10 Reasons Why a Blog is Better Than a Website
February 25, 2008
Photo credits: jurvetson.
So many people wonder whether they should start their online hobby or business as a blog or a static website. The two have many differences, but I honestly believe that in most cases a person should start a blog instead of a website. Some still remain unconvinced, especially since blogs are newer on the scene. However, these are the reasons why I think a dynamic blog is better than a static website.
1. Blogs are easier to setup and manage.
A blog can be installed with Wordpress, the best blogging platform and my choice, in five minutes. You don’t have to get up close and personal with coding it, all of the core files are already there for you and all you have to do is upload them and create a database (which takes two seconds). You can find an amazingly beautiful theme or design, upload it in one minute, and if you want you can easily tweak it. You can login to the user-friendly dashboard and write your content, manage your categories and comments, change your options or blogroll, and much more without dealing with anything over the top and complicated. The blog platform does all the work with the technical stuff while you get to enjoy writing for your site and running it however you like.
2. Blogs retain interest.
Because blogs are updated all the time and it’s easy to browse through them and all of their content, that makes them a favorite with online visitors and readers. A visitor is much more likely to return to a blog than a static website. Blogs catch and hold attention and it’s easier for the reader to get lost in one for hours since the content is navigated the way it is. That can happen with a website, but it’s a lot less likely. Blogs are at more of a personal level, and all of the posts are easily accessible and featured for the readers. Instead of a website where visitors have to crawl through page after boring page, consider a blog and keep your readers longer and have them coming back all the time for more.
3. Blogs are more search engine friendly.
Just like they’re reader friendly for being updated all the time and having a huge collection of interlinked content, they’re search engine friendly for those same reasons as well. It’s not always true, but more than likely that a blog will rank better in search engines than your average website. The more a site is updated, the more often a search engine bot will come back and crawl your site so they can quickly index the new things you have to offer. And when a bot is coming to crawl your site, it will have many more options with a blog since all of the content is linked to and featured everywhere. Besides those things, blogs are easy to optimize, especially with all the plugins available (see All In One SEO Pack). And blogs attract links more than static websites as well, which will help you out in the search engines too.
4. Blogs gain an audience more easily.
Just like how I mentioned that blogs retain interest, they also more easily gain an audience. With the abundance of content and such a navigable site, readers will like your blog. A blog will also be found for the first time by visitors because they are usually much more popular than a static website. If you write good content and provide things of interest, you’ll get noticed easily. And once you start building a readerbase, your readers will help promote your blog for you. People will talk about you, link to you, and grow your blog for you. Usually when I first learn about a blog I learn about it through someone else or another a blog I read. People like to stay on top of blogs about topics they’re interested in, and that’s easier to do with a blog. And for an audience, the easier it is the better.
5. Blogs help build author and visitor interaction.
When you have a static website your visitors aren’t going to be known to you like they would with a blog. With a blog, anyone who likes your page or post can comment on it. You’ll start to learn your readers’ names and their own blogs or sites. You’ll have conversations with them and discuss topics through the comments or email. And even if a reader doesn’t comment, you might see them voting for your content a lot via social media, their avatar might be popping up a lot on your MyBlogLog widget, or you might be getting linked to by them and see it via your trackbacks and incoming links. As your blog grows you’ll come to recognize hundreds to even thousands of your readers, with dozens becoming people you know much more closely.
6. Blogs can be made to look however you want.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can achieve any look you want with your blog, WITHOUT having to get up close and personal with the coding. There are so many free themes, plugins, and resources available that are already built and coded for you - all you usually have to do is upload them and click the ‘activate’ button. If you find a theme you like you can upload it, and if necessary, tweak it here and there to make it perfect for your blog. Plugins can manage and run things automatically without you having to lift a finger after you install one. There are plugins that work behind the scenes and block spam, create navigation systems, generate sitemaps, and enforces WWW or non-WWW for your blog. Then there are visual ones, like plugins that encourage visitors to subscribe, create contact forms, rotate advertisement banners, let you create polls for your blog, and thousands more. A blog can look however your heart desires - it can even look like a static website if that’s what you want, while still being managed much more easily.
7. Blogs allow readers to subscribe via RSS.
RSS readers are one of the most valuable things a blog can have. Subscribers are people who love your blog and what you write so much that they want it delivered to their feed aggregator or their email inbox each day. They are people who are targeted to your content and are probably your blog’s biggest fans. By allowing people to subscribe, developing regular readers is even easier than it was before. The amount of RSS subscribers a blog has is one of the ways to determine how popular and valuable it is. Besides providing value to you, it provides obvious value to your readers as well and makes things much easier for them to read everything you write.
8. Blogs are popular with social media sites.
Since blogs have a bigger sense of community and the blog owner and readers interact, (as well as bloggers interacting with other bloggers), you’d know blogs are popular with social media sites, like Super Blogging’s readers’ favorite StumbleUpon. Since you’re already building relationships with the readers who come to your blog, it’s easy to encourage social media votes and promote your blog this way. Loyal visitors and blogging friends will often vote for your best content, and using a blog over a website content is easier to promote.
9. Blogs build links much more easily.
And again, since blogs have such a huge community and personal aspect to them, they gather much more links. Bloggers try to link to other blogs as much as possible, not only because this helps build exposure and traffic (since a blogger is alerted whenever they receive a link), but also because blogs are huge sources of easily browsed information to direct their readers to. At Super Blogging you might notice I do weekly roundups called “The Best of the Blogosphere”. I do this to point my readers to fantastic content from other bloggers, and also to get those other bloggers’ attention. And since blogs collect many links each day or week, they often develop better rankings in search engines as well.
10. Blogs are better for a million more reasons.
What other reasons do you need? They’re easier to setup, easier to manage, have thousands of free themes and plugins to install, build a loyal readerbase quicker, are promoted by others, retain interest, are more popular with search engines AND social media, are easily customized, promote interaction, offer RSS subscriptions, and much more. Websites used to be the only choice, but blogs are quickly gaining popularity to overrank them. It always depends on the goal you want to achieve, but 95% of the time I’d tell you to start a blog.
Did I leave any out? Please let me know if forgot any reasons stating why a blog is better than a website, or if you think differently, please tell me why in the comments as well. What do you think? Is a blog better than a static website, or is it the other way around?
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