#Let’sTalk – Blogs vs Websites

Good Morning, Everyone!

After a wonderful afternoon at Enterprise Museum, sharing some wildlife info with some terrific folks and friends, I’m feeling pretty inspired today. I’m ready to take on some long-postponed tasks (including writing) and get ON with Life once again! Hope you are all feeling inspired, too.

One thing I’ve been wondering about is whether or not it’s worth the trouble to set up a website in addition to my blog. I never gave it much thought before, but since I’ve promised myself I’m going to do more marketing this year, I thought it might be a good place to start. The problem is, I’ve never had an actual website before and have no idea as to the particulars of setting one up, OR the benefits to be derived from one. So, my question of the day is, how many of you have separate websites and how do you use them? Are they worth the effort? Or would I just be adding more work to a stack of things I’m already behind on?

Inquiring minds wanna know, so I hope some of you will share your experiences, both pro and con, with us today.

58 thoughts on “#Let’sTalk – Blogs vs Websites

  1. Hi Marcia, I have two blogs as you know, one for my children’s books and baking and another for my adult writing. In addition, I have a website which I use for marketing and more formal author correspondence eg query letters or book promotions. I just like have a professionally maintained platform for my writing for people to visit if they want. It also comes up first if you Google my name.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have both. My brilliant brother designed a website for me when I first started having my books published. He has updated it a few times since then. Later on, I started a blog myself. I’m not sure if, nowadays, you need both. I believe I get more publicity with my blog. But if someone wants to know more about my books, I send them to my website. The blog helps me develop relationships, which I think is the best way to market. If you don’t have someone to maintain your website, it may be more work than you need. Now, what about newsletters??

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oooh, good question, Darlene! I did have a newsletter once, but somehow, it got lost in the shuffle. You’ve reminded me to get that going again asap! And I definitely appreciate your input on your blog vs your website. I’ve gotten wonderful traffic over the years with my blog, and since I’m totally self-published, I’m not even sure what I could do on a website that would make it worth the effort. If it just links to my Amazon page, I keep wondering about that. I do that from my blog already. But then again, I could maybe use it more often to really promote my books, I guess, with excerpts and other info. I’m just totally undecided if setting one up is worth the effort involved. Maybe paid ads are a better way to go?

      And I totally agree about making relationships being the best way to sell. Our writing community is so supportive via our blogs, after all. Still pondering this one, but so far, not leaning in favor of the extra work or expense. Hmmm …

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great question, Marcia. I’ve had both a website and blog for many years. I often wonder if it’s worth it to have both, but so far, I keep trying to maintain them. I think a website is a greater show of professionalism than a blog, but that’s only an opinion. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the input, Jan. With my energy level down as much as It is, I think I need to make choices like these very carefully, and strive to get the most I can out of what I decide to do.

      I can see how a website might be more professional in many ways, but I’m still not sure it’s the best use of my time right now. Still pondering, though, and every opinion is helpful to me, so I appreciate your weighing in on this one.

      May I ask if you sell books directly from your website, or do you just link them to Amazon or the like? I’m still trying to figure out how it would work for me as an indie author with my books currently only available on Amazon.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Aha. That’s one of the things I’ve been wondering about. Still, if a website provides a place specifically for promoting your books, it might be helpful enough to warrant setting one up. Still pondering, here ….

          Thanks for the additional info! πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I have both. I use my blog here mainly as an outreach platform and for sharing some of my work. My website is mainly dedicated to being a place where people can find information about my books and where to get them, though it does have a small blog page on it, too, but I don’t use it as much as this one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for that input, Jeanne! May I ask which gets more traffic? Blog or website? And do you have your website set up to sell directly? Or does it link to Amazon, etc, instead? Still trying to figure out if this would be a good investment for me or not, and I appreciate any and all tips. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t maintain (i.e., update information) on my website as often as I probably should, so I think my WP blog gets more traffic because I’m more active with it. If I kept up with the website more, it’d probably get more traffic because the SEO would be better on it. My website just provides links on where to find the books (Amazon, B&N, etc.).

