Blog, writer’s website, writer’s website with a blog… what’s the difference?
When I first started freelance writing, I had no idea. I already had a blog so I didn’t understand why I needed a writer’s website on top of it.
Blog, writer’s website, writer’s website with a blog… what’s the difference?
“Can’t I just put my portfolio on my blog? The last thing I need is another website to manage,” was my thought.
But turns out, a writer’s website is very different from a blog and if you are new to freelance writing, you should know the difference between the two and how you can use each one to help you boost your freelance writing career.
A blog, by Google’s definition, is “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”
Right away, these are two characteristics that distinguishes a blog from a writer’s website. One is that a blog has to be updated regularly. A writer’s website does not.
Second, a blog is usually written in a conversational style. A writer’s website can be but it’s not one of its defining characteristic.
Third, blogs are generally written with an objective to engage the readers. Blogs try to evoke responses and create dialogue. Writer’s websites generally do not have these expectations.
Now, let’s examine what a writer’s website is exactly.
A Writer’s Website
There are three main ways a writer’s website is different from a blog.
A writer’s website is mostly static, meaning it doesn’t have to be updated all the time.
Of course, you’ll want to update it once in awhile when you publish new articles but there’s no schedule to adhere to. You don’t need to update it frequently and there’s is no audience waiting to read your next article on your writer’s website, unless you have a blog page on there (which we’ll get into later.).
2. It Establishes Credibility
The next biggest difference between a blog and a writer’s website is that the goal of a writer’s website is to establish your credibility as a writer, whereas blogs are more for developing content.
What this means is that you want to put your best work on your writer’s website, not just any work. Over time, as you write more and more, you’ll have a lot of work to choose from to put into your portfolio and you don’t want to just display anything on there.
Think of your writer’s website as your medal cabinet. The work on there should be work that you’re the most proud of and represent who you are as a professional writer.
With a blog, you don’t have to worry about this too much. A blog can consist of your weaker and stronger pieces.
3. It’s About Writing
The final major difference between a blog and a writer’s website is that all the components in your writer’s websites, such as your profile or services, should be writing related.
Simply put, your writer’s website is your writing resume. Everything on there is to help you land more clients and get better jobs.
What Else is Different?
Now that we all have a clearer understanding of what a blog and writer’s website is, we can go even deeper into their differences and their benefits.
The portfolio section of your writer’s website can include articles in a variety of topics. For example, you can display articles that you wrote for products and services and health and wellness all on the same page.
It won’t look weird or random because the whole point of a writer’s website is to show your writing capabilities and having articles in a variety of industries can demonstrate your range and versatility as a writer.
On the other hand, if you write about too many things on your blog, it can become messy or random. Blogs are generally designed with a niche or two in mind and having too many topics on there might confuse your audience as to what your niche is.
Another easy way to figure out whether a blog or a writer’s website is better for you is to think about what you’d like to achieve at the end of the day.
Is it to write about your interests, hobbies, or the issues that you care deeply about? Is it to connect with others who also care about the same things? If so, then a blog might be better for you because it’ll allow you to dive deeply into those subjects and engage with others with similar interests.
On the other hand, if your goal is to build a writing business and gain clients, then a writer’s website is what you need. Because the main goal of a writer’s website is to impress clients and get jobs.
Who is the main audience for a blog? People who are interested in the subjects you write about.
Who is the main audience for a writer’s website? People who need writers.
Writer’s Websites with Blogs
To make things even more confusing, there are writer’s websites with blog pages on them. You’ve probably seen them and you’re wondering, why?
There are multiple reasons.
For New Writers
Having a blog page on their writer’s websites can help them boost a thin portfolio. If you don’t have that many articles in your portfolio yet, then you can publish your own articles on your blog page.
Also, if you’ve been thinking about creating a blog but you’re not sure yet and you don’t want to commit the time and money to start another website, then having a blog page on your writer’s website is a great way for you to explore that option.
For Experienced Writers
Sometimes, more well-established freelance writers will have one or two niches that they specialize in.
To demonstrate their expertise, they can have a blog page on their writer’s website about the latest trends or news in their niche. This will show their clients they are up to date in their field and give them a competitive edge over other writers in their niche.
As an additional outcome, they might also start gaining followers who trust their advice, and other business opportunities might come out of it as well. Talk about a way to impress your clients!
Benefits of Having A Writer’s Website and a Blog
Personally, as a freelance writer with a blog and a writer’s website, I find it highly beneficial to have a blog.
Because I have found that as a new freelance writer, I don’t necessarily always get to write about the subjects that I enjoy the most. I can’t be as selective as a more experienced freelance writer because I’m still learning what my niche is and I’m still learning the skills I need to flourish my writing business.
With my blog, I get to explore my niche and write about whatever I want under my own terms and guidelines. It’s also helping me develop my own style and voice as a writer.
At the end of the day, my writer’s website focuses on my work and my blog focuses on my interests, although those two definitely overlap. Where exactly does creativity and work begin and end will always be a bit blurry for freelance writers.
Conclusion: Do I Need a Blog and a Writer’s Website?
No, you do not. If your goal is to purely to start a writing business, all you need is a writer’s website (although some might even argue you don’t need one at all.)
But in order to be a successful freelance writer in the 21st century, I sincerely believe you do.
If, however, your goal is to start a writing business and become an expert on a specific niche, then having a blog as well as a writer’s website can be extremely valuable.
Not only does a blog help you develop your niche, your writing skills but also your digital skills.
Having a blog will show your clients you know how to run your own site, create banners, have experience with marketing, set up an email list, and etc., which can all increase your chances of being hired.
At the end of the day, both a blog and a writer’s website will help you establish and grow your freelance writing career, the only difference is how.