The blog is a buzzword of all times on the Internet. There are millions of blogs online. This is a beginner’s guide to blog and Blogging. So, if you are new to blogging or are willing to create a blog of your own, keep reading. Let’s get started with the definition of a blog.
A Blog is a shortened name for a weblog. WebLog consists of Web and Log. Web means the Internet and Log means a list of records. Therefore the meaning of Blog or weblog comes to be a place on the Internet where you post your records regularly. Hence, a more refined definition of a blog will be as follows.
A Blog is a website, which is being regularly updated. Another term linked to a blog is a post. The post is a single page or piece of information on the blog published at once. It is also known as an article. For example, the current page that you are reading is a post on the WTMatter blog.
One or more users may publish posts on a blog. Frequency of publishing posts matters. Most commonly, posts are listed on a blog in chronological order. Latest posts appear on the Top while the old posts can be anytime browsed using the Page Numbers or other navigation options. Initially, the concept of blogs was limited to individual users only. But in the past decade, people have given a special designation to blogs. Now, there’s a trend of MABs (Multi-Author Blogs). Companies run their blogs along with their websites. For example, News Websites publish the latest news on their blogs.
The activity of managing a blog is known as Blogging. Although the term blog is a noun as it is the name of a website on the Internet but it is also used as a verb. As a verb, it defines the activity of maintaining a blog. Examples of the term blog used as a noun and as a verb are given below.
- Noun. We publish useful digital content on WTMatter blog regularly.
- Verb. It’s been a year since I blogged.
The people who do blogging are known as Bloggers.
There are a number of different blogging platforms that let you create blogs. WordPress and Blogger are the two most popular blogging platforms. Some of the platforms like WordPress.com and Blogger.com, allows you to create Free Blog. But the free blogs are usually offered with subdomains and does not shows up professionalism. As blogs are basically websites, so in order to run blogs professionally, you require to spend money for top-level domains such as .com, .org, .net, etc and web hosting. Domain names and web hosting services are quite affordable.
In the earlier days of the Internet, a person requires to have enough technical knowledge to create a website or a blog. But these days, with the revolution of Blogging platforms and content management systems, anybody can easily create a blog without having any technical knowledge. Consequently, blogging has emerged people from all fields to come over and the internet and share whatever they want to with the global community. Due to this reason, you can find blogs on just any topic. You can find news blogs, cooking blogs, mathematics blog, science blogs, technology blogs and more.
Blogs were initially mostly textual but now tables have turned and you can view blog posts which are media enriched and contains information in images and videos apart from just being textual. Blogs have also emerged as information resources on the web. Internet is popular because you can get information about just anything over it. But who post that information on the Internet? Obviously, people like us. Blogging has helped to bring lots of non-technical users who publish content of their field which other people on the web can read and can gain knowledge.
Therefore, Blogging is also seen from the viewpoint of Online Content Creation. With Inspiration of publishing posts on a blog, a new term vlog has been evolved, which means video logs. It is been used by people sharing content on Video Sharing Websites like YouTube.
Types of Blogs
Blogs can be of different types and mostly it depends upon the content of the blog. But content is not the only criteria on which the blogs are differentiated. They can also be differentiated on the basis of content delivery methods, purpose, and approach of sharing information. Some of the most common types of blogs are briefly explained below.
The blogs which are written by individuals as their online diary are known as Personal Blogs. A lot of celebrities run such kind of blogs and posts information about their daily life and events. Such blogs have a limited audience as only those people visit such blogs who are interested in someone’s personal life. Such blogs attract an audience like family and friends in most of the cases. Personal Blogs have also replaced the Daily diaries in the digital world. Some of the personal blogs succeed in attracting a lot of audiences. People running such blogs usually become good influencers. Therefore, they also attract advertising offers and contacted by different brands for promotional purposes.
The blogs where shorter pieces of content such as a few lines of text, images or short videos are posted, once in a while, are called Microblogs. The activity of microblogs management is called microblogging. It is also quite popular because it enables you to share your spontaneous activity and live events quickly with the outside world. People make use of social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for microblogging. It is very popular. Artists and celebrities do microblogging to regularly notify their audience and fans about their latest activities. Therefore, microblogs are also good for influencing activities.
Corporate and Business Blogs
Corporate companies and business also run their own blogs where they usually post information about their latest products and services. Companies also maintain their blogs to help their customers and userbase by publishing guidelines and tutorials of their products and services.
