What is a BLOG? 9 Experts Share Their Opinions

You must have heard the term “blog” or “weblog” and you’re probably thinking what it’s all about… Let’s make this clear, when I was in College (back in 2008), a lot of people talked about “blogs” and “blogging”, but I never knew exactly what it was. I had absolutely no idea…

Fortunately, I’ve now published and managed many different blogs, so I can truly say I know what blogging is.

Before I give you an in-depth explanation of blogs and blogging, let’s see other definitions for that:

According to Wikipedia,

Wikipedia defintiion for "blogs".

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Harvard Law School website,

web blog definition from Harvard

 

 

 

… but enough of those “geeky” words. Just read my simple and easy to understand definition below.

So WHAT is a BLOG?blog history

You’ve probably read blogs more than once, to be honest, your actually reading one now.

But let’s get back to the point. What exactly is a blog?

Blog is very similar to a website. I would say that blog is a diary/journal that is (mostly) maintained by one person – blogger. Usually, blogs are being updated quite often (once a day, once a week, once a month). Blogs can be private, but most of them are available on the internet for others to see.

Blogs have certain topics. My blog’s topic is “blogging” and “how to start one” – I’m helping beginners to start a blog, get more visitors and much more… BUT, it can also have several other topics. Bloggers are usually passionate about a specific topic thus they’ll create one.

Blog posts are the fundamental of a blog. Every blog on the internet consists of different blog posts written by the blogger. Blog posts can contain content (obviously!), videos, images, bullet-points, different headings and so on.

Blogs (and blog posts) can be shared on social networks (Twitter, FaceBook, Google+) and people can leave comments under the blog posts in order to start meaningful conversations.

Blogs can have a LOT of visitors. When your blog has enough posts and it starts to become popular, you’ll start receiving traffic from other sites, social networks and even from search engines.

Definitions that are tied with a blog

Blog (n.) – an online journal/diary that is available on the Internet.

Blogger (n.) – an individual who is the blog owner. Person who keeps the blog alive (posting new posts, sharing latest news, information, case-studies, opinions etc…)

Blog Post (n.) – An article or writing that is inside the blog. For example, the article you are currently reading is a “blog post” that is wrote for my blog.

Blog (v.) – to start a blog, to keep a blog, to find a blog – I’m going to find a blog about health and fitness.

Blogging (v.) – the action of maintaining/writing a blog – While blogging, I’m able to share information that I feel is important, helpful or interesting for others.

What professional bloggers think about blogs?

To make this post more compelling, I talked to 9 very popular bloggers who are doing well and asked them one simple question:

“What is a blog? Please explain it in 3-5 sentences”

As you will see, the answers are not the same that were produced by editors on Wikipedia or Harvard Law School.

… anyhow, here are the answers:

Picture of Neil Patel“A blog is a channel where you share your thoughts. Think of it as a public journal, diary, or even book. You can share personal thoughts, quick updates, or even educate others on what you learned.

What you publish is up to you, but I recommend that everyone try to at least blog for 6 months. Why? Because it is a great way to get feedback from others. In which people can leave comments and give you advice.”

- Neil Patel / He has written a Guide to Blogging.

 

Rand_Fishkin“For me, a blog is more than just a place to post new content on a regular (or, lately, semi-regular) basis.

It’s a hub for people to share their thoughts around my contributions to the industry (in my case, startups & marketing), and a home for anyone to discover new ideas about those topics.”

- Rand Fishkin / Make sure you check out his super-awesome post titled “21 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic“.

 

Greg_Narayan“A blog is whatever you make it!

This can be a personal journal to share stories about life, food, travels and other adventures with your close friends and family. Or it can be a booming website with the community and design of the NY Times. It’s up to you.

The point isn’t what, it’s when. Try to ditch the perfectionism and start blogging today, and you’ll soon be learning more than you could have ever imagined.”

Greg Narayan / If you are not sure about blogging, read his 9 reasons to blog.

 

Ian Cleary“A blog is a magnet that attracts your potential customers if you write high quality relevant content. Once you have relevant traffic you can then start working on conversion of this traffic.

A blog is also a good reason to learn more about your industry. As you are always looking for new angles to write about you read more and when you’re writing you research more about the topic. So it’s a fantastic education tool.

Finally it is a great tool for networking. To be really successful with blogging you need to build relationships with a lot of people so you need to network.”

- Ian Cleary / He is a social media enthusiast who blogs at razorsocial.com.

