While website and blogging software has developed to the point that there is technically very little difference between a "website" and a "weblog (or blog)," there are still some understood differences in the usage of each (see A "Website" or a "Blog"?).
Probably the most simple way to think of the difference is that a "website" tends to be a one-way communication tool - a point of contact your customer or client can use to get information about your business, and in some cases to make purchases, whereas a "blog" tends to be more of a two-way, social networking tool, used to develop a relationship with your readers (who may be peers, or clients, or customers). Blog posts are generally easier to integrate with other social networking sites, because they can be easily linked or cross-posted to or from those sites.
You may decide to have a website OR a blog, or you may decide to integrate a blogging component into your website, as Tim Short has done, here at WebRevelation.
There are some very good reasons to have a blog, which we will cover today. There are also some very good reasons NOT to have a blog, which we will cover in Part 2 on Monday.
Here are some great reasons TO incorporate blogging into your repertoire:
1) Regular, relevant blog posts can help your blog become more searchable on the search engines. Search engines such as Google place a higher value on more recent content, and also content that has links to and from other highly-ranked websites. So if your website includes a blog with fresh content, you are likely to rank much higher on the search engines than you would if you simply had a static website.
2) A blog usually has more "personality" than a website. Websites tend to be more "official," appealing to the broadest audience possible in just a few short pages. Adding a blogging component, however, gives you the opportunity to comment on current events, share select bits of your personal life that might be of interest to your readers, and help "humanize" your online communication.
3) A blog, can attract additional traffic and encourage return readership. If updated regularly with interesting, relevant-to-the-industry content, readers will subscribe your blog in their daily feed readers, and come back more often than they would visit a static website.
4) A blog can help you establish and develop your expertise in your field. In order to update your blog regularly, you'll need to keep up on your own reading in your field, and you will also have the opportunity to become a go-to place for information in your niche industry.
So there are some good reasons to have a blog. In the next segment we'll discuss reasons why having a blog might NOT be a good idea for some webmasters.