Genre Based Classification
Blogs can be classified on the basis of content. Different people publish posts about different topics on their blogs. For example, a person shares cooking recipes on the blog, another person shares about the latest technology gadgets and likewise, some other people publish blogs posts about fashion. Therefore, their blogs can be categorized as Cooking, Technology and Fashion blogs. Similarly, there could be numerous different types of blog on the basis of content and genre.
Blogs can also be categorized on the basis of the type of content they are publishing. By type, we mean, text, images or videos. For example, on video sharing websites, the term, the vlog is used. Similarly, there are blogs that only images as their blog content.
The blogs where the people (most commonly the visitors) publish content rather than a single author or group of authors. These blogs usually have a small moderation team. Visitors submit their blog post content and this team publish those posts on the blog after inspection and moderation.
Medium.com is an example of one of the most successful Reverse Blogs.
There could be even more classification and categorizations for different types of blogs. We’ve just listed down the common ones.
How To Start A Blog?
You can create your own blog really quick. We’ve published a detailed guide to help people like you getting started with blogging. The link to the guide is given below.
In case, you want to create a Free Blog on the World’s most popular Blogging platform offered by Google, then follow the link given below.
We’ve also given one more link below. It’s basically a list of those blogging platforms which are quite popular and lets you create blogs easily for Free.
Blog and Blogging Terminology
There are a lot of terms somehow associated with blogs and blogging. In this section, I’ve tried to explain most of those terms which can really help newbies to understand blogging better. For a better understanding of blogs and blogging, do not skip reading this section.
A platform or a software-based service that lets you create, manage and run blogs is known as a blogging platform. Examples of blogging platforms are Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Tumbler.com, etc. There are free as well as premium blogging platforms. Free blogging platforms have some limitations. The most basic limitation is the domain name. Mostly, you get a subdomain to create your blog. If you want to use your own domain name, either you have to buy it yourselves and then connect it or you have to pay to the blogging platform to add your domain name.
Blogger.com lets you add your own domain name and connect with your Blogger blog. It’s just that the domain name has to be purchased separately by you. Blogging platforms host all of your blog content including text and images. Platforms like Blogger have some guidelines and if you don’t obey them they reserve the right to delete your blog(s) anytime.
Due to the limitations of these Free Blogging platforms, most of the people prefer to host their blogs themselves. In such a case, for better content and overall blog management, a number of blog software and content management system (CMS) are available. WordPress (WordPress.org) is the most popular CMS or Blog Management software being used by more than 35% of all websites on the Internet. You just have to install it on your web hosting and you will be able to create a blog within 5 minutes using WordPress.
You can also install WordPress on your local PC and try it before making the plan of using it for actual blogging use. To help you in installing WordPress locally, we’ve already published a tutorial on our blog.
A domain name is basically the address of a website. For example, to reach our website, you have to enter our domain name, wtmatter.com in the URL bar of your web browser. Every blog needs to have a domain name so that other people can reach upto to your blog. Blogging platforms like Blogger.com and WordPress.com lets you create blogs on their subdomains for Free. For example, a blog created on WordPress.com will have the address, your-blog-name.wordpress.com
Likewise, on Blogger (formerly BlogSpot), the blog address will be like your-blog-name.blogspot.com
Most of the professional blogs, prefer to have a domain name of their own rather than opting for a subdomain. By Professional blogs, I mean to say the blogs with Top Level domains like .com, .org, .net, etc. In such a case, you’ve to buy your own domain name for any of the Domain Name Registrar like GoDaddy. The domain name cost may vary. And under promotional offers, you can get a domain name for as low as a dollar for one year.
Web Hosting is also required in the case, you want to host your own blog yourselves and do not want to rely on a Free Blog Hosting platform. You can either code your blog yourselves if you’re technical enough to do so or you can use any software for the purpose. As I mentioned earlier, WordPress is the most popular CMS, you will need to have a web hosting to set up a WordPress blog or website.
We’ve already published a list of best web hosting services that lets you host your own WordPress blog easily.
In case, you do not want to spend much on hosting, we’ve published for you a list of cheap web hosting companies that offer quality hosting services.
Traffic is the volume of incoming visitors to your blog or website. A blog’s success is measured by traffic. More traffic a blog will be able to gain, more valued it’ll become. Your blog may also get advertising and several earning opportunities if you’re able to serve good amount of traffic to your blog. Traffic is also classified on its source. For example, if you’re getting traffic from Search Engines, it is known as organic traffic, if you’re getting it from social media, then it’s known as Social Traffic, or if people are coming to your blog directly, by typing in your blog address in their browsers, then it is known as direct traffic.
