Finding a platform to put content on
This is going to be the first element of my series ROAD MAP TO VALUE BASED MARKETING, that I call #GGROWMAP in case I need a short version.
GGROW is a few days old digital marketing management and consulting company. Its digital presence is non-existent and has client interest only via personal referrals. I believe in consciously planned marketing strategies, therefore, I commit to create my own company’s strategy in front of your eyes.
Do I know all the steps of the road map? Not really, I know the next few ones, it may take 10–30 steps, but I definitely do not have everything laid down.
My first step
To be able to deliver the road map to you, — which is a step-by-step, structured written content about how to build marketing strategy — I will need to find the ideal blogging platform. There are a few to choose from. I did not test them all, rather, I read comparisons by reputable bloggers and try to make a decision based on other people’s experience. Using this method to make a decision, I protect my most valuable asset, which is time. Finding the right platform could be a “step 10” in your strategy, but in my case it is the question of existence.
I recommend to summarize your requirements before diving into reviews. You may fine tune them during the process, but it is always good to remember what have been the main prospectives at the beginning. Here are mine:
- Easy to use over highly customizable. People feel safe if they have a ton of custom settings options, but when life comes along, there is no time to handcraft every single pixel of your content. Large number of options mean a complex user interface that takes significant time to learn.
- Modern, trendy look and feel. I want to have a sleek looking blog without even touching a design template or Photoshop. The main source of my traffic is going to be the social channels I manage, so I do not mind if my blog looks absolutely the same as all others on the platform, assuming my readers will not look around very often.
- Little added user base is a benefit. Even though I target my followers through my social media, I do not mind if anybody else is reading it or maybe engaging. I prefer to be in a big community where I may end up building valuable partnerships, rather than owning every pixel related to my content.
- SEO friendly. I aim to create topics that pop up in search results. It does not matter if I have ownership of the website that shows up, the only thing that matters is that I want to have the biggest chance to be up front in certain searches. I want my target group to consume my writings and give me the credit of trust. They will find a way to convert if my content is valuable enough.
As a former leader of a web design agency, my team delivered over 50 websites in Wordpress for clients. GGROW will need a website later on, I would probably shortlist Wordpress as a content management system, but for my present purposes it seems to be an overkill to install and maintain a wordpress.org template. The biggest benefits would be total control of site design and analytical tools to measure performance.
Wordpress is not only known about its $50 templates, but on an other domain (wordpress.com) there is huge community of bloggers. The moment I entered the admin panel I got distracted from the list of functions. I also looked around between the bloggers, but I found their practice areas too diverse. I would love to be around “business-only” people, and do not want a platform to suggest gastro content to my potential clients.
It is never bad to be around Google’s own infrastructure in case you want SEO results. I would mention as an additional benefit that it is easy to integrate any other Google product like Analytics. But, the default blog template looks like it is 2008 and I do not want to spend a weekend customizing it, either. I made it short.
LinkedIn has an integrated blogging platform, which contains all functionality I need. A big plus for me is that I could be very close to my target group with my main content. There is only one thing that keeps me uncomfortable. I clearly see that I will have some traction on Instagram. I highly doubt that the users are in the mood to click on a link which is starting with www.linkedin.com/… It seems so serious, and I won’t be able to configure a custom domain for my roadmap to cover this risk.
You may have figured it out by now that I went with Medium. It shares almost the same text forming user interface as LinkedIn. I also like the name, Medium, so my URLs would stand out a little bit when sharing on my channels. I saw a few people who set up own domains. I haven’t done my research yet, but it is nice to know that I can put my brand on the top as I need it. The way Medium approached analytics was very convincing, they put the number of reads of your article in focus. That was the last thing keeping me afraid to go to bigger platforms, rather have my own. The number of clicks is really non-sufficient data, but the number of reads makes me satisfied, and spares my time of maintaining heatmaps in such an early stage.