Blog or Website? A Timeless Question
You can peruse any Digital Marketing forum and you will surely find a thread titled Blog or Website? This is a very common question asked by those starting an online business and especially for those looking to get into the business blogging.
Many times in the forums, you get lame answers, such as “a blog is a website” DUH!
But, that does not answer the question as it is intended, and even the newest of newbies know that there is an inherent difference between blogs, blogging and websites beyond the technological.
While there are very sophisticated techie definitions, for the purpose of this discussion I will limit the definitions to the basics of Blogs vs. Static Websites and the unique characteristics of blogging that also apply to business blogging for making money.
Blog is short for weblog, which, simply put is a dynamic website that is constantly updated and provides interactivity between it and its users.
Static Websites usually display the same information, thus it is static. The content is not updated regularly and while the webmaster may always add pages of content, it is not expected. These sites can also be described as passive.
- A blog needs to be updated with fresh content regularly, it is expected and required, or else it will die out.
- One of the blog’s main purposes is to engage readers and gain subscribers, in fact for many bloggers it is an end goal.
- A blog is never truly passive, it cannot be slapped up and then left alone, it requires ongoing attention and therefore a lot of interest in and motivation for the subject from the blogger.
- Blogs have messy navigation, since there is new content added regularly it is more difficult to present it all neatly and visibly, and much if it gets buried as more is added.
- Blogs are more personal and represent a human behind the site.
Static Website Characteristics:
- They are built, launched and then marketed. They can be a source of passive income without the expectation of new content. They are safe to leave alone to do “their thing.”
- The navigation is neat and all pages and content can be displayed prominently to visitors, this includes all your affiliate link pages, store pages and anything else that you want visitors to not miss, therefore static sites allow you to have more control over what is presented to visitors, while blog content easily gets buried over with the new incoming content.
- The static website is not usually personal, it is detached from a “human behind the site.”
Blog vs. Website
The decision to go with a Blog or Website is really a personal one. However, the problem for newbies is that they lack the experience to make an informed choice and often it is just trial and error.
I for one, do not think blogging is for everyone. Blogging is a bigger time investment and blogs are not the greatest passive income tools. In fact, many Digital marketers say that blog readers and subscribers do not click on Adsense and they do not take you up on your add offers very much. Usually they are there to read your content. The true money comes from search engine traffic, that will not subscribe but will exit with a click on Adsense or by buying an affiliate product.
There are exceptions. Some blogs focus on shopping and product reviews and that is the focus of the posts with the focus of making money, I have no experience with this type of blog and so maybe some of my readers can add their input, like Frank from Money Saving Reviews – Money Saving Guides.
Blogging takes a lot of dedication to the written word, versus the static website that does not. Tons of blogs fail because the blogger loses interest quickly after launch.
With all that it takes to learn and apply the marketing and SEO end of the business, a static website lessens the work load and allows newbies to focus on learning the tools and skills necessary to succeed.
There are many user friendly website builders, such as WYSIWYG, that stands for “What You See is What You Get” website CMS (Content Management System) that allows those without any code or even basic HTML knowledge to build beautiful sites with simple drag and drop simplicity. Once the website is launched then experience can be gained on the Digital marketing end, without the constant stress of updating. Two of the best WYSIWYG softwares are WebEasy 7 Pro and Coffee Cup HTML Editor.
Also, you can use the free WordPress platform to build niche sites, with an emphasis on pages instead of posts, that allow for neater navigation and a focus on making money as opposed to getting readers, but this is not true blogging.
What do you guys think?