Whenever you’re online, you’re flooded with content. If you’re thinking about getting into your own online publishing, you’ve likely wondered if you should create a blog vs website.
Each is similar yet distinctly different at the same time. Your reason to publish on the web will have a large part in determining what works for you. Ultimately, choosing to use a blog or a website without knowing the difference can mean a lot of wasted time and hardly any online presence to show for it.
What is a Blog?
A blog is your space to interact. It’s incredibly dynamic in its functionality because it allows a sort of ongoing conversation with your audience.
Blogs are regularly updated weblogs that show the creator’s blog posts in reverse chronological order. They are more casual, less formal, and focus on connections with readers. Keeping current is a cornerstone of blogging success. Without regular, new content bloggers can end up losing a large portion of their readers.
What is a Website?
Websites are more static, often directing readers to specific information for say, a small business.
These can include things like an online store, information about services offered, or provide relevant, helpful information. Websites function more to provide information for interested parties more than anything.
That may mean store hours or information about pet health. Usually, a website will encompass a set of pages that remain related to the website owner but aren’t something to be checked every week for updates.
Blog vs Website
Thanks in large part to the innovation of the WordPress website, there are many people that use the terms blog and website interchangeably. It’s understandable when factoring in all the crossover features the two now have.
There is a fair share of pros and cons for each. How these all weigh out can depend on the type of website or blog you’re looking to create. Either way, when it comes right down to it, what’s the difference in a blog vs website?
Dynamic vs Static
We already know that blogs are expected to be updated frequently whereas a site doesn’t quite have that following. However, there are some types of websites that do update content more frequently. Those are called dynamic websites.
A static website never really changes its content. Or if the content is changed, it’s due to a change in business information, a small addition, or a renovation of the page overall.
Dynamic websites often fall into the category of social or news websites and are more similar to blogs in the way that articles are posted at regular intervals.
Yes, blogs are more focused on communicating with an audience. However, even static websites have some capability for reaching out.
Both blogs and websites are capable of social media outreach. However, websites can be limited based on content and design. Where there is typically always a comment form following every blog post, most websites provide contact information for the reader to reach the site creator or business.
In other cases, the website may provide a form to fill out for more information.
Blogs provide a very individualized, unique communication format for their audiences. Interactions are rarely standardized and exactly duplicated.
Website interactions are pretty much the same for all visitors. Communication relies on standard forms (think of filling out a form to request a service quote) and often have the exact same fields for all visitors to answer: name, email address, comment, service request, etc.
The subconscious difference between blogs and websites comes from what consumers learn to expect when visiting either.
Websites tend to be straight to sale in demeanor. Blogs may go for sales (and some bloggers get quite a lot of them), but they don’t present themselves as being based on making a sale. A blog focuses on continuing to engage audience members and gain new interaction, a sale is a bonus, but not the sole purpose.
Where blogs are informal and conversational, websites tend to be more formal due to their static nature and purpose.
Websites tend to market themselves with a professional tone; an overly casual or familiar tone can turn viewers away from the site. Blogging likewise can turn away readers if it sounds too business-like or formal.
A lot of processes are going on behind the scenes in order to create both blogs and websites. This isn’t something we often think about, but it’s quite different from one to another. Creating a website requires knowledge of coding languages, even more so if you hope to create a dynamic website.
Creating a blog doesn’t actually require any coding. Bloggers often use a blogging platform that allows them to use built-in customization options.
Yes, coding can be used when creating a blog, but it isn’t a necessity. Even when adding extra interactive or functional bits to a blog, chances are there are plugins you can install to do the work for you. Drag and drop functionality makes blog creation user-friendly for even those just starting a blog.
Which is Better for Making Money?
Most people that begin looking for a platform to establish their online presence have thought about using their website or blog to make money. To effectively decide which will be better for you to get revenue from, you’ll need to consider your reasons behind publishing online.
Small business owners are always looking to grow their business. Is the website or blog being made to establish an e-commerce store? Is it to produce more inbound marketing?
People use both blogs and websites as marketplaces for lead generation. Your target audience will also in large part determine whether a website or blog will generate more revenue.
A fun, funky clothing line will thrive when the audience connects with the creator’s personality, especially when the owner posts regular content that promotes social sharing. Likewise, an upscale suit retailer could gain rapport with professionals for having a clean, sophisticated business website.
