What should a newbie do? There are blogs, there are websites, which one is best and why?
The direction you take all depends on your internet comfort level and the reason for being on the internet. If your goal is to keep family members and friends up to date with your latest social venture, then a blog may suffice. However, if you’re thinking of opening a work at home business to sell products and/or services, you most probably should go with a full-blown website.
Reading, learning and digesting the information on the difference between starting a blog and website can be quite overwhelming for a newbie. Blogs offer a quick startup while websites offer more flexibility. Summarized below is some basic information that might help a struggling newbie make the decision making process a little easier:
|Requires knowledge of HTML coding||No need to learn HTML (although it will help)||HTML is a needed skill unless you either hire someone to build a website or you purchase web creation software with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) feature.|
|Start Up Cost||None if you use a free blogging site. Check out free blog sites for a list of a few free blog hosts.||Beginners can get away with using free sites, however, free sites are not recommended for serious moneymaking or content rich sites. Check out free hosts for a list of a few free hosting sites.|
|Domain Registration||Not Necessary||Required to host your own site.|
|Appearance, navigation, template||Blogs have pre-formatted templates to choose from.||You must create and design your navigation, colors and formatting. Some web creation software packages make it easier.|
||Adding content is as easy as signing onto your account with your blog host and typing new content.Visitors to your blog expect frequent updates. If you intend to make money with your blog, it’s best to post new information several times a week, if not daily.||Requires formatting to conform to the website’s design. The amount of work necessary depends on the software used to create and maintain the website.Although frequent updates and new content will serve to increase a website’s popularity, the expectation of new content is more demanding with blogs than websites (This requirement depends on the type of site you have. A news site, for example, is expected to frequently updated content).|
|RSS Feed (really simple syndication)||Most blog hosting sites automatically update the RSS feed||Feeds must be updated and uploaded to the web server.|
|User input||Blogs are designed to accept user input such as comments (it’s up to you whether or not to enable or disable this feature).||Accepting user input requires coding scripts (such as forums or boards) to accept user input.|
|Monetizing via product sale, ads and affiliate links||Some blog hosting sites do not allow ads. Read the fine print before you sign up to ensure that you can make money with your blog.||Websites allow full freedom to sell products/services and place ads and affiliate links.|
|Time required to in order to get up and running on the internet||Blog setups are immediate. Once you sign up, you can have a blog up and running within minutes.||Websites requires domain pointers, web design and uploading files before the website is visible. It can take anywhere from one day to several days to get a website up and running.|
|Maintenance and Upkeep||Little to none||Depending on the site, may require much tweaking.|
As a newbie who is unfamiliar with having a presence on the internet, it is recommended that you start with a blog as it’s less overwhelming and it provides an immediate web presence. While you’re maintaining and monetizing your blog, take a little time to learn HTML and some of the other skills necessary to run and maintain a website. Websites may take more work, but they allow for much more flexibility and potentially larger financial rewards. Even if you don’t elect to create a website, learning HTML will prove to be an asset for maintaining a blog.