If you’re paying any attention to me at all you know I believe every freelance writer needs their own website. While looking for something else I stumbled into Why Professional Writers Need a Blog. Or Not, a guest post by Larry Brooks of Storyfix.com on Problogger.net.
How quickly things change on the ‘net! Back in the dark ages, say a decade and a half or so ago, writers, like everyone else, could put up what today most of would recognize, if we thought about it, as static websites. At first most sites were more or less like billboards along the so-called information highway. Changes were laborious and most people either had to learn some html coding or hire someone to make changes on their site.
Although there were many attempts to create easy-to-use content management systems it wasn’t until about 2002 that blogging as we know it began to explode. The next year, WordPress was launched and Google bought Blogger. For better and worse blogging was available to the masses, including us.
Why this seeming digression into the history of the web?
Because as I read Larry’s article I felt like the definitions of websites and blogs were getting blurred – not by Larry, but by all of us. Not surprising – I’m always startled when I run into an old fashioned website like (ahem) mine at www.annewayman.com. That’s a classic example of a static site. (I’ve not changed it because it works so well for me I don’t dare.) It’s been up forever and I had to learn how to use html editors to put it up.
Blogs, on the other hand are often sites like this one. New articles appear regularly. And you can leave comments.
The term blog originally was weblog and was intended to describe a sort of diary. The thing that made it work is that a blog is super easy to update. You can add content in a heartbeat, update old information, change the design on the fly, add and subtract links – all sorts of things with no knowledge of html or any programming at all.
It’s that ease of updating and change that leads me to suggest that when a writer puts up a website they do it using WordPress or other blogging software. There’s no law that says a blog has to change, or change often. But when you want to make a change in your website it it’s in blog format it will be a snap.
As a horrid example, my site was done in FrontPage which no longer really exists. I’m moving next Saturday and will need to change the address. Since my contact information occurs on something called shared borders I suspect I’ll have to do a total redesign (move it into a blog format) to make the change. On this site it will be easy.
So there are websites, there are blogs and there are websites using blogging software.
Does that make sense to you? Is it helpful? Is your site static or easy to change?
Image from http://www.sxc.hu