A blog is regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual or small group of people, that is written in an informal or conversational style. The term blog is derived from another term ‘weblog’. A weblog was used during the early days of the Internet to describe a place to record your personal happenings online. Yes, it was an online diary but now a blog is considered to be so much more.
Blog (noun) – an online journal or personal diary that is found on the Internet.
Blog (verb) – to write a blog – I will blog about this later today.
Some other associated terms:-
Blogger (noun) – a person who maintains a blog – Bloggers like to form strong online relationships.
Blogging (verb) – the act of writing a blog – I’m blogging about my garden.
Blog Post (noun) – one entry of a blog often displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent posts appear first). Here are some Blog Post Ideas
What is the Purpose of a Blog
As you have just learned the purpose of a blog was for sharing personal information that would have normally been recorded in an offline diary. It was a chronicle of one’s life, but things have changed.
Since the introduction of social media, the personal diary based blog has been on the decline however blogging has never been stronger. Why?
Because blogging has evolved, so the question ‘What is blog?’ now has a different answer.
The purpose of a blog other than as an online diary is now primarily used to curate an audience. Ideally on a specific topic or niche.
Once there is a steady stream of traffic, the blog can be further extended to generate some extra income. Some of the common ways to earn extra money include banner advertising, afflate marketing and direct retail sales like selling an eBook or merchandise.
Also, it is more common for a business to have a blog as another tool for their communication channel.
The purpose of a blog continues to change as the Internet grows but is likely to outlast any software fads because of its flexibility and widespread deployment throughout the Internet.
What is a Blog Address
A blog address is what you use to find a blog. A blog address and domain name are the same things. However, some Free Web Hosting Sites will append their domain name to your blog address, so it weakens your blogging brand.
For instance, your Blog name could be ‘Blogstyler’ and when you use WordPress.com they append their domain name to your chosen blog name giving you a blog address of blogstyler.wordpress.com
How to Start a Blog
Blogging is one of the quickest ways to establish a presence on the internet. Unlikely other Content Management System, software like WordPress makes it really easy to start a blog.
Step 1 – Choose a Blog Name
Step 2 – Choose a Hosting Company
Step 3 – Install your WordPress Blogging Software
Step 4 – Install a Free Theme
Step 5 – Write your First Blog Post
It’s really that simple but if you need step-by-step instructions then you should take a peek at this guide.
Once you have set up a basic blog, you can extend the functionality with WordPress Plugins.
WordPress Plugins are extra bits of software that allow you to add all those fancy features you’ve probably seen on blogs that have inspired you to start blogging. The best part is most plugins are free.
How Does it Work
After you’ve learned how to host your own website or blog, the path you follow is entirely up to you. Typically, you blog once or twice a week, although you might like to blog more often when you first start your blog because you’ll need something for the readers to read. Plus, I bet you have a heap of ideas floating around in your head, so it’s best to make sure these are turned into blog posts before you forget. Now you don’t need to publish these all at once, let me explain further…
We are all creatures of habit and just like watching a regular TV show, we know to return at the same time each week to consume the show, now think of your blog like a TV show.
Aim to create a regular viewing/reading window that suits your schedule. As previously mentioned you might like to blog a few times a week and that’s fine. Just remember to post the blog entries on the same day of the week and preferably at the same time. This creates a habit in your readers, reminding them to return to your blog at the right time.
You should offer a way for your blog readers to subscribe to your blog channel. Often this is done through a simple email list sign-up which you’ll find in the WordPress JetPack plugin suite. It’s free and is really useful.
If you write too much for your posting schedule, that’s OK, you should just schedule those posts to publish some time into the future. If this is you then maybe it’s a good time to create a Blog Posting Schedule Planner so you can keep track of the writing you intend to do and the posts you have already lined up for publishing.
Once you have some blog posts written and published, you should start to promote those blog posts, because until Google ranks you in their search engine, you’ll be totally relying on word of mouth promotions. Social media is a great way to tell the world you exist, so don’t be shy and ‘Tell the World’
And that’s the basics of how a blog works, seems simple right? If not here’s some more information to stop you from being overwhelmed with your blog.
Now after you’ve been blogging for a while you might ask yourself, ‘why can’t I do this full-time?’ The simple answer is you can make extra money from your blog by following the path of bloggers before you. I’ve put together a free report on the best 25 ways to make money blogging, you should grab a copy for a little extra inspiration.
Oh, and one more thing you must do to make your blog work, is to HAVE FUN BLOGGING!
Yes, this really does matter because if you’re not having fun with your blog, it’ll come across in your writing and people want to read blogs to learn and feel more inspired and uplifted than before they started reading. Don’t disappoint them, or they won’t be back.
Example of a Blog
The obvious example of a blog is this one you’re reading right now. Yes, it’s a blog about blogging. Well actually, it’s about starting a blog and discovering the tools you need to make your blog successful.
If you need more social proof, I’ve been busy compiling an A-Z list of of popular blogs on the Internet. I do this in my spare time, so it might not be completed when you visit the page, but I’m continuing to work on it, so check back regularly. If there is a particular niche that you’d like me to work on first, then contact me on Twitter @DIYBLOGGUY and I’ll see what I can do.
Final Words on Blogging
Well, that’s all you need to know and if I haven’t answered the ‘What is a blog?’ question yet then have a look around this website and you’ll discover much more of what you need to know to become a successful blogger.
Blogging is a personal thing and there is no wrong or right way to blog. You’ll just do what comes naturally to you and hopefully you’ve started out with the intention of just blogging for self-fulfilment, because it’s a long road and often without recognition in the early days and months. But if you stick at it, you’ll be rewarded long term.