 

Corbett_Barr“A blog is so much more than just a written diary or journal these days. Now a blog is a place for sharing knowledge and views, and for connecting with people.

It’s a place that can become the entire foundation of your online world and a key to unlocking incredible opportunities.”

- Corbett Barr / He has made blogging course named “Blog that matters“.

 

Amy_Lynn_Andrews“Blogs are the new resume, the new business card, the new marketing brochure or advertising billboard and they’re quickly becoming a source of excellent income for many.”

- Amy Lynn Andrews / She teaches how to blog on Amylynnandrews.com.

 

Adam_Connell“How we think of blogs has changed a lot in the years.

I used to think of a blog as just an online journal to put our thoughts – nothing more and typically they would only be read by friends & family (or nobody apart from a strange stalker).

Fast forward to today and our perceptions have completely changed because blogs can be used to expose our thoughts and opinions to the masses. Now we have the tools and technology to make serious change.

If you do it right – a blog can be a tool to drive serious change, build yourself as an authority or build a community of like-minded people to connect with.”

- Adam Connell / You can read about his blogging tips from BloggingWizard.com.

 

Gregory_Ciotti“Writing is organized thinking,” as they say, so a blog is just thought leadership at scale. That term slightly annoys me, but I do believe the sentiment to be true! The wonderful thing about blogs is that they offer a universally accessible way to publish such thoughts in segments.

Books, essays, and letters (I’m fond of Letters from a Stoic) have always had similar properties, but none had the technological advantage of being able to host such thoughts on a perpetually available medium that can be accessed by anyone, from anywhere. When you think of it that way, blogs really are a special part of the internet. :)

- Gregory Ciotti / He reveals How to Build Blog Success with Psychology.

 

Marko_Saric“A blog is whatever YOU want it to be or whatever you make it be. It is all about you, your dreams and your aspirations.

It is a very flexible content publishing platform that allows you to showcase your passion, your knowledge, your experience and skills, and find an audience that is looking for someone like you to help them out, inform them, educate them and/or entertain them.”

- Marko Saric / He also has a YouTube channel, where you can learn the nuts and bolts about blogging.

 

Blog history and trends

Unofficially, the first blog ever was made by Justin Hall (links.net) in 1994. At that time, no-one actually knew the word “blog” or “weblog”. Actually, Justin’s web property was more or less of a simple website, but it looked like a blog. He posted regularly (still doing it!) about the “stuff” he found on the internet and it was sort of “personal diary”.

The term “weblog” was first (officially) announced in 1997 by Jorn Barger. In 1999, weblog was shortened to blog. At this point, some folks (who had computers and internet access) started blogging, still it wasn’t popular at all…

Then came WordPress (in 2003) and it changed a lot… Why so? WordPress started to offer FREE blogging platform. A lot of people have found it useful (including me) since it’s really easy to install, maintain and use. More than 75% of the blogs are using WordPress blogging platform.

Let’s see the search trends on Google about blogs, blogging and WordPress:

What is a blog?” vs “How to start a blog” -

What is a blog

WordPress vs Blogger” (most popular blogging platforms)

wordpress vs blogger

What can we say about that graph? For me, it seems that blogs are still quite popular and thousands of blogs are being published on daily basis.

Currently, in 2014, there are more than 152,000,00 blogs on the internet!

Why people Blog?

Blogs are made and used for many different reasons. I’ll explain that to you shortly. But in the meantime, you can actually have a look at my recent blog post that I wrote: “Why you should start a blog (10 reasons)“.

  • A) To express themselves
  • B) To delivery valuable information and news to other people on the internet
  • C) To make money (Yes, some people are making a lot of money with blogging)
  • D) Self-promotion
  • E) To connect with like-minded people
  • F) To gain knowledge
  • G) To find a better job
  • H) To improve writing skills
  • I) etc…

Your turn…

Do you now understand what is a blog? Or is there still something confusing? Leave a comment below and I’ll explain it to you once again! :)

By the way, if you really liked the idea of a blog and you want to start one, feel free to head over to my homepage where I explain how to set up a blog on your own. There’s no need for technical programming or HTML, so everyone can have a blog:)

Talk soon,

Mike

Comments

  1. Nice and well written blog post. I especially liked the blogging “timeline”.

    However, I wanted to chime in give my own explanation for a blog. Here it is:

    “For me, blog is website or platform where you can share and publish everything YOU want. In addition to that, you can also make money with blogs and grow your audience over time.”

