Do You Even Need a Website or Blog Anymore? A Simple Assessment

It’s official. Social networking is here to stay.

Forget using it just as a business tool. It’s everywhere. You can’t get away from it. (And we’re not even talking about, ahem, inappropriate uses of it such as sending nasty pictures of yourself over Twitter when you really ought to know better)

Anyway, I digress. The point is social networking is so prolific and so everywhere that websites and blogs are starting to look like something your grandpa used to market himself. After all, now you have gurus proclaiming Facebook fan pages are the absolute MUST HAVE little black dress and you are seriously behind the times without one. (Here’s an example of a fan page if you want to check it out: http://www.facebook.com/michelepwkaching — feel free to “like” it once you’re there too. :)

So are websites and blogs even worth it? Should we just throw all our chips in the social networking pile and not spend any more time or money on websites or blogs? And what if you don’t have a website yet — should you even bother?

Okay. Let’s all take a deep breath here. Feel better? Good — now let’s look at the facts.

Social networking is still in its infancy. I know, I know. It feels like it’s a rebellious teenager. But honestly — this is still very, very new. It’s really only seriously caught on in the past few years. And let’s look at what happened during those few years:

* MySpace was THE place to be if you were an entrepreneur (Does anyone else even remember MySpace? Anyone?) Facebook was this weird, red-headed stepchild. In fact, when I first opened an account, when you sent out a friend request, you had to indicate how you knew the person and one of the options was (I kid you not) “hooked up.” Yeah. I think there was only one option, something like “know from a group or an association” that was safe for business purposes. Linked In was basically for “corporate only” or if you were looking for an actual job (I had an account and I really had no clue what to do with it.) Twitter was still being programmed in someone’s basement.

To put this into perspective — this was 4 years ago.

* Then came the huge “MySpace migration into Facebook” revolution. Everyone was on Facebook. MySpace was SO last year.

* Then Twitter exploded onto the scene. EVERYONE was on Twitter. And a bunch of other social networking platforms suddenly popped up out of nowhere — plurek, plaxo, etc. Suddenly there were HUNDREDS. Yee gads.

Fast forward to today. Twitter is declining in popularity as a tool to grow your business. (Although it remains tops on the list as the best tool to embarrass yourself.) Facebook is back on top. Linked In has rediscovered a new surge of popularity — thanks to never getting away from its roots (keeping it a more formal platform, which serves its core customers) but still adding new bells and whistles (like groups). Many of those other social networking platforms have fallen by the wayside.

And what will the future look like? Who knows? I certainly don’t. For all I know, Facebook fan pages could be as popular as yesterday’s newspaper — heck, Facebook could be as popular as yesterday’s newspaper. MySpace could be back on top and something called “Yowzer” could be the hottest thing.

Which is why those old-fashioned websites and blogs still have a place in your marketing.

You see, you control your websites and blogs. You’re not subject to whims of playing in “someone else’s sandbox.” You don’t have to worry if the rules change, if Twitter decides it doesn’t like your picture and shuts your profile down or whatever. You have your own online real estate that you can do what you want to with it.

So the question is — do you want to have control over your business, your message, your visibility? Do you want to have a hub for your online activities — your “online home” to invite your ideal clients to if they want to learn more about what you do?

Or not?

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11 thoughts on “Do You Even Need a Website or Blog Anymore? A Simple Assessment

  1. Mitch Mitchell

    To me having a website is a no brainer. It gives you the opportunity to get your message out to the masses, and it’s always there as both a publicity and marketing tool so that you can send people there so they can learn more about you and your business. Social media is a good thing, but having a place that you really control is really the best way to go.
    .-= Mitch Mitchell´s last blog ..A Decluttering Update & Problems With Some Comments =-.

  2. Sire

    The answer is obviously yes. Sure social marketing is important but you use it to promote your site. There is only so much you can say in a tweet, definitely not enough to convince anyone to buy a product, but you can use it to point to a page or post that does.

    As to FaceBook, I’ve never bought a product from there but I have done so from another bloggers post.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..How Good Is The FlexSqueeze Theme, Really? =-.

  3. Michele PW Post author

    HI Mitch,

    I thought having a website was a nobrainer as well, but this question popped up on Linked In — apparently people are questioning whether they need a website or not with all this social networking around them. Social networking IS great, I’ve been on social networking platforms since about 2003, but in that time I’ve seen so much happen that’s out of your hands I just can’t imagine putting all your “marketing” eggs in someone else’s basket.

  4. Michele PW Post author

    I agree — you need a website to actually sell. Selling directly on social networking platforms can backfire on you. It’s much better to build the relationships using those platforms then drive them to your site to finish the sale.

  5. the ghostwriter

    Hello michele,
    Well, i am also a freelance writer. I need a small tip from you please. Up till now, I believe that article advertising is a great method of promoting one’s website. Recently, i found as SEO forum where i read that writers, who write for article directories, are actually shooting themselves in the foot because they are outranking their own site with their articles and actually feeding their competitors(the directory). I can see that you have sufficient experience on ezinearticle, can you please divulge how much traffic did your published articles generate? Sorry for asking an irrelevant question here, but it is the best place I could reach.
    Thanks & Regards
    Ali

  6. Michele PW Post author

    Hi Ali,

    I’m glad you reached out to ask. Article marketing is still a great way to promote your business and your website, but you have to do correctly. And what I mean by that, is whichever portal has the article first, gets the credit. In other words, if you publish your article on a portal first and your website or blog second, the portal will get the credit and you will indeed have shot yourself in the foot. So, what you should do is reverse it — post on your site or blog first, wait a few days, then post on the portals. That way your site or blog gets the credit. Make sense? And Good Luck.

  7. the ghostwriter

    Hi Michele,
    First I want to apologize, I don’t know but somehow my comment got posted twice.
    Thanks a lot for your great tip. It really makes sense. I have published a few articles in the directories, a lot of views but virtually no traffic back to my site.
    Thank you for wishing me luck; you are as nice as your writings :) Best of luck to you as well.
    Best Regards,
    Ali.

  8. Michele PW Post author

    Hi Ali,
    You’re very sweet! Okay in terms of getting traffic with your articles, the key is quantity and longevity. What I mean by that is you need to get a bunch of articles out there, more than 25. And they need to be out there for awhile. Articles grow legs — the longer they’re in the search engines, the more good they’ll do. So, in other words, you’re not going to see a big uptick in traffic with only a few articles out there in a short amount of time. But if you keep up with it, you WILL start to see traffic coming to your site.

  9. the ghostwriter

    Hi Ma’am,
    Thanks for another priceless tip. You know, it is really awful that people these days don’t give you even a piece advice for free, but you are different, God bless you. I was disheartened after reading these posts on the forum but you have made everything clear about article directories. I will add an ‘acknowledgements page’ on my site with a link to your blog very soon.
    Many thanks,
    Ali

  10. Wendy

    I appreciate the advice. I’m always looking to learn how to effectively market anyone that I work with and it’s hard to know where it’s going with Social Networking being so pervasive and learning how to keep up with it is a challenge in itself. sigh. However, you put it into perspective when you state the obvious: Who’s going to be in control of your image?

  11. Rita Cartwright

    I agree with Sire. Social media is for driving traffic to your website. Although that is one of the purposes of a blog. Having a website is very important. It is your online business card. Personally, I will not consider doing business with a company without a website.
    .-= Rita Cartwright´s last undefined ..CommentLuv Premium is here!The version of CommentLuv on this site is no longer supported. Please update by clicking the image below

    Go to CommentLuv.com to download Hurry! click here! =-.

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