Having an online presence to establish your online identity, is crucial for individuals and businesses alike. But lots of people who are starting out want to know, “Do I need to create a website or stick with a blog only?
Let me just say categorically, that you don’t need a website to make money for free online. If that is all you want to know then may not even want to read the rest of this article. But perhaps you feel the need for a number of static pages or a place to store files. While blogs are a valuable tool for sharing information and engaging with your audience, building a website offers a broader range of benefits.
You can turn a blog into a website simply by adding a number of static pages to it. WordPress will do this. However, not all blog platforms will give you the facilities that you may need. For example, for my swimming information, I have a website and blog. For my Judo I have a blog and a website. This is because blogger, with whom I started my online ventures because WordPress costs money to host, will not allow you to store files. Before I had ECWID I could not do that without a website.
So one of the primary advantages of building a website is the versatility it offers. A website can incorporate various elements such as blogs, galleries, e-commerce capabilities, contact forms, and more. A blog-only platform tends to limit you to publishing articles. A website provides you with a multifunctional platform to showcase your content, products, and services in diverse ways.
A well-designed website with a custom domain name lends credibility to your online presence. This professionalism can be particularly crucial for businesses, freelancers, and professionals who want to make a positive first impression on visitors.
A website allows you to fully customize your online brand. You can choose unique themes, colours, and fonts to align with your brand identity. Additionally, you can create custom logos and graphics to reinforce your brand’s image. Something that’s challenging to achieve with a blog-only setup.
With a website, you have full control over your content and design. You can customize the user experience to suit your preferences and audience’s needs. This level of control extends to how you monetize your site. Through the inclusion of advertisements, and the integration of third-party tools and plugins.
If you plan to sell products or services, a website is essential. E-commerce functionality, a shopping cart in other words, allows you to set up online stores, manage inventory, process payments securely, and provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers. This revenue-generating feature is unavailable on most blog-only platforms.
Professional Email Addresses
A website often comes with the option to create professional email addresses (e.g., email@example.com), which adds another layer of credibility to your online presence. These email addresses can be used for communication with clients, customers, and partners, reinforcing your brand’s professionalism.
Analytics and Insights
Websites offer robust analytics and insights tools to track user behaviour, measure website performance, and make data-driven decisions. These insights are invaluable for optimizing. Your content and marketing strategies are something that can be challenging to achieve with a simple blog-only platform.
Choosing A Website Builder
If you are going to sell physical products you have to have a website with a sales cart. There are a few site builders around that provide a small website for free. There is a good number. Just do a search for free web (or website) builders and make sure they allow you to have a shopping cart and you can use that to sell your products.
For example, allows you to build a free web page and attach it to their shopping cart and you can sell up to 10 physical products for free. They provide a lot of other services but you have to pay for them. Still, it can be a good starting point.
It requires at least PayPal at a minimum but it has a built-in CRM.
is another service that at the time of writing allows a completely free shopping cart and you can have both physical and digital products. As always there are limits to how much you can use for free but it again is a good starting point.
You can use PayPal with Groove but it is easiest to use Groove’s own payment system if you can, which is associated with Stripe.
There is also WIX, Yola and others. Groove and ECWID I have had experience with so you may want to investigate them but your options are not limited to those I have mentioned.
Let me reiterate, You do not need a website to make money online for free though it can have its advantages. However, if you decide to get one you can be building it whilst you are generating money with your blog or other platforms.
If you decide to have a website you will then be asking yourself if you need a domain name. So that will be my next topic: Business Domain Name: Make Money For Free Online Part 8