Should I start a blog or website first? I believe this is a common question many newbies ask nowadays.
To answer this question, you must first ask yourself what is your objective?
Are you trying to:
- sell your own product?
- make money as an affiliate?
- make money from advertising such as Adsense?
- Or you simply want to share your knowledge with the world (and make some money in the process)?
Sell your own product….
If you are trying to sell your own product, the answer is obvious. You should first have your product website.
You should focus your initial effort in getting traffic from joint venture and advertising, and building a list. You should not waste your time blogging to thin air (assuming you are totally new and has no traffic sources).
BUT as soon as you have a substantial list, say 1000 subscribers, you can start blogging, with 2 intentions in mind: 1) to build relationship and sales, and 2) to build search engine traffic “for the future”.
Make money as an affiliate….
With so many ways to make money as an affiliate, it’s impossible for me to cover the details here. But whichever way you use, starting with a blog is definitely not the fast way and certainly not the way I would recommend.
You can start with a presell website, advertise to get targeted traffic and sales. Or you can start with a squeeze page to build a targeted list.
You should start a blog ONLY when you have a list, and you should blog with 2 intentions in mind: 1) to build relationship with your list and make more sales, and 2) to build more traffic from the search engine.
Make money from advertising such as Adsense….
How about building many blogs on different niches, optimizing them for search engine traffic and monetizing them through Adsense?
Compared to static HTML websites, blog indeed offers a better alternative because you can easily make changes to your blog through templates.
But as your empire gets bigger, you may realize that it becomes troublesome to manage so many blogs, with so many different logins, databases and templates. I believe there are software that you can use to mass manage blogs, especially Wordpress self-hosted blogs. (I don’t use such software. If you have any recommendation, feel free to share it below.)
Note: If you want to use blog for this purpose, remember to remove posting date from the template and DO NOT show any post history by date. The reason is obvious. Since you are not going to update the blog very often, disclosing the posting dates will not do you any good.
Besides static HTML website and blog, another alternative is to start with .php websites. (Note: Wordpress blog is also a PHP website, but here I’m talking about simple PHP website without the need to install or create databases.) The advantage of creating website in .php instead of .html is that you can use the PHP INCLUDE function to build simple templates for your website. If you were to make some changes, you just have to change the templates instead of altering every file. If you understand HTML, you can easily pick up simple PHP language and learn to do it.
Share your knowledge….
Lastly, if you simply want to get online and share your knowledge, I advise you to start with a content website instead of a blog.
Before you think I am anti-blogging, read my explanation below:
If you are good at scrapbooking, you probably have some fundamental skills that you want to share. It will be better if you create something like an online learning center for scrapbooking fans, with organized scrapbooking tutorials that your visitors can study.
You can still have a blog, but it’s more for current issues, latest promotions, etc. Yet again, you should always build a list if you want to start a blog.