October 28, 2019
October 28, 2019
You’ve probably heard the term blog before, right? But if you asked a bunch of people around what is a blog, chances are they wouldn’t be able to give you a proper answer. In this article, we will cover what a blog is. You will learn who is considered a blogger, why you might want to start blogging, the different types of blogs, how to get started and much more.
The definition of a blog or “weblog” is an informative website or online journal that shows the newest posts at the top of the page. It should also be regularly updated and is usually run by an individual or a small group. The views and opinions expressed, even if it’s a small group of people should be about a single subject. That is all, as far as the definition goes, although in recent years the line separating blogs and websites became blurred. More about that later on.
People and companies use blogs for a huge variety of reasons. Maybe you have a passion for dogs and want to share that passion with a larger audience. Or, you’re doing a study on the effects of sleep deprivation and want to log your findings. Possibly, you’re a business and want to help sell your product better, reaching out to a larger audience by spreading awareness about your product. There’s also the tricky question on whether you can make money running a blog, and if so, how? A blog, like a website or a journal, also has a structure. Obviously, this is not set in stone, as blogs vary in design and form, especially considering that over the years they always kept evolving. However, there are standardized, structured features that you’ll likely come across while reading a blog.
Blogging is the actual skill of writing and maintaining a blog, using the necessary internet tools to help the blogger write, share and link with ease. It all began in the early 2000s where several mostly political blogs started popping up. How-to and tutorial blogs followed soon after. It’s also worth mentioning the difference between journalism and blogging. The line that set them apart became increasingly longer over the years.
To better understand blogging, let’s have a look as to why it became so popular as it is now. Blogging grew exponentially more popular since it first came out in the early days. But why did it become so widespread? Blogging started rising as the mainstream platform for news and information. Just like the newspaper before it, although due to convenience sake, blogging grew faster comparatively. This was because of several factors, like not having to buy the blog so you could read it. Constant updates made sure they wouldn’t become obsolete and the fact that you could follow blogs that interest you rather than having to skip sections of a newspaper. With the rise of blogging, new ways of using this power began cropping up. Think of blogging like having a diary that you always wanted to show off to other people. So, who is it that is actually behind the curtains of blogging? Read on to find out.
A blogger is a person running a blog, sharing their perspectives with you online for both personal and business related reasons. These topics can range from arts to politics and everything in between. In recent times a number of them became celebrities in their own right. A side job for some, a full-time career for others and a simple hobby or a way of expressing themselves for most. Being a blogger has never been so enticing, and easy. Bloggers are also very mobile and not constrained by having to stay in one place to deliver their content.
On the contrary, always traveling might be preferred, depending on what type of blog you’re running. After all, the Internet is everywhere, thus you as a blogger are as well. We already briefly touched upon when blogging came about, but let’s try to break down the evolution and history of blogging.
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Although you could argue when exactly blogging appeared, for simplicity’s sake, let’s stick to when it was “officially” recorded. The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The term “blog” came along just a few years later. So, the concept itself is more than two decades old, which by Internet standards could be considered a million years old. Blogging began to take off at the beginning of the second millennium. An excellent example of the impactfulness of blogs and blogging can be seen if we go back to the year 2002, which was quite an important year. As all new things emerge, they tend to attract some form of controversy.
This is exactly what happened with Heather B. Armstrong and her blog site dooce.com. She was fired from her day job for writing about her co-workers in her personal blog. This has caused quite an uproar in the community on the subject of Internet privacy as a whole. Heather now runs dooce.com as her full-time job, so everything worked out in the end.
The following year WordPress was released which at the time really changed how easy it was to create your blog. Blogging websites started attracting, even more, attention as time went by. Blog sites like ProBlogger.net and JohnChow.com made money from third-party ads and showed that you can indeed make a career out of blogging. Another notable thing was Google purchasing blogger.com. But is there a difference between a website and a blog?
You might be thinking that a blog might as well be a website and vice versa, but they are not interchangeable. It might be hard to find what differentiates them but there are definitive key differences. And with companies trying to use both formats of a website and a blog at the same time, it can become quite troublesome to tell the two apart.
A blog, like when we mentioned the definition, has to be continuously updated and maintained. Further, it is of the incredibly important to design it with maximizing user engagement in mind. This means letting a visitor express himself in the comment section with his suggestions or concerns. While a website, on the other hand, is considered “static.” What that basically means is it’s not frequently updated. When repeatedly visiting a blog, you can see that everything is always changing. Whilst on a static website, everything remains the same for the most part, hence the name, more about that later on in the article.
Besides the fact that blogs are regularly updated, there is a somewhat failproof way of finding out whether a blog classifies as one. A blog possesses a publishing date, author reference, categories, and tags within a byline. While not all blogs have these items, websites don’t use any of these elements whatsoever. With this knowledge in hand, you can now differentiate between a website and a blog.
What about the actual blog post and web page? We already mentioned the word “static” when referring to websites. This, for the most part, applies here as well. A blog post will be written in reverse-chronological order with the most recent post at the top of the page. By default, your home page is your blog post page, and this is where you’ll see your new posts published. And if you want neat categories where everything is organized and accessible by a navigation bar or similar feature, you can use a static or otherwise known as a website page.
An example would be an eShop. You want to have a website page with all the relevant and necessary information pinned, and have some sort of option to search for individual items. Using a blog post for this would be a bad idea, as every post you publish would send the previous one down, thus making it harder to see. You might ask, why go through all this trouble and wonder, why blog? Coming up next is exactly the answer to that question.
Despite starting with people writing personal blogs to show their interest or share something on the web, it became so much more. Companies began using blogging to guarantee that their customers are up-to-date and well informed. The more people come to your site, the better your brand awareness and trust.
Interaction is another part of the increasing success of blogs, after all, if people can interact with your company and brand, it’s definitely a positive. Additionally, a lot of people start blogging with the ambition of making money. You can express your thoughts and feelings about a subject online and make money out of it at the same time, what’s not to love?
The most common way of making money using a blog is third-party ads. You place these ads (most commonly banners) that visitors see in your blog, and if they click on them, it brings in a little bit of ad revenue. Obviously, if it’s your own business, then the fact that someone is already on your site reading about your product is already beneficial.
Like just mentioned above, the short answer is yes! Let’s look at some examples. According to Forbes, the top ten blog sites earn anywhere from $175,000 to $14,000,000 in a single month. That is huge money! Of course, these are well-established blogs with years of experience and a large number of employees. So, if you’re starting out with a small blog you probably won’t earn that much cash, but you can still live off the money generated by your blog.
Phew! That was a lot of information about blogs, wouldn’t you agree? Let’s recap!
A blog is an online space where you can share your views, opinions and the things you do in your everyday life. You can also gain a following, earn money or spread awareness about something that you think is important for others to know.
Blogging can be more than just a simple hobby, but a way of life or a career. It would be hard to imagine our lives without blogs, as we read to learn interesting things from people from all walks of life.
Likewise, if you’re running a business or a company, you would be hard pressed without using the awesome, influential power of blogs.
We hope you found this article interesting and learned more about blogging and the landscape surrounding it. We’d also love to check out your blogs if you have any, so please leave a comment with your blog for us to check out.