My Marketing Thing

Blogging vs. Websites – the real winner announced

Blog site vs website cartoon

Many folks out there are still wondering why the blog thing has created such a frenzy. They are also wondering if it’s still okay to have a humble website. I’m about to give you an answer many others won’t.

Small note:
My Marketing Thing is a blog site created from a WordPress template. However, I have a website created by my brother (bless him) using Front Page – www.wordmix.com.au. This means you can trust what I say here, as I am displaying no favouritism towards blog sites or websites. Then again, I do have three blog sites and only one website… 

 

Why blog?

Put simply, having lots of changing articles on your site, preferably with good keywords (the words people type into Google to find information) is great for Google ranking. And blog sites are all about this.

Blog sites are also good at storing those articles (and all those delicious keywords) like an online library. This means people and search engine ‘spiders’ (technical thingyamegigs that tell Google what you’re writing about and why your site should be ranked in a certain spot) can find these nuggets of wisdom that make our virtual world go round.

 

Why worry about the number of visitors?

Visitor activity is good for Google ranking. So the more you give away helpful information, the more visitors you attract, the more Google likes you.

A personal aside: Google is like a schoolyard sycophant. It wants to hang around (and give gifts to) the popular kids. 

Attracting visitors isn’t all about Google ranking. But Google ranking is all about attracting visitors. The right visitors, that is. People who are likely to buy your services and/or products.

Isn’t this what it’s all about?

 

But can’t I have a website?

Yes, of course you can.

 

But aren’t you saying I have to blog?

You don’t have to do anything. It’s purely up to you.

Writing all those blog articles can take a lot of time. If you like that kind of thing, great. If not, you might be better off spending time researching a great potential affiliate who IS blogging like a maniac. Create a win-win relationship and you could be riding of their article-riddled wave.

Also, if you spend time on developing a great product – rather than spending a lot of time blogging – then your affiliate can earn a nice commission selling the product for you. And you, my dear, are earning a nice little bundle too.

 

What if I want a blog, but don’t like to write articles?

You are demanding, aren’t you? Okay, I guess I should have said that you do have other options, including:

  • you can invite guests to write articles for you
    For free – the writer gets extra exposure and this is also generally done by allowing them to have their web/blog link at the end of the article.
  • you can download then upload relevant articles from free article directories
    Free articles directories like www.articlesbase.com, for example – as long as you give attribution to the author (just Google ‘free articles’ and you’ll get the list, requirements will be on the site).
  • you can expand beyond words
    Try blogging videos (put on Youtube as well) and audios/podcasts (put on iTunes as well), not just written info.

 

What if I like writing articles but I also need a website?  

Have both. You can have your website and blog site as separate sites, but linked up. You’ve probably seen websites with ‘blog’ on their main menu (some web builders insist on calling the main menu a ‘navigation bar’), along with ‘about’ and ‘contact us’, etc. Sometimes when you click on blog you end up going to a different site. This is their blog site.

There are at least two key benefits to doing it this way:

  1. You have what’s called ‘external links’ pointing to each site. If you blog site is linked to your website and your website is linked to your blog site then you have greater ‘online presence’ in the eyes of Google.
  2. By having links from both sites you increase visitation to both, therefore visitors are developing a greater relationship with you time-wise and site-wise…and that sycophant Google starts schmoozing you all the more.

Or….

…drum roll…

…you can build a website around your blog.

It’s a neat and cost-effective solution which is becoming more and more popular.

And WordPress – the blogging platform of the century (though Blogger is getting a good look in) – is getting better and better at this ‘website in blog clothing’ stuff.

Plus the WordPress blog platform is much easier to build on your own than CMS website platforms.

Note: CMS means ‘content management system’ – i.e. you can go in and change things as if it was an MS Word document. You don’t need to know HTML code, you won’t need a web builder to change your content for you – what a joy!

With that said, looking at website platforms, Drupal is getting better at making their websites look like blog sites, With Drupal you can have a comments section on any pages, file away your articles as you do on a blog. And Drupal is pretty wonderfully flexible if you want a technically spiffy site.

 

Go back a step: What is WordPress and Drupal?

When we talk about WordPress and Drupal, we are talking about ‘open source content management platforms’. My pleb definitions for this term:

  • Open source means ‘free’
  • Content management means you don’t need to know HTML code or rely on a web builder to change your content
  • Platform is a technical foundation, like MS Word is a foundation for you to create a word-based document

There are other open source website CMS platforms, of course – like Joomla and .NET. I’ve not used either of these so can’t comment on their level of spiffiness.

I know plenty of ‘lay people’ (i.e. non-web builders) who have created their own WordPress site. I don’t know one who has managed to create their own Drupal or Joomla site. Once a CMS website is created for you, it is easy to change content. It’s the setting up that can be the tricky bit.


So who’s the real winner? Blogging or websites?

You are the winner. You get to choose – plus you can have both.

This information age really is becoming ‘a cake and eat it’ experience. No wonder we’re all getting so fat.

 

What’s next?

There’s a BIG trap that several of my clients have fallen into when choosing a web builder for their new site. Can you guess what it is? Stay posted to find out the answer….

 

This post was written by Megan Hills.  Megan is a writer, cartoonist, marketing consultant and online voyeur – kind of in it but not of it, you know?  Find out more about Megan.

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