You can measure your blog traffic properly using free tools like Google Analytics.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The activity of optimizing your blog or website, so as to get more and more traffic from the Search Engines, is known as SEO or Search Engine Optimization. We’ve already written a detailed guide on SEO, which you can find at the following link.
Digital Marketing is basically marketing using Digital Technologies. In other words, we basically make use of the Internet for promotional purposes in Digital Marketing. Blogging is also involved as an aspect of Digital Marketing. The reasons are clear and justified below.
- Bloggers can earn money with their blogs if they get good traffic.
- Blogs can be used to promote products and services to the audience. Wherever there is an audience, there is a possibility of Digital Marketing.
- In case, you want traffic on your blogs, you can make use of Digital Marketing Techniques for the same.
Therefore, blogging has a lot to do with Digital Marketing and vice-versa.
We have got a detailed guide for you on Digital Marketing as well.
There are different ways to make money from blogs. Affiliate Marketing is one of those ways. Affiliate Marketing is a type of Digital Marketing technique, in which companies offer a program in which other people who promote their products and services and make sales for the company, gets a commission for each sale they make.
For a better understanding of Affiliate Marketing, read our detailed guide.
You need to target the potential buying audience if you really want to make money with Affiliate Marketing and Blogging.
Comments are also of the identification symbols of a blog. Most of the blogs allow visitors to post comments under their blog posts. Users can write whatsoever they want to write related to the blog post content by posting their comment in the comments section that usually appears beneath every post.
Different bloggers follow different commenting approaches. Some allow just anybody to post a comment without any authorization, some allow commenting but do not reveal the comment by anyone of the user publically on their blog until they manually review it for spam or another judgment purpose.
Likewise, many blogs also offer to comment on Social Media accounts. For example, you can log into some websites with your Facebook or Google account to post a comment. Here on WTMatter, anybody can post a comment by entering their name and email address. Blog Comments improves readership. These are really a great way for the visitors and authors to interact with each other. Visitors commonly ask questions related to the content and authors reply with solutions. Quality comments also add up to the overall quality of your blog content and therefore also sometimes helps a lot in SEO and thus in getting more traffic from the Search Engines.
The links to your blog given by any of the other blogs and websites are known as Backlinks. They’re really helpful for getting organic traffic as they are one of the factors that Search Engine analyzes for better ranking of websites in the Search Engine Results. The higher number of quality backlinks a blog can get, better are the chances of it getting higher ranking and thus more traffic. I’ve already explained about Backlinks in a separate article.
Social Media Sharing
Most of the blogs also have social media sharing icons placed somewhere on the page. Usually, these icons are placed at the starting or end of the blog posts. There’s a trend of having floating sharing icons. These icons usually appear in the left or right side of the post, floating and do not move even you scroll through the post. Hence, it grabs the continuous attraction of the visitor and urges for clicking on them.
These icons imply enables visitors to quickly share blog posts on social media. But why sharing? The reasons are obvious. With sharing your blog posts on social media, more people can find your blog and therefore, your referral traffic from social media may increase. The next major benefit is in SEO. As backlinks matter in SEO, social media sharing simply helps as building backlinks from social media sites to your blog. Social Media Sharing is separately itself a factor that helps in good search engine rankings.
Guest Posting is quite a popular term when we talk about blogs and blogging. It is the act of publishing a blog post on some other blog. Therefore, the other blog post, where the post is being publisher any of the visitor or the user not directly related to the blog, the visitor itself will be a guest for the blog and hence the type of publishing is known as Guest Posting.
Guest Posting is a good way to build your blog authority over the different Blogs audience. It is also seen as a way to build backlinks from other blogs. Most of the blogs which allow guest posting, also allows you to include one or more links as per your wish. This way, mostly at the end of the article, you can include a link back to your website. This helps in two ways again, one is backlinking and other is referral traffic from the other blog.
Therefore, guest posting is a good way for building more audience and getting your blog popular in the overall blogging community. As not every blog offers to publish guest posts, you need to find out the blog which does. Commonly, you’ve to contact the blog concerns via email in order to get your post published on their blogs or websites.
Paid or Sponsored Posts
When others charge you for publishing a post on their blogs or websites, then the post is known as Paid or Sponsored Post. A lot of companies when you have a good audience on your blog contacts you for Sponsored Post. Most of these companies just want from you to publish some content, usually a review about their company’s products or services and in return, they pay you.
