Date First Published: 11th September 2022
Topic: Web Design & Development
Subtopic: Web Development
Difficulty Level: 3/10
Learn more about what a blog is in this article.
A blog is an informational website regularly updated by an individual or small group of individuals that is published on the internet for anyone to read. Blogs are written in an informal, diary style and often contain information about people's personal experiences, feelings, opinions, and lives. Anyone with internet access that knows how to build and publish a webpage can create a blog. The term blog is an abbreviation of 'weblog' and can also be used as a verb, meaning to add new posts or update a blog, such as 'I blogged several times last week.' People often blog using services, such as Wix, Medium, Blogger, and WordPress.
Blogs are usually organised into categories, which contain posts. On the homepage, the posts are usually organised in reverse chronological order with the most recent post appearing at the top of the webpage and the oldest post appearing at the bottom of the webpage. Large blogs that contain hundreds or thousands of posts are likely to use pagination on the homepage, where the posts are broken up into separate pages in order to prevent the page from becoming overloaded. Posts may contain a comments section, where users can share their opinion and write feedback about the post as well as like buttons, allowing users to quickly share their blog posts on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
If a blog is successful, bloggers can monetise it with ads or affiliate marketing. With advertising, advertisers place ads on publisher's websites and publishers earn money each time someone clicks through an ad and every 1000 impressions (RPM). Affiliate marketing is when someone advertises a product on their website. If someone clicks through the link and makes a purchase, the publisher will earn a small commission from whoever sells that product. Making a blog popular and getting it to rank high for certain keywords is a long process, but a blogger's determination to rank high and get enough traffic to monetise and make money from their blog will eventually succeed, as long as they follow tips for SEO, which are listed here.
A blog is a type of website. However, a blog is often written in an informal style (or formal, depending on the readers), stays active with regularly updated content, and is open for discussion whilst the content of a normal website is often static, only written to provide information, created for a business or commercial purpose, and designed for a product, service, or industry. The only intention of a blog is to publish posts on a regular basis about a certain topic and update old posts. Blogs are more of an informational website or part of a larger business website. An ecommerce website that sells products would not be considered a blog, but it might have a blog section under the subdomain name blog.mydomainname.com. Blogs can be written for education, for information, or for fun.
A blog is different from a wiki because blogs usually only have one person or a team of people that have admin access to edit or create new posts. Wikis are open for anyone to edit at any time and are designed to be collaborative. Wikipedia is an example of a wiki.
The term 'weblog' was invented by Jorn Barger on 17th December 1997. The abbreviation 'blog' was invented by Peter Merholz, who jokingly separated the word 'weblog' into the phrase 'we blog' in the sidebar of his blog, Peterme.com around April 1999. Afterwards, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used 'blog' as both a noun and a verb and invented the term 'blogger', which came from Pyra Lab's Blogger service.
Blogs evolved from online diaries that allowed people to write about the events that have happened in their personal lives. The issue with these was that no one else could see these entries. As of now, people can share their personal opinions, thoughts, and experiences with thousands or even millions of people around the world. Justin Hall who began personal blogging in 1994 whilst being a student at Swarthmore College is recognised as one of the earliest bloggers. Dave Winer's Scripting News is also known to be one of the oldest and longest running blogs.
In order to make it easier for people to create blogs, several tools started to be developed that allowed people to add a post by simply adding a text entry and clicking 'Publish' to make their post publicly viewable. Blogger.com, a popular blogging service was launched in 1999 and Google later bought Blogger in 2003. In the same year, WordPress was launched in May 2003.
Due to the popularity of social networks, a lot of people now post on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter rather than on blogs.
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