Writing has evolved from being just a domain of the elite to skill and expertise in the professional world. With significant growth in the number of blogging portals, more people are now part of the blogging community. The ease of access to platforms and viewers has given rise to a large number of bloggers – food bloggers, travel bloggers, tech bloggers and more from varied industries and walks of life!
While blogs are a great way to share content and pen down your thoughts for the world to read, they are not a permanent solution for all. If you are someone who has achieved great success and popularity with their blogs and further wishes to monetize their blogs, sell merchandise, create paid video lessons, and become a brand affiliate, then upgrading to a website will be a better option.
Website vs. Blog
Let’s understand one thing very clearly — blogs are websites.
A blog is a type of website that’s more like your digital diary. You post some content on a blog, and it’s arranged in reverse chronology — you see the newest one first. A blog is also quite personal. The tone of the content is informal, and there may be a lot of discussions in the comments section. It flows like a conversation.
A website is more professional. It has a homepage, a separate place for all your posts, and it’s there to provide quick information to people who want it. It’s got a place where people can shop, and the general tone is formal. Now, having a website doesn’t mean that you won’t have a blog. A lot of sites have a dedicated blog section to connect with their users. It’s just that you’re running more than just a blog now.
A website makes it possible and easy to sell products and services, create online classes, help newbies in their journey, and get brand affiliations.
How to convert a blog to a website?
1. Understand where your blog data is
A blog hosted on say, Blogger, is stored on Google’s servers (Blogger or Blogspot is Google’s free blogging platform). There’s no charge for that as Google will store your information for free. That will need to change. As an example for this article, let’s say your blog is called ‘My Baking Blog.’
While you’re running this blog, chances are, your blog is called mybakingblog.blogspot.com (.blogspot is the extension for blogs created on Blogger). The dependent extension of .blogspot means that you have a free blog and looks unprofessional if you wish to monetize your blog. Thus, the dependent extension will have to go, and you’ll need to get a ‘.com’ or ‘.us’ extension. Along with that, you will also have to move your data away from Google’s servers to a web hosting company’s servers. It is because Blogger from Google does not host websites; they only host blogs.
2. Choose a web hosting partner
Choosing a web hosting company is one of the most critical decisions in this process. With a website, you need a hosting company to host your website. Hosting your website with a company means that your site ‘resides’ on their servers. When someone accesses your website, they will be directed to it by the company’s server.
A website needs to be reliable if you want to do meaningful business with it. An unreliable site that crashes often is a sure way to drive site visitors away. Uptime matters, and it’s quite crucial. So, choose a web hosting company that has an excellent reputation for providing reliable, secure hosting services. Customer reviews are a good place to start your research.
3. Choose a web hosting plan
The world of hosting is chock-a-block with a lot of jargon and a million discount offers. You will see phrases like ‘Shared Hosting,’ ‘VPS Hosting,’ ‘Cloud Hosting,’ ‘Dedicated Hosting,’ and a few more with discounts of up to 100%. It is important to assess your needs and select the correct web hosting platform. While research is essential, here’s a quick tip: a Shared Hosting plan is more than enough in the initial days of your website. Shared Hosting is affordable, secure, fast, reliable, and designed to help newbies. As your website grows and you understand more about web hosting, you can jump to VPS Hosting, Cloud Hosting or Dedicated Hosting services.
4. Add a homepage
A website has several distinct features of its own, the chief of which is a homepage. A homepage introduces your viewers to you, your area of expertise, your products, and your services. It doesn’t change very often and serves as your online storefront.
Once that’s done, create a separate space for your blog. It should be easily accessible from the home page, but should not be the only point of interest. List your products, affiliates, and your services.
5. Remove the blog-like features and update the content
A timeline is an essential feature of a blog. It shows a post’s publishing date and time. It should still feature on your blog page, but on the rest of the website, a date and time stamp have no place.
You will also have to update content to your website to attract more viewers. You can do this by updating your blog or by uploading content directly to your site. However, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between blog content and website content. Blog content is personal, and you’re allowed to be informal and share personal opinions, which can be slightly unstructured and random. But website copy should always be crisp and to the point. So, depending on where you’re posting content, your writing will have to vary in tone.
6. Make the site design and layout user-friendly
The final aspect is UX or user experience. On a blog, people are expecting to hear your views, and they’re willing to put up with a few quirks. However, people go to a website to shop or learn, which means a website’s design is crucial if you want people to buy stuff. Ensure that your website is intuitive, easy to use, and generally free of obstructions.
A good layout and website design will help you in converting your viewers to paying customers.
Jumping from a blog to a website is a natural but crucial step. Ensure that you do your homework before committing to it. The importance of a great web hosting partner cannot be overstated. You want your website to be secure, reliable, and fast. For that, you need a web hosting provider that offers feature-packed web hosting plans for your website.
Eastlink offers affordable web hosting solutions that provide a viable platform for your first website. With free cPanel, you get the ease of managing your site and hosting account. Additionally, the free SSL certificate and pre-bundled Content Delivery Network and Varnish caching solution secure your site and speed up the loading times.