I’ve noticed with interest some discussion about whether or not blogging is the right business model to use. Much of this is started by SiteSell’s new page discussing when blogging is not the right option.
I have to say, I’m biased in favor of blogging. I have regular websites, and they do quite well. But blogging gives me some flexibility that is more challenging for a website to offer.
Almost… almost everything I say on a blog of mine could be read at any time and still be relevant. I’m not much of a news blogger, and that’s one of the areas where Ken Evoy of SiteSell acknowledges that blogging does well.
But some of the problems he addresses aren’t an issue for every blogger.
Yes, blogging can be stressful, if you’re too focused on a high level of production. That’s an easy trap to fall into, especially in competitive areas such as tech or news. Everyone wants to get in on the story first or at least very early, to get all the links.
Then there are bloggers like me. I blog a fair bit, but not constantly. Sometimes not even regularly.
He also doesn’t quite have it entirely right about the hierarchy of blog posts. Yes, they’re reverse chronological, but they’re also organized into categories and sometimes even subcategories. There’s a lot of flexibility there. And even if you use category pages to show what’s in the subcategories on a regular website, you have to use some sort of order that is often chronological by when you wrote it… whether or not the piece is dated.
But he has a lot of really good points too.
Many people dive into blogging because they hear about the big successes, such as Darren Rowse. They don’t take the time to build their blogs properly. They may have no idea what they’re doing overall, but darn it! They’re going to make a ton of money off this thing.
And that is where SiteBuildIt excels. It gives you the tools you need to build your site correctly. If you follow their course step by step, your site will be quite carefully developed, with both users and search engines in mind. The blindfold you didn’t even know you were wearing is gone.
Since Darren Rowse’s book is only on preorder right now, obviously I can’t review and compare it right now. But I can note that his blog generally has excellent articles and I’ve gotten some great ideas there. I’d be willing to trust that his book is of good quality.
So What Has Worked Best for Me? Sites or Blogs?
Honestly, I’m having some pretty decent success with each. I’m often prone to use my blog to provide new information for my sites, linking to posts from the blog on regular website pages as appropriate. In many ways it’s an easier way to manage the content.
If you know what you’re doing, you can work your advertising and so forth pretty well with a blog.
In terms of searches and traffic, my oldest website does best by far. The website itself is static, but it does have a website attached to it, which does bring in some of the traffic. That should scarcely be a surprise. But my next best site is a blog that’s about a year old.
The thing I like about my blogs is the RSS feeds so that people can subscribe to them. I use Feedburner so that I know about how well each blog is doing in that area. I’m not a big name blogger by any means so far, but I’m working on what I have.
SiteBuildIt does offer that feature too, however, so it’s certainly not a reason to choose blogging over SBI. Any kind of a site feed is nice because it allows people who like your work to subscribe through a reader or even email if you set that up, and know when you’ve updated. It’s a great tool.
Sure, subscribers may read your latest post and then bounce away, but you’re bringing them back. Hopefully over and over again.
It really boils down to how much help you want. If you want a lot of help figuring out the best ways to build your website, SiteBuildIt may well be for you. If you just want to get going, you may want to blog since it’s cheaper and relatively easy to get started. But success may take longer.
And then there’s how much you really know about the internet and marketing already. If you’re new to the whole idea, SBI is very likely the right choice. It will save you hours upon hours of research and quite possibly keep you from making one or more false starts.
On the other hand if you’ve been looking over this whole online marketing thing for a while, you may be comfortable with going it on your own, or you may have found a resource you would prefer to use. There’s a lot out there.Tags: online business model, ProBlogger, SBI, SiteBuildIt, website creation