What Is Blogging? Blogging Meaning And Definition

You often hear about blogs and blogging but have you ever paused to think what these terms really mean? This article will cover blogging meaning and definition, and explain how to start a blog.

What Is Blogging?

Blogging illustration

Blogging is the practice of publishing any form of online content on a recurring basis. Blogs were initially known as ‘weblogs.’ Weblogs allowed internet users to document their day-to-day life in the form of a diary entry. With time, people incorporated new trends with weblog and started calling it blogging.

What Is a Blog?

A blog is an online journal, with content presented in reverse chronological order (the newer content appears first). The content can include text, pictures, videos, and animated GIFs. A blog is typically written in an informal style and updated regularly.

Who Is a Blogger? 

A blogger is someone who writes regularly for/in an online journal. Bloggers may post articles on assorted topics like arts, home designs, carpentry, and finance. For many people, blogging has become a full-time career, earning them fortune and fame.

Why Do People Blog?

There are many reasons why people blog. Let’s take a look at the eight common reasons that make blogging a popular choice.

1. To express themselves  

Blogging is a great outlet for expressing your ideas. It allows you to freely express yourself without getting direct rejections. Some people will reject you, but sooner or later, you’ll find an audience.

2. To share knowledge

Blogging is a terrific way to organize and share your knowledge. This gives you an opportunity to engage in discussions and gather constructive feedback. This will ultimately help you learn more and augment your existing knowledge.

3. To make money   

Blogging could be a goldmine if you provide information that can help solve a problem or make a decision. For instance, if you’re writing about mobile phones, think about how you can help people make the decision to purchase the latest iPhone. If you’re writing about skincare, think about how you can provide quick skincare tips for busy executives.

4. To network

Blogging beats traditional networking such as attending seminars and workshops. By writing what you know, you gain fame and credibility to do business on a global scale. You might find social networking sites faster, but finding people sharing the same interest is not easy.

5. To build their personal brand  

Blogging is a fantastic way to promote yourself in your interest area. For example, a “Knife Making Blog” will make you known as an outstanding knife maker. Similarly, if you’re a licensed engineer, a blog will boost your credibility as an engineer.

6. To find better jobs

Blogging can play a big role in convincing prospective employers about your skills. For instance, if you’re a photographer, a photography blog will convince your prospective employers of your photography skills.

7. To achieve fame and popularity   

Blogging can make you famous, but you must overcome all the hurdles and crawl your way up to the top. Polish your craft, write quality articles, research it well, verify all the information, and give credit to sources.

8. To help others 

If your primary goal is to help people, sooner or later you will find success in blogging. Don’t aim for money as a goal, it will come as a reward.

What Is the Difference Between a Website and a Blog?

In a nutshell, a blog is dynamic while a website is static.

A blog changes from time to time. It can have weekly, daily, or even an hourly update. It’s the new content that drives the audience to come back. On the other hand, a website changes less. It has fewer contents that need thorough brainstorming before the update.

A blog displays content in reverse chronological order, which means that the newer posts display first. A website displays content in no specific order.

A blog has an active comment section to promote online discussions. On the other hand, a website does not include a comments section for discussion. Inquiries, comments, and suggestions are sent to a company email.

Blog Website
Gets updated on a regular basisDoes not get updated regularly
Displays content in reverse chronological orderDoes not display content in reverse chronological order
Has an active comments section to drive engagementDoes not have an active comments section

What Is the Difference between Blog Posts and Pages?

The key differences between pages and posts are summarized below.

Posts: Posts can be created every time you feel the need to share something new with your audience. Every post has an author name and post date. A new post automatically goes to the top while older posts become outdated and sink to the bottom. The post date never changes on every article revision. What you can do is to add a note – updated. Every post has an optional comment section to encourage online discussion.

Pages: Pages are static contents that seldom need changing and often seen as timeless entities. They have no post dates and authors. Visitors cannot see pages unless you put a link in the navigation menu. The page content is short, the result of thorough brainstorming and a professional copywriter is often hired to write it.  Examples are ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ pages. Business, government, and association websites have several pages.

Blog postWebpage
Created every time a new piece of content is postedCreated once and remains unchanged
Displays author name and publishing dateDoes not display author name or publishing date
Displayed in reverse chronological orderDisplayed in no particular order
Has a comments section to engage or interactDo not have a comments section

How to Make Money from Your Blog?

