The Online Debate: Blog vs. Website

I get this question all the time from clients. Whether they are just starting out and have no online presence or are considering upgrading their online presence – they ask me this question.

“Derek, should I use a website or my blog or both? What’s the difference?”

It may sound like a basic question – but it is actually one of the most important questions to consider regardless of whether you have a website or a blog already – or are considering changing what online presence you have.

There are some fundamental differences and reasons why you should choose one over the other – that essentially combines a “best of both worlds” approach with a blog and website.

In this article I will share why having a blog is actually the best solution and I’ll reveal the best resource for setting up your blog. The best part is that it’s free and easy.

And just to be clear: a blog IS a website. A blog (web-log = blog) is a dynamic website. It supports the idea of having fresh new content that is updated consistently. As opposed to a website which is more traditionally seen as static and not frequently updated with new and relevant information.

Here is why you should not have both a website and a blog. Imagine your prospect is searching online for your niche or subject matter. They type in some keywords and look at the results to see two different search results. One is your website, say www.mywebsiterocks.com and they then also glance at the other search result and see something similar – but a little different. It may have your name or company presence on there – so the prospect is a little confused what the difference is. That website is www.blogpost.mywebsiterocks.com. Well, guess what – you’ve essentially just confused your prospect before they even come to your site. They will ask themselves? What is the difference with these two sites? Are they the same person or company or something different? Which do I click on? These are questions you NEVER want your prospect to be asking when they are reviewing search engine results and deciding which site to visit.

Having both a blog and a website is essentially putting you in competition with yourself. This will confuse your prospect and ultimately decrease the number of visitors to your site and compounded from that will decrease leads to your list and clients or buyers of your programs and products.

Even worse in this example is the fact that you’re essentially giving blogspot.com search engine credibility for your keywords by having your blog hosted on that site as opposed to your actual website name – say www.mywebsiterocks.com.

Let’s take another unfortunate scenario. You’ve decided to host your blog on your own website or domain – so you now how have a menu item on your website that says “Blog”. So, when people come to your www.mywebsiterocks.com website and see the menu item “Blog” – they will click on it and go to your blog. Not good. Not only will you be competing again in the results of the search engines – but you’re adding an additional step for your visitor to take to get what they actually came for – CONTENT. Typically a blog will have new and fresh and updated content (articles, posts, tips, etc.) – why not showcase that on your homepage of the website as opposed to having it hidden in another area of your site?

The moral of the lesson is this: don’t create a dual presence online with your website and a blog.

So you might be asking yourself, “Great Derek, what’s the solution?” Well, the answer is to setup your website as a blog. Combine the website and the blog together to have the best of both. Here’s how:

If you don’t have a website or a blog yet – set one up using WordPress (www.wordpress.com). There are hundreds of reasons why you should use WordPress to setup your blog. But, the best one is this – you can setup your blog like a website. It’s totally customizable in everything from the layout to the design to the look and feel – so you can actually have it look like a website – but with all the benefits of having a blog.

What are the benefits of having the blog?

  • Search Engine Optimization. Google loves new content. So, Google loves blogs because those have the most new and updated content. And, Google loves WordPress blogs because they are the best at setting up the content and including all the SEO “stuff” so your site will rank higher in the search engine results
  • True plug-n-play. Wordpress provides all the social connectivity with Facebook and Twitter and other state-of-the-art “widgets” that allow you to literally have a site setup in minutes – and connected to the other online outlets to help showcase and broadcast your content
  • Easy. It’s so easy to customize and design a WordPress blog. WordPress has hundreds of “themes” out there where you can choose a pre-defined blog template that you like and then very easily customize. Adding images and videos is a snap.
  • Scalability. As your business grows or evolves – you can very easily change or re-design your blog without having to hire an expensive web designer. Using a customized “website” that is built on a non standard platform could make it very difficult, time consuming, and expensive to change in the future
  • Show off your content! Blogs are designed to showcase your content. So, it helps you showcase new and updated content. This will most definitely help you attract more visitors to your site.

An example of a WordPress blog that is setup as a regular website is www.clientattraction.com. Our site “looks” like a regular website but it’s designed using a custom WordPress theme. So, we get all the benefits of using a blog (and a WordPress blog at that) and the ability to customize and design it like it was a customized design website.

And don’t worry. Other website functionality is available for WordPress sites like membership site functionality using applications like WP Wishlist (member.wishlistproducts.com).

So, if you fall into the scenarios described above where you have a separate website and a blog – or no blog at all – consider moving it over to a WordPress blog format. It’s not difficult to do and will position your website in a way to attract more leads so you can build your list and get more clients.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Lights, Camera… Be You!

I see it too many times. And, perhaps you have too. You know someone too well for him or her to be doing video this way. They have a certain personality in person – but when they’re in front of the camera for online video – it’s totally different. It’s like a bait and switch leaving you scratching your head and saying, “Huh?”

