If you’ve been reading my Tech Savvy 101 series, then hopefully you have a good handle on the three critical ingredients that you need to create a web presence. Whether it’s a simple web page or full blown web site, or you’re a small business owner just starting out or big business generating hundreds of clicks per day, without the three essential pieces (a domain name, hosting and content) there can be no web *anything.*
And since I’ve been talking a lot about how Blogger takes a major portion the headache out of deciding those pieces (plus it’s free), the next big question I get is should I have a website or a blog?
What exactly *is* a blog?
After talking with women and soothing their fears about whether or not they are smart enough to actually do the technology thing (which you are) and realizing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be really isn’t as huge as you think it is, and that you don’t have to know all the answers (that’s what I’m here for) is deciding if a blog is right for them.
And whether you’re a women who are just starting out with your web presence or want to be doing a better job with your existing one, I’m trusting that this information will be valuable and worth the read.
So let’s clarify… a blog is a website. Blog is short for “web log” and essentially is a frequently updated website consisting of content entries (called posts or pages) that display in reverse-date order… so newest content appears first.
And what’s cool about a blog is that it’s more dynamic (flexible, changeable on the fly) than a traditional website, giving you, the web publisher more options to grow your website with your business and more opportunities to engage potential customers.
One of the biggest things to leverage with your blog is that is allows you to connect with website visitors in a closer-to-real-life way because 1) they visit the site more frequently to read the updates and 2) they can actually interact with your articles and posts using comments.
In addition to giving you greater access to the people you’re trying to reach, there are a few more really cool advantages a blog has over a traditional, static (just sitting there staring back you) web site.
A Blog is Quick & Efficient
One huge advantage of a blog is time to market. A blog allows regular folks to create and publish content, audio and video and have it online in minutes, unlike traditional static websites which can take much much longer and may require support from a Web professional. Traditional websites are also more difficult to update unless you’re already familiar with building or editing web sites.
A Blog is SEO-Friendlier
Another advantage to using a blog platform to create your web presence is that it’s easier for people to find your site on Google. Optimizing your website to rank in search engine results (called Search Engine Optimization) is much easier with a blog! Here’s why…
Each time your blog is updated with new content, update services are “pinged.” This means search engines are automatically notified. Search engines are built to search and index all websites across the world wide web looking for the most relevant information to display in the search results. Bottom line, blogs tend to be indexed more often than traditional static websites and blogs show up 10 times more often in organic (someone opens a browser and searches for a term) searches than static websites do.
A Blog is Cheaper
Finally, if you are on a budget (and who isn’t?) blogs are cheaper to build than traditional websites. Investing in a talented web designer who creates a super cool and fun design will not bring you customers. “Build It And They Will Come” is not a viable strategy (if it were, I would be rich!).
Even if you get your neighbor to build you a site for free, you will still need a budget to maintain the site and keep the site updated. Also, there is no “pinging” with static websites so you’ll probably end up working with another Web professional to help you optimize your traditional website pages for search engine ranking.
Blogging is Easier
With a blog, you log in, write your blog post and click the “publish” button. Your content is on the world wide web, getting picked up automatically in search engines, and helping people to find you online.
With a static website, you have to open up your editor (like Front Page or Dreamweaver), write the article, insert the content into a web page template, update the page properties before uploading that page to your site using FTP software. Next, you “wait” until the search engines do their thing, visit your site and index it. This usually takes a minimum of 30 days to start seeing your website in search results.
Still Want A Regular Web Site?
Finally, depending on the blogging platform you choose (and I do this all time in both Blogger and WordPress makes it even simpler) you can make your blog look and feel like a website with some easy tweaks. Seriously, if I haven’t just convinced why a blog is better and you are still hell-bent on having a website, you can still use a blogging platform to build your traditional website.
Tech Savvy 101 is a series of posts designed to help demystify some terminology so you can get your brain around what it really takes to start getting your tech savvy on. Next up, why I think Blogger is the best place to begin (even if you’re not a beginner).