If Your Blog And Website Are Separate

If your blog is very separate from your website, you might want to model what we did on the new ArtBizCoach.com and ArtBizBlog.com sites.

It was a last-minute decision, but a big Duh moment. . . . We used the same navigation menu for each site.

Here’s the Art Biz Coach site/menu:

ArtBizCoach navigation menu

And here’s the Art Biz Blog site/menu:

Art Biz Blog navigation menu

The only difference is the logo. Otherwise, visitors feel like they’re on the same site.

This is a game changer for me. It’s a solution for something that’s been bugging me for years.

It’s The Result Of Being an Early(ish) Blogger

The reason that Art Biz Coach and Art Biz Blog were separate in the first place is because I started the blog on a different blogging platform based on the best advice I had at that time.

If I had known better, I’d have done what I encourage all of my clients to do: build a WordPress site that integrates a blog with static pages.┬áThere is no reason to have a blog separate from a website.

I switched the blog to WordPress a few years ago, but the two sites still remained separate and I’ve always struggled with this.

Now they are both on WordPress (two different installations), but they look much more cohesive. As a bonus, I’ll get more people seeing my programs and products because of the new navigation menu on the blog.

I’m sure WordPress makes this easier to do than if you have an HTML site and a Blogger site. It’s also easier if you have an amazing Web guru like Pat Velte helping you.

Even if you can’t model this solution, I implore you to add a BLOG link to your website in your main navigation menu – even if it takes people to a new site and window. You’ll get more clicks on your blog link than on many other items in your menu because people expect to find new/fresh content there.

Make it easy for people to find your blog!

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17 comments to If Your Blog And Website Are Separate

  • I’ve embedded my blog into my website but maintain the blog as a separate entity also, they both use a lot of the same styling so you know it’s for the same artist.

    The Url is http://FutureRelicsGallery.com if you want to take a look.

  • Such a good tip. I always encourage children’s literature illustrators to keep their blog and their portfolios on the same site to ensure consistency with design in both. Squarespace is another great service for this.

  • Hi Alyson,
    Another very good read and excellent content but then I would not expect anything less!

    It was all too easy to run several blogs on different providers and to use each one for a particular theme of art communication. e.g. being an artist, marketing art, commenting on the world of art and me and my art…well you get the picture!

    And I’m a very meticulously organised person so it was fun and I could keep all the balls in the air, so to speak…

    Five years on I have just the one…Phil Kendall Blogs. It’s part of my website. It’s so simple I wonder why I did not do it long ago! It’s just me and my art.

    Then retirement is about simplification and concentrating ones efforts!

  • Good advice. One of the reasons(among the many)that I like using FASO for my website is my blog and newsletter are integrated into the website.

  • Mary Ahern

    A few months ago I did just what you are suggesting. For many years I’ve been running an HTML website and two different WordPress based blogs on my shared hosting ISP. The blogs had one style but the website was quite different. Now I’ve converted my website to WordPress & restyled all the headers and menus on the three different entities so there is unity.

    This seamless ( to the viewer) integration now sports the static Home page, multiple galleries, a blog style News structure, an Art Blog and a Garden blog. I accomplished this using 3 different WordPress installs into three different directories on the same server. Fun project.
    …mary
    http://MaryAhernArtist.com

  • I moved away from blogger to WordPress a couple of years ago for my blog, although I didn’t turn it into a proper website with a blog until more recently. I’m glad I had the foresight to know that eventually I would want it to function as more of a regular website with a homepage and blog feature which is easy to do with WordPress.

    I also would much rather be using something open source rather than depend on a free service from Google. Look at all the people who are scrambling to find a replacement for Google Reader now that they are doing away with it.

  • I must do this, great idea! One question I’ve never seen answered about blog and website vs blog on website is Google rankings and search results. Like you my blog has always been separate because I started the blog so long ago! But back in ye olden days separate was better because your site linked to the blog, vice versa, and of course there were links back and forth to relevent content. (blog entry linking to most current painting, to exhibition event page, etc) I’d love to know in terms of SEO if a blog and website combined is now actually better for traffic and search results than separating the two?

    Also, for those who loathe WordPress like I do, many templated website providers also integrate blogs now. So if you do want it all together it’s much easier than it used to be. :)

    • Tina: I don’t know the answer to this. But I do know that I get BUCKETS more traffic on my blog. How nice that they can now visit more easily the products and programs on my website.

  • I’ve been blogging on Blogger since 2006. Carolyn has a point. I have really liked using Blogger, it’s been easy for me, but I am concerned about what Google may decide to say goodbye to next.

  • My blog is on Blogger, and I’ve read your other article on why WordPress is better, Alyson, but it is still too hard to make the transition. I’m a new blogger, a new artist, I think it’s not a bad idea to make more paintings before making any business? Do you agree?

  • Yay, this is one thing that I’ve done already, probably helped that I wasn’t as early of an adopter of blogging as you Alyson :-) And I too recommend Pat Velte as she helped me do this when I was ready to make my leap to “Version 2.0″ of my website. Sooooo nice to have my website and blog integrated on one wordpress platform now!