Most small and medium-sized businesses and the self-employed have a website, if any. But many also blog because it can attract a lot of attention from potential customers.
The question arises, what is more worthwhile? Should you start a company blog or a company website?
In this article, I will answer this question, discuss the advantages and disadvantages and also present a combination solution.
Dissemination of blogs
Blogs have long been mainstream and reach a lot of people. WordPress itself, as the most popular blog content management system, is used by 38% of all websites according to its own claims. Many of them are classic blogs, but not all.
Most users are not even aware that they are on a blog. Search engines, especially Google, bring a large number of Internet users to blog articles without actually realizing that they are currently on a blog.
It can therefore be assumed that blogs will reach very, very many Internet users. Directly or indirectly.
Differences between blog and website
In order to clarify the question of whether one should rather start a company blog or a company website, it would be advisable to first look at the differences between blogs and websites.
In the following, I will discuss important factors and show how the two variants differ.
Maintenance effort for blog and website
- Many self-employed people have no time in their normal everyday work. So if you are not really an Internet fan and use the Internet intensively on a daily basis, a blog will be too expensive. Because a blog lives from regular content.
- A website, on the other hand, is less maintenance-intensive. After the content has been created, something is often only updated or added irregularly. It may look different for larger companies.
How much content should you have at launch?
- Both the blog and the website should have sufficient content at startup. However, many self-employed people either start with an empty blog or a website with lots of “This is still a building site”. Both are bad.
- Therefore it is better to start small, but without “error messages” and with helpful content. So a few less categories on the website, but also really good content.
- A blog also needs content to start, but it's usually easier to write 5-10 articles than to fill an entire website with content.
Start without backlinks?
- That is usually the lot of a new blog or website. In the beginning there are no or very few backlinks that could help you rank in Google.
- Blogs have the advantage that reader interaction is often higher thanks to the comment option. As a result, they more often share articles in social networks and occasionally link to a blog article. This doesn't bring a rush of visitors, but at least the first visitors and a few backlinks.
- Overall, backlinks are usually easier to get for a blog than for a company website. Other bloggers link individual exciting articles with interesting insights, hardly anyone will do that for the products page of a company website. But that brings us to the next point.
The content of the company blog and website
- The content of a company blog and a company website usually differ greatly from one another.
- While websites usually provide relatively sober information that nobody really reads through completely, blogs are based on readable articles with exciting insights.
- So if you like to write, have a good writing style, like to provide insights and can give interesting examples, a blog is ideal.
Successful in the short term or in the long term?
- You can't say that across the board. Many factors play a role. On average, that won't take much.
- Both websites and blogs can attract large numbers of visitors in the long term thanks to their good and timeless content.
- A blog is usually more flexible and easier to maintain. On the other hand, website content is often more timeless and still “up to date” even after a long time.
- The CMS WordPress is very flexible. There are a lot of free plugins here that extend the functionality. In addition, the layout is very easy to customize, for example with free themes. Today you are hardly tied to anything with WordPress, because WordPress is now a full-fledged content management system with which you can implement almost any type of website.
- Classic CMS for websites are often a little more flexible in terms of layout than blogs. However, these content management systems usually don't have as many free plugins and themes as WordPress can offer.
- If you don't want to deal with the technology at all, you should take a look at WordPress.com. This service costs money, but you don't have to deal with technical issues and you even get support.
I hope I haven't forgotten anything important. So you can see that there are quite a few differences between websites and blogs. However, the transitions are now quite fluid, so that in practice you can also find many combinations of website and blog.
This has been intensified by the improvement of WordPress and other content management systems that can now be used for blogs as well as for classic websites.
When do I use a company blog and when do I use a company website?
In addition to the factors mentioned above, one thing is decisive for the choice between blog and website. What are my goals as a company or as a self-employed person? When I know my goals, I also know my target group and how they can best be addressed.
But your own skills and possibilities also play an important role, especially if you as a sole proprietor have to or want to do everything yourself.
Here are a few arguments for websites and blogs:
- A company website is particularly suitable for static information on products and services.
- This is ideal for background information without a time reference.
- Websites don't have to be updated as often as blogs.
- Readers of a website are not that emotionally involved, which can be advantages and disadvantages.
- A website and its content are usually more neutral and “cooler” than a blog.
- A website is usually created according to the motto “Fire and Forget”. The effort involved in creating them is usually quite high, but there is relatively little to do later. Similar to niche websites.
- A company blog is usually quicker to start than a website. WordPress is installed in 5 minutes and a layout (theme) is activated quickly.
- A blog is particularly suitable for current information with a time reference.
- News and analyzes of current events can be incorporated quickly and easily.
- A blog is also more suitable for intensive networking and enables stronger personal contact with the readers.
- If you like to write, then you also love to blog.
- You shouldn't be afraid that certain internals and experiences will be published in a blog. When you see how complex it is to approve website content in some large companies (various superiors), a normal blog workflow is out of the question.
- A blog is “daily work”.
Combine blog and website!
Another approach is to combine the two. So to implement both company blog and company website and use the advantages of both variants.
There are 2 options for this:
1. Website plus blog
You can run a separate blog in addition to your own website. Both are fundamentally separate from each other, but should be linked by links as much as possible.
For example, links in the blog to product pages, interviews in the blog with the managing director, news articles about new products for which all technical data are then available on the website, etc.
You can optically integrate the blog very well into a website, so that it looks like part of the static website and users get to the blog articles naturally.
A disadvantage of this option is that you have to create and maintain 2 systems.
2. Blog = website
The second possibility plays with the customization options of WordPress.
In WordPress blogs, you can create static pages in addition to normal articles. You can make a static page like this a blog start page, so that the visitor to the blog initially thinks he is on a normal website. But static subpages can also be created quite normally.
In order to further support this impression, you can deactivate the comment function for individual blog articles, generate the URL without a date, use classic navigation and remove any other references to the date, author, etc.
The impression you make of the blog is more like a website, without completely forgoing the possibilities and advantages of a blog.
The advantages of this solution are:
- You can still use the simplicity and possibilities of WordPress to publish new content.
- Blog-specific functions such as comments, RSS feed and the like are still possible.
- You can still take time out from posting new content as readers don't expect new content on a regular basis.
- It is very easy to incorporate both current and static content.
What is more worth it? Company website or company blog?
In the end, every self-employed, freelancer or entrepreneur has to decide for himself what the best solution is. Company blog and company website each have their own advantages, but also have disadvantages.
In addition, both your own goals and your own resources (money and time) play an important role in this decision. After all, a blog and a website must be permanently maintained. Your own know-how and skills must also be taken into account when making the decision.
The last approach presented, using a WordPress blog more like a classic website, is an exciting way that you see a lot today. You can use the advantages of both “worlds” here, so to speak. In my online projects, I now often rely on a combination of static content and blog articles, such as adventure board games.
What's your opinion? Do you have your own static company website or do you prefer to use a company blog? Or do you even use a combination of these.
I am very happy about your opinions and experiences in the comments.