Many webmasters are often faced with the dilemma of deciding whether or not to setup a blog in addition to their website or as a part of their existing website. Although it sounds like a very simple question, it often requires deep thinking and days of pondering over.
A blog with a website is like a side-dish with the main course. It gives the meal completeness. You could only eat the side-dish as a snack or have only the main course, but the combination of both is a gourmet’s delight. Similarly, a website is incomplete without a blog or a niche where the webmaster keeps in touch with his audience in an interactive manner. It adds a personal touch to your website and allows your visitors to know how well-versed you are about the latest happenings in your area of work. Its quite obvious that Google saw immense potential in this form of web publishing, which is the reason why Google has a separate Blog Search section on its website to allow you to search for a search term or phrase only in blogs.
There are multiple ways of having a website + blog combo. Some webmasters have a separate website and separate blog under the same domain name, usually using sub-domains Eg: twitter.com and blog.twitter.com. Others have a completely separate website with a separate design to distinguish their formal website from their casual blog posts – like Google. You can also have the blog integrated into the same website, under a different menu item or heading. You can also have a separate designated space (like a sidebar) on each website page to push out a summary of your latest blog posts.
Many service oriented companies use blogs as a technical support platform. Some stock brokers use blogs to provide trading tips and quick updates to their clients. A famous manufacturer of alternate energy cars always announces new releases and modifications of its car first on its blog. A well known Advertising Agency uses its blog to carry out market research before they launch an Ad Campaign. Even psychologists use blogs to push out mind-bending puzzles to get candid feedback from unsuspecting visitors. Blogs came about to replace the erstwhile Bulletin Board (BB) systems and Forums used to interact with visitors. Even standard websites have come to be associated with static content. Blogs give the website a more dynamic feel, allowing the visitor to understand the human factor behind the website. A blog acts as a real time data feed of the entity, giving a deeper insight into the daily life of the website and the people behind it.
Coming back to our question: Yes, your website does need a blog if you intend to share content regularly with your visitors. But do remember, it requires utmost commitment and dedication to keep the blog updated with fresh and quality content. Keeping the blog dormant will reflect badly upon the image of your website. It will show the lack of care and time invested in keeping your online presence in good shape. Although with the latest blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger you can instantly update your blog even when you are on vacation, the crux of having the blog is its constant updates. If you feel you will not be able to live up to the commitment, better drop the idea of a dedicated blog.
Also worthy of note is that blogging is not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s an art, a skill, a science of mesmerizing and capturing the attention of your audience. It needs to be cultivated over time. Its about the audience, not about the blogger. The techniques of successful blogging can be developed over time, but the commitment to regularly update the blog is primary.