Kathy Smith
Sr. Website Designer

Website Gardening Part II: Blogging and Thought Leadership

This is part II of a series of articles about approaching websites as gardens one can cultivate.

In his book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust, Chris Brogan spends much oxgyen expounding upon the concept of “thought leadership” and how it applies to building up one’s business. The term was coined by Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of the magazine Strategy & Business.

A thought leader is someone who has helpful information and makes it available to the public. This applies to small businesses and organizations in several ways:

  • Sharing useful information helps your customers and/or readers and potential customers better use your products and services.
  • Sharing useful information helps your business or organization by fostering trust.
  • Sharing useful information helps your business or organization by fostering its credibility.

Blogging is a great and inexpensive means of providing one’s thoughts to the public, but has other dividends as well:

  • It increases traffic to websites via direct and indirect means such as a greater likelihood of being found in search engines, providing information that prompts people to share blog entries, and subscription to blog entries via tools such as feedburner.
  • It provides a means of organizing the blogger’s thoughts which can result in more focused, higher quality business practices.

Where to start

I recommend WordPress as a blogging platform. It’s free and very versatile, and can be easily installed in a subdirectory on your existing website. It can be used to manage your entire website if you wish. It is completely customizable, so your web developer can create your own theme that has your own specific design without any technical constraints from WordPress’s end other than the time to code the theme.

Many plugins are available for WordPress, including ones that can help you “get the word out” by facilitating social media sharing.

If possible, install WordPress on the same domain as your website because will help with your domain’s informational footprint, or “domain authority.” Also, it improves the amount of activity going on on your site. Both are good criteria that search engines such as Google can use to help determine a site’s relevancy. (We converted our own website to WordPress in early 2013.)

To be continued…

Kathy Smith has developed more than 200 websites – everything from n-tier enabled applications to ecommerce to your friendly brochure-style website. She is senior developer at Lakenetwork.net, a website development company in Eastlake, Ohio.


about lakenetwork

Lakenetwork is a family-owned business providing website design and development for companies, professionals and organizations in the Cleveland, Ohio area and beyond. We specialize in providing the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions for clients’ online needs. We are located in Eastlake, Ohio.

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