Blogging refers to writing, photography, and other media that’s self-published online. Blogging started as an opportunity for individuals to write diary-style entries, but it has since been incorporated into websites for many businesses. The hallmarks of blogging include frequent updates, informal language, and opportunities for readers to engage and start a conversation.
Here’s an overview of what a blog is, why it’s popular, and tips for starting your own blog.
What Is Blogging?
The word blog is actually a shortened form of its original name, “weblog.” These weblogs allowed early internet users to “log” the details of their day in diary-style entries. Blogs often allow readers to comment, so as they became more common, communities sprung up around popular blogs.
The content of blogs varies significantly. For example, travel blogs may feature many pictures with few written passages, while political blogs may weigh in with wordy takes on the news of the day. The popularity of YouTube and similar sites also gave rise to video blogging, or “vlogging.”
Like most internet-based innovations, many entrepreneurs saw marketing potential in having a blog, and the adoption of blogging among the business community helped further increase the popularity of the medium. Not only can a blog be used for marketing a business, but it can also become a home business in and of itself.
How Blogging Works
Blogging is as simple as obtaining a website and publishing original content on it. Tech-savvy bloggers can buy a domain name and build the website themselves. Those with less HTML knowledge can create an account with sites like WordPress that simplify the web design and publishing process.
Blogs are usually simple websites. Older pieces may be archived in separate sections of the site, and there may be a separate page with contact info or a bio, but the blog itself is usually just a single page that can be scrolled through—similar to the news feed on social media sites like Facebook. As with a Facebook news feed, a blog displays the newest content at the top of the page.
All of the posts on a blog are usually created by a single author. However, when a company or organization maintains a blog, it may pay for blog content—either by hiring a team of writers or buying content to post.
Another unique feature of blogging is interlinking. This occurs when a blogger links to another person’s blog within their own blog post. For example, if a music teacher maintains a blog, and they write a blog post about how to form a chord, they might link to a musician’s blog to show an example of the chords in action. A political blogger may link to another politics blog and then discuss how they agree or disagree with a post on that blog. Interlinking, along with the comment section, fosters the sense of community that makes blogs unique.