If you have a blog with lots of traffic, you can make money in many different ways. The best approach is to build enough authority and traffic first before thinking of income generation. Here are five easy ways to earn money from blogging:

1. Advertising (Selling ad space on your blog)

Ads can be CPC (cost per click), or CPM (cost per mille/cost per thousand impressions). Despite the increasing use of adblockers, this is still one of the great ways of monetizing a blog.

2. Affiliate marketing (Becoming an affiliate partner privately or through ad networks)

Affiliate marketing works by adding tracked links. You gain a commission every time a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. Examples of companies that have affiliate programs are Amazon, Topshop, ASOS, and Apple.

3. Selling your own digital products such as eBooks and tutorials

High-quality content may encourage readers to buy your digital products, which can be in the form of eBooks, video tutorials, courses, or workshops. Remember, your content must be valuable to your audience. It’s not easy but you can do it.

4. Selling memberships for access to exclusive content or advice

Provide exclusive content for paid members. For instance, LinkedIn free members have limited access to professional video lessons while premiums have unlimited. Creating in-depth English grammar lessons and personal advice for paid subscribers works well.

5. Using your blog as a content marketing tool for your business

A blog is an effective and affordable marketing tool that can work for all business types. For instance, if you have a new restaurant, you can attract a plethora of customers by creating a blog and sharing recipes on social networking sites.

How to Start a Blog?

Once you identify a niche, starting a blog is easy. These eight points will help you give your blog a good start.

1. Set up the blog

Setting up a blog takes less than 20 minutes. Purchase a domain that’s easy to remember and descriptive. Choose a reliable web host. Use their easy-to-follow wizard and you’re ready to post some articles. Some platforms like WordPress and Blogger offer free subdomain name and free hosting.

2. Find your niche

Identify an area that is a big market to earn, but narrow enough to capture the target audience. Select a niche that is popular, reasonably competitive, and scalable. E.g., food is a wide topic but if you focus only on liquor production, you can capture the audience of winemakers, alcohol enthusiasts, and distillers.

3. Research your market

Make sure you know enough about your target audience before you start creating content for them. Do your keyword research and find what your audience is interested in. Search for readers’ questions and comments.

4. Set clear goals

Set clear goals to focus on. Build loyal readers, increase social media followers,  and generate email subscribers. Set timed goals like 100k YouTube subscribers within two months and 1 million daily blog visitors within a year.

5. Learn about SEO

Start with comprehensive keyword research. Use the right keywords and search engines will pair your content with the right audience. Create great content that readers want. Remember, SEO is writing for your audience and not for search engines.

6. Create a blog strategy and editorial calendar

A blog calendar includes the target audience, posting schedule, blog categories, and article ideas. It also has monetization strategies like target clients, products to sell, and pricing plans. If set correctly, the blog will work for you. It will become a powerful tool that helps your career and business.  

7. Define your article structure

Make your article easy to read. Structure your content well so your readers can digest the post easily. The blog’s basic structure consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. The main article idea is within the first paragraph, then support details follow. The numbering style makes a list article popular.

8. Start publishing

Start publishing when all things are set. The first impression goes a long way, and make sure your blog makes a positive first impression. Every time you publish, make sure you check for conciseness, grammar, and information validity.

Types of Blogging

There are various kinds of blogs. Here are seven blog types that will help you choose one.

Personal blogs

Personal blogs are about self-interest with no topic focus. Most often, these blogs are done as a hobby and don’t take competition into account. Since these blogs are related directly to the author’s personal life, the content is relatable and loved by readers. 

Business blogs

Business blogs are created by a company or an individual to promote products. The sole objective of business bloggers is to reach a huge audience and attract more traffic.

Professional blogs

Professional blogs focus on bloggers as a brand. As a professional blogger, your goal is to earn money by offering services. If you’re an architect maintaining a blog, then your purpose is to build credibility to get more design jobs.

Niche-based blogs

Niche blogs have a specific topic. Often, niche blogs start out as personal blogs and transform into income-generating blogs. For instance, if you enjoy making DIY gadgets such as custom bicycles and skateboards, you can create a blog around it and earn followers.

Affiliate blogs

Affiliate blogs provide product recommendations and make revenue in the form of referral commissions. The blogger gets a commission fee for every referral with a successful transaction. You may refer consumer products, web hosts, ebooks, and software. Sometimes you need to buy the actual product to make a decent review.

Podcasts

People love to read but there are times when it’s simply not possible. Busy people can listen while working, driving, commuting, or making their way to a mountain top.  Grammar Girl for example has a podcast to reach busy people.

