Recently, I’ve had a lot of authors looking to include blogs in their website designs, which is great. The question I come across frequently is whether it’s better to opt for the likes of a WordPress blog or one that is integrated into your website? I have previously spoken about the difference between author websites and blogs and the importance of having both or either. If you are looking to open a blog, here’s my thoughts.
WordPress Blog: The benefits of using wordpress (or similar) is the social side of their systems. We have all seen the importance of social media increase tenfold over the last few years, and blogs really are included in that social sphere. WordPress allows viewers to follow and keep track of your posts, as well as a huge search feature where other users can find posts that include their keywords. This gives your posts a boost in the audience they reach and the quality of viewer that finds them. Much like Twitter and Facebook, once your platform is underway, and providing it is kept fresh and up-to-date, it can become an invaluable tool in reaching your readers and potential readers, as well as other authors and others within the industry.
Design and usage wise, I personally find WordPress overly complicated to setup in comparison to other software, but if you have a professional, or are confident with technology it shouldn’t be a problem. The designs are templated, unless you know how to create a WordPress design, which can make the blog fairly standard, but with a few adjustments, it can be personalised to your brand.
Integrated Blog: A blog that is integrated into a website, is one that appears simply as a page within your website. The main benefit of this is that everything is combined in one place, with the design and brand remaining consistent throughout. Some website systems are also much easier to use than WordPress, allowing you to setup and post without stress. Unfortunately, not all website blogs contain a service that allows viewers to follow your posts; something that really gives WordPress the edge. People can of course add it as a ‘favourite’ to their browser, but this is much less social, and the visibility that WordPress gives you, much like Facebook and Twitter, is vital in reaching your target audience.
It is in my opinion therefore that WordPress, despite it’s unnecessarily complicated system, is the route to opt for, alongside a static website, simply because it provides vital visibility to your audience, which is after all, an author’s biggest goal.