Are you confused about what is a blog and what is a website? I've noticed during my business consultations that many people don't seem to know the difference between the two so I'm going to explain what they are, and why you should have a blog, even if you don't want to be a "blogger".
What is a blog?
A blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
Web+Log=Weblog=Blog Traditionally, blogs were basically opportunities to journal online. Anyone could, and still can, make a "blog" using platforms like Tumblr and Blogger. It offered creatives a platform to share their experiences, their thoughts & opinions, their tutorials and their creative ideas with the world. People could follow these blogs and it became like a curated news information platform. This blogging phenomenon gave birth to so many creative superstars. The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond started as a blogger. The Huffington Post is a blog. DesignSponge is a blog. The movie Julie and Julia was inspired by blogger. These interactive blogging sites have led to advertising income, multi-million dollar companies, book deals, movie adaptations and more. Talk about a phenomenon of the digital era!
You don't have to be a "blogger" to have a blog It is a common misconception that to have a blog means you will have to become a "blogger" who documents her daily life with exceptional writing and stunning photographs. This is not true at all! A blog has become simply a powerful tool to keep a website dynamic. A site that is alive with helpful content and person-to-person engagement. It turns out that people like to connect with people, not faceless companies. This is great, because you are also a person. And you own a business.
You can use this phenomenal tool called a blog to add life and personality to your website.
A blog can be a type of website, or it can be an application function added to your website. Most website platforms such as Wordpress, Weebly, Squarespace and my personal favorite, WIX have a blogging option. Trust me when I tell you that it is VERY EASY to do this.
Also, Google Loves Blogs Google recommends sites that are constantly active and ever-changing. If they send someone to a site that has old information, it looks bad on Google. A blog is the perfect way to show Google that the lights are on and you're ready for business. They will reward your site with a higher search ranking, and that leads to business.
How my website turned into a blog and then the blog back into my website Back in the day, I paid a web designer to create a website for my business. We worked super hard to get a really cool site that looked great and sold my products. It was perfect...for about 5 minutes. Within weeks, I realized that the content was out of date, which required me to be organized enough to send the web developer the new content and images and also to pay her to update the site each time. Very quickly I realized that this was going to be impractical (being organized isn't my thing) and costly.
Desperate, I decided to experiment with the free blogging platform, Blogger. Making my own free blog, or "Blogspot" on Blogger didn't require me to know any code. The home page was a blog, where I would document my invitation design projects for clients. I soon realized that I could add pages and customize the site to look pretty much like I wanted my website to be. Soon after that, I redirected my website address to the blog and voila, I was in charge and thoroughly enjoying my own website. You can see the site I made on blogger here.
Note that if you were to type in "www.margotmadisoncreative.com" into the Google search bar, it still goes to the "www.margotmadison.blogspot.com". That's the website redirecting part where I told GoDaddy (my webs hosting site) to automatically redirect anyone who types in www.margotmadisoncreative.com to www.margotmadison.blogspot.com.
10 Totally Different Ways to Use Your Blog
Each blog post has a unique web address, or URL. You can copy this URL and use it as a live link on your website, or anywhere else. Now that you hopefully understand about blogs a little more, you will see how well they will work on your website. Here are a few ideas you can use a blog for your business.
Here are 10 ways you can use your blog
1. FAQ Section (Answer some frequently asked questions about your products or services)
2. Updated Event Listing (where are you going to be this year?)
3. Your Portfolio (include recent work with photos and brief descriptions)
4. An "About Me" page (include a great photo and write in the first person)
5. A list of your recommended resources (share your expertise in your industry)
6. Project Review (Describe how you worked with and solve client's specific needs)
7. Tutorials (how to install your artwork, how to use your product, how to maintain your product)
8. A Description Your Process (with photos)
9. Specific event details and information (where to park, how to buy tickets, who will be there, etc.)
10. A "Contact Me" page (include your social media sites, email address, store address, etc.)
You know we're all working out this creative to business stuff! It takes time and practice. You can get some helpful info from our e-newsletter. Sign up for that with this link. Or join our private Facebook group here.