A couple of weeks ago, we moved Dave Kurlan’s blog “ Understanding The Sales Force ” off of Google’s Blogger product and over to HubSpot. Dave is an active blogger, runs a successful sales consulting practice here in the Boston area and is also the author of a book called “ Baseline Selling ”. [Side note: If you’re involved in sales or are running a company with a sales force, you should check out his blog].
In any case, in this process of moving Dave’s blog off of Google’s Blogger, I learned a lot. I am now even further convinced that most businesses should not be using the “yourcompany.blogspot.com” alternative for hosting a blog on Google.
Top Reasons Why Business Blogs Shouldn’t Be On BlogSpot.com
1. Google Doesn’t Need The Help: Lets assume you have a company website (you do have a company website , don’t you?). This website is probably on its own domain (example: yourcompany.com) By hosting your blog as a sub-domain on BlogSpot.com you’re basically depriving your primary website of any real search engine optimization . Instead, if you’re using blogspot.com, you’re kind of benefiting Google instead. Trust me, Google does not need your help to rank highly on its own search engine. Even if you don’t switch blogging platforms, please do yourself a favor and get your own “real” domain now. At least this way, if you decide to switch later, you won’t lose all the search engine optimization (SEO) that you’ve built up. See the next bullet for more details.
2. Domain Lock-In: Savvy technical people will tell you that the right way to move a website or blog from one domain to another is via what is called a “301 permanent redirect”. In lay person’s terms, what this means is that you setup a clean forwarding address from your old site to the new site. By using this approach, you don’t lose any of the search engine love you’ve pulled together. Guess what: Google does not let you do a 301 redirect from your old site to anywhere else if you’re using blogspot.com as your domain. Let me repeat this. If you currently have a blog that is something like mybusiness.blogspot.com and you build a ton of inbound links to the site, Google does not let you redirect that SEO value to a new site (like your company website). This is a Very Bad Thing. Not enough for me to call Google evil, but enough for me to at least think it.
3. Transferring Data Is Unreasonably Hard: Dave Kurlan (the guy whose blog we moved off of Blogger) is a prolific writer. He had over 130 articles authored on the Blogger platform. Clearly, we wanted to move his data over using an automated process. No problem, we thought, Google is nice enough to provide a programming interface to support this. In fact, they have multiple such APIs (application programming interfaces). As it turns out, neither of the versions of these interfaces that Google provides works completely. One version doesn’t let you migrate comments (an important part of many blogs). The other doesn’t let you move more than a few dozen articles – period. Basically, Google has seemingly made it intentionally difficult to migrate off of their platform. This is just annoying. We ended up writing a fair amount of custom code and jumping through a few hoops to get all of the data migrated over (which we finally did). But, this was much harder than it should have been, and we’re trained professionals (so please, don’t try this at home). If you’re not a programmer, chances are you won’t be able to do this yourself. It shouldn’t be that hard.
4. Mediocre Feature-Set: I just think Google’s blogging product (Blogger) is just not with the times when it comes to advanced functionality that is of value to today’s business bloggers . It doesn’t support things like article tagging, comment subscriptions and easy integration into other sites like Technorati. This is probably not such a bad thing for the millions of mainstream personal bloggers out there. But, if you’re a business blogger, and hope to be a power-blogger someday, I’d suggest that some of these missing features are important. Currently, I’m adding a new feature to HubSpot every week as my startup blog ( http://OnStartups.com ) becomes more and more popular. OnStartups.com has over a reach of over 3,000 people a day and is now in the top 1% of blogs on the Internet – as ranked by Technorati. I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve that I think will push the state-of-the-art for business blogging. You’ll see them at first at OnStartups.com, followed shortly by the blogs of our early clients.
So, in summary, though Blogger is free – it’s not really free. The value of your time is much more important. If you’re looking to
build a successful business blog
that will help you find more clients and grow your business, you should find a
blogging platform that is designed for your needs. HubSpot has one such offering (it’s a piece of what we do). But, if all you need is a blogging tool, we’d recommend WordPress. If I didn’t have maniacal control over the HubSpot software, I’d likely be using the WordPress product for my personal blog.
If you’re on BlogSpot.com right now and need help getting off, drop us a line. Even if you don’t pick HubSpot, we should be able to help a bit.
- Dharmesh Shah