Websites, blogs, landing pages… If you’re thinking about creating your own webpage and find yourself in the researching stage, I bet you’ve seen these terms more often than not. But do you really know the difference between a website and a blog? Aren’t they the same thing? And more importantly, do you need both of them? What are they good for?
Let’s start by saying that every blog is a website, but not every website is a blog, and you can activate a blog on every website. Say whaaaaat? Let’s see the differences first, and you’ll see how it all makes sense!
Websites vs. blogs – What’s the difference?
The main difference is that while a website is static, a blog is dynamic:
- A website always looks the same until you decide to change it for some reason. So you can write your content, publish it and that would be it.
- It is the perfect option if you’d like to have an online presence with your service and contact details for potential customers to find and reach you.
- With a blog, you’re supposed to add new content – blog posts – regularly. These posts usually appear chronologically, updating the blog front page automatically every time you publish something new. Very Pinterest-y!
- Due to their dynamic nature, creating a blog but not updating it doesn’t actually make much sense. Whether you publish new content daily, weekly, or monthly, you want to keep your blog “alive.”
Can websites have blogs?
Now, a website can also have a blog, which is the same as saying that a blog can have a static home page. It sounds more confusing than it really is, believe me! There are 2 main reasons for having a blog integrated into your website:
- A blog can provide your website with a platform where you can share your experiences, your knowledge, your expertise, and your thoughts. This will help you create a community of loyal readers. Now, why is it important to have a community? Because you’re creating yourself an authority in your field. And you can have authority in really any field: with techie stuff, advice for newbie moms, travel tips, losing weight, cooking recipes – anything!
- This authority will make it easier for your readers to buy something from you, or to take advantage of your services. There will be many of them who never buy anything, but that’s OK. I mean, your final goal is to earn money with your work, but it’s also very gratifying to share some of your content and help those who can’t afford your products, don’t you think so?
- Another reason why you may want a blog on your website is to get as much traffic – aka users – as possible by updating your content regularly for SEO reasons. If you don’t know what SEO is, it stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, and it handles the way you optimize your site for Google to find you and position your site on the results page. The nearest to the top your site appears, the most likely it will be for people to discover it.
- And why would you want people to visit your site? Well, to let them get to know your services and products, of course!
- Check out this post to get more info about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and learn how to optimize it on your site!
On the other hand, having a static homepage on your blog can help users get a clear overview of what your site is about at first glance. Besides, a static homepage can provide your blog with a nice professional touch!
So should I have a blog then?
Now, you may still be wondering: Then… should I have a blog? Well, that’s something you’ll have to decide, I’m afraid! If we recap everything we’ve talked about so far, I’d say that having a blog would be a good idea for you if:
- You like writing. And I mean consistently writing. In fact, blogging is a perfect way for aspiring freelance writers to get their customers to discover their writing skills. So if this is something you could imagine doing, what are you waiting for? Blogging is your thing!
- You want to attract people to your site – either to buy your products or to profit from ads, paid blog posts, or affiliate marketing – without having to spend any money on publicity.
- You’d love to create a community whose members you can help and teach.
When doesn’t it make any sense to have a blog?
Blogging is a very powerful marketing tool, but it’s not for everyone. When doesn’t it make any sense to have a blog?
- When you know you aren’t going to stick to regular writing. The power of blogging is the regular updating of valuable content – without that, it’s almost pointless. Feel free to download this content brainstorming sheet if you struggle with coming up with ideas for your blog posts. I hope you find it useful!
- When your business doesn’t require it. I mean, if you’re a photographer, you’ll probably want to choose more visual platforms to display your work, like Instagram. Or if your business is all about crafty arts, you may want to launch your own YouTube channel where you can post your DIY videos!
- If you feel overwhelmed by the whole techie stuff. Not everyone has to blog, and if it’s going to stop you from actually doing your business, you’ll find another marketing channel that suits you, don’t worry!
- When the only people you think you can help are your peers. I have always wondered why so many translators have blogs lately. They blog about translating techniques, ways to get and handle translation customers, and everything which can help other (aspiring) translators. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is really kind of them to help their fellow translators. But what’s the point? They don’t offer any value to potential customers, and besides, they usually write in their mother tongue – which isn’t necessarily the same as their actual customers’. And the funny thing is that they often complain about how hard it is to find translation projects. Well, I guess it has something to do with the enormous amount of time you spend blogging for other bloggers, instead of searching for customers!
- Another very different thing would be that your fellow peers are your target clients. That would change everything, right? Then you DO need to blog and create some authority about translation or whatever you’re blogging about. You want them to realize how comprehensive your know-how is so they trust you when you sell your book, your course, or whatever it is that you’re helping them with!
And this takes us to the very first thing that you have to take into account when designing your online presence: You need to know what your website goal is BEFORE you choose one option or the other.
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