You know the power of online video. I don’t have to sell you on that. It helps conversion everywhere online from sales pages to landing pages to delivering content and information to your prospects and clients. So, why do so many people not get it? Authentic online video is all about being you – not someone else.

You have to inject your personality and be who you are in “real life” when you step in front of the camera – else the message and connection with your viewers will be incongruent and they’ll see right through you. Viewers want to connect with you – the real you – not someone you’re trying to be.

In this article I share some of the tips and strategies to inject personality into your videos so you will come across as “you” – allowing you to be more authentic and connect with your viewers to massively help conversion with your online videos.

Audience

It depends on your viewers. What type of videos would they expect from you? If you’re prospects and clients are the serious types (a.k.a. button shirt / tie / suit executives) than injecting your personality of you hanging in your pajamas at the home office just won’t cut it. Perhaps focus more on a business casual look and focus more on the “business” personality to make that connection. On the contrary, if you’re audience is the stay-at-home-mom market – you can totally do that and make a massive connection with your viewers. It all depends on your audience.

Brand

What do people think of when they think of you and your company? What words come to mind when they think of your brand? You want to ensure your videos are consistent with that theme and your personality will match. Part of my brand (if you haven’t guessed it already) is skiing. Can you tell that I love it? It’s part of who I am and a huge part of my personality. So, I showcase that in not only my message and my marketing – but directly as part of my videos. See below as a quick example:

Silly or Serious?

Which are you? Both? I’m a little bit of both so some of my videos are serious – about a topic I love like Internet Marketing – or silly – like the videos I shoot with my kids about skiing and having a great time. I often times see videos that look too “polished” or “scripted.” Don’t get me wrong – I love the idea of a well looking and well done video – but you can still inject your personality and be yourself so people can see that part of you and not feel like they’re watching something that really doesn’t represent you.

Expression

Videos are all about expressing yourself. Yes, you can express yourself in social media and emails and articles – but video will by far “expose” you to your audience like no other format. So, as a result you need to feel the capacity and confidence to fully express yourself and be who you are in your videos. If you make a mistake, it’s ok. It’s part of life and part of who we are.

At the end of the day that’s what your viewers want – you. So, don’t be stingy and not be who you are AND express who you are in your videos. Once you truly be yourself in front of the camera as you are in real life with your friends and the people who know you – you’ll find a stronger bond and connection with your network. This is what will help catapult you to bigger sales and bigger conversion with your online marketing.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
If you’re doing video in your online marketing (and if you’re not – you should be) how can you be more YOU in the videos? Where is your personality hiding when you step in front of the camera? Don’t be afraid to step out there and really be who you are – your viewers will connect with you even more. As an experiment you can try shooting some “personality” style videos – but perhaps share them with close friends and family first to get feedback – before you share it with your network online. Interested in finding out more about authentic video and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.
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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:
Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Think! So Your Prospects Don’t Have To

Often times people spend way too much effort designing or building their website. Don’t get me wrong – it’s super important – but many times when I look at a website I say to myself, “What were they thinking?” So much going on and just not logical at all in terms of what the visitor is supposed to do.

In this article I reveal the 5 most important elements to consider with your website to ensure you are authentically connecting with your prospects to build your list and get more clients.

Make a Personal Connection
Many times people build their website with fancy logos and design elements as part of their brand. That’s fine – but I want to connect with YOU when I visit your website. People want connection with people – not companies or logos. You need to bond with your prospect and establish that connection to immediately build the know-like-trust factor. The best way to do this is through video. Having a welcome video on your homepage introducing you and who you are is a great way to immediately connect with prospects. Other ways can be a web page “About You” or an “Interview with You” where you get to tell more of your story and build in who you are and why they should care. Photos work really well if they make a personal connection. I would place less emphasis on branding and taglines and headlines. You can have them, but don’t have that be the only thing they first see on your site.

Give Them Content
They came to your site for a reason – to look for content or information and something that will help then. Give them what want. If it was content or articles about your niche – show it to them. If it was information about your industry and how you provide value – show it to them. Too many times people miss this connection and provide information on the site that is not relevant to why the visitor was coming in the first place. Or, the content they have to share is not easily displayed or available. If it’s a blog (like my site) give them the blog posts and articles right on the main page so they can’t miss it – that will be what they’re looking for most.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart)
It wouldn’t be “authentic” if I said “stupid” there so I softened it down and used “sweetheart” instead. This is one of my biggest issues with websites out there. They are too busy! Too many choices is not a good thing. Over the top colors, fancy and animated images – irrelevant banners or sections of the site. Remember, less is more. Think about the design of the site from the view of the visitor and what initial reaction will they have. Make good use of the top 1/3 of the site (above the fold) to place your most relevant content and important message. Is it easy to find things? If you’re pulling leads in with your IFO – is it obvious and easy to find on your site? Where do you have wasted space on your website and where you can be more strategic about your design and just keep it plain and simple for the visitor?

