Sunday, September 15, 2013

Should You Have a Website or a Blog? by Tristi Pinkston

It’s important that you make your presence felt on the Internet as soon as possible. Even before you have a product available for purchase, you should let the world know who you are, so that when your product is available, your name is already familiar.

But should you get a website or a blog? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both:

On a website, you can post sample chapters. You can separate your information onto pages, which is neat and organized. You can have a store included on the site, as well as reviews, links to articles, etc. You can hold a lot of information on a site and it can be as complex as you like. You can do any design, any color, any font, and upload any pictures.

Disadvantages to a site – if you don’t know how to set it up and maintain it, you will need to hire a webmaster. It takes a little bit longer to change things on a site – everything is done in html and that requires going in a layer. There is also a charge for the site and for the domain name -- you can pay as little as $6.95 a month all the way up the scale, depending on what company you go with.

With a blog, you can do everything you could on a site. You can set up pages for your sample chapters and reviews, and you can also set up a store. It's also a place to share your random ramblings we all have from time to time. 

The advantages of a blog are pretty good. You can change things around as much as you like. You don’t have to write code. You can interact with your readers through comments. If you don’t like a blog, just erase it. There’s no need to hire anyone to maintain it – it’s very user-friendly. And in most cases, it's free.

So what’s my advice? Should you get a site or a blog? Personally, I think you should have both. There are advantages to both, and you’ll find that some people don’t enjoy reading blogs, so send them to your site. Others prefer blogs, so communicate with them that way. And whatever you do, make sure to link them to each other.

Think of your website as being like a job resume. That's where your static information will go - the stuff that doesn't change as frequently. You'll probably find that your site is a little more formal, and that you don't need to update it very often. Your blog, on the other hand, is like a personal interview. It's where you get to create the most interaction with your readership. You'll update it frequently and it will be a little less formal.

The main thing is that you create your online presence as quickly as possible so your readers know where to find you. There are few things in life (well, okay, that's a little melodramatic, but you get my point) more frustrating than wanting to visit an author's site or blog and not being able to find them. If you can be found, you can generate sales. And sales are awesome. 

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