Do you know what a blog really is at its core? If you don’t then you’ve come to the right place. Back in the day, a blog was more of a personal diary that people shared online. In this online journal, you could talk about your daily life or share things that you do. However, people quickly saw an opportunity to communicate any sort of information in a new way. This was the birth of the next step in modern publication.
What is a Blog?
A Raw Definition
A blog (short for “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website that displays information in reverse chronological order. It is a platform where writers share their views on a certain subject.
What is the Purpose?
There are many reasons to start a blog for personal use. There are also a handful of reasons to start one for business purposes. Blogging for a business has a very straight forward purpose – to rank higher in Google SERPs and increase visibility.
As a business, you depend on consumers buyi8ng your products and/or services. As a new business, you rely on blogging to help you engage with these consumers and capture their attention. Without blogging, your website would remain invisible. On the flip side, running a blog makes your site searchable and competitive.
So, the main purpose of a blog is to connect you with your target audience. Another one is to boost traffic and send high quality leads to your website.
The more frequent and better your posts are, the higher the chances are for users to discover your website. This means that a blog is an effective lead generation tool if executed correctly. Incorporate a great call-to-action (CTA), and it will convert your website traffic into high-quality leads. A blog also provides an avenue to showcase your authority and build a brand.
You can build trust with your audience by employing your niche knowledge to create informative and engaging content. Stellar blogging makes your business look more credible, which is essential if your brand is still young and relatively unknown. It also ensures presence and authority at the same time.
The overall appearance of blogs has changed immensely over time. However, most include some standard features and general structure. Some common features that a typical blog will include are:
- A header with the menu or navigation bar
- The main content area with highlighted or latest blog posts
- A sidebar with social profiles, favorite content, or CTAs
The above example is the basic structure of a typical blog. Each section has its own importance and helps visitors navigate through your content.
Blogs and Websites
The vast majority of people are still uncertain as to the differences between a blog and a website. It is quite challenging these days to differentiate between a blog and a website. Many companies integrate blogs into their websites to perform the same general function.
What’s the Difference?
In short, blogs require frequent updates. Blogs promote reader engagement. Readers get a chance to comment and voice their concerns and thoughts to the author and other members of the audience. Websites, on the other hand, tend to be more static in nature. Static website owners rarely update the content on their pages. Blog owners update their site with new posts on a regular basis.
Key elements that differentiate a blog post from a static page include a publishing date, author reference, categories, and tags with a byline. While not all posts have all those byline elements, static website pages do not have any of them. From a visitors perspective, the content on a static page will not change from one visit to the next. The content on a publication website, however, has the potential to offer something new each day, week, or month depending on the owner’s publishing schedule.
What is Blogging?
In the early 2000s, the trend of blogging emerged when several political publications rose to the surface. Established institutions also began to note the difference between journalism and the rising trend of blogging. There are currently more than 600 million blogs in existence today.
A Working Definition
Blogging is the culmination of many skills required to develop and operate a blog. Some of these skills include equipping web pages with tools to make the process of writing, posting, linking, and sharing content easier on the internet.
Why is it so Popular?
It’s important to recognize that the craft increases with every passing day. With that in mind, to answer the question ‘what is blogging’ we need to look at the factors behind its rise in popularity.
In the early stages, blogs became mainstream as news outlets began using them as tools for outreach and the formulation of opinions. In short, they became a new source of current, up-to-date information.
Businesses saw blogs as a good way to improve their customer’s overall level of satisfaction. Through blogging, companies keep clients and customers up-to-date. The more people who visit your blog, the more exposure you gain and more people trust your brand.
Personal and niche bloggers saw the potential to reach more people interested in specific topics. Visitors can comment and interact with you and your brand which helps you create a network of loyal followers through a blog.
On a side note, did you know that you can earn money through blogging? Once your blog gets enough attention and fans, you can look into various ways to monetize your publication. Through the blog, you can offer your services and sell your products.
Who is a Blogger?
Bloggers have become famous for any one of a number of reasons. Blogging is an alternative career or job to many and more are choosing to join the ranks. So this may leave you wondering, who exactly are bloggers? They are individuals who love sharing parts of their lives with you. They post about various topics from arts, home design, carpentry, and finance articles. They’re mobile and don’t need to be chained down to one place because they exist on the internet.
A blogger is someone who runs and controls a published blog. They share their opinions on different topics for their target audience.
Why are So Many People Doing it Today?
Would you ever want a blog of your own? Yes! Great! Most people today are creating blogs for any one of a number of reasons. Everyone has their own story to tell. Hence, through the internet, bloggers can communicate to a larger audience.
Why is blogging so popular? Blogs allow you to talk about any topics and express your opinion. You’ll find that some write about every activity they partook in over the course of the day. These can range from minor issues such as waking up to major issues like child labor laws and immigration. Remember that as an individual running your independent blog, you need to rely on topics that yo9u are passionate about and strive to become one of the forefront publications on the web.
Can I Get Paid?
There is most certainly some money involved. However, this is not a get-rich-quick sort of profession. Before you start to monetize your operation, you need to build both your Google SERPs ranking and your overall niche influence. This requires a decent amount of time and a healthy serving of high-quality content. Money-making opportunities won’t present themselves until you’ve gained some credibility in the field. So, get down to business.
Here are a few ways you can rake in the dough as a top-notch blogger:
- Sell ad space privately or via Google AdSense
- Become an affiliate partner privately or through ad networks
- Sell your own digital products such as eBooks and tutorials
- Sell memberships for exclusive access to content or advice
- Employ your publication as a marketing tool for your business
If you’re starting your publication as a way to market and boost your existing business, you probably won’t be selling ad space or memberships. However, you can create and start offering exclusive digital products such as eBooks, guides, or online courses as a lead capturing tool in exchange for visitors’ emails. This way, you’ll nudge them one step closer to the end of your sales funnel.
Want to Start a Blog of Your Own?
Creating your own personal blogs requires a few steps. First off, you need to decide on a name for your blog. This will also serve as your domain in most cases. In terms of a host, I recommend that you go with a self-hosted platform. There are a few options out there, but I’m a big fan of WordPress.org. From there you need to select a web hosting service – I strongly recommend GoDaddy. Once you have the core ‘hardware’ pieces in place, you’ll then want to start building out your blog. Here are a few tips on how to get your blog up and running in only 10 weeks!
Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about the world of blogging via this post. If you’ve managed to start a blog, the next step is to work on your content. Doing so will keep future readers satisfied and engaged.