It sure seems as though everyone has a blog these days. The fact that you’re reading this it likely means you’re thinking of starting one yourself.
So why is it that blogging has exploded over the past few years?
How is it that people are generating income from their blogs? What exactly is a blog and how do you create one?
Today, we’re diving deep into the world of blogging and breaking down everything you need to know.
Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of blogs and what makes them such unique destinations on the internet.
What is a Blog?
Let’s cover the basics first…what exactly is a blog? The Google definition reads as follows:
A blog is like a website in that you can visit a particular page to learn a little bit about a particular topic. But it’s not a website that sells any particular product or service.
It’s considered to be more of a diary or journal that is usually maintained by one individual person: the blogger.
Most bloggers update their blog with daily, weekly, or monthly with posts related to a particular niche or topic. Typically, a blogger chooses one topic they have knowledge of or interest in and focuses on that.
Search online and you’ll find blogs about food, fashion, sports, technology, science, art, and about every other subject you can think of. Bloggers can choose to make their blogs private, but most bloggers make them available online for the entire world to see.
Posts are the fundamental components of any blog. Every blog on the internet includes different posts written by the blogger.
Sometimes the posts are all on the same subject. Sometimes they vary. It’s up to the blogger to post the type of content they think their readers will want to view.
What do these posts contain? Well for starters, they contain written content (that’s an obvious one). But they can also contain images, videos, and segmented sections with different headings.
Some bloggers create lengthy posts that contain tons of information, while other keep their posts short and sweet. Again, it’s up to the blogger to present their content in the way that makes the most sense for them.
Some blogs have a few visitors each month, some blogs have millions of dedicated readers. You’ll be able to tell when your site is starting to gain momentum and enjoy some popularity.
With enough posts and readers, you’ll start getting traffic from other sites and social media platforms.
If you know a thing or two about SEO you might even be able to rank high on search engines and generate traffic that way.
Definitions Associated with a Blog
We’ve touched on the following terms above, but for those of you who are new to blogging, we’ll break it down further.
Here’s a recap of the key terms (and their definitions) associated with a blog.
- Blog (noun) – An online journal or diary that you can find on the internet. FYI, you’re reading a blog right now.
- Blogger (noun) – An individual who owns a blog. This person keeps the blog going by creating and publishing new posts. Bloggers usually share news, post information, give their opinions, and review products or services. FYI, right now you’re reading a post from a blogger who often writes about blogging.
- Blog post (noun) – An article or a written piece inside the blog. Blog posts are what make up the blog. For example, this article is a blog post that we wrote for the blog you are reading right now.
- Blog (verb) – To create a blog and to maintain a blog. For example, before we starting writing this piece, we decided to blog about blogging.
- Blogging (verb) – This is the action of maintaining, writing and posting new posts to your blog. For example: “tomorrow we will be blogging about how your blog can make you money.”
Don’t let yourself get confused by the terms. It’s actually quite simple. Bloggers write blogs.
Blogs are the “websites” they create and fill with content. When bloggers blog, they’re blogging.
The History of Blogging
You can trace the history of blogging back to Justin Hall. In 1994, he created the first blog (unofficially) by posting his thoughts and personal experiences online. At the time, blogging wasn’t even a word.
A few years later, people in-the-know would come to call it a blog or a “weblog”, but most people had no idea what that meant.
Justin Hall’s 1994 blog was a simple website, but it looked much like blogs do now. His blog started out as a sort of personal diary, where he would post about all kinds of things he found on the internet. He created regular posts and he’s still doing it today, which is impressive in its own right.
It’s Hall’s site that sparked an entire generation of bloggers.
The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997. Fast forward to 1999 and the term was shortened to the word “blog” that we still know and use today.
But if you think about the term “weblog” it makes a lot of sense in regards to what a blog actually is.
It’s a log of sorts – an online diary – a website journal. It’s a collection of posts about whatever topic you want to write about. The only difference between a blog and a traditional diary is that a blog is not under lock and key.
It’s online and available for the world to read.
Way back in 1999, most people didn’t even have computers or internet access. But many of the people who did start blogging. Yet it would take four more years for it to become a popular thing to do.
