Why my blog isn't on Portent.com

Ian Lurie

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how your blog should be on your business web site.
Holy crap, was that a mistake. I immediately started getting smart-ass comments about how my blog (this one) isn’t part of my company’s web site. Then last night Rand called me out, heckling me from the audience at SMCSeattle.
I’ll have you know there are very good reasons I have this blog in a separate location.

  1. I can write slightly harsher stuff than I would want to put on Portent Interactive’s web site. Clients find Conversation Marketing, of course, and I don’t mind. But usually they have some time to get used to my, uh, eccentricities first.
  2. I can use sometimes tasteless images, and write about squashing squirrels.
  3. I can test-market ideas. Yes, you’re all guinea pigs. Sorry.
  4. Portent does have a blog. I’m fortunate to have a staff that like to write, and are good at it, so they do most of the work there.
  5. This is a noise free zone. I can write and see response with no cross-talk from folks who don’t want a sales pitch.

Also, Conversation Marketing was an idea that, when I started in 2000, seemed like a lark. Who would want to hear one more person write about internet marketing?

If I had it to do again…

I will say this, though: If I had it to do again – if it was 2005, and my blog was just taking off, and I was less paranoid about my business’ future than I was at that time – I’d probably have put Conversation Marketing on the corporate site.
That would have:

  1. Sent a lot of great link authority to Portent, and helped us rank for more stuff;
  2. Led to more people knowing who I am at conferences;
  3. Strengthened the common brand between the two sites;
  4. Lost some clients, as my blogging attitude isn’t for everyone;
  5. Created a whole different kind of brand confusion.

I don’t know if the benefits would’ve outweighed the costs, but I still probably would have tried it.



Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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  1. It’s funny, I really liked your post about where your business blog should go, but when I read it I didn’t think for a minute that CM should be Portent’s blog.
    Probably because I’ve read both and they have VERY different tonal feels to them.
    And yeah, I bet if you had merged the two together earlier on, you’d probably have more links to your company blog page.
    But like you said in the old post, with a separate site you have more freedom to break away from the restraints of a on-the-same-domain business blog.
    So, B+?

  2. “with a separate site you have more freedom to break away from the restraints…”
    Exactly. And I think that’s really important. Sometimes you have to let your hair down. And, when you do, it’s more entertaining for your blog visitors. 🙂
    Judging from #Lisa Barone’s tweets, her hair is never up. But the rest of us have to maintain some discretion and professionalism *somewhere.*
    (Just kidding re Lisa Barone — I love her tweets; some of them make me laugh out loud. Of course, so do your tweets…and your blog posts…and oh dear, have I stepped on Ian’s toes again? ;-))

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