then the bulk of the content has to follow up on what was promised initially.

It needs to be accessible enough that people can read it wherever they are and it needs to be optimized for search engines, as well for use on social media networks.

Content has long been king online and as we’re now in an age where companies can be in more direct contact with their customers than ever before, organizations need to be certain they’re delivering their key messaging and meeting their customer’s needs everywhere their customers are active.

And this leads us back to our initial question.

We’ll always push forward with using sub-folders for hosting business blogs at The Blogshop, as technically, it’s the better option (perhaps only marginally, but better nonetheless).

It’s imperative to understand, however, that whether you choose a sub-folder, a sub-domain, or a separate website to host your blog, the results you see from business blogging are going to be almost exclusively down to the content you publish.

Make the content appealing and interesting to your target market and irrelevant of where you host your business blog, it’s highly likely to be both an initial and ongoing success.

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