What is a Blog?

The world of blogging has grown so rapidly, its easy to forget that many people are still unfamiliar with the concept, format and terms.

It’s a common misperception to think that blogs are just a personal diary. A blog is different from a website in that blogs are updated frequently and allow interaction between the writer and the audience. If you’d like a simplified understanding of blogging, then continue reading this article written for those who are new to blogging.

What is a Blog?

The word “blog” is both a noun and a verb.

  • Noun: A blog is simply a website maintained by a person passionate about a subject.
  • Verb: When you blog, you are writing an article for website publication.

What is the function of a blog?

  • To inform others about a particular subject
  • To provide news and information
  • To connect with a global community

How do I “read” a blog?

  • You’ll read the newest article (blog post) first.
  • Archives are older blog posts.
  • Each article has a comment box where you can reply to the author and the other people reading the blog.
  • If you click bold or underlined print, you will be sent to another website of interest to the blogger.

What does it mean to “subscribe” to a blog?

  • When you subscribe to a blog, you will get daily updates by email or by a blog feed (called RSS). When the blog author writes a new article, you’ll receive an update with just that article.
  • When you subscribe you become part of that blog “community” of followers, or people with a similar interest.

Some types of blogs include:

  • Social Blogs-which follow the life of a particular person, family, or interest group
  • Business Blogs-which feature product information and resources
  • Link Blogs-which feature a list of related links to a specific subject
  • Publication Blogs-which feature articles from media publications to provide information
  • Mommy Blogs-which are social blogs written by Moms and Dads

Why do people write blogs?

  • Business blogs are written to generate visitors to your business website, build name branding and promote products.
  • Social blogs are written to share interest in a specific subject or passion.

Who should blog?

  • Leaders: people with a desire to lead, motivate and inspire others.
  • Artists: people who create unusual and interesting items.
  • Authors: people who are gifted with their words.
  • Entertainers: interesting people should blog for the enjoyment of others

Who should NOT blog?

  • Children. The unsupervised web is not safe for kids.
  • Angry spouses. Discussing your husband’s irritable behavior on the web shows your own bad character.

Why do people “link a blog?”

  • Blogs are linked to show a common interest. For example, if you homeschool and want to find books (information), you’ll click a homeschool site and may find a list of books to read. Or you may want to find other homeschooling families (social) so the links help you connect with other homeschoolers.
  • When you link to another blog, you may add a photo/button to the other blog or a simple URL link to another blog.
  • When you link to several blogs, you create a “Blogroll” usually found in the side column of a blog.

How do I write a blog?

  • Anyone can write a blog.
  • Start with a free blog such as http://www.Blogger.com or www.WordPress.com and follow the instructions to create a blog.
  • A blog can have more than one author or guest authors.
  • A blog cannot have duplicate content from another blog due to copyright rules.

What is the cost to blog?

  • The cost depends on your interest and how much you want to spend. Many bloggers (people who write blogs) start with a free blog and if successful, will upgrade their service or hire a blog design company to improve the look and function of their blog.

What are the most common mistakes in a new blog?

  • No theme. Writing about everything from the color of your walls to the new business you are promoting is a common mistake.
  • Innocence. Putting up the names of your children and your home address is not safe. I prefer nicknames for children to protect their identity.
  • No posts. People will not read a blog that has one post every few months.
  • Blog design. Blogs are not scrapbooks, they are  difficult to read when cluttered.
  • Here is a full list of  Common Blog Mistakes.

Recommended Reading for Successful Blogs

  • The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
  • ProBlogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
  • What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

Now you have enough information to Go Blogging!

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