Blogs vs. Content-Sites
Now, I build content-sites, and in my free time, I still build more and more. To my definition, a content-site is more or less like what James Martell does. I would research keywords, define my topics, list the content that I want to have on my site, and then start writing (or get somebody else to write for me).
Done with that, then it's about building the site, putting web pages together and getting a domain name and web hosting.
After that, you go around looking for link partners.
I suppose most people understand what a blog is. But just in case for some newbie readers, I'll try to explain what it is. A blog is a site that contains articles after articles are written one's after the other. The content is not being written all in one go up front. But it is rather being updated along the way.
A blog lists the articles in a chronology manner, being the latest, the first. MoneyClicking.net is a blog. A blog is normally supported by a system or a script. You can use Blogger.com (remote hosted), Wordpress (PHP script), Movable Type (Perl script), etc.
Anyway, back to the topic. I was on the phone with my friend, we concluded it's better to have a blog because it's easier to get traffic with it.
Why? Well, there are some mechanics of a blog and also the culture of blogging that makes it much easier.
For one thing it's easier to get incoming links. Let me tell you how.
Reason #1: Blog Ping
First of all, there's this thing called - PING. With a blog ping, whenever you write a new article in your blog, you can set addresses to a few ping sites to tell them that you just updated your blog. When you do that, you'll get a link back to your site. Ping sites are like Technorati.com and BlogRolling.com. News sites like MSN News, Yahoo News and MoreOver, also have ping addresses.
Now, maybe you won't be listed very long on that page because many other blogs are also pinging to those sites. But more or less, it'll help. I've gone through my web statistics and traffic does come from the sites that I pinged.
Reason #2: Trackback
Secondly, there's also a TRACKBACK. Now, I was with a friend explaining how trackbacks work last week. Now I'll tell you. With blogs, for every article that you write, there will be a unique URL for it. And for each article, there's also a unique trackback URL. Whenever you are at another person's blog, look for a trackback URL, and you may want to copy it.
Now here's how you use a trackback URL. Let say you are at somebody else's blog. And he just wrote about something about cat grooming. And somehow, you feel that you have something to say about what he wrote and you know, what you want to say will be very long which may not be suitable for a comment. So you write your own message at your blog and lower down the interface, you enter the other guy's trackback URL, and then you hit the Submit button.
Now, that new article will appear on your blog. And because you put in a trackback URL, a part of your article will also appear in the other guy's article as a comment. And that comment links directly back to your article. So that's how trackbacks work.
Reason #3: Blog Comments
Now, my third point on why the blog is better than content-site Blog Comments. This is where you able to go around at other blog sites and write some comments on articles. And you even leave a link back to your site. But here's the thing, just make sure that your comments are genuine because nowadays, there are too many people spamming blog comments just to get a link back.
Reason #4: Bloggers Linking Habit
OK, here's some more. This is more a blogging culture thing bloggers like to link to each other. If your blog is interesting, it's easy to get other bloggers to link back to you. Whether you ask for it on your website, or sometimes they just simply give you a link back. I've got this many times, and most of the time, they link back to write to a specific message. And sometimes, they just list blog sites that they like on their website.
Reason #5: Faster SE Indexing
This is getting quite long already. But I am not done. When it comes to getting traffic, you may not realize this, but it's easier to get indexed in the search engines with a blog. I don't know why perhaps it's because incoming links are more natural and you don't really go around asking for them. And when the incoming links are more natural, I think search engines will prefer it a lot more.
I myself have experienced where new content on my blog was indexed in under seven days.
Reason #6: Repeat Visitors
Now, after you get traffic from search engines, ping sites, and other blogs, later you'll start to realize that 80-90% of your visitors are repeat visitors. It's common with a blog. So the point is with this one it's easier to retain visitors with a blog.
You get huge traffic from multiple sources and the ones you already have you get to keep. This is different from content-sites, where you really so much on search engine traffic.
Blogging Seems Much More Fun ...
In my experience, starting from scratch, in six months, a content-site may or may not reach to mark of 1000 visitors per day. And it takes serious hours writing content and building incoming links. I have multiple sites consistently doing 100-200 visitors per day, after six months. But with a blog, it's not unusual if a blog reaches 3000 visitors per day, provided you give good content.
But I suppose, it all boils down to which you are comfortable with.
Realizing this, I may be planning differently in the future but I am not certain on that yet. From the looks of it, blogging seems much more fun. You write about what you like, and your network with other bloggers. And the writing part becomes much, much easier with scripts like WordPress and Movable Type. Not much designing, no uploading files, less link building, etc ...
With building content-sites, you still have to build the website again, upload them up to your web hosting, build incoming links, etc ...
This is my opinion. And you may not think the same way I do, based on your personal experience and knowledge. I respect that.