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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, 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,
According to Harvard Law School website,
… but enough of those “geeky” words. Just read my simple and easy to understand definition below.
So WHAT is a BLOG?
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?
A blog is very similar to a website. I would say that a 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. The person who keeps the blog alive (posting new posts, sharing the 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 written 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:
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.
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“.
UPDATE: For a more recent article, check out Nadya's post.
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.
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.
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 / She teaches how to blog.
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 a 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.
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.
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” –
“WordPress vs Blogger” (most popular blogging platforms)
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…
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:)