Why do I have 3 blogs and 2 websites?

Jun 8, 2011 | Business messaging and branding, Websites

I’ve been asked why I have a number of different blogs and websites. It’s not something I would encourage many people to do so perhaps it’s worth explaining my thinking. I accept it could be flawed, but bear with me.

Firstly let me stress that in all of my writings for professional advisers (eg: on AccountingWeb, AccountancyAge, New Model Adviser and this blog) I focus on encouraging best practice. I typically share what I have researched and can see or believe will be commercially viable advice for working professional advisers. I do the same in my talks. I offer an objective and independent view. I have no agenda re practice management or consultancy services. In this context I think, I write and I speak. That’s it.

I frequently stress that what works for me is not automatically going to be right for accountants in practice for example. The most obvious case in point concerns the way I use twitter.

Enough background. Here’s my thinking about my websites and blogs.

There are two key points to keep in mind:

  • The first is that I want the visitors to each site or blog to know they are in the right place;
  • The second is that I want to have clear analytics that reveal the relative interest from different types of audience.

My personal website www.BookMarkLee.co.uk started life as a consultancy business but it’s now simply a home for my profile and to promote my availability and expertise as a speaker. Also on this site is my blog. This blog.

More people are interested in my blog posts than in my availability as a speaker so I frequently link to the blog directly rather than expect people to find it via my home page.

I have a sense of humour and have long collected humorous stuff related to accountancy and tax. I maintain a separate blog (now called www.Accountant-jokes.com) on which I post all such items – it now has over 500. Much of the traffic for this fun blog comes from overseas. And the audience reaches far beyond the worlds of accountancy and tax. Many people are looking for the sort of material featured on the blog to include in speeches and talks. Keeping the fun blog separate means I don’t fall into the trap of thinking that anything else I do has a big overseas audience – unless and until it really does!  It also means that I don’t risk alienating those members of our profession who might not share my interest in the humorous side of things.

The Tax Advice Network has a wholly different focus again. That website has a home page for people seeking specialist tax advice. Those people are neither interested in Mark Lee, my blog posts nor my joke collection. It’s a sophisticated business website and has to be separate from my personal sites.  I also have specific landing pages on the website for Accountants, for Tax Advisers, for IFAs and, shortly, for solicitors too.

As a plug for the Tax Advice Network and to encourage relevant writing and speaking engagements I write the Tax-Buzz blog. This matches the Tax Advice Network branding but is hosted separately on Google’s blogger platform. This makes it more Googlicious than if it were integrated into the website.

Each of the blogs contains links to the others and to the websites.

So that’s what I do and why. To summarise:

  • Where the fundamental offering is the same (ie Tax Advice Network) but I have different audiences I have separate landing pages for each audience.
  • Where the subject matter of what the target audience is seeking is very different I have separate blogs and a personal website.

It makes sense to me. The only change I could realistically make would be to bring the accountant-jokes blog inside the BookMarkLee website/blog – whilst keeping the domain name and pointing it at the relevant section. I’d have to believe it would be worthwhile. At the moment I don’t.

Feel free to share your views below as to whether this makes sense to you or if you have some constructive suggestions/ideas.

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