    -Mick

  2. Hi Mike,
    Enjoyed your post! And I am still very appreciative of the support you give to others, especially beginners (like me !)
    For me a blog is letting the world come inside your mind and heart without being afraid. A way to share yourself with others in a way you may have always wanted to but never felt you could and a way to allow others to share themselves with you. It makes you feel a part of the world. At least that is what happened to me.
    Thanks again Mike!

  3. Nice views. Liked your post. Neil Patel is awesone btw. Feel inspired to be here.

  4. I enjoyed reading experts views of their explanations of what a blog is.

    I’ve just begun blogging but it has already changed the way I think about things. I created a travel blog and it has made me more interested in learning about the history, culture and people of the places I’m going to travel to instead of the sites I’ll be seeing. Blogging is a way to expand your knowledge and share it with others.

  5. I am a beginner blogger, hopefully posting my first entry soon. To me, a blog is a place where I can share information, advice, and insights that are valuable to me in a place where they may also become valuable to others. I can also look to the blogs of others for inspiration for my own life, and do so frequently.

  6. A blog is simply a tool that can be used. It can be used to spread evil, judgemental thoughts or it can be used for good and actually save someone’s life. A blog is a definite way to reach out to others.

  7. tomi tijani says:

    Thanks, Mike. I have l learnt so much from you and hope to start blogging soon…

    I love learning and can’t begin to count the number of things i have learnt from just reading blogs… so I describe a blog from this perspective — A blog is a medium where you as an individual, a group or an organization share your thoughts or expertise on a subject/subjects for the purpose of imparting and gaining knowledge, bringing about a desired change and in so doing, distinguishing yourself…

    tomi tijani

  8. Vidhya Ramani says:

    Hey Mike,
    Thanks for sharing such an informative article. I really enjoyed it. It was quite interesting to read the different perspectives of all the Professional Bloggers and about their idea of a blog. Kepp updating us with more posts like this. Looking foward for the next one :)

    Cheers,
    Vidhya

  9. Oh that was a cool post! Inspirational for someone like me ofcourse!! :) Blog, according to me is something like a diary, which was manual now digital. The exact transition of a diary!! :D

  10. Hii!
    I actually never finish reading a long blog post but I kinda really liked the subject and I was also very curious about the bloggers you asked to write something for your post.
    I really liked it (:

    I’m blogging about random things, so the things that are going on right now. It’s like a online diary to me…

  11. Hi Mike,
    While I haven’t started my blog as of yet I love the way youre keeping me informed and the many different lessons I have learned thus far. ..
    What I do want to say about what a blog means to me is that its a platform for me to express my feelings and possibly the feelings of others. I want to start a blog that reaches out to others who have a small voice and want to make it even bigger. Alot of times people are afraid of what others might think so why not start something where its just my blog but a blog for the people. ..lol sounding like Obama here for a second

  12. Hi Mike,

    This was a helpful brief history of the blog. It gives you some perspective on where we are in the evolution of this technique. It was a good idea to canvass successful bloggers on their opinions.

    I only just started my blog recently and originally was concerned that I would eventually run out of good ideas. That’s obviously not the case! I have lots of ideas in my “draft queue” to publish in the future. I am amazed at how much more traffic I am seeing in my LinkedIn site as a result of the updates that automatically occur when I have a new post. It’s a great way to (virtually) meet with other thought leaders who are interested in the same things that you are.

  13. Hi Mike,
    Thoroughly enjoyed your post.
    With the facts and figures you started with, it gave me a fair background of the entire ‘art’ as I would call it of blogging.
    Interesting.

  14. Hi Mike,
    I have recently started a blog (thanks to many of your tips) and for me it is a way to share information with like minded people and to bring some new information to people that are interested. My blog is about combining psychology and nutrition so I hope it will help people to make changes to improve their happiness and well being. I also hope to use it as a platform to grow my own business from.

  15. TET BUGAYONG says:

    I am one of the new follower of your blog. What I love the most about it? You explain it so simply. For newbies like me, I don’t see any reason we can’t get our blog starting.

  16. I have always wanted to start a blog and never started. I love the amount of information which you have conveyed in a simple way. I still need to start ,but with so many different ideas ,I am having trouble settling on one. Hopefully soon.Thank you for appearing in my emails.

  17. Hi Mike

    Awesome post and blog. Thanks for letting me know about it.

