I host a lot of live events and meet new business owners all the time and am surprised this is one of my most asked questions. Understanding your online presence can be key to it being an epic tool for your business. If you don’t understand it.. how will your clients, customers, and guests. So if you understand blogs and website, this article isn’t for you and just click through and hang out with us on The Entrepreneur Collective I host on Might Networks!
Most domain hosts have made it very easy for anyone to put their credit card down and build a website. They often have branded drop and drag tools that it easy to make it beautiful and useful. You have to take responsibility to create the content but often I find my clients already either have the content or know the top ten topics or questions their business gets asked or clients need more info about to build “ know – like – trust” with their business and themselves.
It can just take minutes to set up a professional looking website of blog, and often people still have questions after that especially when they discover their visitor count is making cricket sounds! Below is some commonly asked question for those who already have a blog or website and those who have not started yet! One of the most common questions that I wanted to answer is the difference between a blog and a website.
What is a blog?
Yes, yes – a blog is still a website and website, CAN be a blog. I have never tracked down how we created this divergent thought but it has created a lot of confusion over the years. There is a difference in presentation and allocation. But in the end, they all have the same home base, the same HTML code in the background, are just as vulnerable to getting hacked, need backing up in case of some failure of your host.
The basic difference when you hear people talking about a “ web page” verse a “blog page” is going to be like this.
A blog post is will probably have a date it was posted, be a topic that has been posted by the writer in chronological order. Like an article in a newspaper, you can track when it was written and is often attributed to the writer or “ blogger”. Usually, if the writer/blogger has a lot of content ( blog pages) they have posted you can look for keywords on the page that will sort them out for you as well if you find a topic you like and want to know if they have more writing on the subject. Many blogs are there to provide extensive material about a product in the form of how to include a product into your lifestyle. Big brands will often have guest bloggers write about their products, travel writers can achieve sponsorships sometimes if a product sees it as an affiliating that will benefit their marketing goals. You will often find photos, heartfelt articles, links to videos or apps and often link right to purchase of a product they are selling. Topics can range from just be as simple as a personal, travel or health diaries, cooking, product information, photography and everything in between.
A web site/page will not have a date it was published, it usually will have product or company information that is static, something you might want to know about the company, reports, warrantee information, recruiting information, how to video about a product to save the company time with their help desk. It will answer easy questions about the company that will be asked and answered over and over. You might find staff intro and stories on the ABOUT page, you will find a CONTACT page, and HOME page, all will navigation tools on them. Like a blog, there can be an infinite amount of page but generally, it is recommended to keep the basic navigation very easy so visitors are not overwhelmed or leave quickly because the whole site takes to long to download. Keeping videos connected by links and photos an easy to download size will let people get to the content you want them to see quickly. If you are on a mobile site you will often have to search for the menu and it is often represented by just some simple bars that you will click to have the menu drop down.
How easy is it to create a blog or website?
Being online is really not optional for most business now that “ The Yellow Pages” are nearly impossible to find and you want your network, clients, and referrals to be able to find you easily from their phones, tablets, and computers. There are lots of free courses and often it is a great idea to just take a day at a seminar to really focus on getting it up and completed.
If you are going to do it on your own, take time and check out the different website builders and a platform you are comfortable with. Picking one that has live 24-hour support can make a huge difference as well. Take a look at their templates, editing features and if you need a source of free images see if they include that in their pricing options.
What is a domain?
This is your address that will be on the web. Some provider will offer you a free subdomain that is hosted on their site. If you don’t have a business this can be very acceptable. If you are in business for yourself, should purchase your own address on the internet. Like a brick and mortar business having a street address, this is your address on the internet that people will come to find you, your business, buy your products and more. You want this site to be easy to SPELL! If you had to do a radio advertisement would you have to spell it out or could the listener figure it out on their own? Keep it simple. A .com is always a top choice but there are a ton of options that make sense as well such as your countries domain ie: Canada is .ca France is .fr etc. Once you have your site you can have them load your blog on it and you can also have them move addresses for you if you have chosen a provider with live support or easy directions.
So Blog or Website ?
The answer is generally you are going to have both! You will have a website, which is pretty much static, not much change and it will be on the same domain as your website. I recommend using WordPress and Godaddy because of the support you get and ease of use. So you don’t have to choose. Keep clients up todate with a blog, and make sure they have all the hard data they need to choose you as their business of choice such as how to find your, what your niche is, what your experience and certifications are.. recommendations from other clients. These won’t change, but then you might for example blog about industry or style changes in your industry and they will be listed under ” Blog” with the newest first on your website.
How do I build my blog layout?
Depending on what your provider has given you it recommended you use the editor they have provided or you can hire someone to do this for you as well. If you are spending to much time on this and getting frustrated, just hire someone to load your content for you so you can focus on your business. Like your bookkeeper, it is often left to professionals. If you are going to hire someone don’t just throw it at them, ask for a walk around your site, make sure you always the main admin on your website and all passwords go through you. Never let full control of your content go, always make sure that the coding is being updated monthly so it is not accessible to hackers. Don’t get caught up in it being perfect and not getting it up. Unlike a book that goes to print you can always get a single launch page up and then build a page at a time and it is best to be constantly optimizing and updating your blog and website pages.
So I built my website and no one is visiting…
Like anything in business, you need to do marketing, this can mean referrals, mailing lists, joint ventures, Google Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn Advertising and building a tribe that wants to follow you. And that is a whole other blog post I will write another day or pop on The Entrepreneur Collective and post your questions.
Anyssa Jane can be found in Whistler on Friday mornings at some coffee shop live with friends recording live for The Coffee House Network, and she is in Vancouver on the last Tuesday of the month ( Except December as that would be crazy ) at The Sylvia Hotel to host a private women’s club – “The Ladies Meeting” Luncheon. You can find her always on her MIGHTY NETWORK The Entrepreneur Collective where she hosts classes, has many small business tips tricks, downloads, and courses.