Three years ago I did not know what a “blog” was and today I manage two successful blogs, one for business and one for Bible study.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
- Find more detailed Types of Blogs from the WordPress site
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 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!