When it comes to business blogging, what's better: blogging on Active Rain or hosting your blog elsewhere?
After much research, we've come to the following conclusions:
Active Rain: indexed quickly.
We recently began blogging here on Active Rain, because several of our colleagues have said that it has been advantageous to them, due to the quick indexing by Google. But other blogging platforms have also been quickly picked up lately by the spiders, including WordPress and Blogger.
Active Rain: best for social interaction.
I like Active Rain for the social aspects. We can connect with other real estate bloggers, trade ideas with fellow salesmen, and talk about what works on a marketing level. We've learned from other people's mistakes and successes on this site, and we do our best to share what we've see work for our own company.
Hosted blogs: stylized to match your company's image.
Right now, we are considering blogging off-site as well because the design can be easily changed to better match the actual company's image and logo. The hosted blog can have pushes to your company site and help convert leads without confusing the customer.
Hosted Blogs and TDLs: .edu vs .com
Blogging on a .edu can give authority to localized links that you cannot garner from Active Rain alone.
Hosted Blogs: Blogging as a way of learning CMS
We decided to let our part time staff develop their own blogs, off of Active Rain, in order to learn the ins and outs of content management.
Hosted Blog: Title Tags Can be Changed
Active Rain does not allow you to change the title tag of your posts, which decreases click through rate from the search engine result pages.
Hosted Blog: Better Search Capabilities
Because of the unique title tags on each blog post, chances are that more of your blog posts will shop up in localized searches on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines when you post your articles on your own hosted blog.
We've been experimenting with several blogs:
Smart Apartments: Expert Advice on UF Housing & Gainesville Apartments
Real Estate Investing: The Student Housing Niche (part time staff member blog)
The verdict is still out. What do you think? What makes the best blog: Active Rain or Hosted blogs?