Listen Up and Say Ahhh…
Okay, before any of you go into a web frenzy and begin to thrash my title and protest, let me explain…
First: Yes! We all know that a blog is a website. No argument here.
Second: The invisible yet operative word is – OFTEN. But in my personal case it’s – ALWAYS!
Third: I’m not saying that people or companies don’t need a static website.
On the contrary – a company should definitely have one.
And although it would be great if every company with a site had a blog – they don’t.
Some just don’t see the purpose of having one or don’t believe that it can help generate customers (cough).
Whereas others are ill-equipped and lack the resources (time or money) to keep a blog running with regular updates.
Whatever the reasons, they’re obviously there.
However, in my effort to persuade the “no-blogs” otherwise, I’d like to share a few interesting things.
First of all:
What’s the Difference Between Blog and Website?
A website is a series of static pages that are evergreen enough that they require infrequent updates only.
A blog is more like a magazine that needs a new issue once a month, once a week, or even once a day for certain niches – it’s dynamic and constantly updated, in other words.
Blogs, unlike websites, are non-static and allow for reader interaction (commenting, social media sharing, and so forth.)
Here’s the million dollar question: should your company live with a static (and yes, easy to maintain!) website or go all out and get a blog to go with that static website of yours…
I bet you already know where I am going with this. ?
Blog vs Website Facts of Stats: Read ‘Em & Weep
Several studies have shown that companies that blog have far better marketing results.
For instance, HubSpot conducted a little experiment to conclude that an average company that blogs has:
- 55% more visitors
- 97% more inbound links
- 434% more indexed pages
Not only that, but these companies also have more lead generation through blogging.
Blogs are extremely powerful internet marketing tools that tap into the ever-growing reach and influence of Social Media.
They allow you to target a specific niche and are regarded as a more trusted media source of information.
Before you say anything, I said ‘more’, not ‘most’!
According to BlogPulse, there are about 151,570,276 (and counting) blogs on the internet today and over 49,000 of them were created in the last 24 hours.
And those numbers increase every minute!
Pretty overwhelming, huh?
Blogs are actually the fastest-growing medium of personal publishing and are the preferred method of “individual expression and opinion”.
Yet, there are still many people who wonder whether they should set up a blog or website for their online hobby or business.
And although the two serve different purposes and produce different short-term results, I think they’re both necessary in one way or another and can often complement or reinforce each other.
But in many cases, a dynamic blog is better than a static website.
And here’s why (from a simple, non-techie point of view)…
Blog vs Website: Blogs Kick Ass
1. Blogs are Much Easier to Set up and Manage
Unless you’re part of a geek squad or a tech-savvy brainiac, this is a hands-down, no-contest, indisputable fact!
Much like Facebook accounts, I think we’ll be seeing 2 year-olds and chihuahuas with their own blogging sites soon – “WheeBlog” and “BarkaBlog” :).
Hmm…I may be on to something here.
Okay, let’s get back on track…
The entire setup process should take you no more than 5 to 10 minutes.
Plus, there’s no coding required – pheww!
You see, I’m what you call ATTAC – “All Things Techie with Abbreviations Challenged”. ??
Good thing WordPress has an endless array of free and amazing-looking themes for you to use.
Heck, I think I downloaded over a hundred before choosing mine.
And if you know a little CSS, PHP and HTML – 3 things we already established I royally suck at – then you can customize and tweak the crap out of them to get your own personal look and style.
If you plan on going pro and are up to spending a few bucks, then I suggest you check out the 3 premium theme biggies: Thesis, Genesis, and Headway.
These are by far the preferred choice of A-list bloggers and many – including me.
Here at Traffic Generation Cafe, Genesis is king.
Regardless of the theme you install, the user-friendly WordPress dashboard allows you to easily access and update all your information… from your content and comments to your plugins, widgets and options.
Super simple and very straightforward.
Plus the blog platform does all the actual technical work for you. So, it’s pretty much idiot-proof.
Now, if you’re still confused or undecided about whether to go with a self-hosted blog or not, here’s a helpful infographic by WPBeginner that’ll simplify things for you.
2. Blogs Retain More Interest
Because blogs are easy to browse through and regularly updated – at least, they better be, if they want to survive and prosper – readers will be more likely to return.
