Should you add personal information to your website or keep it strictly business?

Keeping your website content personal or business onlyA few weeks ago on this blog, I talked about reasons why you should merge your blog and website.

One of the reasons I gave for running a hybrid site was to give your website a ‘voice’ by adding a personal touch to enhance the corporate face of your website.

Looking around at other websites and blogs shows that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to including personal content or sticking to business information only.

Every website or blog is unique

This is probably because no two websites or blogs are the same, even if they appear at first glance to cover the same topic or offer the same or similar services or hobby information.

Each website or blog serves its own unique purpose, and it is perhaps that purpose that should be used to help decide on the overall tone you use – and the type of information you include.

So, your business website should provide your customers with all they need to know about your business services and business information.

And using the same logic, your hobby or personal website, should, be all about you, your hobby or both.

But it isn’t always that simple.

Follow content trends or have your own aims?

For example, when blogs first appeared, they tended to be written from a very personal angle.  They were driven by the passions of those who ran them and their wish to share parts of (or all parts of) their lives including what they were doing, when, how, where, and so on.

By comparison, today’s blogs have a much wider role, and they are increasingly being used as a means to add value.

In other words to add more shape and variety to a business or corporate online presence.  To offer more than ‘official’ speak’.  To offer a way to engage with existing, new and potential customers.  To give customers reasons to stick around, return for repeat visits and buy, or buy more.

Websites have also evolved – from the static to the dynamic, with more features, more content and more focus.

Be a part of the web content evolution

As a web or blog owner, you have a dazzling choice of options, and what you choose will depend on any number of factors including your personality, your aims and what will work best for your target audience.

But whoever your target readers are, your web content should evolve along with that audience so that your website or blog continues to be relevant to that group.

Part of that ‘content evolution’ includes welcoming new trends and applying them in a way that will work for your type of website.  If you decide, for example, to run a blog that relates to your business website, adding a personal angle gives you an important way of creating a link between you and your customers.

This doesn’t mean that you should spill your guts about your personal life, or share intimate or personal details that should be kept private.

But it does mean treading that fine line carefully so that you are open to the kind of changes that can help your web content to blossom.

Post written by DEBBIE THOMAS on 30 March 2011.