Blog Vs. Website: Beginner’s Guide

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You’ve finally gotten around to launching your online presence, but there is one last hurdle. You can’t decide between a website and a blog. Aren’t they the same? A blog is a type of website, but a website isn’t necessarily a blog. It may sound confusing at first, but I’ll take you through the differences between the two concepts and which one is better for what. 

Ultimately, it may not even be necessary to choose one over the other.  

Why Deciding Between Blog vs. Website Is So Important

If you’re just getting started creating a web presence, you want to know the best route to take. Learning the difference between a blog and a website will help you take the appropriate steps to establish a strong web presence.

So what is the difference between a blog and a website?

A blog is a type of website that presents content in reverse chronological order. Newer content shows up at the top, followed by older content. The primary purpose of a blog is to share content, usually in text format, with an online audience. A blog may include other elements such as photos, videos, and infographics to support the text. Blogs are also very dynamic and are updated regularly.

Blogs also tend to be more informal and educational. They may include interactive features such as comments, subscriptions, likes, shares, and so on.

A website is a collection of web pages tied to a single domain on the internet. Websites primarily showcase, promote, and sell products or services. Unlike blogs, websites are typically static. This means the website organizes content in interlinked pages which are rarely updated. Where blogs have posts (called blog posts), websites have pages. Examples of web pages include the about page, home page, products or services page, and contact page. A website can also have a blog within it.

Websites also tend to be more formal and less interactive than blogs.

So, should you create a website or a blog? The answer mainly depends on what you want to accomplish with your web presence.

When it makes sense to start a blog

Most people use blogs for personal use. If you are passionate and knowledgeable about a specific topic, a blog can offer the perfect creative outlet. A blog is also an excellent place to share details about your personal life, interests, passions, and so on.

A blog is also an excellent platform for sharing details and information about your products or services. They are well suited for offering tutorials, details about discounts and sales, and other information not readily available on your website.

Also, many bloggers use their blogs as a way to create and connect with an audience. If you’re keen on building a community around a particular cause, niche, or even your own business, a blog offers the perfect avenue. Blogs are also easily shareable on social media. This flexibility provides a broader reach than your typical static website.

Finally, blogging is a very effective search engine optimization strategy. Since blogs are regularly updated and contain internal and external links, they tend to rank higher than your typical website.

When it makes sense to start a website

Other times, a website is more effective than a blog. For example, a website is better suited for an online business. If you want to sell products or services online, you will certainly need a website. Websites come with all the tools you need to do business, such as shopping carts, payment processing, web security, and much more.

A website is also a perfect avenue for professional networking. A portfolio website, for example, is a professional medium for showcasing your talents and competence. Potential employers or clients are more likely to take you seriously with a professional website.

Don’t worry if you still haven’t figured out which option will work for you. The following section should settle the problem once and for all!

Quick Tips to Improve Your Web Presence with a Blog and Website Today

If you’re still undecided between a blog and a website, you can always do both. Most online businesses employ this strategy. A website is a great place to showcase your products or services, list prices, and let people know how to reach you. A blog on your website further solidifies your online presence. Here, you can create relationships with potential customers, drive organic traffic to your website, set yourself up as an authority in your niche, and so much more.

We highly recommend WordPress for creating a website + blog. You don’t need to create a separate website and blog. WordPress lets you do both on one content management system to streamline your web presence.

WP also offers affordable plans for whatever category you might fall under. WordPress plans cover websites for personal use to full-fledged online stores.

This platform even lets you promote your latest blog posts right on your website’s homepage with a recent post widget that allows site visitors to easily click into your blog from the homepage of your website.

I have a few more quick tips to help you successfully integrate a blog into your website.

Evaluate Why You Need a Blog for Your Website

Websites are relatively easy to manage. Web pages are static and don’t require regular updating. Blogging, on the other hand, requires a more hands-on approach. You may soon tire of regularly updating and maintaining your blog. Identifying the key reasons for a blog can help to keep you on track.

Your blog can help people find your website. Blogs are a great way of driving organic traffic to your site. This is particularly true if combined with other SEO practices like earning backlinks, sharing on social media, integrating relevant keywords, and creating Meta descriptions and title tags.

You can also convert the traffic to leads. People visiting your blog are already interested in your niche. It’s much easier to convert them into paying customers. Additionally, your blog posts can continue to drive traffic and generate leads years after posting.

Finally, a blog is a great avenue to give your brand a voice. Blogging allows you to discuss your brand’s core values. Also, a blog can help shape your company’s personality and voice to make it more relatable and approachable to your target audience.

