I know there are plenty of people who aren’t ready to start a blog… instead they’re still at a point where they’re asking what the heck is a blog and how does it work? Well this guide is for you. The super-new-to-blogging-VIP’s.
The History of Blogging (& My First Blog Experience)
In the early 2000’s, these web logs emerged, and were initially designed for those wanting to create online journals. Personally, I recall a college friend sending me a link to her “blog” back in 2003, and it detailed her daily life as though I were reading a diary. It was actually quite shocking to me, that anyone would share these details publicly… little did I know, I would become one of the most read professional bloggers in the world.
One of the most memorable early experiences I have with blogging… I was in college at Rutgers University in New Jersey. I searched for 9-11 updates after being sent home from class as a precaution. Skimming through the news articles that came up in search… there was a blog that popped up in the results. While I had spent 30 seconds skimming articles from popular news sources… I spent hours reading and waiting for further updates from this blogger. Later, I would wonder why this blogger had such a hold on me- what was it that made me hang on his every word, and wait for more? This would become extremely important to me, and my approach to blogging.
The truth is, blogging is unlike anything we have had before. It is the first time in history, where anyone has the opportunity to have a voice. That voice is seen as credible, personal, relatable. It is a real life person communicating, rather than a news outlet. It also provides a chain of information, vs. a one-time article. There are so many reasons we latch on to blogging and bloggers, and it is a new world because of this.
What is a Blog?
The word, “blog” is short for “web log.” The word is used to describe a website that journals information in reverse chronological order, with latest posts (articles) appearing first. This site is an example of a blog, however the layout is a modern approach to a traditional blog, where articles are featured out of order, based on usefulness instead of by date. In fact, these days, blogs can take all all different forms and can be used for a variety of purposes.
A traditional blog layout:
Differences between a blog and static website…
You may be wondering what the difference is between a blog and a website. Here are a few differences:
- Blogs are created on blogging platforms. The most simple way to tell the difference between a blog and a static website, is the platform it is built on. Blogs are built on blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, Tumblr, etc. (I STRONGLY recommending going with WordPress and self-hosting through BlueHost, rather than free blog platforms which limit your blogging potential severely, and come with risks.) These platforms are designed with bloggers in mind, and have specific foundations designed to organize regularly updated blog posts, etc.
- Blogs are updated frequently. In fact, they require frequent updating, and constant upkeep. For example, my travel blog, (Spoiledtraveler.com) requires me to share frequent updates with my readers, providing them with consistent new information. Static websites, on the other hand, may go months or even years without updating their site pages.
- Blogs allow reader interaction. Visitors are encouraged to subscribe, comment, “like” and follow, etc. Contrary to static websites, that often do not have a way for readers to interact with the author or owner.
What is Blogging?
Blogging is the word used to describe the process of all that is required to maintain a blog: implementing blogging tools, writing blog posts, posting, and sharing them on the internet. The term covers EVERYTHING that is done by a blogger, to maintain and grow a blog.
How to Start Blogging