I caught the question when it was recently asked on Twitter and I’m sure it’s more commonly asked, or at least considered, then might otherwise be thought:
Should I blog from Google+ or WordPress?
One of my first thoughts when starting to use Google+ was the idea that it made a great blogging platform. My business already has a presence, unlike Facebook longer posts get read, you can format text for emphasis and ease of reading and it’s packed with influential users.
While the basics are there for blogging, Wordpress still provides significant advantages, especially as a standalone site (look for this blog to migrate shortly):
- Credibility and Professionalism: If you already have a hosted website with a good company, your blog can be integrated so it’s part of your site. If you don’t have your own site (the last statistic I read was approximately 35% of small businesses don’t) your self hosted blog with a custom domain can serve as your site and that custom domain adds credibility and professionalism.
Your custom WordPress domain will also provide a verifiable website for sites like Google+ and Pinterest increasing your credibility on those platforms as well.
- Customizable: With an almost endless selection of themes and plugins you can tailor your site to your needs both visually and functionally.
- SEO value: While Google+ posts are indexed, a self hosted blogs offers significant opportunities for SEO – from quality content to permalinks, post titles, image alt tags, to a good XML sitemap (Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin). Once published you’ll still have the added ability to create the perfect Google+ post linking to your blog for additional SEO and discussion (not to mention other social media sites).
- Guest bloggers: While it’s YOUR blog, guest bloggers add additional credibility, especially if they already have a devote following of their own. With Google Authorship, a guest blogger that updates his / her contributor section in their G+ profile further bolsters your blog.
- Analytics: You’ll get the advantage of WordPress stats but with Google Analytics plugin you’ll get the complete picture of how well your blog is doing. “Track your WordPress site easily and with lots of metadata: views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews.”
- Subscribers: One of the great pieces – like signing up for an e-newsletter individuals can subscribe to your blog via email. While your post MAY be seen in Google+, nothing works better than sending your post directly to someone’s inbox!
A standalone WordPress blog provides full control, customization and flexibility that Google+ just doesn’t offer. If leveraged correctly, you’ll be able to use Google+ and other social media sites to actually drive readership and grow your subscriber base.
What are your thoughts?