You have a dream business or an inspired idea to share with the world. You’ve chosen the blog as the best medium to do so. But before you take the plunge, wouldn’t it be good to know a few things about a blog?
A blog: a website or a Web journal where people regularly post data (text, opinions, information, stories, articles, pictures) and rich media (audio, video and embeddable objects on any subject) to share with the world.
To blog: to write a blog post or to maintain or add content to a blog.
Blogging: keeping, writing, authoring, maintaining, updating, or adding a post to a blog.
Blogger: someone who writes content for, keeps, posts entries in, or participates in the activities of maintaining a blog.
Blogosphere: the online community of blogs and bloggers.
Blog posts, or posts or entries: individual articles on a blog.
To post: to put individual articles on a blog. These posts are displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).
Posting: putting individual articles on a blog.
Theme: the particular topic of a blog.
Are blogs like other websites?
No. What differentiates blogs from other websites are:
▪ content on a blog is published in a reverse chronological order
▪ the content is updated regularly (hourly, daily, or several times a week)
▪ readers can comment on the posts, thus ensuring interactivity
▪ readers can create links to the blog
▪ readers can interact with the blogger by e-mail
▪ other bloggers can interact via trackbacks and pingbacks
▪ content is syndicated via RSS feeds.
How did blogs originate?
The word blog came from “weblog” or “web log.” Blogs started as a daily diary or family journal enabling separated relatives to interact with each other. As people love to read about personal experiences, they followed these writings and blogging blossomed.
Until 2009 blogs were mainly maintained by individuals and sometimes by small groups and they often centered on a single subject. On the contrary, the recent “multi-author blogs” (MABs) are handled by several authors, each writing their own posts.
Why did blogs become so popular?
As the personal experiences and other blog posts started attracting a large audience, many more people and companies created blogs to satisfy the thirst, widen the demand and gain money on the internet. The content on a blog being updated regularly made people to revisit it. And as the blog allowed readers to comment on the posts, their popularity soared.
Some uses of blogs
Blogs are used in many ways. Some of them are as:
▪ online diaries where people share their opinions, ramblings and personal events
▪ an extra company website where corporations interact mainly with their customers
▪ an additional newspaper website created for their writers
▪ a medium where individuals share their expertise on specific topics with the world. .
The content on a blog are typically composed in a web-based interface built into the blogging system. However some systems offer stand-alone “weblog client” software which enable authors to write articles offline and upload them later. The content may be:
▪ a catalog of products posted by a retail site to win money on the internet
▪ information about campuses, curriculum, and faculty of a university
▪ the latest news stories added by a news site
▪ observations or reviews on a personal blog.
So what is in a blog?
Blogging now is the ideal tool for:
▪ individuals to share what they feel strongly about
▪ advertising enabling people and companies to make money on the internet
▪ politicians to sell their ideologies and reach out to their electorate
▪ typing short articles for online businesses
▪ using special links to win money on the internet that only a few people dream about.
What does it require to create and maintain a blog?
Fortunately technical knowledge (computer engineering, graphic or web designing skills such as knowledge of HTML and FTP) is no longer necessary to create blogs and post to them. In the late 1990s web publishing software with inbuilt templates and fonts surfaced. This enables the blogger to follow simple instructions to create their blogs hassle free and with zero down. Moreover one does not need to be a professional (writer, film maker, photographer) to publish rich content on their blogs.
So, what is required? Enthusiasm, commitment and access to a computer and the internet.
Some useful blog features you must know
It may also serve you to know the following blog features:
▪ Comments: The comments and links features allow visitors to a blog to enter their details (name, email and/or a link to their own blog) and comment on a post
▪ Archives: When a blogger writes a post it goes to the top of the front page. As they continue to post, the old ones sink down the page until they disappear from view. These become the ‘Archives’ which can be accessed through links to them
▪ Contents and links: Blogs may also have other areas of content and links to text, hypertext, images, and to other web pages, video, files and audio
▪ Post: this feature enables one to write a post, upload it to a website via FTP, and then publish
▪ Content Management System (CMS): A blog can also be managed by the CMS (Content Management System) where a lot of the features are automatically created and populated
▪ Formats: A blog can be read in a number of formats such as the homepage, single post page, categories, tags, and also via RSS and other such syndication technologies
▪ Subscribe: This enables readers and visitors to have the content in a variety of means, tools, devices, and applications
▪ Blogroll: This is a list of links to other related sites
▪ Feeds: Some of them are the RSS, Atom or RDF files
▪ Pingbacks or trackbacks: They enable authors of other blogs to leave comments
on a blog without even visiting it.
What are the advantages of blogging?
▪ Worldwide reach: A blog enables one to share content with the whole world
▪ Friendship and socializing: Blogs makes it possible for the blogger to make new friends and socialize with people from all walks of life
▪ Make money online: A blog can also make the blogger to earn money on the internet.
Types of blogs
Blogs can be categorized according to subject matter such as:
▪ web design
▪ home staging
▪ mobile technology
▪ links to other sites (eclectic blog)
▪ a personal online diary
▪ art (art blogs)
▪ photographs (photoblogs)
▪ videos (video logs or vlogs)
▪ music (MP3 blogs)
▪ audio (podcasts)
▪ very short posts (microblogging like Twitter)
▪ educational (edublogs)
▪ a link for political debate (e.g. Washington, D.C.’s political goings-on)
▪ an online brand advertising of an individual, a product or a company
▪ a forum
▪ an exchange link
▪ a source of scoops used by some professional or amateur journalists.
How many blogs are out there?
While there were over 156 million public blogs worldwide as of 16 February 2011, on October 13, 2012, the figures were around 77 million Tumblr and 56.6 million WordPress blogs.
Bloggers are ordinary people just like you and me who had the desire to share their ideas with people online.
Does blogging have a future?
As long as the internet exists, blogs will too.
It’s your turn to create your blog
So grab the great web tools to create your own blog now. Soon you will be sharing your inspired thoughts with avid readers, promoting yourself, your business or your cause and even earn a full time income by gaining money online.
Some blogging tips
If creating a blog isn’t difficult, running it could be. Lack of visitors and comments could kill a blogger’s enthusiasm and force them to give up. This is the sad fate of the majority of blogs. But if you want to be part of the glorious minority, do:
▪ post regularly, on matters your readers love to read about
▪ stick with only a few specific genres
▪ use a clean and simple theme as much as possible
▪ write articles like this one for publishing on article sites
▪ visit other blogs, comment on them and link to some
▪ resort to advertisements (free and/or paid if need be).
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