        Liked by 1 person

    • So far, I’m not sure about it being right for me, either, John, but I’ll try to keep an open mind for a couple more days to see what others might have to add to the conversation. I do think it would be easier and more acceptable to do a lot of promoting of my own books on a website, whereas on my blog, I try not to get carried away with that. But again, it’s a matter of whether it would make a big difference in sales or not. And I also don’t know whether it tends to work as well for indies as it probably does for those who are trad published. That could be a deciding factor, too, perhaps.

      Thanks for stopping by today and weighing in! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I had a website which we set up when I published my first book on Amazon ages ago and did not know anything about websites! It hadn’t even occurred to me to write a blog, but the website was not at all interactive and it achieved no book sales. Its greatest achievement was the only person to somehow arrive at the contact page was a school friend I had not heard from in fifty years! Anyway, it became obvious that other writers all seemed to be on WordPress, so here I am using WP as my blog and website.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for that info, Janet. I’m leaning more and more to just sticking with my blog, and doing paid marketing ads, but I’ll give things a couple more days to see if anyone presents some info that changes my mind. I know there are folks who have both, so might as well get a few more opinions before making a final decision. In the meantime, I really appreciate your input. πŸ˜€

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  6. I come down on the side of “less is more”. As you know, I have a blog (and issues enough with that! lol), BUT everything that people need to know about me, my books, my interviews, my Meet & Greets, etc…can be found in one place. People barely have time these days to do what they HAVE to do, so having to search more than one place for information might feel a bit daunting. Sure, there might be a few more clicks on a single site, but it’s still in a single place. I vote for one OR the other, but not both (or more!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion, Sue. You can definitely do some things on a website that you wouldn’t want to do on a blog, but I’m still thinking it probably isn’t worth the extra work and/or expense for me to set up one at this point.

      Having said that, I’m going to try to keep an open mind as others weigh in, especially those who have both. It will be interesting to see if some of them have had good results from the extra effort.

      Thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m with John on this one. If someone here had come up with an answer that said their website was much more successful than their blog, it would make sense to look into it, but most don’t seem to be saying that. Most of the books I buy now are based on recommendations from blogs. It seems a lot of time and effort to set up a website when you could be using that time for writing – especially when you have the talent to create characters as amazing as Rabbit and Hunter. ❀ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not all of the responses have come from those who’ve tried it, but it seems that some who have set them up consider it a more professional way to sell their books. Their website can be focused ONLY about their books, and a good place to post reviews, excerpts, and other things that might help sell copies.

      From what I’ve read here and there, you can do what I usually call “blatant self-promotion”on your website all the time, which I’d never do on my blog. However, that doesn’t guarantee that it will work. I’m still hoping to hear from a few people in the next day or two who have been successful with using a website to focus ONLY on their own books.

      Nothing yet has made me want to spend the time or money to set one up, but we’ll see who else chimes in with their personal experiences. (Even then, I might not decide to give it a go, but I at least want to have more info before I decide.)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have both a blog and a website. Originally, I built out my blog with multiple pages, using it as a website, but then decided I wanted a separate presence on the web. That site is a bit more static (not updated as frequently as my blog), but it contains a lot more information and details on all of my books. My blog connects to my website, and my website to my blog. I kept the theme the same on both so jumping from one to the other doesn’t seem jarring.

    I think of my website as an information repository, and my blog as more being fluid. Hope that helps!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That helps a lot, Mae, and in fact, your website was one I checked out the other day, and wondered if it was working well for you. I think there are lots of reasons to give one a try, but for myself, I don’t want to sink the energy into it unless I really believe it will help me sell more books than my blog alone does.

      If I’m not convinced about that, I’ll probably end up running paid ads and promos, instead, but I like to consider all possibilities. I DO like the idea of having a website set up with lots of info on each book, so that’s one thing that might influence my decision.

