If you have a business website, you might wonder if you need to have a blog, too.
Of course, you’ve heard of WordPress, but you aren’t too sure if the blogging platform is the right thing for you.
After all, it’s not so clear-cut what the actual difference between a blog and a website is.
It’s time to answer the age-old question for once and for all and help you decide whether you need a blog or a website – or both.
What is a blog?
To put it simply, a blog is a type of website where the content is usually organized in reverse chronological order.
Most of the time the bulk of a blog’s content comes in the form of individual blog post entries, with the newest post showing at the top of the page.
Blogs are often updated regularly, making them dynamic in nature, compared to traditional, static websites.
Back in the mid-90s, blogs served as online diaries and often accompanied individuals’ personal websites. Blog posts would often include updates about the authors’ personal lives and thoughts, meant to be shared with a small audience of friends and family.
Fun fact: The word ‘blog’ was originally shorthand for ‘web log’, commonly used in the late 90s. By 1999, the first proper blogging platforms, including Blogger, were launched, making it easy for anyone to start a blog.
But it was the launch of the blogging platform WordPress in 2003 that really changed the whole blogging landscape: thanks to the open-sourced nature of this content management system, users could fully customize their blogs.
Examples of popular blogs
You might not realize this, but many of the most popular websites on the world wide web started out as blogs, and could still technically be considered as such.
Huffington Post started out as the brainchild of Ariana Huffington and has now over 110 million monthly visitors.
Business Insider started in 2007 as a news-and-analysis blog and has since grown into a huge business – with the website attracting over 25 million visitors every month.
Mashable, the tech, and entertainment website started off as a WordPress blog in 2005 with just one writer, the founder Pete Cashmore. Now the website has over 24 million monthly visitors.
Different types of blogs
While some websites started off as blogs and have since grown into multi-million dollar businesses, there are still plenty of different types of blogs out there.
For many companies, a business blog acts as a great place to share more in-depth information about the company’s products and services.
Business blogs are also excellent platforms for sharing expertise in a given field, making them wonderful tools for solidifying an individual’s or a business’s status as a thought leader.
Many people base their blog around a particular niche or theme – think fashion, sports, food, and travel.
Tip 💡 – Looking for blog inspiration? We’ve shortlisted our favorite blogs to get your creative juices flowing.
What is a website?
A website is a collection of individual web pages that all exist under a domain name (like www.zyro.com). Most content online exists on various different kinds of websites.
Basically, when you enter any web address into the address bar of your web browser, you’re going to end up on a website.
All websites from Google to Facebook and the BBC are websites. They all have their own domains (www.google.com, www.facebook.com, and www.bbc.com), have various landing pages that have different content on them.
Different types of websites
If you’ve spent any time browsing the internet, you know that there are almost an infinite number of different kinds of websites out there.
While there are some distinct qualities on what makes a great website that are shared between the best websites, most often websites are categorized based on their purpose:
- Business websites provide information about a company, its products, and services
- eCommerce websites make it possible to sell products and collect payments online
- Blogs cover various topics in detail, with the content often displayed in reverse chronological order
- News websites aim to bring the most up-to-date news to the masses
- Online portfolio websites showcase an individual’s (or a company’s) professional portfolio
- Educational websites offer courses and other learning materials for internet users
- Web portals and intranets are password-protected websites that are aimed at a certain group of users only
- Entertainment websites collect news, gossip, and other entertaining information for their audiences
- Online forums are simple message-based websites for online communities
- Nonprofit websites advocate for charitable causes and often collect donations from users
- Wikis are online encyclopedias based on various topics and cultural phenomena
- Job vacancy websites collect and post information about available vacancies
While different websites can differ greatly in their design, they all still share a broader goal: most websites aim to provide information to their visitors or audiences.
What is the difference between a blog and a website then?
The main difference between a blog and a website is related to how they display their content.
A business website, for example, most commonly has a fixed number of landing pages (usually a home page, a contact page, and a page or two detailing its products and services). Once the content has been created, there’s no need to touch it unless the company changes its address, or starts selling new products.
Blogs, on the other hand, are meant to be dynamic and constantly updated with new content. A blog can be part of a website or a standalone website in its own right. This means that the main difference between blog and website is mainly related to whether the site is mainly static or more dynamic in nature.
The most recent blog content is most often displayed at the very top of a blog’s home page, making it easy for people to notice when new posts have been added.
Blogging platforms also allow bloggers to categorize their content, making it easier for people to shift through the different types of content.
Do I need a blog or a website?
That depends on you – are you planning on creating content regularly and engaging a lot with your audience? Or do you need a space on the internet to share your company’s story and contact information, only requiring a good homepage?
Thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to choose between blog or website. You can use content management systems like WordPress and website builders like Zyro to start a website that also has a blog.
But before you go ahead, stop and think about what you want to achieve with your website overall.
