Blogging to Improve a Website: 3 Examples

A lot of times we throw websites and blogs into two separate categories. While blogs do have several characteristics, as well as different functionality, that distinguish them from standard websites, the two can be used together to create an even stronger and more effective web presence.

There are a number of websites that use blogs as a supplement to the primary content of the site. In fact, this website is an example. The primary purpose of the site is to offer design services and the blog helps to accomplish the overall objectives by driving more traffic to the site and increasing the exposure of the design services.

If you currently run a website that does not include a blog, you could be missing out on a number of key benefits. Here are 5 reasons to add a blog to your site:

1. Repeat Traffic – Blogs allow your interested visitors to subscribe by RSS or by email. If you are selling products or services through your site, most visitors will not buy on their first visit. In this case, the more repeat traffic you get, the more likely you are to make sales. Additionally, these repeat visitors will frequently become very loyal visitors and supporters of your business.

2. Inbound Links – Starting a blog is one of the best things you can do to gain new inbound links. Effective blog content creation will make your site a much more likely target of links from other websites and blogs.

3. Search Engine Traffic/Rankings – One of the great benefits of blogs is the keyword-rich pages that are created each time you publish a new post. If you post consistently to your blog you will quickly see a drastic increase in the total number of pages on your site. The more pages on your site, the more opportunities you’ll have for search engine traffic. With each blog post you can target different keywords and phrases that will expand the type of searches that will draw traffic.

4. Credibility/Authority – A blog is a natural way for you to show your expertise to your visitors. Top bloggers are seen as experts and authorities in their respective fields. If you want others to recognize you as one of the leaders in your industry, start a blog and show them why you are an authority. Gaining this status can help you land more business and allow you to charge higher rates.


5. Interaction with Visitors – Blogs allow readers to interact by participating in the comments. Active readers are more likely to come back.

3 Websites that Use Blogs as a Supplement:

COLOURlovers:

COLOURlovers

COLOURlovers is a large community site for designers and color lovers of all kinds. Their about page says:

COLOURlovers™ is a resource that monitors and influences color trends. COLOURlovers gives the people who use color – whether for ad campaigns, product design, or even in architectural specification – a place to check out a world of color, compare color palettes, submit news and comments, and read color related articles and interviews.

The blog at COLOURlovers is just one of the many resources available for visitors. There are currently over 40,000 users of the site and over 220,000 user-submitted color palettes. Articles on the blog frequently draw significant traffic, thanks in part to social media. I’m sure many visitors who find the site through the blog wind up looking through some of the other sections of the site and will return anytime they are looking for color inspiration.

SEOmoz:

SEOmoz

One of the leading search engine optimization firms, SEOmoz’s blog is regularly updated and provides some of the industry’s best information. The blog at SEOmoz.org of course has helped to build the profile of the business and has a large, loyal following.

The primary focus of SEOmoz’s website is premium content that users can access through paid subscriptions. Premium members benefit from exclusive articles, ebooks and tools that are not available to the general public. There’s no doubt that the traffic and reputation that are a result of the blog help to increase the amount of premium memberships that are sold through the website. Anyone selling similar products and services would benefit from a similar strategy.

David Airey:

David Airey

David Airey is a graphic designer based in Scotland. DavidAirey.co.uk naturally includes his design portfolio and all of the necessary information that you would expect to find about his services. However, the bulk of the site is a blog in which David writes about various topics related to graphic design and logo design.

I know from being a reader of David’s blog that he views the blog as a way to reach new clients. His approach is quite similar to that ours. A portfolio site and blog like David’s is relatively easy to set up with WordPress using the page feature to create all of the portfolio, about, and contact pages, and obviously using blog posts to create content for the blog. In my opinion this is a much more effective strategy than simply setting up a small portfolio website with very little content.

These are just 3 examples of how a blog can work in conjunction with a website. All three examples have different approaches and different reasons for using a blog. If you currently don’t use a blog on your site, take a look at the examples and see if there is anything that you can implement for yourself.

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23 Responses

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  • david, December 5, 2007

    Blog is almost a must now for many companies to gain authority, traffic and customers.

  • Brad, December 6, 2007

    My site (www.aptdesignonline.com) is another design site, like David’s, that has a blog added for just the reasons you mentioned. It can seem like a lot of wasted effort sometimes, as I don’t yet have a lot of readers. But hopefully with time and quality content it will attract more visitors and make it all worth it. Your blog has certainly been one inspiration.

    One more reason to blog I might add would be constantly updated content. Similar to #1. If someone comes to a website, then again in 3 months and nothing has changed, they may never be back. But if each time they come there is something new to discover they will visit much more often.

