I’m really surprised that there still are people who don’t know the difference between a website and a blog… I’ve lost count of the number of times when I had to explain what they are, and what they’re not. A simple analogy is this – a website is a whole shopping mall, while a blog is an event hall inside the mall.
Getting Even More Confused?… Read On…
Using the same analogy as above, a website is just the framework. Just think of it as the shopping mall’s building structure itself. This building structure houses all of the retail business tenants inside. It supplies all the facilities, like electricity, water, air-conditioning, phone lines, internet connections, etc.
The building itself is nothing but an empty frame. Nobody will come and visit a shopping mall just to see an empty building’s structure. The attraction that a mall offers to shoppers are its retail tenants. This is what the shopping experience is all about. People go to malls because of the retail businesses inside the malls’ buildings. And to put it into perspective, the individual retail businesses are the tenants of a mall, just as the individual webpages are the contents of a website. They exist inside the confines of a website.
And a blog (that’s what this article is all about), is just another one of the many contents that exist inside a website… A blog cannot exist outside of a website.
Now Let’s Get Back To The Shopping Mall Anology
All of the retail tenants are running their own little businesses inside the mall. There are boutiques, departmental stores, specialty shops, restaurants, cafés, you name it, and they probably have it as one of its tenants. These businesses are the permanent tenants there. Of course there’ll be businesses closing down, and new tenants moving in to replace them. But for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that they’re permanent features in the mall.
Just like in a website, there are webpages housed within the website’s confines. Webpages that describe who they are, what their specialties are, where their business premises are, their products or services, how to contact them, so on and so forth. Just like the tenants inside a mall, these webpages are permanent. And just like the tenants inside a mall, there’ll also be additions, removals, or information edited on the existing pages. And again, for the sake of discussion, we’ll assume that they’re the permanent features in the website.
So back to the mall, the permanent tenants are just that – permanent. Once the customers are familiar with the individual tenants inside, pretty much nothing changes. And eventually, familiarity will breed contempt. Customers get bored with the familiarity, and eventually, they’ll lose all motivation to visit the mall completely.
To prevent that from happening, the mall’s management will organise periodical events to keep things fresh. Events like Christmas sale, car show, fashion show, food fair, pet fair, cultural show, anniversary celebration, exhibition, etc. These events can be run by the existing tenants in the mall, as a way to promote their businesses. Or specialist external parties can be brought in specifically to run such events. The whole idea is to keep everything fresh, and keep customers coming back for more.
How’s That The Same With A Blog?
Just like a mall, a website has to keep things fresh and exciting. They need to encourage visitors to keep coming back to visit them. Nobody in their right mind will keep coming back to the same website if all the information there has already been consumed before in the past. In order to keep them coming back, websites need to organise “events” like in the malls.
So how do they do that without making any major changes to the permanent webpages? Webmasters will have to organise “events” within the confines of the website, while keeping the permanent pages intact. They need to publish fresh and exciting contents regularly, away from these permanent webpages.
Mall managements hold the periodical events in event halls, courtyards, or any public areas within the mall’s building, but away from the permanent tenants’ premises. Similarly, webmasters need to publish fresh contents in public areas, away from the permanent pages. And this high traffic, public access area, that is away from the permanent pages, is called a blog!…
You want visitors to keep returning to your website?… And you wanna attract new visitors to your website while you’re at it?… Then run a blog, and keep publishing fresh and exciting contents regularly. In this aspect, consistency and persistency is your friend. Remember, nobody in their right mind will keep visiting a website if everything inside remain the same. We have a term for this kind of website – we call it an undead website.
“But I Don’t Have Anything To Write About…”
Tsk, tsk, tsk… Excuses, excuses, excuses… There’s always something to write about. All it takes is a little effort on the part of the webmaster and/or business owner.
Now, the reality is that most subject matter experts themselves aren’t exactly expert story tellers. They may know all there is to know about their businesses and/or expertise. But they’re sure lousy in sharing it out with the audience. This is where engaging a specialist story tellers come into play. Talk to them, and get them to write your stories. You’d be surprise just how much information can be extracted from just a casual conversation. And as a bonus, you’re finally getting your chance to blow your own horn for a change.
The Question Isn’t Whether You Want A Blog Or Not… It’s Why Haven’t You Started Your Blog Yet?…
A large majority of shopping malls dedicate at least one common area to run periodical events. Some bigger malls even have more than one. And these are the malls that are consistently full of shoppers all year round.
However, the same can’t be said of the vast majority of the corporate websites in cyberspace. It’s a sad fact, but a great number of corporate websites are undead websites. It’s nothing more than a flashy, online version of the yellow pages entry of yesteryear. Not surprising that there’re negligible number of visitors to these websites.
Wanna run a litmus test on just how popular your website is?… Ask yourself this – How many times have you visited your own website in the last month?…
So How Do I Fix That Problem?
If you’re serious about wanting to stand out from the ocean of websites out there in cyberspace, then do this – Start a blog in your corporate website, and engage a writer or a journalist to start writing and publishing articles there.
Overwhelmed?… Still a little confused?… Don’t worry. Buy us coffee, and we’ll share with you how to start your own blog.