I’ve decided to start answering occasional website management questions on the blog! I’ve always kind of wanted to be an advice columnist, so why not? Here, a business founder wonders how best to manage her website and a related off-site blog:

So, I have my official web site, which provides all the info people need about my organization. But then, because I absolutely love blogging, I also have my blog that details the process of starting my organization.

So, here’s the thing. They’re two different websites. Now, my initial thinking on this was to make the blog a separate site because it covers a broad range of topics, and I wanted to make the organization’s blog (onsite, currently inactive) much more focused on organization-specific content.

The offsite blog is already generating far more traffic than the organization site.  Since the whole point of that blog is to build support for the organization and funnel curious visitors back, I can’t help but wonder if I wouldn’t be better just attaching the offsite blog to the organization’s site and calling it the official organization blog. But then I might feel less free to blog about whatever I want! What should I do? –Blog Is Successful, Oh No!

BISON (oh yes, I’m going to use silly acronyms!) has a fairly common problem. She started a blog (fun! often updated! useful to others!) and a organization website (boring, static, limited appeal) and now her blog is popular, but her org site isn’t. They’re related, so she could combine the two, but the current blog content might undermine the credibility of the org site and it would limit her future blog topics to be blogging only on the org site. But of course, she wants traffic to her org site! Dilemma!

I would recommend that BISON not combine her blog site with her org site; I’d also recommend that she start putting org-specific blog posts up on the org site’s currently-unused blog. Here’s why:

  • BISON’s current blog is probably successful in large part due to the variety of content, and she enjoys writing for it. Limiting the content to org-only might kill the value of that blog. Organization blogs are not the most interesting of content, and are of limited appeal; the offsite blog’s content has a broader appeal and greater usefulness to readers.
  • Having two websites gives BISON a great opportunity to link between her sites! She doesn’t have to work for those links, because she controls both sites. And they are relevant to each other, so it’s a decent-quality link.
  • Starting an additional blog on the org site gives BISON a good place to put the org news, events, and other org-specific content, without cluttering up the offsite blog with content that it, frankly, a bit off-topic for the way she’s set up that blog. The recency of content will be good for the org site as a whole, too, and provide her with content on the org site that is worthy of linking to from the offsite blog.
  • The process of migrating the offsite blog onto the org site would be very likely to result in some significant drop in traffic/page value, slashing the potential benefit of doing so.

If BISON is unsure of which blog a post should go onto, I’d recommend she put it on the org blog, then LINK TO THE POST from the offsite blog and write more about it there. And when she’s writing on the off-site blog, she should take every opportunity to use her organization as an example and link to it (with some nice, varied anchor text). Over time, traffic will filter through from the offsite blog to her main site.

Of course, your results may vary and this advice is not intended to take the place of more comprehensive marketing assistance. Use good judgement and blog at your own risk.

If you have a question for me, please feel free to submit one (or request a site review) via my contact page.

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