Add A Blog To An Existing Website

If you already have a website that’s not ticking all the boxes, it is possible to add a blog to it. This process is straightforward if you created your website with WordPress. To add a blog to your WordPress website:

  • Go to Customize from your WP dashboard
  • Click Posts Page and select Add New Page
  • Name your blog (something like “News” or simply “Blog” will work if you don’t have a custom title)
  • Click Save Changes

It’s still possible to integrate a WordPress blog if you used a different website builder than WP. You’ll need to download WordPress and install it in your website’s subdirectory or subdomain.

Choose a Blog Theme That Matches Your Website

It doesn’t matter if you created your website with WordPress or some other website builder. You might want a smooth transition between your blog and website. Part of this cohesion is visual, so pick a blog theme that matches your website. Another great advantage of choosing WP for your blog is its numerous themes. You get to choose from more than 50,000 free and paid themes, so you’re sure to find one that matches your website.

Link Your Blog to Your Website’s Main Menu

Ideally, your visitors shouldn’t notice a difference when navigating between your primary website and blog. Choosing matching themes for both your website and blog goes a long way.

You can further streamline the user experience by adding your blog to your website’s main menu. To do this in WordPress:

  • Go to My Site > Appearance > Customize
  • Click Menus to start editing your menu
  • Select the + Add Items button
  • Choose your Blog and any other items you want to add to your menu
  • Click Save Changes

Your users can find your blog quicker if it’s on the website’s main menu. This strategy is also great for adding SEO value to your website. Finally, blog posts increase the amount of time that visitors spend on your site. Make it easy for your visitors to stick around by making your blog easily accessible.

Choose the Right Web Host

If you’re creating a website and blog for the first time, you’ll want the cheapest hosting option. Free hosting may sound ideal at the moment. Even so, this decision can come back to bite you in the near future. A free host may shut down without notice, leaving you to start from scratch.

Also, you’ll most likely need support as a beginner. A web host with robust support is always a good idea. WordPress already recommends Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround, so these are solid choices to consider. These web hosts meet WordPress minimum requirements, so you shouldn’t have a problem with your WP blog or website.

Check out our post on The 8 Best Web Hosting Options to Consider for more information on how to pick a web host that fits you best.

Long-Term Strategies For Optimizing Your Website’s Blog

Once you have your blog up and running, there are a couple of long-term strategies you can employ to meet your optimization goals. 

Write New Blog Posts Regularly

Successful bloggers often don’t tell you how long it takes to rack up page views. First, concentrate on creating quality content and blogging consistently. One new post a week is a good target, but you might want to blog as often as possible. Creating a content schedule helps to keep you on track and lets your audience anticipate new posts.

Forget about analytics when your blog is brand new. The dismal numbers may discourage you from writing.

Focus on Providing Value

It is tempting to make self-promotion front and center of your blog. Remember, most people visit your blog to get more information about your niche, products, or services. This information doesn’t include your press releases and company events. For these, create a “News” section on your website to keep viewers updated on your business.

Center your blog on answering your audience’s questions and solving their problems.  Consider creating how-to guides, tutorials, listicles, case studies, checklists, resources, and other informational content that help build trust with your audience.

There is also such a thing as giving away too much free information. It’s a thin line between being helpful and blogging your way out of business. If you show potential clients everything you know, then there is no reason to hire you. Instead, offer just enough information to display your expertise and credibility.  Then, you can reserve the more crucial information for paying clients. This tip works mainly for service-based businesses.

Incorporate Visuals into Your Blog

Blogs tend to be text-rich, so consider adding visuals to your blog to break up the monotony. Incorporate related images into your blog to enhance its visual appeal and make it more readable. Infographics are also great for serving up your most important information in bite-sized chunks.

Moreover, consider that some audiences learn better with demonstration. Videos to complement your text content work well for casting a wide net. Don’t forget to optimize for mobile when incorporating visuals into your blog. The visual elements on your desktop website don’t necessarily translate perfectly to mobile. Mobile devices such as smartphones account for almost half of all internet traffic. This is a segment that you may not want to overlook.

Consider Guest Posting to Drive Traffic

Once you have a content schedule going, consider venturing to guest blogging. Guest blogging simply means writing content for other websites in your niche. Target high-performing and reputable blogs in your field and reach out for guest posting opportunities. This approach can help you build credibility, boost your SEO ranking, create brand awareness, and establish yourself as an authority in your business area.

It may be worth priming the blog author before reaching out for guest posting opportunities. Take time to read the blog and contribute meaningfully to the discussion. The author will already be familiar with you by the time you reach out. Creating this connection also increases the chances that both blogs benefit from your collaboration.

Make Your Content Shareable

The main reason for blogging is to get the word out about your website. You can make this easier by using social sharing tools. These tools allow your visitors to share content with their social media followers in a single click.  

These tools also let you customize the sharing button placement and look to remain on-brand. Additionally, you can change the content’s images and descriptions to match the social media platform. For example, hashtags are great for Twitter but don’t work as well for Facebook.

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