In the blogging world, there are two terms that you might come across: blogs and websites. It’s easy to understand why someone would refer to their site as a website if they are running it as a business, but what exactly is the difference between a blog and a website? And how can you tell which one you’re using? The answer will vary depending on who you ask, but here’s our take on the topic!
A Blog is About Sharing your Stories
A website is about sharing your information. The distinction between them isn’t absolute, of course—there are plenty of personal blogs that are just full of information and business websites that still contain some stories. But it’s a good starting point for helping you figure out what kind of web presence you want to cultivate.
Think about what makes sense for your work or personal brand, then start building content accordingly. (For more insight on choosing between blogging and creating a static site, check out Copyblogger’s guide on how to choose which is best for you.)
A website is about selling products
A website is most often used to sell products. Customers go to your website, they see what you’re selling, they buy it, and that’s that. There’s no ongoing relationship between them;, once they click on buy now or order something online using your shopping cart software (if you have one), you might never hear from them again.
This kind of transaction isn’t much different than going to Amazon or eBay to buy something. Sure, people are likely going there for convenience instead of just shopping at a store – but Amazon is still providing them with information about products/services so they can make their purchasing decision.
A blog can be your main content hub
The primary difference between a website and a blog is that blogs often focus on publishing regular updates, or content that goes beyond your home page. Many businesses choose to use blogs as their main content hub since they can update them easily without having to worry about creating custom web pages all of the time.
The downside is that most websites have a more businesslike feel because they’re meant to act as an online directory for all of your online profiles, like your Facebook page, YouTube channel, LinkedIn profile, etc. Just make sure you know what you want from your website before you make it live—you don’t want to waste time and money creating something that won’t serve its purpose.
A website requires consistent upkeep
A website is like a garden that requires consistent attention to be maintained. It needs to be built on a platform that’s designed for SEO (search engine optimization) so that it can rank well in search engines such as Google. It must have regular content updates—usually monthly or more frequently—so it can attract traffic.
Its design must be compelling enough to keep visitors coming back, otherwise, they’ll get bored and bounce away without finding what they were looking for. It should also have thoughtfully placed call-to-action buttons to generate leads or sales if that’s your goal. If you want all of these things, then yes, you do need a website rather than just a simple personal blog.
A blog has social media functionality built-in
The difference between a website and a blog is simple: blogs are powered by content management systems that have social media functionality built-in. That means all of your content is stored in one place, which allows you to easily share it on all of your social media platforms.
In addition, blogs often look more like articles or magazine pages rather than static websites (although both can be beautiful). More and more businesses are getting started with blogs because they allow for easier sharing and collaboration. To learn more about creating your professional-looking business website, check out our ultimate guide to starting an online business.
Having a website may provide SEO benefits
Having a dedicated website for your business, product or service may provide search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. If you’re interested in using your website to drive online traffic, make sure that it’s set up with SEO best practices in mind.
This is particularly important if you want to rank well for local keywords. These are generally longer phrases that describe what your company does or where it is located.
Blogs tend to be more visual than websites
While a website may be almost entirely text, blogs are mostly images. This isn’t set in stone—you can have text-based blogs—but from an SEO perspective, visual content tends to drive more traffic than text-only posts. If you wanted to rank your page on Google for terms like dog pictures or spring fashion tips, it would help to include some kind of image (or video) on your page. It doesn’t even need to be great:
Just make sure you have at least one picture or video on your page with captions that reference relevant topics. As long as it’s somewhat relevant and visually pleasing, people will click through!
Websites are great for eCommerce. Not so much for blogs.
The number one thing that separates blogs from websites is that, as their name suggests, they’re usually used to share information over time. Websites are often static content with little change unless their owners want to make changes. Now, you can have a website with dynamic content but those often run off of specific platforms like WordPress or Squarespace.
While having multiple pages on your website might be enough for some companies, most bloggers prefer publishing everything under one roof—their own. If you’re looking to start a business centered around blogging, then it probably makes sense to create your unique domain name and use it as your primary platform instead of trying to convert an old website into something more modern.
Ultimately, what’s best for your business depends on what you want to accomplish. Having both a website and a blog might help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes. If you already have a website but want to start sharing content online, you can use your website as your starting point.
Additionally, many experts recommend not neglecting social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn; though they aren’t always directly related to your company, they can be an important marketing tool in developing relationships with clients. Whatever route you choose—website or blogging platform—if you stick with it long enough, it will certainly be worth it!