      May I ask if you sell directly from your website, or is it more for solid information people can always access quickly and easily?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marcia, I don’t sell directly from my website. It’s really just a source of information more than anything else. If you’d like to have more information on display about your books, why not just build out pages on your blog? That’s what I did originally.

        You could have a page for “My Books” then nest “Series,” “Standalones,” and “Poetry” under that category. Go deeper and nest your Wake Robin Ridge Series, River Bend, etc., under “Series,” then have a page for each book under the appropriate series. You can do pretty much everything on your blog that you can do on a website with the exception of using plug-ins.

        I can see you wanting to have a website to break out your writing from your wildlife talks and building each section out from there, but you might just get by with building our your blog.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I keep reading about how “professional” writers need a website, and since I’m planning to make some changes in my marketing (or lack thereof) this year, I wanted to know what others have done in that regard that they were happy with. But honestly, I’m still not feeling it for me yet.

          And you know … I actually do have a My Books section in the header bar with a brief description and animation for each book. You are right. That would be a great place to provide more detailed info or fun facts about each one, and so much simpler.

          I won’t be making any final decisions for another couple of days, to give those who aren’t around on the weekend a chance to comment, if they have input they’d like to share. But I have a feeling that your excellent suggestions would be much more my style and fit better into my limited time and budget than a separate website. I suspect that’s just what I’ll do in the end.

          Thanks, Mae! πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I set up a website that has a blog page. I don’t post frequently, so that would not be a good way to gauge its lack of success. I like having a website because I can add pages along the way. On one page I post photos I took of major league athletes when I freelanced for magazines and newspapers several years ago. It gives me an outlet to share the nostalgia. Another page has About Me info. The homepage can contain the start of your latest blog and much of the information you have if you just have a blog. I usually update the homepage pic whenever I post a blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My general understanding is that a writer’s webpage should focus on his or her books, while a blog can be much broader in content. I’m sure there are folks who do it in other ways, but since I have an active blog where I can add many more pages on any subject I wish, I don’t think I’d set up a website for that reason. I’d want it to be all about my work. However, Mae Clair reminded me that I can do that right here on my blog, and it seems like for me, that would be the easiest and quickest option.

      Still haven’t decided for sure, though, and am taking everyone’s comments into consideration. It’s interesting to see how many different ways we writers go about this process. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your methods, too, Nancy. I really appreciate it! πŸ˜€

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  10. I have a website because that’s what I thought I needed to do when I first started writing. I also didn’t want someone else to open up a website with my name, so I wanted to secure the domain. I do absolutely nothing with it. There is a home page, a page that shows my books, and a page that links to my blog. I honestly don’t know what else to do with it, but it’s there. Lol!

    Yvette M Calleiro πŸ™‚
    http://yvettemcalleiro.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the information, Yvette, and for the link. I’ll take a look later, for sure, and in the meantime, I’m still pondering if I would make any serious use of a website or not, myself. Still considering it, but so far, leaning towards modifying my blog to do more for me, and moving on so I can use my time to write a few more books. Will figure it all out over the next couple of days, and try to find a solution I’ll enjoy.

      Thanks for stopping by to weigh in! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Swift. I would NEVER give up this blog, as it has led to so many terrific online friendships and has been a great experience, both for learning and for fun. Also, to date it has been the only kind of marketing I’ve done.