Generating new customers
Established businesses may choose to use a website if their information isn’t likely to change frequently. Similarly, they can use or create an app that allows customers to get new product information through push notifications. If you go for this method, be sure that you don’t add too much duplicate content, so customers have reasons to go to the app or share content.
By nature, blogs provide more shareable content than websites. This generates new visitors that can new leveraged for product sales or ad revenue. Bloggers also tend to make more use of the email newsletter, which allows their audience to keep up to date with new content without the need to check the blog daily.
For both, you have to make sure you show up in search engines if you want to be seen online. Without leveraging search engine optimization, your volume of online audience depends on existing customers, your own promotion, and word of mouth.
Basically, search engine optimization, otherwise called SEO, is a process of making sure relevant keywords are a part of your site, meta description, and content. This ensures that people who are searching online for something that your page offers, are directed to your site.
While multiple websites will come up for any given search, using effective SEO techniques gives you the ability to be the link they choose to click.
Ad Revenue and Affiliate Posts
Nearly all kinds of web hosting allow site creators to generate revenue from ads or sponsored posts. The exception to this is free blog sites or free website platforms. Without your own domain, you won’t be in control of what ads display to your audience. Nor will you be able to collect revenue from those ads.
Business websites don’t typically rely on this kind of revenue but may choose to collect income passively on ads. Often they focus on their products and services for their main income.
Bloggers typically choose to gain ad revenue by default. Be warned, ad revenue is a passive gain, and it’ll take some time and growth before you’re able to do much cashing in.
That’s why bloggers also often choose to post sponsored content. Affiliate posts are put up on a blog with the blogger recommending, reviewing, or just plain talking about the affiliate’s product. Every time a reader clicks the product link from the blog and makes a purchase, the blogger receives a portion of the profit as a commission.
So what makes more money overall?
Which makes more money overall, websites or blogs? That’s the crux of the issue. They both make money but in different ways. They both also have costs associated with creation and maintenance, whether the cost is in currency or time spent on upkeep.
Websites are more difficult to create, and often businesses will hire someone to create theirs. You can create blogs yourself or can have add-ons like premium themes that cost money. For either a blog or website, you’ll need to pay for your own domain name, web hosting, and often a content management platform.
Here’s the thing:
Want to get the best of both worlds? That’s definitely possible. If you put time and work into your online presence, it should be rewarded.
There are hosting services that allow you to create a site more easily, that can function as a website or blog. WordPress hosting is the most well known, most used, and one of the longest standing blog and content management services.
Of course, there’s the free WordPress that most people go to before using the premium service. Since you can’t really gain revenue from the free hosting, we’ll be referring to the premium version when we talk about WordPress.
The Hybrid Nature of WordPress
So what draws a business or blogger to WordPress?
You don’t necessarily have to use WordPress, but it’s a great way for a business to have static information pages while also connecting with customers through an interactive blog like pages.
Likewise, bloggers can use WordPress plugins to create innovative new ways of securing sales and gaining interest. By attaching your company website to a blog, you get to take advantage of the way both leverage interest and as a result, the capital.
Not only are you able to make money from many different facets, but you also save time and money. Rather than paying a web designer to create a website, businesses can elect to use a WordPress theme to take care of the bulk of design work.
Paid vs Free WordPress
Both free and paid themes and skins are available, although most businesses and for-profit bloggers purchase a theme to make their site look more professional and established.
WordPress admin features allow near endless customizing and extra features to your site. It also offers helpful resources and analytics that can help you monitor activity, easily manage and update content in response to activity, and time delay content releases to coincide with your highest activity times.
WordPress offers plenty of e-commerce functionality too. This way, you won’t have to create a separate place for customers to purchase your products. Here’s an example. Imagine you’re a business using this hybrid method. You can write content that entices readers to learn about new products and developments. From the engaging and relevant content, you can link to a shopping cart within your post.
Here’s a big bonus to bloggers and businesses alike:
If you have a good audience volume coming to view and interact with your content, you can provide premium features to them. Whether it’s by paid subscription only or specific content in pay to view format, you can gain some revenue by charging for some content.
There are benefits to both blogs and websites, and some drawbacks as well. Websites are more one shot, static creations. Blogs are consistently dynamic, with regular updates and interaction being their cornerstones. If you’re looking for the best way to make the most money for what you publish online, go for a blogging platform like WordPress. It allows you to create a hybrid of both. That is what you need to optimize all revenue sources. For more resources on starting a blog, check out this article about blogging tips for beginners.