What is a Website?

A simple website should be regarded as an online brochure. Visitors can find your site if you provide the URL (www.mywebsite.com)) or through a search on Google. Visitors can then browse the site and view the information you provide. We often call these sites ‘brochure websites’ because their purpose is to give out information. An author website may invite visitors to click Amazon links to be taken the Amazon website where they can buy the books, but otherwise, typically the visitor does not interact with the site – i.e. make comments, leave messages etc.

What is a Blog

A blog is also a website, but a much more complicated type of website. Blogs allow you to write and publish articles (blog posts) of interest to visitors. The articles appear in chronological order. Some blogs allow visitors to leave comments on individual blog posts (which you can approve before being published) and you can reply to comments, thus setting up a conversation. The more active a blog, and the more articles you write, the more attention it will get online.

Types of Blogs:

 Free blogging platforms

There are various free platforms on the web that allow the setting up of free blogs:

https://wordpress.com/
https://www.blogger.com/
https://penzu.com/

These sites allow you to set up a free blogging account, so you can try out blogging and find out if it’s for you. If you find you enjoy blogging, you can ask your web designer to add a link from your website to your blog or consider having a bespoke blog attached you’re your existing website – see below.

Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs

These are set up in the same way as a brochure website but they only have blog functionality. The main advantage of a self-hosted blog is that you can have your own domain name (eg www.myblog.com) and that any content you post will be attributed your your domain name, giving you SEO advantage over the free blogging platforms. This may mean that your blog will be found more easily on Google.

Blog Attached to an Existing Website

A simple brochure website can be extended to by attaching a blog. This is a bit like attaching a mini website to your existing site and has a number of implications including:

1) You need to have access to the admin area of your website so you can write and post blogs.
2) You need to login regularly to approve any comments (although it may take time to build up a following)
3) A blog will improve your website’s visibility on Google as you can post regularly and add lots of material for Google to index
4) You need to be technically competent to run a blog in your website. If you find using computers is challenging, a blog is probably not for you (that’s why we usually advise clients to try out blogging with one of the free platforms before committing to a blog on your brochure website).

Costs of Adding a Blog to your Website (2018 Price Guide)

Simple 3-view blog set up (front page, month archive and single post) with a commenting facility if required £120
Cost of making your site self-editable – £75 – to include a manual and training videos

If you are not technically able, we do offer a blog posting service where we post  your blog posts for you – £10 for one post (max 2 sides of A4 plus one image if required). However, we cannot respond to any comments.

Conclusions

A blog is a good way of publishing articles on the web and increasing interest in your books.
There are many free blogging platforms.
A blog can be added to a self-hosted, brochure website and will help your SEO advantage.
You need to be technically able to run a blog and be prepared to log in regularly to respond to any comments