Do you create a writer’s website or a writer’s blog? Are they essentially the same thing? Is it a question of “tomato” vs “tomatoe” or “potato” vs. “potatoe”? Kind of, but not really.
I have both and experience with both. Actually, I have several blogs, which can be a mistake if you’re not careful. I’m riding that borderline of not being careful. Blogs are designed to be regularly updated to keep readers coming back for fresh/new content. If you set up a blog, it is important you update it once a week, bi-weekly, or at least monthly. If you can’t devote the time to that, then don’t set it up.
A website is more formal, more business oriented. It needs to be updated, too, but not as regularly. For many writers (including myself), it is where I keep a complete listing of all my writing works and much more. I also have two blogs incorporated with the website. One is my more sporadic postings on various writing-related thoughts that cross my mind. The other is my Writing Tools blog.
My personal belief is that a published author needs both a website and a blog. And it is best that they are linked together for more traffic all the way around.
WEBSITE VS. BLOG
Definition of a Blog
The word “Blog” is actually short for “web log” and it is a dynamic website that may contain a number of pages. Usually it is a frequently updated online journal featuring personal writing, photography, artwork, and videos. They reflect the personality of the blog author (blogger).
Definition of a Website
A website is a permanent online address where information about a business, products, services or hobby is described in detail. It contains a set of interconnected pages, including a homepage, images or videos hosted on one or several web servers.
• Usually is a more formal, has a more official business approach to a website than a blog.
• Normally contains an index or menu which is repeated on every page, listing all available pages.
• After updating a website, it can take search engines a while to do another round to pick up the changes on a website and update their indexes.
• Offers a better browsing experience for someone seriously searching for data.
• Mainly good for displaying one-time information that doesn’t require regular updating.
• Easier to set up, host and run than a website.
• Usually navigated from page to page by links within posts to other related posts.
• May have a sidebar which lists recent posts and archives by month.
• Usually have categories to differentiate between types or topics of posts.
• Usually allows for interactive communication between the blogger and someone reading a post and then commenting on it.
• Due to their being frequently updated with posts, they are picked up more often by search engines. The posting “pings” the search engines that there is content to be indexed.
• Can be used to increase traffic to a website.
• Search engines push blogs higher up because of their dynamic, fresh content.
• Require more time spent on regular posting with relevant content. Do not set up a blog that you don’t have the time to maintain. You will annoy readers who check back and find nothing new.
Types of Blogs
• Personal: This is usually an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual. They can reflect on life, works of art, and can be sentimental in quality.
• Corporate or Organizational: Blogs can be used internally for communication in a corporation. They can be used externally for marketing, branding or public relations purposes. Or they can be used by clubs and societies to communicate about club and member activities.
• Genre: Some blogs focus on a specific subject such as politics, travel, fashion, education, a niche, music, etc.
Things to Consider
• How quickly do you want to gain recognition with search engines and readers? If your time is limited, I suggest setting up a blog first. When you have more time and money, set up a website and tie the blog to it.