Blogs Versus Web Sites – Which One is for You?

womenoncomputer Blogs Versus Web Sites   Which One is for You?As I finished writing a colleague privately, I realized this may be helpful for some of you. Forgive me for all the self-promotion as I shared my ideas and comparisons. When people explain things to me I like something tangible to look at!

Lisa Copen

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Do you use it as your sole website or do you also maintain a static website in addition to your WordPress blog? And why? Also can anyone send info or a link (offline) for how to make your WordPress blog url be your personal domain name.

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POINTING YOUR URL TO THE BLOG

I have about 8 blogs for different things and all have their own URL. I use godaddy.com and when you buy a URL you have the option to forward it anywhere. So for example, www.hopeendures.wordpress.com is now www.hopeenduresradio.com It’s much easier to give out on the podcast, etc. With godaddy.com the forwarding is free, URLs are about $6-9. I own over 100 of them that I’ve bought over the years. If you plan to spend a lot of money there they have a discount plan; I also use ebates.com and godaddy is one of the companies that is listed so you get a bit of money back with purchases (Disclaimer: If you click my ebates link we both get $5. Vistaprint if anyone uses this print company! I’ve gotten back almost $600 in a few years from ebates.com.)

MAIN WEB SITES VS BLOGS SITES

I use Dreamweaver for my main site www.restministries.org – I have had a web site I’ve built since 1997, and it’s just grown. But I have found blogs great to set up for things like daily devotionals, my own blog chronicillnesssupport.com, radio show, etc. to give it a feed, let it be a widget, etc.

You can easily make anything on your blog be in a Widget at widgetbox.com and then anyone can post it to their web site. We have a lot of people who put our daily devotionals on their own blogs or sites this way.

OTHER SITES

If you have unrelated passions, blogs are great. For example, I also have youcansellmorebooks.com and scrapbookmyadoptionblog.com which leads people back to scrapbookmyadoption.com - that way I don’t have to have it use up any space or reside on my ministry’s web site and confuse people.

BLOGS TO CREATE INTERACTION

If you want people to be able to comment with ease, etc. blogs are the way to go. For Invisible Illness week last sept, I used a blog. I had had the main site for years, invisibleillness.com but I wanted it to be more interactive, daily articles, etc. and be able to post ideas of ways to help promote the week without me having the stress of doing a newsletter. I put all the main information on the main web site and then used the blog. www.invisibleillnessblog.com for all the ways to get involved, guest bloggers, etc. I didn’t have to take time out to write a newsletter, and I could get people info 1-3 times a day. After the week, we’ve used it to post about 1 article a week or so to keep it active and soon I will start posting more. Which reminds me…

POSTING IN ADVANCE AND SCHEDULING IT

With just about all of the different blog software now you can post things in advance and schedule when they display which I LOVE. I blog a lot for everything when I have time and then just fill in the gaps as things come up. I am signed up for tons of Google alerts and I weed through those for newsworthy ideas to blog on. Or for our radio show for example, I can write up all the guest’s info when I have time and then have it post 2 weeks before their show. It’s great to focus for 3 days on 2 months worth of blogs, say, 2 per week and then write more as things come up. But at least that way if “life happens” you still have some activity going on with your blog.

It’s also nice if you run across something interesting that is time related to just be able to “do it now.” I have a great Father’s Day video I found that I blogged on last month and set the date to post before Father’s Day. Better than adding one more thing to my to do list!

TEMPLATES

When choosing a template, look at different features you may want. With wordpress you can click around and “try them on” and see what they feel like. I always want a “custom header” so I can do what I want. If you click on my blogs above, you’ll see they still fit in with my themes quite a bit. And a header and a few custom graphics can make it much more yours! When I updated my blog I decided to go more girly with some scrapbooking looks at chronicillnesssupport.com . You can see 1 template with 2 very different looks I have with www.chronicillnesssupport.com and www.youcansellmorebooks.com – just because of the different header and a few graphics I added. You can pay fees and have more templates, etc. I’ve not gone that route yet.

PAGES

Most blogs have pages so you can add them for things like “about the book” “buy the book” “about the author” etc. When looking at template, see where these “page tabs or links” show up. For example, on my main blog www.chronicillnesssupport.com it was important that I had obvious big buttons so I chose a template that had that. For www.hopeenduresradio.com the big buttons weren’t as important; it just has links on the right hand side.

PINGING, etc.

Once you have your blog set up go to www.feedburner.com and weed through it. Pining is part of most blog software’s features, which means whenever it’s updated, your blog let’s all the internet “crawlers” know it’s updated. If you blog consistently you will get into the google alerts for blogs, which is great.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

One feature everyone should have on their blog is the ability to let people sign up to get the blog updates via email. You can find this feature under “promotion” at feedburner. You will get a code of html, and then you will want to go to a text area of your blog and put that in there. I have this on all my blogs; with my audience, most people still don’t have RSS readers, and you want to make sure they can get updates!

WHO DO I USE FOR BLOGS?

My preference is simply WordPress for ease, but since they don’t allow Javascript, a lot of people love blogspot. I didn’t use blogspot a few years ago when I started because every site had a “next blog” button that would take you to anyone’s blog and I found some scary stuff when I tested some church blogs, and hit the “next” button. Now it looks like wordpress has “related themes” which isn’t necessarily good, but at least I hope they won’t think wicca is ever related to my blogs, etc.

I just moved my blog from typepad to wordpress to have them all in one place. Plus even with the $8.mo fee for Typepad it had a mind of it’s own and wasn’t very user friendly. All the blogging software (I believe) have the ability to export your files and import them into a new blogging software. It’s not seamless, but if you end up with software you don’t prefer, you do have the ability to move your posts.

WHAT IS MY FEED?

Even if you have your url be something like MyNewBooks.com your “feed” address will still have wordpress in it. It would be http://mynewbook.wordpress.com/feed – if you sign up for widgetbox.com or you have a site for example at ning.com and it asks for your “RSS” that’s the address you would put in. You can use this then all over, for example if you do a Squidoo.com page. (Which you should – they rank high in traffic for keywords for the amount of time it will take to do one.) You can see one of mine here for invisible illness week that has a bunch of feeds. http://www.squidoo.com/invisible_illness_awareness – this is another advantage to having a blog instead of just a web site. All these kinds of pages can have your feeds and then you won’t have to update the info, it does it automatically each time you update your web site.

I could keep writing, but these are some basics. Hope this helps!

Lisa

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Comments

  1. pam perry says:

    great stuff. Love blogs better than sites myself!

  2. Sheila Deeth says:

    You seem to have answered quite a lot of my questions here. Thank you.

  3. I am so new and green to this industry. Your news letter is just what I am looking for. The learning curve will be great. My book will be out probably by June one. I published it last year and sold or gave away for marketing purposes 200 books. I just learned that is my warm market. The book has been sprused up by an editor, with a few chapters moved around. I feel good about this new and revised edition. I know enough to be dangerous.
    What is your feel for consultation? Micky

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