LJ Jones recently wrote a very interesting post on blogs and websites. Or rather, the difference between the two and why this difference is important. It’s called:
With more and more people and businesses setting up blogs (and many tending to set them up on their websites) I thought this was a timely post to help differentiate between websites and blogs. Hence worth re-blogging.
LJ speaks to the confusion of some when it comes to the roles of blogs and websites. He says:
“I think the problem is that people get confused and think that the website should be the all inclusive, everything in one place, end destination.”
Everything including the tools you use to engage with your audience (assuming, of course, that you are engaging with them). Tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and social networking tools. Those tools don’t have to be on your website. They should be on your blog.
LJ argues that while a website is about you (your company), your blog is about your audience and should contain a lot less about you. That got me thinking. As a copywriter, if I had my way, websites would be more about their prospective audiences and less about the companies, however that’s because I write copy – any copy – with the customer or prospect in mind, not the product. Too many websites use their entire website to bore people talk only about themselves… with little attention to their prospect’s problems and how they can solve them. So I find most websites are ME sites, when they should be more “THEM” sites.
Your Website’s About You, Your Blog’s About Them
But I get where LJ is coming from. In the main your website is your opportunity to talk in terms of your business, while your blog is your opportunity to talk more with your audience, and engage with them, by providing interesting content, links, recommendations and sharing stuff they may like however may not otherwise find. Bit like what I’m doing with this post.
I especially liked this:
Your blog gives you a place to communicate with your audience without them feeling like you are selling to them. It gives you a place to demonstrate what you know and are good at, without sounding like you are talking about yourself and they will respect you for that.”
This is so true. And how about this…
A Website Confines You, A Blog Sets You Free
When you consider it, your blog actually frees you. Whereas your website is static, and content doesn’t have to change much, your blog is dynamic (at least it should be) and regularly updated with fresh content, and new perspectives.
Your website is promotional, your “shop window” if you will, while your blog… can almost be anything you wish it to be. The campfire, the storyboard, the water-cooler, the lookout post, the news stand… the classroom – or simply the place you share your thoughts for your audience to read and share theirs with you. You set the tone and the rules for your blog and tweak as you go along. It’s fluid.
While your website may be impersonal, your blog, even if it’s a business blog, has a personality that is tangible and that people come to know. That personality comes from you – and your relationship with your readers. As you blog you discover things you could never discover from a static website alone.
On my website, Copywriting Studio I have a Twitter badge. I also link to my blog(of course) from my site and from my blog to my site. But my blog, not my site, is where the “social interaction” happens, and I deliberately kept them separate – right down to having a different name.
Bottom line, with a few exceptions, blogs and websites are different. And your blog probably shouldn’t be on your website it should be a separate entity complete with different navigation.
Hang on – did I say there are exceptions?
I did and I’m going to talk about one of my favourite exceptions in my next post. It’s a blog that’s in a website and part of the website and it’s one of the most interactive sites there is.
I hope you’ll go along and read LJ’s post and share your own thoughts because he makes a lot of good points. What do you think of this post? Do you agree? Have a different view? As always feel free to share your thoughts here.