SO WHY use a Blog instead of a Website?

I was having lunch with my sister-in-law, Grace at her new cafe.  We were discussing about how to promote her business online when I suggested to her to use a blog instead of website.

Of course, a combination of both website and blog offers a number of superior advantages in terms of traffic generation, marketing and efficiency which a stand-alone website or blog cannot do.

But, if I have to choose between either a website or a blog, I will highly recommend a blog, instead of a traditional website.

“Why?” she asked. My answer is simple…

(a)     Blogs can be FREE.

If you are using WordPress (www.wordpress.com) or Blogspot (www.blogspot.com), FREE hosting is provided for you.

It is easy to install with lots of help resources. You can sign up for an account, register your blog, select your Theme and in less than 20 minutes, you are all ready to present your services/products to your online audience.

On the other hand, most business owners will need to engage web programmers to build a traditional HTML site, which may be costly.  The same business owner will also need to pay for hosting cost.

What about subsequent changes to the website? If the original programmer is not available, you may find it difficult to make any changes. You may need to engage another programmer to follow through the change. Again, cost is involved.

(b)   Blogs are easy to manage

Blogs allow you to publish your content without the need to know about any technical or programming issues such as HTML, FrontPage, FTP and so on.

A simple editorial interface is provided. All you need to do is write your content (or better known as your ‘post’). When you are ready to publish your post, just click on the “Publish” button and you are done.

If you want to change the content of your post after being published, don’t worry…you can always edit it again (and again), until you get it right.

The “Themes” concept allows the entire look of the blog to be changed in a single click without any additional programming. This is very convenient for those who cannot decide on a single design or would like to provide an entirely different look to your readers from time to time.

As the blog administrator, you can update your content from an iPhone or any hand held device, making it easy to build a content rich blog within a short period.

If you make regular postings to your Blog, you can be sure that search engines will visit your Blog again and again, to help to boost your search engine rankings.

(c)    Blogs are better at fostering relationship building

Unlike ‘static’ websites, blogs allow interaction between you and your readers. Your readers and visitors can post their comments, thoughts or opinions to a particular post (or article) you have written.

Constant interaction with your readers and guest writers builds a feeling of community. You can then recommend products more easily to them, and they would be more ready and willing to accept your product or services.

Some blogs also provides a feature to allow guest writers or alternate administrators to join and participate in the site management.

(d) Blogs have many SEO features making them attractive to Google, Yahoo and MSN

No matter how beautiful a website or blog is, if it doesn’t rank well with major search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN, the business value is entirely questionable.

The traditional way of getting your HTML website listed in these three major search engines: Google, Yahoo and MSN is slow and inefficient. It can also be costly.

Alternatively, blogs have many SEO features built in so they work automatically.

There are thousands of freeware “Plugins” that are software modules designed to take care of situations that would require tons of programming time to implement on a regular HTML site.

Grace was happy with my explanation but I can see that she had a doubt, “but, but …I am not a blogger. I don’t want to post all the time. I just need a website, that’s all.”

I replied with a smile.  “The difference between a blog and a website is just a perception. Nothing is stopping you from just setting up a blog, as a static home page content and never post anything again.  Hence, you can enjoy the benefits of a blog but without the hassle of constantly updating your blog.”

Then, it was Grace’s turn to smile.

Grace got her ‘aha’ moment … did you?  Please do share your comments with me.