Static Website vs a Blog: Which Makes More Money?
One of the first things you realize when you decide to make money online is that there's a lot of debate on the best way to do it. Huge debates center around your website. Should you generate passive income by being a blogger or by setting up a static website? I'll go over some advantages and disadvantages to both in this article.
A static website is a site that's built with the basic coding languages of the web, HTML and CSS. These languages create websites that stay the same — they don't change in reaction to your visitor. They can and often are quite beautiful, but they're not “dynamic.”
Understanding basic principles of HTML and CSS is important for any internet marketer, and a static website gives you a great introduction that that.
Static sites tend to be simpler to organize and their layout and navigation is often optimized to build a strong site that will become an authority in your niche (your area of interest). Because of good central, visitor-focused navigation, these sites are often easily “crawled” by search engine spiders and get indexed into search engine listings.
Static sites generally load very quickly and are less likely to get bloated or bogged down, though it can happen.
You need to either use a text editor and code your website by hand, use an HTML coding program, or use a website builder to create your website. Most hosts provide a website builder, but the host you choose will determine how high quality of a site your site builder can create.
Some people also find it harder to update a static website, though others find a lot of freedom in being able to create it the way they want to, using some dynamic elements such as server-side includes.
The most common type of dynamic website is the blog. Blogging is very popular nowadays, but if you want to make a lot of money from your site, a traditional blog setup may not be best. Organizing your site as a strong authority site, with some blogging elements is probably best.
Blogs dynamically generate a page by pulling information from a database as soon as a visitor hits your site. They bring up, or render, your page in HTML and CSS when your visitor sees it, but there's a dynamic language powering the back-end (PHP is the most common on the web).
You can usually use a “theme” on your blogging platform to instantly change the look and feel of your site — no coding required. It's also usually quite easy to enter new content. Most blogging platforms have a visual editor that you write in just like a word processor.
Plugins are small scripts that can be added onto your blog to give it added functionality. These plugins can add great features that enhance your site, but they can slow down your website or possibly make it vulnerable to hacker attacks. Keeping your blog installation and plugins up-to-date can decrease these problems.
Blogs tend to be organized simply by categories, tags, and archives, rather than the logical and topical order of static websites. This is fine if you're keeping a personal blog, but if you want people to see and utilize the information in your archives, it doesn't work so well. Being purposeful in organizing your blog will help immensely.
It's sometimes hard to customize your blog. Trying to work within the rules of your blog's script and theme can make you pull your hair out! It's good to know some basic HTML and CSS to help you get what you want.
Which is For You?
So which option will make the most money? The question depends on your level of experience and your business model.
If this is your first niche website, you set up a blog because it's “easy” — but you'll probably be more successful if you take the steps needed to set up a well-organized static site. You'll learn the basics of HTML and CSS, and you'll also discover the best way to organize a website so you drive traffic to where you want it to go (your money-making pages). If you're setting up an “authority site” that will have lots of information and money-making sources, a static site is a great option.
If you want to make money as a traditional “blogger” by simply voicing your opinions and tutorials, you can go for a blog. A blog is easy to set up — you can generally be up and running in a few minutes. If you're building a small niche site, a blog may work best, especially if you're planning to set up a whole network of these sites rather than becoming an expert in your niche.
What you choose and what works for you will depend on your model and your experience — but both types of site will have a learning curve and will require that you work at them.
Photo by Sam Bald