    I have been blogging for 4 years now. I started my blog as a place to brand myself. I actually have two blogs these days.

    I love the perspective of the various guests you have here.

    Well done!

    Sue

  18. Mike,
    For me, my blog is part of my legacy. Once, I saw a singer on TV talking about why his dead father is always “alive” to him. He maintains his late father’s phone number on his cellphone. It struck me as a good idea and so I started my website and my request is for my kids to maintain it after I am gone. Some of the stuff I write are evergreen to help people navigate some of the difficult stuff at their workplace. I have worked 40 years with several multinational corporations and thus, view myself as an expert in this area. I have slowed down quite a bit, discouraged by the dismal traffic although I still have plenty to share. I will not give up but I am not fired to charge along. If anyone comes across my blog and find it useful, good for him/her and good for me. My effort is not wasted. Thanks for the space.

  19. I have been reading blogs for a while and have just started my own, been thinking about it for sometime and then decided to bite the bullet and see how it goes. I found your blog very helpful and your site, also your emails about blogging. All really useful information for new bloggers, so thanks for that.

    To me a blog is a sharing of information that interests you, with like minded people around the world.

    It is interesting that in all blogs about setting up blogs people say have a topic/main theme for your blog, mine however is more random more a lifestyle blog, so I will be interested to see whether anything happens with it since it doesn’t focus on one topic.

  20. Jo-Ann White says:

    As always you are very informative and encouraging. I am still very excited about my blog but struggling with installing my pages and content. Have been super busy this week so haven’t been able to have a go at it. Thanks for the interesting info on blog history.

  21. I’ve been wanting to find a home for my writing for a long time. Blogging is the answer to the challenge of finding a venue or manner in which to write on a regular basis with no limitations. Now that I’ve pulled the trigger, and set up my blog, I’m developing my writing muscle and finding my niche. Honestly, I’m faking it until I become it! Act like a writer, become a writer. And each time I post, the more I feel like I’m finding my voice. My hope is to someday have something valuable to convey, and be that place where people can visit to take a break from their chaotic lives and ponder ideas and opinions with me, big and small.

    Thanks for all you share. Your generosity is appreciated, and I look forward to the next post!

  22. Muhammad Sule says:

    Quite informative indeed. What I have learnt on this blog has given me a push further to start learning how to blog and then set up my own blog(s) soon. And please Mike, be there as my mentor. For me a blog is an online vehicle by which an individual or a group of individuals passes information to the society on a periodic basis; archiving the information in a chronological order and welcoming comments.

    I hope you will provide me with needed support to become a great blogger.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for stepping by. As you already know, you can feel free to get in touch with me anytime via email.

      Best,
      Mike

  23. For me a blog is someplace that I am able to free my mind and voice my opinions about life events because I have so much. It is also a place where I can be myself and I can get empty my head and my heart. So it is my online/computerized therapist.
    At first when I thought about starting a blog I thought…..what if people don’t like what I have to, what if people aren’t attracted to my Page, what would be their fault with me, can I do this? All these are questions I asked myself but reading this made me feel better because I realize that I have so much to offer and I am able to connect with all of my experiences, so this blog really helped me so thanks alot mike

  24. Hello Mike,

    Thank you very much for this very informing post. What’s the difference between a blog and a website? I am planning to open up my own blog (or website) but I still have to do a lot of readings. Honestly, I want to have an income-generating blog someday, so, is it advisable to start with a free one or with a self-hosted one?

  25. Hi Mike,

    Thanks a million for this, it really is very helpful for newbees that are trying to start one and just cant get the hang of things, but the information here seems pretty straight forward and easy to understand regardless of age and technical computer ability, which is hard to find these days.

    The reason I started my blog was to be able to connect with people and ofcourse to let loose the mayhem that is my mind, I have been into writing for a long time and normally do it on paper but I’ve found that having a blog lets other like minded people get a peek at what I’m about, I also started this blog to be able to write some short stories to help better my skills as a writer. I find freedom and some level of personal contentment in just letting lose.

    Again I appreciate the time you have been taking to teach people about blogging and how to improve their reach and also eventually be able to earn an income via this exciting tool, cheers and thanks again.. you are officially Awesome..!!!!!!

  26. Fantastic… thanks, it has me motivated to start.

    Now to come up with a domain name… Have posted on Facebook asking for ideas from friends

  27. Hi Mike, I liked your blog and felt encouraged. I have huge interest in writing and I want to start a blog, but confused about the idea, what to write first.

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