SiteSell recently launched a new site called Blog or Build? — their definitive answer to those who ask the big question…
“Blog or Website?”
From a business standpoint, the page is brilliant. SiteSell sells websites, not blogs. So of course it makes sense to push the benefits of a website and display blogging in a less favorable light.
Let’s be honest. Blogging threatens SiteSell’s business because so many people are lured into starting a blog over a website. After all, blogging is free, quick and easy to setup.
As a result, SiteSell is making its case for why most Webmasters should start with a website and not a blog.
They offer some very valid points on this page, but I don’t agree with everything written. For example, the statement below was taken from the page…
“Blogs usually have high Bounce Rates no matter what since normal visitor behavior is to read the newest post and then leave.”
This is true for many new blogs with small readerships. Most new blogs only show the recent posts because the authors tend to use standard templates and very little static content. So people read the latest posts and leave without exploring older content.
Blogs often appear as a plethora of disjointed information scattered about with no cohesiveness. And if you write a post that doesn’t fit with everything else, just add a new category and suddenly it fits! Right?
Some readers get lost and have trouble connecting with the content as a whole.
But there is a remedy for the high bounce rates… to a point.
If you learn how to strategically display mature content, you can increase your readership depth and lower your bounce rates. WordPress plugins are a great way to accomplish this.
Before I added the “Related Posts” plugin from WordPress, many of my recent posts received the most traffic while the older posts were buried and ignored.
If you want people to read more of your blog, you should find ways to make the older content visible. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net does this extremely well on his homepage with his “Best of Blogger” section.
This not only allows his audience to read more of his older content, but the static links have a greater chance of gaining and/or maintaining their search engine rankings because the content won’t fall off the homepage like “recent posts” tend to do.
This also gives him a chance to display his “important” content that shapes his blog’s identity. I find that many bloggers have trouble with this part due to how blog content is published.
In order to give your blog more staying power, you should create static pages that “stay put” and help give your blog direction and focus — rather than relying on the typical blog post that is hot for a few days and then falls off the radar.
So you can work with a blog so it shares some of the content benefits of a website. This is definitely something I know I need to improve upon in the near future.
My point is, some of the disadvantages SiteSell speaks of can be fixed. The question is…. “Will the average new blogger understand how to do this effectively?” Perhaps that’s SiteSell’s point. In their eyes, the average person usually doesn’t.
Stirring The Pot
This article won’t sit well with some bloggers, particularly those who’ve had any kind of success. But that’s not who the article was written for. It’s for those on the fence trying to decide if they want a blog or a website.
And quite honestly, if I was teetering between the two and read that page, I’d have to say SiteSell makes a pretty compelling case for why the average person should start with a website instead of a blog.
They want people to know that creating a blog is not necessarily a shortcut to success. And while they are some benefits to blogging, it’s not an ideal start for most e-businesses.
I also want to point out they are not saying that no one should ever create a blog. There are definitely the exceptions and they are clearly explained in the article.
The point was also made that successful bloggers earn their status because they are exceptional writers and know how to generate traffic. Not necessarily because they chose a blog over a website. Content is always king.
I’ll Continue to Blog Because I Enjoy It
I have a blog now, but I’m glad I started with a website. I now have a traffic base that I can use to help promote this new WordPress blog.
And because I already have a site with steady traffic, I don’t feel that added pressure some bloggers feel when it comes to generating fresh content to keep that traffic coming in.
If this blog never gets to 8,000 visitors a day like my regular website, I’m OK with that. I also have proof this blog is beneficial to my overall goals.
One good thing about owning an established website is you can leave it for months and traffic can continue to build. This is not always true for blogs… especially if they are new.
Of course more established, heavily trafficked blogs can take a content break and still benefit from the traffic and revenue. However, most bloggers never reach that level.
Despite the odds SiteSell declares, I’ll continue to blog. I enjoy it. It allows me to talk about what’s on my mind at the moment.
I can appeal to the people who prefer to hear from me in a blog format and let my website appease the rest. I’m at a place where I can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Could I be one of those exceptions SiteSell speaks about? Maybe. Only time will tell. And while I do think SiteSell made some great points, I also know quite a few people who have successful blogs and no website.
But I wholeheartedly agree that the blog buzz can be misleading. When it’s that easy to setup and launch a blog, it can give newbies false hope that it’s somehow an easier route to success.
Nothing out here is easy, my friend. And every website owner or blogger who is making good money definitely earned their stripes.
So take some time to read SiteSell’s argument about blogs. There are some valid points, but you also have to keep in mind this is written from a company who sells websites, not blogs. So a touch of biasness is to be expected.
Should you create a blog or a website? Do you need both like me? There is never a definitive answer to that question. Educate yourself on the facts, read SiteSell’s article and decide what’s best for your situation.