With over 600 million blogs on the internet, you’ve likely encountered one or two blogs—you’re even on one right now. But you may still wonder what exactly is a blog? How does it differ from a website? Why does every business seem to have one? You may even ask yourself, how can I start my own blog?
In short, many individuals and businesses create a blog to share their ideas and expertise as well as boost their online presence. This article will answer your most pressing blogging questions and help you understand how and why blogs succeed, plus show how you can utilize them.
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What is a blog?
Definition of a blog
Blogs are regularly updated websites that provide insight into a certain topic. The word blog is a combined version of the words “web” and “log.” At their inception, blogs were simply an online diary where people could keep a log about their daily lives on the web. They have since morphed into an essential forum for individuals and businesses alike to share information and updates. In fact, many people even make money blogging as professional full-time bloggers.
Types of blogs
Different types of blogs cover varying topics, from food and fashion to marketing. Blogs are composed of individual posts on more specific subjects within the blog’s field of expertise. To get started with blogs on social media, check out microblogging. These posts often serve as a platform for discussions, as many blogs have active comments sections. You can think of a blog almost as a newspaper that adds articles and continually maintains the archive.
Whether you’ve seen stand-alone blogs or blogs as website sections, you’ve probably encountered blog examples all over the internet. Some of the most popular types of blogs in the blogosphere include:
Health and fitness blogs
Fashion and beauty blogs
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Website vs blog
As you now know, a blog often deals with a given topic and is updated with regular posts, mostly in the form of articles. Websites, however, are often broken down into inner explanatory pages, each with varying purposes. This can mean anything from an FAQ page to a welcoming homepage design. These pages are occasionally updated, making a website more static than a blog. Oftentimes websites have internal blogs, while other websites are entirely blogs without any additional pages.
When blogs are a section of a larger website, the website provides the bulk of the information and uses a blog feature to keep users updated and engaged. For example, think of an online store that also offers a blog about their various products and how to use them.
Blogs that make up the entire website usually rely on the content itself rather than sell a product or market a service.
Importance of blogs
Whether it’s personal or professional, a blog provides endless opportunities for a website’s traffic growth. Not to mention, the popularity of blogs hasn't diminished. In fact, the opposite is true: As Neal Shaffer, founder of the digital marketing consultancy PDCA Social says, blogging isn’t dead, “blogs are useful for a lot more than just sharing your thoughts. In fact, 60% of consumers will buy something after they’ve read a blog post on the topic.”
Blogging is still important today for the following reasons:
Relationship and community building
Much like social media platforms, blogs allow people to share their thoughts and experiences with others. Given the active comment sections, they enable people to interact with one another and build relationships based on shared interests that aren’t limited by geographic location. Essentially, blogs have become a social platform unto themselves.
Another reason why blogging has become so popular is that many people have started monetizing their blogs. Bloggers tend to make money off of advertisements in a couple of different forms. One of the most common types of advertisements is affiliate marketing. Since bloggers often discuss a given topic and experience in their field, they are reliable sources for those topics.
For example, if you've started a travel blog and write about your experiences and what you did in various destinations, your readers might follow your advice. Because you provide information about travel attractions and promote them to your readers, those travel attractions might be willing to pay you to increase their visitor count. Bloggers could also make money on digital ads or sell their blogs to larger media entities.
Easy to create
On a technical note, blogs have surged because it has become easy for individuals to create and update their own blogs regularly using a code-less website building platform. And because blogs are about any topic of choice, anyone can choose to create their own. Still not convinced? Let our blogging for beginners guide show you how.
Ready to create your own? Get started with these totally customizable blog website templates.
Blogging for business, why is matters
Here are three ways blogging for business can help you promote your business:
Keep customers up-to-date
Most businesses have turned to blogging to effectively keep customers or clients up-to-date. Since blogs are updated regularly, they enable businesses to share company changes, inform users about deals and provide the best tips possible for using their product.
Inbound marketing opportunities
Blogs also allow businesses to provide a wider breadth of content, thereby helping them attract a larger audience of readers. This tactic is called inbound marketing, and is the act of creating content to draw your audience to your brand.
Let’s say you sell flowers and your site offers various bouquets. Logically, anyone looking to buy flowers can find what they need on your site. But, if you come up with relevant blog content ideas with posts like, “How to Care for Your Flowers” then people who aren’t explicitly looking to buy flowers, but searching for similar keywords, could reach your site. You drive traffic to your site as a result.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of improving a website’s position on search engine results, thus improving its visibility. When search engines like Google notice that more people visit a given site, they may consider their content more relevant. In turn, search engines might increase exposure of that website, allowing it to appear closer to the top of the results page. And, of course, the closer to the top of the results a site gets, the more likely people will click on it.
Additionally, search engines often look for fresh and timely content. While many websites have relatively static content, a regularly-updated blog provides the perfect forum for content changes. While SEO can feel a bit intimidating, these SEO for bloggers tips can help ease the process.
Why start a professional blog?
A blog is an excellent way to establish your professional expertise in a given field. When you include practical information and regularly updated guides, you present yourself as an authority in your line of work and a leader in your field.
Blogging as an expert can also open the door for potential monetization and turning your blog into a career.
Why start a personal blog?
Blogs allow individuals to share updates with friends and family. For example, if you're traveling somewhere exotic and want to share photos and info about your trip with a number of different people, you can direct them to a centralized blog.
How to start a blog?
Now that you’ve learned all about blog essentials, you’re ready to start a blog. First, head to a website builder and create an account. Then, choose your favorite customizable blog template to fit the style and needs of your blog design. Finally, you add your authentic content, create blog posts and hit publish.
What to include in a blog
Once you’ve created your blog, it’s time to think about your blog posts. When figuring out your content type, think about your target audience. Be sure to produce evergreen copy and regularly update your blog content.
Blog posts should be relatively easy to read and understand, but should nonetheless provide a complete summary of the topic at hand. Check out this article for a complete explanation of how to write a blog post and read through our best blog post templates for inspiration.
Writing a blog starts with knowing how to write a catchy blog title. The title is the first thing that readers see before they even reach your blog. Your title will appear on Google, and most potential readers will judge you by those few words alone. Consider what keywords people would search for to get to your blog or blog post. If you need guidance, a title generator can point you in the right direction.
By getting into your readers’ minds, you can optimize your blog and your writing to become a content powerhouse.
How to make your blog succeed?
After launching your blog, you can add elements to your blog to please both readers and Google. Those elements range from quick supplements, such as adding quality visuals to your blog posts, to doing intensive keyword research for SEO purposes. To get a full sense of how to boost your blog, check out these essential blogging tools.
You also need to know how to promote your blog to make it successful. While social media is an accessible blog promotion channel for most, look at these highly recommended tips for how to promote your blog. Here’s to becoming the next viral sensation.