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Your Blog is Your Mothership

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typingYesterday, I read the “Unconventional Guide to the Social Web,” and although I found a lot of useful information in it, one quote has stuck with me since reading it: “Your blog is your mothership. Don’t neglect it for lesser tools.”

This is an important thing to keep in mind when marketing your business online. There are tons of ways to build a web presence, including a variety of social media and networking sites, but nothing is as important as your blog.

Maintained correctly, your blog is the one tool that will get you the most traffic, and it’s the tool over which you have the most control. If you set out with the intention of posting three to five times per week, within a year, you will begin seeing significant activity around your site. Within two to three years, you could easily be an authority in your particular niche.

So, how can you make sure that you don’t neglect your blog (or your “mothership”)?

  1. Spend time there. Visit your site or blog frequently (ideally, several times per day). This helps you stay connected with your vision for your business, and it also helps you stay in tune with the usability of your site, as well as find ways to improve it.
  2. Keep it updated.It’s very easy to allow a month to go by without posting a single blog entry. Naturally, the frequency of your posts will depend on a number of factors, most important being your own goals for your site, but you should post on a regular and consistent schedule so that your site content remains fresh.
  3. Engage your audience. Ask questions, make thought-provoking posts, and most importantly, monitor the comments on your blog. If someone replies to one of your posts, take the time to respond, and if you really want to impress the person, email him or her with a thoughtful “thank you for following” message.
  4. Give it some thought. Don’t just post “filler content” to make an arbitrary quota. Really think about what your audience wants to hear. What do they want to know more about? How can you help them? Find ways to provide greater value for your readers. You’ll know you’re providing benefit when you hear clients and customers say things like, “I’m trying that idea you mentioned on your blog.”
  5. Find ways to improve. Organize your archives a little better, add links to your social networking profiles, or spruce up your “About” page. Find ways to regularly improve your site, making it more visually appealing and more user-friendly.

Your blog is the most direct line to you and your business. It’s what new followers and visitors read to determine if you’re someone they’d like to get to know better or if you can provide value to their lives or businesses. Don’t neglect it. Consider it to be your “mothership” and take care of it as such.

In what ways do you take care of your blog? How do you make sure that it represents you in the best light possible to visitors of your site?

Image from stock.xchng by zizzy0104

66 Responses to “Your Blog is Your Mothership”

  1. Your “give it some thought” advice is very sound. It’s important that we don’t post content just for the sake of “posting content.” It’s better to have less posts – at higher quality – then the opposite way of functioning. Great post!

  2. Great post and too true – I think any web site, whether it be related to business or hobby or anything else, needs to act as a sort of general hub for all of your doings online, linking together your presence on the web into one digestible site.

  3. Although I think you are spot on that your Blog should be your mothership I think it should go further than what you have laid out.

    You should maintain your blog, but you should also fight to have your other services, your twitter, facebooks and other social media outlets push back to or receive from your blog.

    Matt Mullenweg made mention of this at WordCamp Utah back in 2008, here is a video clip of the speech, around the 25 minute mark he talks about your blog being the hub and database of your social profile.

    Through using things like webhooks and APIs you can make your Blog not only your mothership but also you command center.

    • Without a doubt, anytime you post content to your blog it should be automatically posted to your Social Networking outlets as well. The reason for this is that not everyone will take the time to actually visit your blog/website. Some people will want to read your content on Facebook, some will want to get a Tweet about it and click on the shortened url at some point when they have time. Using your blog/website as the Hub/Command Center/Mothership is the best way to reach out to as many people as possible.

  4. what happens when you have more than one blog? :) I have one too many blogs, and haven’t decided which I should focus on the most (maybe that’s why none of them are doing great)

    • Nikole, I’ve always been hesitant on the reformat part of what you are saying here because I don’t want my readers to feel like they have to re-learn how to navigate my blogs/websites. Can you give more specifics about what you mean here. I can buy into perhaps some slight color modifications, but not sure on the reformat. Tell me more about what you are thinking cause you’ve got me thinking about it now…

      Thanks for sharing.

  5. In the past I’ve always made multiple blogs for my various products, perhaps it’s time to consolidate into fewer blogs and more content. Running 5 blogs at the same time usually results in neglect on the mothership :p

    As for using the blog URL for your openID, great idea! Time to plug, my start-up’s own open ID provider, and the only product line without a blog.

    • Amber Riviere

      I see your point. I have multiple blogs, and although I intend to keep it that way, one of them in particular always gets neglected, but I have a plan for the other two so that I know how frequently I want to post. I think it can work, but you just have to be diligent with sticking to your plan for them. Good luck!

      • I suppose the reason for many blogs, especially in the case of start-ups, is for the SEO links. The smaller product blogs ultimately feed into the mothership with links. Ironically, with such heavy emphasis on SEO, we ultimately forget to blog on our own website.

        Honestly, I’m so sick of installing wordpress and all those SEO add-ons. :P

  6. I couldn’t agree more with this post and previous commenters. Any third party site that is not in your control, should never be a main hub for any online presence. Your blog should be the center point of impact for all things online. It’s a great distribution center, automated marketing tool, and community builder — all the makings of a great online presence hub. Good post :-)

  7. Nice post, Amber. I agree with this for the following reason: I think it’s important for a person to create tangible “artifacts” at every point in your career. Artifacts are the things that will stand by you at all points in your life and career. They can be a tangible accomplishment, a paper, a patent, or… a well-written, thoughtful blog post!

    • Amber Riviere

      Thanks. I hadn’t thought about it this way, Susie, but I see your point. It’s like our history and provides us with credibility. Great perspective.

    • Yes Susie, Amber’s post was great and I agree with what you say. A persons blog is not just a business, it is that person. What they do to, and how, they maintain their blog, speaks to the world who they are.

  8. The folks who argued FriendFeed should become the new center of the online universe are probably kicking themselves right now and agreeing with your article. Any site that is controlled by someone else should be a supplement, not the driving force. I am with you totally on this. Great work.

    • Amber Riviere

      Thanks. I agree. Although all the supplemental tools are important with helping to find and build new relationships, your own blog and website has to be the foundation.

    • I think you are right on here. Your blog/website, that you control and own, is the best “center of the online universe” for everyone. All the content that you put there can be aggregated to other web and social media services. We’ve been coaching our clients on this for quite some time now and we are seeing he exact results that Amber discusses in this post related to their blog/website getting much better over time because their focus is there, not on their Facebook Fan Page or Friend Feed.

  9. Hey, Pat, nice seeing you again — even if just online.
    I love my blog [] and agree with your article 100%.

    My blog is a great place for me to share my social media “learnings” and insights. Now that I am “retiring” from San Francisco State, though, I’ll not have student posts to add to the content.

    But that just gives me more opportunity to offer more of my own content. I remember your advice about letting blogs and Twitter accounts, etc., grow organically, and slowly but surely, more visitors are finding me.

    There was a GREAT panel discussion in San Mateo last week with Steve Rubel and bloggers from HP, Intel, and Ebay on the Future of Social Media — and I summarized their remarks:

    PS I do hope my blog continues to allow me to put my Best Foot Forward. :-)