      I thought perhaps I should add a website, too, but after reading everyone’s comments so far, I’m not convinced that’s the right step for me. I’ll be making up my mind soon, but I suspect I’m going to go with some additions to my blog, instead, and seeing if that won’t serve just as well.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and contributing to the discussion. I really appreciate it! πŸ˜€

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  11. Marcia, I have my blog as my “landing page” on my author website. The goal was to draw readers to my blog posts and then readers can see my novels and short stories, read my bio, get access links to my books on Amazon, etc. Having your blog functioning on your author website is a huge advantage. WordPress has a good option for this setup. Other websites have the blog option as a separate page but not as the “landing page.” The advantage of the landing page blog on your website is that it has wide keyword links for search engines: your name, your book titles, words in your blog, and other names you might be blogging about. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is excellent info, Paula, and I think if I were just starting out, I might do exactly what you’ve described here. You’ve given me a lot to think about, but I also have some ideas for how to make my blog do the same job, without so much extra work. Mae Clair made me realize that I can build out my “My Books” pages to include all the info I’d want folks to be able to find, and for me, that might be all I need.

      However, having said that, I still haven’t decided for sure, and I really appreciate your input. It will help me make the best decision for me, at this time when my energy and my hours are in much shorter supply than they used to be. Will definitely make a decision in the next day or two. Thanks so much for stopping by and explaining why you set up your website and how you use it! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I never understood the value of a website. After reading these responses, I still don’t. I only have my blog, and with the new work schedule, only manage to update it on weekends. I try to keep info about the newest books on there, and like to think it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never understood it either, Craig, but I’m getting a better picture from all these comments. I’m leaning towards modifying my blog instead of setting up a website, since it’s already up and running, and I can add extra pages to include more book info, share reviews and excerpts, and the like. That might be all I need, and would simplify things for me greatly.

      I’ll be making a final decision in another day or two, but so far, I’m not convinced that I should go through the work of starting a website at a time in my life when my hours and energy are already stretched to the max. This has been very interesting, though, and I appreciate your input, as well. Thanks so much for weighing in! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the info, Denise. I think I can probably do everything I need to do from my blog, and since it’s already established and ready for me to add new pages too, I’m leaning towards not bothering with a website at this point. It seems a lot of folks are kind of where you are with it. They have one set up, but aren’t really doing much with it, which I kind of suspect would be my story, too. Will be making up my mind in the next day or so, thought, and I appreciate your input. πŸ˜€ ❀

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  13. Hi Marsh. Good conversations. Honestly, I have enough to contend with on my blog – which I consider my website. After all, I pay annually for it. The good thing about our blogs is that we can add as many pages as we wish. Also, we do have the option to make a ‘static’ page too as a landing page. Everything about my books are on my pages. The way I see it is, if anyone is curious about my writing or publications, they can find it all in one place. If I even wanted to consider another website, it’s easy and free to put up a static page on Wix or more like its ilk. One site is enough for me it’s my blog/website. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m thinking the same things, Debby. If it looked like setting up a website would make a huge difference in sales for me, I would do it, but I’m getting the feeling it would be smarter just to tweak my blog so it does a better job for me, and then do some paid ads here and there.

      I’ll make a final decision in the next day or so, and all these comments have given me some good stuff to ponder before doing so. Thanks for adding your thoughts, too. I appreciate it! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I have both, Marcia, but my author’s website, by design, is stagnant, and therefore it doesn’t get much traffic. If I didn’t already have it, I probably wouldn’t bother. It’s much more book-centric than my blog, a place where I share my books, blurbs, excerpts, maps, and book-club questions. I’ll be adding a few reviews for each book there too (not done yet). I’ll be updating it and filling in the gaps as I spend more time on marketing this year. When I’m done, I’ll probably post about it to get some feedback, as well as add a link to my blog sidebar. What I like about it is that once set up, it will require almost no maintenance (time). If sales are your goal, that newsletter idea is probably more productive (though a lot more time-consuming). Good luck, whatever you decide!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the input, Diana. I’m thinking for me, at this point in time, I’m going to try beefing up my “My Books” pages and seeing how that works. I really don’t have time for another big project, unless convinced it would really boost sales, and I’m not. Convinced, that is. πŸ˜€ But I’ve read everyone’s comments with interest, and am glad I posed the question. It has really helped me make this decision. (That, and every minute I’m not writing is a loss I’ll feel severely, I think, so I need to find a quick solution and then get back to my WIPs.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and weighing in. I’s greatly appreciated. πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like a plan, Marcia. I just swung over and took a look at your “My Books” page. It’s really quite professional. And I like that your books are on your blog side bar. You can tweak, but I think you’re already lookin’ good. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        • THanks for that, Diana. I think I can make those pages do a wee bit more, and then I’m gonna get back to my WIPs! I need to finish them, while I still remember what words are! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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    • I think you are actually in the majority, Mike. I’m pretty much convinced that the focus I want to put on my books can be done by modifying some pages already on my blog, or adding a couple of new ones. That would be a huge time & effort saver, so I’m gonna give it a go, and see if I’m happy with the changes. I’ll be able to get back to writing much more quickly, too, and that’s what I really want to spend my time on.

