Should Your Blog Have Its Own Domain?

I am frequently asked a common question about blogs. It’s goes a little something like this – “I want to create a real estate blog, should I place the blog at www.mydomain.com/blog or should my blog have its own domain like www.arearealestateblog.com.” Unfortunately there is not a right or wrong answer. It all depends on your particular strategy. So with this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to make a case for both options and let you, the real estate agent, decide based on your blogging strategy

Does Your Blog Have legs?

The first question you have to ask yourself is how frequently you plan on posting to your blog. If you plan on creating a blog separate from your real estate website, then you better give it legs to stand on its own. That means frequent posting of relevant content. If you only plan to just “salt and pepper” a few post here and there, then your best bet is to just create your blog as an extension of your website.

What is Your SEO Strategy?

Many real estate agents start blogging to give their website a SEO boost. If that is the main goal then your real estate blog is best suited on your existing domain. That is because all that fresh content you are creating with each new post, gives more “spider food” to Google and other search engines.

Age of Your Domain

This is another important factor when thinking about where your blog will call home. Google and other search engines value older domains as they are seen as more trust worthy. If you just purchased your blog domain last week, plan on spending the first 60-90 days building up credibility in the eyes of the search engines. Now keep in mind that this time period is not a magic number. There are plenty of other factors that determine credibility such as quality of content and the number of inbound links.

How Big is Your Online Marketing Influence?

To be successful online, it takes more than just one single website, instead you need to build your total online marketing presence. This is where having a blog on a separate domain can be beneficial. After all, now you have multiple websites that can show up on page one for your desired keyword. As your blog grows, your website’s credibility also grows. This happens because your blog (which has authority in the eyes of search engines) will link to your website. The key here is credibility. If your blog with its own domain is not maintained, it will not grow in authority and become an island.

Do You Want to Attract the Media?

Blogs that have their own domain typically have their own identity. This is helpful when getting the attention of the media. News organizations and editors can smell self promotion a mile away. With this in mind, they are typically more receptive of standalone blogs that focus on the information and not the promotion of a single real estate agent.

Take for example Kevin Tomlinson‘s South Beach Condo Blog. The blog sits on its own domain and is 100% information driven. Kevin doesn’t use the blog as an arena to blow his own horn. He uses it to give free information. In its simplest form, Kevin is simply a “reporter” for the South Beach Condo Blog (or SBCB as it’s commonly referred to). The name alone proves this point. His SBCB blog has its own identity. And as a result, sources such as the Miami Herald, New York Post, and thousands of other blogs have linked to his blog. They know they can safely do this without endorsing or promoting a single real estate agent.

What About Social Network Hosted Blogs?

I would not recommend using a Social Network Blog (such as Active Rain) as your main blogging platform. Not because they do not have value – it’s just the opposite, they have tremendous power to help grow your online presence. But remember that each with each post you write on the social network site, you help to grow their credibility and not your domain. Keep in mind that that’s not all bad. After all, the more credibility the social network has, the more valued are those links that point back to your site. But ultimately, your main blog needs to be something that you control and directly benefits you. Again, places like Active Rain have tremendous value. But use Social Network blogs for a specific strategy. For example, for me, I see Active Rain as a website with 50K potential Dakno clients. Don’t get me wrong, I love the friendships and love educating and empowering real estate agents to get the most out of their marketing. But at the end of the day, I blog for leads.

Finding What’s Right for You

Take a few minutes to think about your own strategy. What’s the main goal of the blog. How much time do you have to focus on the blog. How does a blog work into your overall marketing presence? Hopefully now that you are armed with this information, you will have a clear direction on if you should place your blog on your existing website or on a separate domain.

One thought on “Should Your Blog Have Its Own Domain?

  1. Brad – A few comments…Love the blog you created for Kevin it looks great. What is your view on the plan that AR has to allow individuals to have their own site but be connected to Active Rain?
    It seems like a real win win to me.

    You are not the 1st person I have heard say that you should have your own blog and that an AR blog does not directly benefit you. I understand that your blog there makes AR stronger but don’t understand why people say that it does not benefit the individual. If all the posts and your blog itself, are on the 1st or 2nd page of google how could that be a detriment to you as an individual?

    I can see a value of having your own site but don’t see it as the end of the world if you didn’t. I will be interested to see how the new AR site stacks up.

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