Niche means a topic for a small but specialized audience. Therefore, Niche Blogging is all about publishing blog posts around a specialized topic and targeted for a specific population. Niche Blogging is usually done for Profits and Marketing purposes. For example, blogging about Bitcoins is an example of Niche Blogging, although Bitcoins have become a very vast topic these days. Not everybody is interested in trading in bitcoins, therefore the audience is defined and highly targeted. It can be used for promoting different things related to the cryptocurrency market. A lot of people create Niche blogs to generate passive revenue for them, usually from Advertisements.
The term Micro-Niche Blogging is also used for blogging around more narrowed-down topics, like topics around a particular software. For example, a blog on Microsoft Excel.
The online network of blogs and bloggers is known as Blogosphere. Mostly, this term is used for interconnections between the different blog over a network. Sometimes this term can be used to narrow down to the network of blogs of a particular niche or topic. For example, the Fashion Blogosphere term can be used to talk about blogs around Fashion.
Category, Tags, and Labels
Categories, Tags, and Labels are all used for the classification of different posts and articles published on a blog. This helps the authors to organize their content and also helps the visitors to find the topics of their interests in a better way. In the most popular CMS, WordPress, blog posts can be organized into Categories, Sub-Categories, and Tags. Blogger.com allows you to categorize the posts using only Labels. The post that you’re reading right now is categorized under the Blogging Category of this blog. Most of the times, you can find any of these classification displays in the sidebar sections of the blog.
There are some websites on the Internet which keeps the listings of different blog on the Internet. These websites are known as Blog Directories. These are many blog directories. You can submit your blog under the appropriate category on these directories. These websites are often used by bloggers for the purpose of backlinking.
The blogs have usually a common layout. The webpage is divided into two sections parallelly as we scroll down. There’s a larger section usually on the Left-hand side that contains the actual blog post content and on the right-hand side, there’s a small width section, and it is known as Sidebar.
The sidebar is used by bloggers for letting users aware of different things on the blogs. Such as to showcase the author profiles, to list the different categories of the blog, for subscription prompts, for advertisements, etc.
A Blogroll is usually a list of blogs that you place somewhere on your blog (most commonly in sidebars and homepage) to showcase your visitors that what other blogs you recommend the people to read. Blogrolls can have a good impact on the mind of your blog’s new visitors.
This is more a topic of SEO but used a lot in context to blogging and content creation. To derive traffic to your blog, you need to find out what people are searching on the Internet so that you can publish the related post and can attract visitors towards your content. The process of finding out what queries and keywords people are searching on the Internet the most is known as Keyword Research.
There are a lot of other terms associated with Blog and Blogging such as Anchor Tags, ALT Text, Feed, Stylesheets, Favicons, Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Tags, Permalinks, etc. which I’ve all explained in other linked articles, most of them in the Digital Marketing and SEO Guide articles.
Making Money Online With A Blog
Most of the people are interested in blogging due to the fact that they can make money online with their blogs. Blogging with the sole intention of making money is also known as Money Blogging. Blogs having good audience keeps the potential of earning money.
You need to monetize your blog in order to get revenue generated for you. There are different ways to monetize a blog. The most common way is to use an advertising platform like Google AdSense. These platforms allow you to place ads on blogs and websites and you’ll get paid by them according to the impressions and clicks that the ads get. Google AdSense is one of the most successful programs that bloggers are getting benefited from. But make sure, you will only earn well if you’ll have good traffic on your blog.
The next major way to monetize your blog is doing Affiliate Marketing, which I’ve already explained above in this article. In order to be successful in creating an Affiliate Marketing blog, you need to derive highly target and potential buying customers on your blog.
Another way of money blogging is accepting the sponsored post, again you’ll only get requests for sponsored posts if your blog has good audience. You can also allow Advertising opportunities on your blog by letting third-party advertisers place ads on your blog, in return of paying to you. I’ll soon publish a detailed post on different ways of monetizing a blog.
For now, you can read this awesome guide for monetizing a blog by Kinsta.com.
We’ve also published an article all about some of the best ways to make money online, which you can find at the following link.
Hope you liked this guide on Blogs and Blogging. If so, do share it with others who might find blogging interesting as well. Don’t forget to subscribe to WTMatter for more such useful content and if you’ve any questions related to this article, feel free to ask your questions in the comments section below.