13
Feb

Should I Start A Blog or Build A Web Site?

Web Site Or BlogTerri from By America For America posted a very good comment yesterday asking about, or rather, being confused about whether she should start a blog or build a web site.

What is best?

A blog and the individual posts get indexed much faster than a web site, but in many situations a web site is much better. So what should you do, build a blog or website? The answer of course is yes, you should.

What?

Both blogs and web sites both have their place and many times you will want to have a blog to highlight and feature things you have on your web site. The criteria I use to start a blog rather than a web site is to think about what I’m trying to accomplish. The most basic question is, do you want to carry on a conversation with your visitors or do you want to show products and explain what they do in the hope that your visitor will trust you enough to make a purchase or click through to your affiliate offer.

If your main objective is to sell or represent products through an affiliate program, then a web site is probably the way you want to go. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it is much easier to organize and navigate through a web site than it is through a blog. Many news and magazine type WordPress themes are changing this somewhat, but I wouldn’t want to try to organize my discount computers web site into a WordPress blog. There are just too many pages and I want visitors to the site to be able to go to the main page to see nearly everything featured on the site.

However, if you were trying to feature something like interesting and unique eBay auctions or keep a group of visitors informed of the latest deals in a particular niche, then a blog would be a great tool for that. In fact Buy.com has a great affiliate program that can help you do that very thing. Plus they send out weekly or every other week emails announcing the very latest deals. Those are perfect to blog about because you can explain the features of the product and mention how long the deal is for, be it a week, 2 weeks, a month or whatever. If your visitor found your blog via an expired deal, they are more likely to vist your home page and see what other deals you have going. This is perfect for a blog, not so perfect for a site when you have to update it constantly.

Many times a blog can complement a web site as well. We don’t do our healthy diet podcast very often any longer, but we do use the blog it originates from to update readers to new recipes and info on our healthy diet website. Terri could do the same by building a web site that features only American made products and then blog about each product page she features on her web site.

That’s what I do, but Terri also asked in her comments if other readers have a solution to the blog or web site issue, so please comment on your criteria for using either and let’s help Terri, and the rest of us, figure this out.

Alan

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13 Responses to “Should I Start A Blog or Build A Web Site?”

  1. OK, I like what I’m reading in the post (I have a site and a blog) but should the blog be on it’s own or is it ok to have the blog in a sub directory of the www. ? This is one thing that has confused me. I am thinking about moving my blog to its own domain but I’m not sure if this is the correct thing to do.

    Advise would be appreciated.

    Matt

  2. I have several blogs on subdirectories and they seem to be looked at as seperate entities. I always set up my subdomains as sub.mydomain.com with the new name being first. I don’t know for sure if that makes a difference, but it has worked well for me.

  3. At the beginning I had web site for all my photo albums. I had small script trying to figure out, what new albums I had put up there. After some serious consideration, I decided that blog would be best time to highlight what new stuff I have available for people.
    Of course now that we have flickr with its photostreams, my original use of blog seems little bit old fashioned, but …

  4. Thanks for dedicating one of your blogs to this question. Great answer and you’ve given me some good ideas on how to build a website with my theme of American made products. I am embarrassed though because I lost half of my blog and I don’t know where it went! None of my ads are showing up and it’s time like these I guess when we live and learn as we go. But, thanks for giving your readers some great ideas and using me as an example..

  5. Good analysis Alan. Both “websites” and “blogs” serve their intended purpose — nice job distinguishing.

  6. Thanks for the feedback Alan.

  7. […] such a high Technorati rank with so few fans? That is simple, I comment on blogs that reward there top commentators. What happens is when you hit the top commentators box that counts as a blog reaction back to your […]

  8. I’m no expert but I started out by building a website. When I realized I needed a lot of daily fresh content I incorporated a blog about two weeks ago. So far so good, my traffic has gone up some, but it still needs more tweaking. Check it out- http://www.dogbehavioronline.com and let me know what you think about incorporating the blog.

  9. both have its own purposes… I say if your site can use a blog then go for it because blogs are dynamic content.

  10. Currently I am running both a blog and a website. The website seems so frustrating; it’s growth has been going so slow in comparison to my blogs. However, even if the website eventually somehow manages to even earn 5% of my blog income, that income requires a lot less work. Websites tend to have long term income, while some blogs income will die as soon as the blog does.

  11. The question makes no sense. Blogs ARE websites.

  12. Yes, I guess they are, but they are used in quite different ways.

  13. I have tried to post blogs on other sites but none of them are serious in my opinion. I want to start a blog site that charges people a fee a year so that they may post serious blogs and get serious answers. I do not know anthing about starting a website. Please help.

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