Do you have the resources to frequently update your blog with new content, and maybe invest some time in understanding how search engine optimization works?
Then you should consider creating a blog instead or as part of your website.
Or do you just want to create a good-looking homepage once and then not worry about your site anymore?
If that’s the case, you’re safer creating a website without a blog. The good news is that if you ever change your mind, it’s easy to add a blog section to your existing website.
It’s commonplace for businesses to use a static website for things like the main landing page, contact information, available services, and products, and use a subdomain for their blog.
What are the benefits of having a blog?
For many individuals, running a blog is a way to share your own thoughts and ideas with the world.
Most ordinary people don’t start a blog with the intention of making money or even getting heard by the masses – instead, it can be a great way to share what’s going on in your life with relatives and friends who live elsewhere.
Companies and brands, on the other hand, usually approach a blog with a more strategic attitude. Blog articles are a great way to educate visitors about the brand’s products and services, share news, and inspire in general.
The benefits of blogging include things like:
- Having a dedicated place to share your thoughts and ideas with the people on the internet
- Being able to showcase your creativity, skills, and other talents from writing to web design
- Being able to gain recognition as a thought leader by other people in your field
- Meeting like-minded people who share your interests and beliefs
- Monetization in the form of affiliate links, product reviews, and banner ads
- Free organic web traffic from search engines (if you’re paying attention to your blog’s SEO)
Just remember that blogging does require time and effort – the most successful blogs publish new content weekly, or even daily.
Costs of building a blog vs website
Before you start a blog or a website, it’s important to make sure you know how much it costs to have a website in the first place.
Coding your own website is naturally the cheapest way to get around the issue of cost, but even if you use WordPress to run your blog or website, you still need to factor in web hosting, domain, and other additional costs.
And take it from us, website builders make the whole job of setting up your blog or website fast, simple, and easy.
For example, with Zyro, you’ll get:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- Web hosting
- Unlimited use of the website builder and AI tools
- Access to marketing integrations
- Free domain when you sign up for annual billing
The best part is that you can use Zyro for both a blog or a website, meaning that there’s virtually no difference in cost.
Make money with a blog and a website
There are plenty of ways to make money from your website or blog – here are some of our favorite monetization strategies to try out:
Running banner ads on your website is one of the most popular ways to make money from your blog or your website.
Most people use Google AdSense, an ad program that pays you every time a visitor clicks on an ad on your blog and website.
While the price per click can be hard to estimate upfront (as it depends on the category of the ad and your website’s monthly traffic), display ads are a great way to earn a passive income from your site or blog in the background.
You can also approach a business yourself to negotiate your own display ad deals.
Affiliate marketing is especially popular among the blogging community, and for a good reason: you basically recommend products and services you like and receive a commission for every sale that can be attributed to you.
Most affiliate marketing campaigns are tracked using unique affiliate links that are placed in blog posts and articles – for example, you could be blogging about camping and compare the top trekking backpacks of the season.
Some of the biggest affiliate marketing networks out there include Amazon and eBay, meaning that you can choose from a lot of different products and niches to suit your blog, website, or social media presence.
Memberships and subscriptions
If you have a dedicated fanbase or can offer ‘tiered’ content on your blog or website, you could consider creating members-only content.
You could share the more in-depth articles and how-tos with those who have a subscription, and create shorter, less-detailed blog post versions. Or you could sign up on crowdfunding platforms like Patreon.
A word of warning, though: this monetization strategy won’t make you much money off the bat unless you have an existing audience (from social media, for example) willing to pay for premium content.
Sell digital products
If you’re creative or have special knowledge in a particular field, you could consider selling digital products and online courses on your website.
You could create eBooks and digital designs that can be printed onto t-shirts and mugs. Or you could create and sell website templates, stock images, and logos on your website.
Look for inspiration on other websites and blogs in your niche, and copy with pride – without being a blatantly obvious copycat, of course.
Set up an eCommerce website
If you have a true passion for business, consider setting up your own online store alongside your blog or website and make money.
Figure out whether you want to dropship or keep your own inventory, set your storefront, and configure shipping and taxes.
Zyro plans tailored for online businesses and stores start from less than $10 a month, meaning that upgrading is hardly going to break the bank if you decide to try selling online.
A website, a blog, or both? It’s your choice
The ‘blog vs website’ debate is thankfully one that we can now scrap for good.
Since a blog is a type of website, technically all bloggers start a website when they set up their blog.
The only main difference, when it comes to the ‘blog vs website’ argument, is that blogs usually have more dynamic content than a traditional portfolio website.
Nothing says you can’t have a website that also has a blog section – in fact, many successful blogs have other pages on their site people can visit.
Since top blogging platforms like Zyro and WordPress make it easy for people to customize their websites from top to bottom, it’s easy to start a blog, website, or both.