Hence, the horrifically overused and annoying cliché that makes you want to pierce your own eardrums – “content is king”.
I’m actually on a mission to find and coin a better catch phrase…
“If content is king, then content repurposing is the voice behind the throne.”
In my case, I write like I talk, which let’s face it, is way more entertaining to read than a monotonous monologue by a corporation.
Websites, on the other hand, can have you crawling page after page of utter blandness (blah!).
Needless to say, the easier and more interesting you make it for your viewers, the longer they’ll stay (hello bounce rate) and the more they’ll return.
3. Blogs Encourage Author and Visitor Engagement
With a blog, anyone visiting that likes (or dislikes, for that matter) your post can leave a comment or click on that fabulous little ‘like’ button.
Websites are like using a microphone. It’s a one-way or one-to-many communication method.
Blogs, however, are like doing a live stream – you’re speaking to many, but it’s a two-way conversation where your readers are not only listeners or consumers, but contributors as well.
They can reply to you or to others that have left comments on your page.
It’s a great way of building a healthy and engaging blogging community – there’s just as much to learn from other people’s views!
Through good, consistent and regular updates, you’ll start to generate trackbacks, pingbacks and comments.
And believe me when I tell you – they matter.
4. Blogs are More Search Engine Friendly
Okay, here’s the thing.
Regardless of your personal reasons for blogging, one of them should be to generate interest and viewers.
That’s if you have any intention of growing.
Because blogs are updated regularly and contain a big number of deep links, they’re more likely to be discovered by those cute little search engine bots that come crawling your site to identify and index your new content.
Obviously, the more you update, the more pings you send out and the more the bots will come visit (What is a ping?).
Think of it as a “Domino Effect” – where syndication is almost instantaneous and automatic.
5. Blogs Generate More Traffic
Just as I mentioned that blogs retain more interest and encourage engagement, they also generate an audience – and in turn, they get more traffic.
The richer and more interesting your content, the easier it will get noticed.
You can’t please everyone, but you can target the ones you’re looking to get attention from.
Hence, your niche market.
Once you begin to build your readership, they’ll help in promoting your blog for you.
People will start to talk about you, write about you, interview you, link to you, and grow your blog for you.
I can honestly say that most of the blogs I like and read today I discovered through other people’s blogs.
The more people mention you, the more people will be intrigued to know you.
6. Blogs Allow Readers to Subscribe via RSS
As I mentioned in #3, your visitors can subscribe to your blog through a couple methods, but more notably via RSS.
Your religious followers want to be able to have your content delivered to their email inbox or feed aggregator as soon as it’s published.
Not because they’re stalking you, but because they’re genuinely interested in what you have to share.
This is the part where I remind you about having kick-ass content again.
RSS literally allows you to take the content from another website and feed it to yours.
You’re actually simplifying your reader’s lives by providing them with a ‘door-to-door’ delivery service. Think of yourself as FedEx of bloggin!
It’s only obvious to conclude that the more subscribers you have, the more popular and valuable your blog is.
7. Blogs Sit at the ‘Cool Kids’ Table’
You know how in high school you had the cool and popular crew and the geeky or ‘not so popular’ crowd?
Well, in blogging it’s kinda like that – where the blogs and bloggers are the cool kids on the block; even though the static gang is still strong and kickin’, they’re a bit passé.
The roles have been reversed.
The time has come for “Revenge of the Nerds”.
I’m going to presume that all of you reading this are old enough to have heard of that classic.
And if you’re not, I curse you out of jealousy!
Let’s face it, folks…us, bloggers, do have that little nerdy/geeky side going for us, but in a very cool way of course ;).
So why are blogs cooler and more popular with static websites?
They talk and interact more!
There’s a continuous flow of sharing and engagement through the consistent and regular updates of interesting words (content).
Blogs are better than websites for a hundred other reasons and I’ve obviously left many of them out – one of which includes Multi-User blogs.
Once again though, it all depends on what you’re looking to achieve through your site.
If someone were to ask me, I’d recommend a blog 100% of the time.
Blog vs Website Faceoff?
Blogs win – hands down!
From Ana with