      Thanks so much for your input. Your comments, taken along with all the rest, have convinced me that a hybrid blog is a better plan for me, too! πŸ˜€

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  15. As a reader, I never go to a website. I just go to Amazon and see if I want to buy that specific book.

    I also don’t read newsletters, and I think I’m not alone in that. There was a time when newsletters were a must for authors. But nowadays people’s inboxes are overstuffed, and most emails don’t get read. (I saw that statistic yesterday, from a 2019 article. I assume it’s worse now.) The kids (adult children) tell me they just text. If I send an email, I have to send a text to them to say I sent an email!

    The advantage of blogs over websites is you get to interact with readers. Personal attention (like how you’re going to respond to this comment:-)) keeps people coming back for more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your thoughts on this, Priscilla. I have pretty much made up my mind (based on all this good input and my own instincts) that I’m not going to set up a separate webpage at this stage of the game. I’m going to modify my blog to include more info on my “My Books” pages for those who want to know more before purchasing, and I think that will do the trick.

      As for newsletters, I do think I’ll try to go back to a once a month update, mostly for local friends and readers I’ve made from my nature talks around here. I still get newsletters from several fellow bloggers, and I always read them, though that may not be “trendy” these days. But they are easy enough to put together and free to send if I do it myself, so I’ll probably give it a go. It depends on how much time I find to devote to it. An hour for writing and sending once a month seems doable to me, and a good way to let local followers know about my new books (if any) and any upcoming talks. But I can see why they aren’t as popular as they once were.

      I appreciate your joining in the conversation, Priscilla, and thanks for your input! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Marcia,
    I’m a little late to the discussion, but I think you’ve made the right choice. I have a WordPress website for my Believing In Horses books which I set up when I first started writing because that was the thing to do. I started a WordPress blog shortly thereafter. Yes, one can do much more self-promotion on a website, but it’s also much more work (and money).
    And quirky things happen and things go awry with websites (like mine has right now), and then we have to spend that much more extra time fixing them. I have links to places to buy and an option to buy directly off my website where I can sign books for those who ask. Being able to sell directly is a nice feature, but I don’t believe it’s worth the extra effort.
    I have another website for my Veteran Writing Services business I set up on Wix, and that is more like a static “business card,” that I rarely have to update. I do have a link to my books website on that business website because my books are a small portion of my business. Sadly, that website gets way more traffic than my books website or blog.
    I think you should go ahead and do as you say by beefing up your My Books page and adding favorite reviews, awards, book signings and talks, and anything else there and see how it works. Great conversation here, and I had been thinking of getting rid of my website and only keeping my blog. Thanks for the help in my thinking in through!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for this very informative and helpful comment, Valerie! You’ve totally convinced me I’m doing the right thing for me … at least at this point in time. Nothing is carved in stone, after all, and I will still have the option to set up a website should I decide I have a need for one. But for today, I just don’t see a compelling reason to do so, and my time is too limited to do things that don’t feel important to me.

      Good to see you here today, and I’m so glad you’ll be joining us for a #GuestDayTuesday in the weeks ahead! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜€

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