If you know anything about blogging you’ve heard of WordPress. And that’s because they were the original creators of the free blogging platform. In 2003, WordPress started offering a free platform that changed the way people thought about blogs.
All a sudden, creating a “weblog” online became an easy thing. You no longer had to be a computer expert to create a site and publish it online.
WordPress was, and still is, easy to install, use, maintain, and update. Today, more than 75% of all bloggers use the WordPress.org or WordPress.com platform.
There are dozens of blogging platforms you can choose from, but WordPress blogs continues to evolve and update all the time. It remains the preferred choice for most bloggers online.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to build your site with WordPress or some of the other popular blogging platforms, click here.
Why Do People Blog?
There are dozens of reasons why people set up a blog. Based on interests, motives, and goals, these are the most popular reasons why people create and maintain a blog:
1. To Express Themselves
Everyone wants to be heard. Creating new blog content is a great way to put your opinions out there and share your ideas with the world.
2. To Deliver Valuable Information and News
Some blog owners focus on new content on pressing topics such as politics and social issues. Others focus on celebrity and entertainment news or follow the areas of art, science, and technology.
It’s a way to provide valuable information to people with similar interests as you.
3. To Make Money
This is a big one. It might shock you to know how much money some bloggers are making. With affiliate marketing and advertising, blogging has become a business.
As of 2017, the Huffington Post news blog was raking in about $14,000,000 per month. The entertainment blog Perez Hilton was bringing in $575,000 per month.
Yes, you read that correctly.
If you have a great blog with a large audience, you can make some serious money.
Yes, some people blog only to promote their own agenda. A personal blog is not selfish or shameless. It’s a legitimate way for people to build their online persona and promote whatever it is that they do.
5. To Connect with Like-Minded People
It’s no secret that people like to form connections online. Some prefer those connections to face-to-face relationships they have in the real world.
If you’ve got a point of view, blogging is a great way to connect with other people who share your views on the world.
6. To Gain Knowledge
You will come across some bloggers who actually blog for feedback on their blog. They might be looking for some new information or searching for people to share ideas with them.
7. To Find a Better Job
If you’re looking for a job, you can use a blog as an online portfolio. This is especially useful for writers, artists, photographers, and others in creative fields.
A blog provides a way to showcase your talent to the world.
8. To Improve Writing Skills
Some bloggers are trying to improve their writing skills and communication techniques. Readers are honest.
Bloggers know that they’ll likely hear some constructive criticism along the way.
9. To Share an Experience
Maybe you’re traveling the world. Maybe you’re embarking on a weight loss journey. Some blog articles exist for the sole purpose of the blogger’s need and willingness to share their experiences with others.
10. To Promote or Grow a Business
It’s hard to find any business that doesn’t have their own blog. Everyone wants to be an authority on their chosen subject, so business owners often create a blog site to increase their credibility.
Things to Keep in Mind When You’re Blogging
Now that you know what blogging is and what it’s all about, are you ready to get started?
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to create your blog and turn it into a money-making opportunity.
Decide what the focus of your blog will be. Pick a niche. Think about what you have to offer that can connect you with readers and turn you into an authority on your chosen topic.
Create amazing content. Without content that provides value to your readers, you can’t expect your blog to grow much of a following.
Increase readership. Create blog posts that inspire readers to share your content. If you can draw traffic to your site, you can start to monetize your blog through advertising, affiliate marketing, and other avenues.
Don’t blog for the sake of blogging. Find your niche and make sure you have a point of view. Regardless of what your blog is about, you’ll likely get a few friends to visit your site and leave comments. But if you want to be a legitimate blogger or make money from your site, you’ve got to take the process seriously.
Blogging is a way to share your opinions and detail personal experiences. It’s also a creative way to share valuable information with people who care about the same things you care about.
In some instances, your blog may be able to get people to change their opinions about a particular topic. But for the most part, it’s a way to connect with other people who already share your views.
You can blog for a variety of different reasons. You can use it to vent, you can use it to influence others, or you can use it to provide high-value content to an audience with similar interests as you.
There is no right way or wrong way to blog.
It’s all about expressing yourself in the way you want, and the way you express that depends on what you want to get out of it.