Guest blogs

Guest posting is about writing content for other websites to gain traffic and boost the company’s domain authority. It is a great way to make a website rank high in Google SERPs. Google prefers external links more than internal links.

Top 10 Blogging Platforms

A blogging platform is a software platform that allows you to create, publish, and manage content in the form of a blog. A good blogging platform plays a key role in ensuring your success as a blogger. However, it is not easy to select a platform that will cater to all your needs. Below are the ten best blogging platforms to help you start your blogging journey:

  1. WordPress
  2. WordPress.com
  3. Squarespace
  4. Blogger
  5. Constant Contact Website Builder
  6. Tumblr
  7. Wix
  8. Gator
  9. Medium
  10. Ghost

WordPress.org

WordPress started in 2003 and now powers more than 30% of the world’s blogs. It is flexible, affordable, and easy to use. WordPress gives you the freedom to get a domain name and choose a reliable hosting. But learning how to modify your blog design and creating backups will take you some time.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is from the same company that created WordPress.org. If your goal is WordPress.org and you don’t have the skills and budget for it, WordPress.com is the place to start. Although it’s not as flexible as WordPress.org, it requires no setup and is easy to manage.

Squarespace

Squarespace is a great platform for small businesses seeking an online presence. It allows you to create professional-looking blogs using drag and drop features. It also allows the use of separate domain name and setup of online shops.

Blogger.com

Blogger.com is a Google-owned platform. It is easy to set up and use, but not suited for large content volumes. It is recommended that you do regular backups when using this platform since Google is notorious for suspending and closing accounts.

Constant Contact Website Builder

You’ll have an easier time with this. The AI will guide you to create free blogs, including business websites and online shops. You have a 60 days free trial. Move out or stay if you’re satisfied.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a microblogging platform with the feature of social networking. It’s free and comes with a subdomain. Easy to set up and use. Blog in any format, videos, images, and audio. However, it’s not suitable for large blogs. And you’ll have a hard time transferring to another platform when needed.

Wix

Wix is a hosted platform that offers a solution to small businesses, with an easy to use drag and drop tool. They have lots of templates for you to choose from. But a chosen template is permanent. Wix also has limited functionalities. Even the paid eCommerce has narrow functionalities.

Gator

Gator is a blog platform from HostGator. It provides a quick and easy setup with no hassles. Hostgator handles all backups, performance, and security checks. You don’t get a free trial but you do get a 45-day money-back offer. Plus, you’ll get a free domain name and SSL certificate.

Medium

Medium.com is a hugely popular blogging platform that makes it easy to get your blogs out to a wide global audience. It requires no setup, so you can focus on writing and publishing. To get started, you can simply create an account on Medium.com and start publishing. You don’t get a custom domain name and cannot run ads to monetize.

Ghost

Ghost is a mini-blogging platform designed to simplify publishing for individuals as well as businesses. It offers easy setup, ease of use, and a clean intuitive interface. As of now,  it has limited customizations, few third-party apps, and not enough themes to choose from.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Blogging today is very different from blogging in the early 90s. Today’s bloggers don’t just face more competition but also a whole new set of challenges. Below are some FAQs about blogging.

1. What is blogging?


Blogging is the practice of publishing content (articles, videos, images, etc.) in an online journal on a recurring basis.


2. What is a blog used for?


A blog can be used for various purposes such as teaching, sharing personal experiences, promoting a product, building your personal brand, etc.


3. Can I make money blogging?


Yes, you can, by recommending products through affiliate links, publishing sponsored content, and providing paid memberships. You can also offer consulting services after building enough credibility.


4. How do I start a blog?  


The first step is to identify your niche. Once you’ve selected your niche, choose a blogging platform like WordPress.org. Then buy a domain name or use a free subdomain. Next, choose a web host and set up your website. Then go publish.


5. How do I become a blogger?  


The first step to becoming a blogger is to be clear about your goals and find a suitable niche. Once you’ve identified your niche, write a few offline samples. Once you feel you’re gaining enough followers and self-confidence, move to a self-hosted platform like WordPress.  


6. How can I earn money from my blog? 


To earn money from your blog, you should first focus on building enough authority and finding an audience. Once you do that, you can start adding sponsored content, selling products, and providing consultancy services.

Conclusion

Blogging has come a long way. From its early days, when it was only about writing and publishing textual content, today it’s about different content types, from text to images, videos, podcasts, etc. If you are looking to enter the world of blogging, the opportunities are endless. All you need is persistence, creativity, and a burning desire to succeed.

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