Publishing a Website or Blog...Which is Best for Authors?

These days it seems that nearly everyone is talking about either publishing a website or writing a blog. But which choice would best suit your needs can be hard to determine at least initially.

The first thing you need to figure out is the difference between publishing a website and creating a blog. The primary difference is in the audience and how they will interact with the site, but in recent years, that line has really begun to blur. A web log or blog, is usually meant to be a sort of interactive, online diary or commentary. Usually, blogs track current issues or trends. While most blogs provide an income for the writer, a blog is not a place where customers usually go to buy products or sign up for services, but bloggers can make a nice income from affiliate commissions and/or advertising.

Most blogs are quick and easy to set up if you know how to set up Fantastico on your server and install the Wordpress theme. You just need a domain name, a web hosting service and a theme to give your blog a unique look and feel. Choose a topic for your blog and regularly post your thoughts and opinions, keeping on topic. In addition to making posts, most web hosts also allow you to upload a variety of files including video and audio files. Such media can add to your blog and attract more readers.

If a lot of people read and respond to your blog, you could also make money by allowing companies to advertise their services or products on your blog site. Sometimes you can even manage corporate sponsors or earn income by writing related product reviews.

By contrast, a website is meant to be the official presence for a company or a web-based platform, making it perfect for an author site. A website is meant to be a place where people can read great content and purchase products and/or services.

Publishing a website involves a few more steps than a creating blog does, but it is not necessarily more difficult. You can either create the website yourself using a software program such as Dreamweaver or you could hire someone else to create it for you. I find that the best option is to learn how to do it yourself so when you need to add content or edit your site, you'll be able to do so without waiting for your web master to be available and without spending extra money. If you are not technically minded, then I recommend this easy-to-use system for publishing a website that shows you exactly how to create the site AND more importantly, how to get targeted traffic to your site (targeted traffic = lots of book buyers). This is the system that I used to build this site. It is very easy for those with no technical experience to build a professional-looking site.

Once your site is up and getting book sales you can then look at other ways of monetizing your site. Depending upon your goals, you may choose to recommend related products in exchange for a commission, allow for advertising or focus solely on building your author platform and selling your own books and products. How much you can make with any of these methods will be determined by how many people visit your site. Ultimately, it's a numbers game. This is why the system that I recommended above is so valuable: it teaches you how to build a site and also how to get the traffic.

Publishing a website has the potential to earn you real money. How much you earn is up to you and is dependent upon your eagerness to learn and the time, effort and energy you put into building your online business.

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