  • Drew, December 6, 2007

    Oh i see.. thanks for the tips.. i will apply it to my blog so that i could also get clients…

    Cheers!

  • Mason Hipp, December 6, 2007

    Hey Steven,

    You can count me in the group that uses the blog-as-supplement method. Despite the many people insisting you should separate a blog from your main website, I’ve found that the combination works beautifully.

    Now the question is—what are the best ways to integrate and cross-promote?

    – Mason

  • boxing boy, December 6, 2007

    And blogs tends to get indexed much faster.

  • Vandelay Design, December 6, 2007

    David,
    I agree. It’s tough to compete in many industries without one.

    Brad,
    Very nice. I checked your site and yes, it’s a great example. And yes, your point about updated content is very true and does relate to repeat traffic. It’s probably the best way to get repeat traffic.

    Mason,
    Yes, I agree. Your site is also another example.

    Boxing Boy,
    True. I didn’t mention that, but I’ve seen it over and over again.

  • Matthew Griffin, December 7, 2007

    As usual, great list and great examples. The website blog is something that I consistently recommend to my clients—especially those who are trying to pull in out-of-market business. It’s a great way to connect and keep in contact over long distances.

  • entertainment venues, December 7, 2007

    Thanx for this precious tip for blogs, It wil really helpful for my blog not for me it will beneficial for us.

  • Dave Starr --- ROI Guy, December 8, 2007

    Not oly can blogs supplement the main purpose behind a “traditional” web site, they can take on alife of their own. I used ablog on my former “brick and mortar’ sales and service business web site, originally to attract new propects. Now, the business is closed and log gone but the blog remains and still earns a non-trivial amount.

    Those few who still think web site <. blog as separate things will likely never learn waht they are missing.

  • UK HDTV, December 11, 2007

    How can we find whether a site has a “no-follow” link or not? Please suggest.

  • Hoover, December 11, 2007

    I liked your article and was unaware of the many benefits of having a business blog. I haven’t started one yet but I do plan to soon. Thanks

  • Vandelay Design, December 12, 2007

    UK,
    You can go into the source code and look for “nofollow” as part of the link. If it’s not there, it’s not a nofollow link. There are also some Firefox addons that will display them differently. I have one installed, but honestly I forget which of the addons that I have installed is doing that.

  • Scott, December 12, 2007

    Don’t know why I didn’t think about this before. Just added it to my site. Thanks for the tip. BTW. I got here from a link from Element Fusion.

  • Mark from Just Web Designers, December 15, 2007

    All good, positive stuff, but here’s a couple of downsides to having a blog on your business site (just for the purposes of balance, of course):

    1) If not done correctly, it can confuse visitors as to the real purpose of your website.

    2) You can undermine your business by ranting on your blog or including things of no real relevance to your industry.

    3) You have to be committed to writing the blog – a blog that has been left to rot isn’t going to make a good impression on potential customers.

  • Dave, December 21, 2007

    When it comes to business websites adding blogs I usually recommend that my clients tread carefully until they’ve established a rhythm.

    All it takes is a few poorly thought out posts by a small business owner to alienate a lot of prospective customers.

  • Vandelay Design, December 22, 2007

    Dave,
    You have a good point. It needs to be done right, and if it is there is a big upside.

  • David Airey, December 23, 2007

    Hi Steven,

    Thanks so much for this kind feature! I would’ve replied sooner were I not on holiday.

    Whilst away, someone stole my domain name, and my blog is now available at http://www.davidairey.co.uk

    How’s things? I hope you’re well this Christmas.

  • Vandelay Design, December 23, 2007

    Hi David,
    I knew you were away when this was published, so no worries. I was hoping you would see it when you got back. Thanks for stopping by to comment. I updated the post to link to your new home. Sorry about the hack, I’m sure it’s extremely frustrating.

  • David Airey, December 23, 2007

    It is frustrating, but I’m a determined bloke, and will be doing what I can to educate others about online criminals.

    I’m working on a new blog post that details everything that has happened, and what I know about the hacker.

    Thanks again.

    Off-topic, it’d be great to make use of the ‘subscribe to comments’ plugin on your blog.

  • Fat Kid Unleashed, January 19, 2008

    Established sites/forums that start blogs usually find huge success. Most new (and old) internet companies always have a blog, which just shows you how big bloging is getting.

  • Bill Ross, March 27, 2008

    Great article! Blogging has become so mainstream that some sites are using their blog as their primary site, and with the plug-ins associated with blogging software like WordPress a company can design, and use their blog as a primary website.

    Hope all is well.

    Bill Ross
    SEO Engineer
    Rankbetterseo.com

  • oliviadanial, December 9, 2008

    Hi
    I’m working on a new blog post that details please post…..good