Last updated: July 26, 2019
Originally published: May 6, 2010
Read time: 3 minutes, 42 seconds
Clients often ask whether they should have a blog or a “regular” website for their business. It’s a great question and requires some understanding of the differences in a website vs. a blog.
When asked about a website vs a blog, I almost always say both. Here’s why.
A “Regular” Website
This is what most small business owners think of when they think of a website; a home page, about us, location, etc. It’s a bunch of static pages that act as an online brochure. our website.
This type of information is important to have on your website. It is what tells your story to prospective customers.
Pros of a Regular Website
When done well, these pages answer your prospects’ questions before they ask them. This positive experience increases the likelihood that your readers will contact you.
Studies show that consumers are doing research online before making a purchasing decision. Even consumers responding to an ad will likely check out your website before reaching out to you. This makes creating a positive user experience critical.
A regular website allows you to create simple, targeted pages. You can also add forms or embed a calendar, for example. And they are relatively quick and easy to set up.
Cons of a Regular Website
The main disadvantage of a regular website, and it’s a big one, is that it can’t grow as your organization grows. A regular website relies on a static menu. It is difficult, if not impossible, to keep the simplicity of a static menu when new pages are added.
A blog was originally a sort of online diary; the word comes from mashing up “web” and “log.”
New entries, called Posts, are added to Categories and are included in the blog’s Feed. A feed shows posts in reverse chronological order with the newest posts appearing at the top. Older posts get pushed down as more posts are added. Readers can then scroll through content by date or by category.
It wasn’t long ago that few business owners could see how this fit into their marketing strategy. The blogging infrastructure, however, makes it a powerhouse in your online marketing toolbox.
Pros of A Blog
The ability to categorize content and to display new and old content as part of a feed bypasses the shortcomings of a static menu. For example, think of a typical “Our News” archive. This is where press releases about an organization might be added along with information about new hires and similar content.
You wouldn’t want to include each new press release as a menu item in a static menu; it would become unwieldy in short order. Nor would you want to delete old press releases to keep the menu simple; you would lose any backlinks and search engine optimization benefit of the old content. To say nothing of removing good information for your readers.
And having well-organized content is not only easier for your readers, but it also makes it easier for the search engines.
The ability to categorize content is a very powerful PRO.
Another benefit (and arguably a con as well) is readers can comment on articles. This creates an engaging user experience by allowing a conversation to form between you and your readers and between your readers and one another.
And let’s not forget Search Engine Optimization. Search engines love blogs because there is always fresh content. Search engine placement tends to deteriorate over time without new articles and information.
Cons of a Blog
The main drawback of a blog is the time commitment. You need to create new content regularly. Without fresh content, your blog quickly looks out-of-date.
And the information you share should be quality content.
It takes time and energy to develop the right message, write the copy, shoot a video or record a podcast; all of which can be included on your blog.
But there are ways to make it easier. Read our article “An Editorial Calendar; An essential tool for content creation” for some ideas. (See what I did there?!)
Blog Vs. Website: Not An Either/Or Scenario
Hopefully, this is helpful in understanding how a website and blog really work in tandem to support your online marketing.
Want More Info?
Check out these resources to take a deeper dive.
- Website vs Blog for Business, How to Decide? (video), by Jann Mirchandani of Westchester Marketing Cafe
- An Editorial Calendar; An essential tool for content creation, by Jann Mirchandani of Westchester Marketing Cafe
- New Research Shows Growing Impact Of Online Research On In-Store Purchases,by John Ellett at Forbes
- Study Shows Business Blogging Leads to 55% More Website Visitors, by Rick Burnes at Hubspot
I used to say blah, blah, blog… Now I say, lets talk! I do find that my blog is a great way to engage my customers. Thanks!
That’s the great thing about blogs; it’s a way to build new relationships and strengthen existing by having a back and forth conversation. I find, however, that many business owners get scared off by the very term “blog” which is unfortunate.
Jann, My “small business” is a small non-profit that mainly serves youth with experience in the foster care system. Our finance director wants us to switch from a website to a blog b/c we don’t have the IT support to update our website and the blog is free. I worry we won’t be taken seriously. From other posts I see this might be an “old fashioned” view. However, he does not plan on us keeping the website and adding a blog, simply replacing. What are your thoughts on this?
I think you can both have your way; and how often do you hear THAT?
When you say your IT director is looking for a blog “b/c [you] don’t have the IT support to update it…” it makes me think its not so much the “blog” that he’s looking for as a content management system. A CMS allows you to update and edit your site content without knowing any technical knowledge. Though he’s right, many blogging platforms do this. (Check out our past posts for more info about CMSs)
WordPress – which this site is built on – started life as a blogging platform but is now widely used as a CMS. I’m a big fan because edits are easy and don’t require any technical knowledge. It is also hugely flexible and allows static pages (think “about us”, “about our programs” etc.) as well as blog posts (think “in the news”, “sign up for our event”).
If you do go in this direction, be careful to set up the new site so that information is easily accessible to your readers. The disadvantage of a pure “blog” setup is information can get buried as new posts push down older posts. This can have an adverse effect on usability particularly as it relates to information that doesn’t change frequently like your mission statement and programming strategy.
So, yes, I think you can safely look at using a “blog” platform to replace your existing site. Just be sure that as you build it out you are doing so in a way that maintains your level of professionalism and continues to project a positive reflection of your organization.