|Blog or site? This one is both!|
I was thinking today of the difference in thinking between people with a heavy marketing background and web programmers that are also web designers. First let me say, in defense of the web designers, I'm someone with a heavy marketing background but also do some web design. I am NOT a programmer. Hence, the difference in opinion. Maybe having both design and marketing backgrounds I tend to think differently than an actual programmer, or maybe I'm just biased towards the marketing aspect. I do all my own web maintenance and updates here, on Ira Mency Designs, Melmac Central and Vintage Chalet.
A web designer that is a programmer may tell you to have a regular old website and not a free blogsite for many reasons. One reason may include the fact they get paid big bucks to revamp and design you a website. Another reason is they may charge you monthly or yearly to host it for you. So, remember, if you are paying them, they are going to talk you into a paid site.
To be fair, in some cases, a website looks more professional. It flows better, and maybe to some is easy on the eyes, and maybe in the book of some web statistic poll somewhere taken most likely by web designers without marketing backgrounds is built on preference and popularity of award winning sites. Websites truthfully are low maintenance to the owner because your web guy is doing the work.
It's also a viable option for people whose product never changes or updates. Web designers can make changes for you, install Flash programs so you have cool gadgets moving around in the background. They can build you online stores, which is a huge plus. They can also do all sorts of fancy things, some you may not even need.......that cost a lot of money but may NOT be the best for your business. Like have you lots of pretty pictures but no Facebook link, where is the sense in that?
With a real website, the one thing I can't fight is that your pages don't have to redirect like they do if you have a blog and later obtain a direct address. For example, I bought the domain MelmacCentral.com for my plastics site. Unfortunately, when I started my blog it was RetroChalet.blogspot.com . I never thought of the success of RetroChalet.blogspot.com being so good, and so in the beginning I wasn't thinking of names. To redirect or make changes now would only mess up my Google indexing and placement.
There are some websites where your web programmer person can have a page for blog posts, but to me, it's just not the same.
However, had I started with a website, I would not have had an easy to do myself blog, and the freedom to have so many blog posts. Therefore, my site would not have been doing so well, as it would have been more stagnant. In hindsight, I wouldn't change it at all. In the world today, our lives revolve around social networking, 4G networks and interaction.
So here is why I think you should use a blog:
a) Ease of use - Most are so easy that even the person with least web experience can learn how to manage their own.
b) Marketing - Every blog post sends it's own little html address ie: standalone page out into cyberspace. Blogs with lots of posts have lots of standalone posts out there . Using proper keywords in your title and labels that blogs give you or keywords, gives you more opportunity for one of your posts to be found. If one post is found, the odds are that people will look at the rest of your site, thereby finding you, your product or service.
c) Cost - Most blogs are 100% free. No hosting fees.
d) Control- Creative control over your business and product is key. Be as wild and crazy as you want. No web guy telling you your polka dot background is way too loud or your sidebar is way to cluttery. Who cares, if your sidebar is full of sponsors that are paying you? Stick with that polka dot background, and sell some product!
e) Domain Options - You can still grab a domain name and direct to your blog, seizing the best of both worlds. Be careful on how you redirect, so you won't be penalized in Google. Even though masking is a no-no, I did so with the MelmacCentral.com and RetroChalet.blogspot.com situation. now, the blog address is a PR4 as of this post. I was only penalized for a short time, and with good content and relevant posting, you can obtain your rank over time.
e)Blog Directories and Page Rank - It once was thought websites would rank better than blogs. Truth be told there are so many free directories now just for blogs, that your blog site can obtain much better ranking than using the direct web address.
f) RTU - You can hop on and change your own images instead of calling a web guy. I call this RTU, (Real Time Updating) versus waiting for him to finish with that big corporation web project he's stuck on for a week. Meanwhile, you are losing business because your cellphone number has changed.
g) Interaction- A blog is more interactive than a site, as you can post updates to it quite easily and talk about the things you love and hear what your readers are saying. Have contests, giveaways, and obtain reader suggestions. A successful business listens to the wants and needs of their customers.
This of course is just what I think, and what has worked best for me. It's something to consider and you have essentially nothing to lose as a blog doesn't cost anything. Meanwhile, I'm locking the doors because I see a hoard of angry out of work web programmers coming up to my door with a pack of eggs. You see, by doing all this yourself, they are out of a job.
Reality Check: You can start your own blog, and easily get a domain name to point to your blog for as little as $1.99 per year for some addresses, and about $7 with discount codes for a dot com address. So what was your question again? Blog or Web ? Have both in one, for once in life you can have your cake and eat it too.
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