So, What is a blog you ask? Great question!
When you hear the word “blog”, your first association is probably with an online journal. A place for people to complain. Well, while many people do use a blog that way, there other uses for one as well.
A blog can be considered as a type of website. It’s just easier to update the content, and keep it relevant. Websites are often static, sometimes with an updates section. But that’s less engaging to the readers and viewers who are visiting. A blog is more engaging because it’s more personal.
A blog is written by an individual expressing an opinion about something. This makes the topic more engaging right away. A blog is usually filled with short little posts we call blog posts (original, right?). These posts often have a universal topic, but some blogs have a broader topic to start with. You may see lots of content on those. That being said, you’ve probably been to many different blogs without even realizing. They have grown quite a bit in popularity over the last decade.
Now, some blogs are actually run by multiple individuals. They have contributors all writing about a universal topic, comparing ideas and writing styles. These are common, but less common than the one-writer blogs. For the basis of this guide, I’ll be assuming you’re the only writer of your blog.
I haven’t used many of these blogging terms yet, but, you’re going to hear them coming up. If you’re not from the blogging world, there are going to be terms and vocabulary that you don’t understand. So I am going to tell you a few of the most common terms that are used in the blogging world, and explain what they mean.
- Blog: This refers to the actual entry-style website you’re running.
- Blogger: This is a term given to the person running the entry-style website known as the blog.
- Blogosphere: This is a universal reference to all existing blogs. It refers to the wide community of bloggers and blogs.
- Post: This is what it sounds like. It’s the content you choose to publish on your blog.
- Podcast/Podcasting: This is a form, basically, of audio-blogging. Some are recorded, and some of them are live. People who put these types of posts up are referred to as “pod-casters”.
- Vlog: These types of posts are similar to pod-casts, except the publish video entries instead of audio. The people who post these types of entries are known as “vloggers”.
- Listicle: This actually refers to blog posts that are styled in the form of a list. The name is a combination of “list” and “article”. They usually have only a little bit of information, but in catchy ways.
- Call-To Action: This means anything that draws a reader/reviewer to take action. It’s most commonly used to attract attention to “sharing” the post, or commenting.
- Feeds: Often referred to as the RSS, it displays a list of all of the entries posted to a certain blog.
- Permalink: This is the link to your blog post. Each one has their own. It’s a direct link to a blog post, and it never changes.
- Subscribe: This is the action a reader/viewer can take to follow the work being published on any particular blog. This can be done through the RSS readers, or manually, such as with a newsletter.
- Comment Spam: This refers to unwanted comments on your blog that are actually posted by internet robots. These aren’t from real people.
- SEO: This is the shortened form of “Search Engine Optimization”, which is a crucial part of any blog/website because it refers to your blogs interaction with a search engine.
Sidenote: There are many combined terms for blogs. Here are a few to give you an idea:
- Photoblog: A blog dedicated to photos.
- Flog: A blog dedicated to food.
- Mommy blog: A blog aimed at mothers.
- Litblog: A blog about writing, and literature.
If there is a niche for a certain type of devoted blog, it’s likely got a combination name.
So now that I’ve answered “what is a blog”, I am going to answer “why blog”.
There are many different reasons that people choose to start a blog. Some of those reasons are unknown, but there are also pretty universal answers. When the studies about this subject are conducted, bloggers are sent a list of reasons to choose from. They select the primary reason they choose to blog. These answers are recorded, then distributed all over the internet in a variety of different places. This helps people who are new to blogging learn the benefits of having their own blog.
The most common answers are that people wanted to shares their experiences, and express their expertise on certain topics. They want to talk about things that are important to them as a person. These are good reasons to take to blogging because it allows you to connect with a wide range of individuals from all over the world.
Another common reason that bloggers wanted to feel a sense of community. The added bonus to having a blog is that it keeps your friends and family updated about your life. This may be particularly useful if you’re too busy/far to connect on a more personal level. It’s also a great way to make connections.
One of the other reasons that people choose to blog is to kick-start their career in writing. Blogging is a great way to get noticed. If you’re a great writer with a catchy style, you’ll see your career making advancements. It’s all about who you connect with.
Every blogger has at least one thing in common and that is that they have something they want shared. Bloggers all feel passionate about the subjects they choose to write about. This comes out in their work. If you’ve ever read a “flat” entry, you’ll know that a lack of passion will leave readers with a lack of interest. If you’re not interested in what you’re writing about, your reader won’t be interested in reading it.
Ready to start a blog?
So, now when you know what a blog is, are you ready to start your own? Check out these posts: