What is the Difference between a Website and a Blog?
This was something I had absolutely no idea about when I started blogging. I honestly believed they were the same thing, though I now know that they are completely different!
The most basic explanation of the difference between a blog and a website, is that a website is generally static. The information on there doesn’t really change. Whereas a blog is constantly changing, information is regularly updated and people communicate on it (through comments, social media etc).
In my guide I will explain in more detail the differences between the two and how you can choose the right platform for you.
What is a Blog?
A blog is a type of website that is usually run by one person or for larger blogs, by a group.
Blogs tend to focus on a niche area; and is a social type of platform in the sense that we encourage communication and engagement with the information we post up. Content is kept fresh and relevant, and it allows for a direct connection with your audience.
Writing styles also tend to be more relaxed and conversational, so to promote the writer’s personality. And content generally shows in reverse chronological order so the most recent posts appear first.
What is a Website?
Websites are generally static advertising pages. They provide information about a business, contact details and details about products. The information that is published on websites doesn’t really change unless products or company information is being added to.
Websites can have a blog component to complement their business niche and products. This semi-blog is good for sharing tips, ideas and helpful information in relation to the niche and products. Which in turn helps drive traffic and engagement.
If you have a business website, then it can also be beneficial to have a separate blog to drive traffic to your business site.
Is it better to have a Blog or a Website?
That really depends on the type of business you have and how you want to attract and subsequently engage with your audience.
Most businesses tend to have a traditional website to advertise their presence. Possibly they already have regular customers, or just want an online presence because they’ve been told every business needs one. Many of them will have a basic social media presence as well, though the platform they use will depend on their business model. Beauty businesses tend to use Facebook and Instagram, whereas many corporate businesses have their own Twitter handle.
Time and budget can also be a factor in the decision. Running a blog takes time, and some businesses just don’t have staff who can manage the social aspect of establishing and maintaining a blog.
Of course you can hire influencers to promote your products or hire writers, but they both can add up a fair bit financially.
Why Would You Need a Blog?
Blogs are generally set up to help writers establish their credibility and authority in their niche. It allows you (the author) to build a personal connection with your audience, and to truly engage with them across multiple platforms (the blog, various types of social media, emailed newsletters etc).
While it does take time to build and maintain an audience, when done properly, an interesting and engaging blog will help you create life-long customers who truly engage with the message you are promoting. It has truly become an essential part of digital marketing in today’s society.
Blogs are a great way to share information, and it is important to remember that when people go online they are usually looking for an answer to something. Blogging about the topics most relevant to your audience is what will help them have confidence in your products and services.
Each individual blogger has their own motivation for blogging. Many of them use it as an alternative to keeping a diary or journal. Blogging provides them with an avenue to share their creativity and ideas to a wider audience.
Because of the way blogging allows like-minded people to find each other, it is also used by charities and non-profits to attract potential volunteers and donors. Blogging enables charities to raise awareness, run campaigns and influence opinions by educating their audience about what services they provide. It has proven to be very effective for many charities!
Can anyone start a blog?
The answer to that is a resounding yes. Setting up a blogging site is incredibly easy and you don’t need to know or understand coding. The tools are all available to you online.
In fact, blogging initially started in the mid 1990’s as a form of personal websites where people would write online journals detailing their lives, opinions and thoughts. While people still create personal blogs/sites, these have evolved to incorporate social media and monetisation methods.
Sites like Wealthy Affiliate teach you how to create and build a blog using WordPress, as well as how to monetise it using affiliate marketing.
How to Bloggers monetise their blogs?
A growing number of bloggers are able to earn money from their blogs, some are even able to grow it to a point that they can quit their jobs to focus solely on their online business.
The bigger your audience and engagement, the more you can earn as a blogger. The key here of course is being established. Generally speaking a blogger needs at least 6 months of steady engagement and publishing of posts, and a proven audience.
There are tools that companies use to test the real engagement and value of blogs, so just telling the companies that you have traffic will not cut it unfortunately.
Some of the methods used by bloggers are:
- Affiliate Marketing (reviewing other people’s products)
- Google AdSense
- Selling online courses and memberships
- Selling their own products such as photographs
- Consulting or providing services through sites such as Fiverr.
I hope that answered the question! Blogs and websites are similar but serve very different purposes. Blogging allows for deeper audience and customer engagement, which helps promote products and establish trust and niche authority.