Be a Leader
People arrive at your website are looking to be led. They don’t know what to do on their own so please do them the favor and lead them where you want them to go. Think of it this way – people come to your site and either feel they have arrived or will feel overwhelmed and click away. Present logical options of what you want them to do and lead them down that path of doing so.

Call to Action
Last but definitely not least – you need to answer the question “What’s next?” Where do they go from here? I’m a big believer in giving them a strong call to action about an offer – but not trying to sell them something on the spot. This is a more authentic and trustworthy approach than immediately trying to make a sale. You want to have given them enough to whet their appetite and leave them wanting more – but you need to tell them how to do it. Most people overlook this step and wonder why people don’t reach out to them. You need to tell them what you want them to do! The “call to action” has to be common sense for them and your job is to make it simple, easy, and straightforward. Don’t over complicate the process and make it cumbersome (see K.I.S.S. above) so it can be quick, ordinary and obvious. Hint: think of the process from their point of view (actually go through it) and ensure that it’s common sense for you with the call to action – it will be for them as well.

Think about these elements with your own website to ensure you’re properly engaging your prospects and what you have to offer online. It’s often times overlooked and ignored – but so important!

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:
Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Does Google Love You?

You know the importance of using keywords as part of your SEO strategy when building your website and writing your articles. What you may not know is Google places emphasis on having one or more keywords in your website name. From an organic traffic standpoint, it’ll increase your rankings (especially if the domain matches the exact search query).

So, if your domain name is a close match to the keywords your prospects are searching for – it’s like the hitting the jackpot to get on page one of Google for that search phrase.

I will teach you how to develop an SEO strategy for your website domain. Not thought of that before? Well, you should! It’s important and an amazingly powerful strategy that most online marketers don’t even think about. It will boost your search engine results for the keywords your prospects are searching for. Google gives preferential treatment and responds more favorably by boosting your rankings based on keyword-rich domain names.

When I work with my private clients, I always look at whether they should purchase a domain name with their company name (branded domain) or a domain name based on their service or offering (keyword-rich domain).

I will explain an example of a “company name URL” and a “keyword-rich URL” and the power both have so Google loves you.

Company Name URL

As you know, your company name or “brand” is one of the most important aspects of your business or personal identity. Your company name is the foundation for everything you do. Your company and identity will be on your website, print material, business cards, letterhead, etc… This is ultimately what people will recognize and associate you with, so when you have the opportunity to purchase the URL that matches your company, I almost always say do it.

Take the example of ClientAttraction.com. The company name of Client Attraction and the message of “attract clients” is congruent with the website of ClientAttraction.com.

The advantages of a company name URL are that it’s short and memorable which means it’s super easy to remember. As a result, it’s an easy way to put your company name in front of your prospects and allow you to maintain consistency in the brand across your online marketing efforts. It looks cleaner and stands out as being more professional.

End result? Google naturally loves you and you will attract more loyal visitors and readers. Cool, right?

In my personal opinion, if you’re looking to create a long-term brand using your company name – choose a branded domain. It’s proven that by having short and clean URL’s that match your company name or brand, people trust you more than someone with a domain that is more generic and less trustworthy.

Keyword-Rich URL

There are also situations when I would recommend using keyword-rich domains say if you’re trying to brand yourself as an industry expert. A good example would be something like Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist or Authentic Internet Marketing Expert where you’re positioning what you provide as a memorable name or tag line. In that case it’s beneficial because you’re branding your service or offering, while using the main keyword/phrase at the same time.

You can easily set up targeted domains for the niche or keyword/phrase you’re targeting and re-direct that domain to your site. My private clients love this strategy! I’ve used this method hundreds of times for domains related to “client attraction” or “authentic internet marketing”, where I purchase a keyword-rich domain, and then re-direct the user to the main domain (i.e. clientattraction.com or derekfredrickson.com) once they click on that domain.

Here’s why.

Google loves a scenario where the keyword phrase is the website domain. The reasoning why (your keyword phrase).com should rank number one is clear. It makes sense that Google thinks that a site named www.howtobeaskibum.com is probably about “how to be a ski bum”. Whether it’s the BEST site for how to be a ski bum is a different story. Note to self – I already own  www.howtobeaskibum.com. 🙂

Bottom line?

Choose a website name that fits your ideal client and this will help you get you so many more clients than before.

Until then… Learn it, Love it, Live it!

Your Assignment:

What does your website name say about you and what you offer? Do a complete overview of the domains you own and which are branded as your company name and which are relevant from a keyword perspective. Now, what opportunities exist for you to take advantage of in terms of adding to the list of domains you currently have related to your brand or keywords? Make a list of the keywords related to your company name or services and offerings based on relevant keywords and develop a plan to go out and get those website names! It will strategically over time allow you to improve your rankings in search engines like Google – and ultimately get the real Google “love.”

Interested in finding out more about search engine optimization and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.