Your blog – front page or another page?

by Michele on August 11, 2011

Where on your site should your blog be?

There’s no question that blogging is a key factor in running a successful solopreneur business. Blogging give people a chance to get to know you without any commitments. They can see if, over time, you show that you know your stuff. It’s easy to look good in a short interaction, but you can only maintain appearances for so long. Your blog also allows people to see your personality and if they feel like you’re a good fit for them. I know when I’m considering whether to work with someone or buy their product, I often check their blog to get a feel for what they know, what they stand for, how polished their work is and if I get a good feeling that they are someone I’d like to work with.

You know you need a blog, but you also need some other pages such as an about page, a contact page and pages for your products and services. So where does the blog go on your website? Should it be the front page or somewhere else in your website?

Both are good answers, and of course it depends on your business and the purpose of your website. For most solopreneurs who offer services and products though, I think the blog needs to be somewhere other than the front page but easily accessible in the navigation. The best front pages help the reader quickly determine if they are on a site that is relevant to them. Your home page should contain information that speaks directly to your ideal clients in their own language and helps them realize that your site is exactly what they need. You can use questions and bullet points to make it easy to scan.

The problem with putting a blog on the front page is that people are so hugely busy and have so much information to sort through that you may only get a few seconds before they decide to stay or go. If the one day they land on your site and find a front page with a blog post that isn’t applicable to them you’ll probably lose them. For example, if I’m a weight loss coach with a specialty in gluten-free living a person may find me through a Google search and click to my home page. If they find questions and bullet points on gluten-free living and weight loss they’ll know they are in the right place and I have a good chance of keeping them on my site for a while. If the first thing they see is a blog post on low calorie treats I found on vacation in Europe, that might seem irrelevant and uninteresting to my visitor and they’ll probably leave quickly without taking the time to see that I am a good fit for their needs.

You do need a blog, and it needs to be highly visible through your navigation but it isn’t the best use of your front page. Use your front page to help your visitors know without question whether they are in the right place or not.

Comments

  1. Sharon says:

    Thanks for this Michele! How appropriate it is as I was just trying to decide where to put my Blog as it is the next “thing” I am developing. I always enjoy reading your strategies.

    1. Michele says:

      Thanks Sharon! Looking forward to your blog and newsletter coming out soon! You’ve nailed something that most of us entrepreneurs struggle with – doing one “thing” at a time! I know that I am always fending off “bright shiny objects!”

  2. Jessica says:

    Great article, and great points, Michele! I agree wholeheartedly that a blog is a great second step on a site, after people have a little bit of an orientation to what the site is about. When I’m visiting a site for the first time, if I start on a blog page, it can be confusing to figure out exactly what’s going on. Also, I think it lets you be freer with your blog when you know it’s not the first thing a first time visitor might see–if your blog is your home page, you have to keep those newbies in mind at all times and that can be a little stifling.

    1. Michele says:

      Great points Jessica! Something clicked for me when you mentioned how it can be confusing to land on a blog – I usually look for an “about” page before I did into the blog but I didn’t even realize it till you said that. I also don’t know how I’d accommodate new people and give information in the same post, so thanks for pointing out another pitfall to avoid.

  3. This is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while … and I have to agree with you – the front page should be something else in most cases – that’s why magazines and books have covers right?

    Landing on the blog is confusing – it’s like walking into a supermarket with a selection of products all over the entrance … definitely food for thought – I’m going to be giving my site a face lift (ok, maybe so major surgery) in the next few months and this is something that’s definitely in the plan .. thank you for confirming my suspicions 🙂

    1. Michele says:

      Hi Ameena,

      I agree with your supermarket comparison. I like your website now, so I can’t wait to see it when it’s redesigned. The colors and look seem perfect for your message. Michele

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