A blog is a website where content is published from time to time in articles (also called posts) ordered by publication date, so the most recent article will appear first. The author or publisher writing on a blog is called blogging.
An example is precisely this blog that you are reading right now, and in this specific article, I will explain very clearly what a blog is and what it is for.
Then, if you like it and you think it can help you too (it sure does.
But let us start at the beginning!
Definition of blog
To be very clear about the broad concept of what a blog is. First of all, I am going to explain to you where this word comes from because perhaps you did not know.
In 1997 Jorn Barger used the term web log or weblog ( plural weblogs ) for the first time to describe the fact of “logging the web” ( logging web). And in 1999, Peter Merholz spreads the word in “we blog,” which means that from then on, it ends up being shortened to blog, as we know it now.
In other words, the word blog comes from the abbreviation of web log, That is why the blog’s basic meaning is that of a blog or digital diary where content is “recorded” chronologically.
From there, new words related to «blog» began to be used:
➤ What is blogging?
Blogging is a term used in many ways to refer, for example, to having, writing, or managing a blog in general. It is also used to refer to everything related to blogging, such as “the blogging world,” “the blogging market,” and so on.
➤ What is a blogger?
Blogger refers to the person who writes, has, or is dedicated to the world of blogging (or blogging).
It also refers to the blogging platform’s name ( Blogger.com ) owned by Google or a blog created on it, for example, when it says, “have you visited my blogger?”.
So now you know, if from now on, you read the words blog, weblog, digital blog, web blog, digital newspaper, etc., you know that they are all synonymous with the blog.
✔ What is a blog, and what is not exactly?
As I said initially, a blog is a web page, but the difference from other “normal” web pages is that it focuses on displaying publications (called posts or articles) as if it were a personal diary.
There is also a very important part in these publications that is very characteristic of blogs: the comments.
Normally at the end of each publication or blog post, you will see a comments section where readers can leave opinions, ideas, answer the questions that the author asks in the post, contribute more to what they have read, generate debate, etc., and the author can respond to the comments too, of course (as you’ll see at the end of this post, and it makes the blog a two-way communication channel between the author and the readers.
Comments are the essence of the blog!
And of course, not all web pages are blogs.
Many web pages DO NOT have a blog section (if you don’t want to): online stores, tourist information sites, company pages that show who they are, how to contact them, etc.
But I better explain all this to you on video, do you think?
📜 The history of the blog
Now let me tell you a summary (short) of the blog’s history because I think it is essential to understand everything much better.
It could be said that the blog was born in 1994 by the hand of Justin Hall, a student who created a web page ( www.links.net ) as a personal diary where he talked about family “secrets,” his sexual relations, his flirtations with drugs, etc.
Imagine what it would be like to tell all these intimacies back then and through the Internet, when the network of networks was not as “open” as now …
Here is the Overshare documentary: the history of links.net, where he talks about people’s desire to share their privacy on the Internet to attract attention. Very good!
In 1999, with the birth of the Blogger platform of the Pyra Labs company, it was possible that any user could create their own blog in a much easier way, which made the blog popularize quickly.
With that popularity that was gaining, in 2002, the blogging phenomenon was already beginning to be studied and to take into account more technical aspects:
- How to create a blog
- The importance of the blogging community
- Influence on readers and society in general
In 2003, what we now know as WordPress was launched, although at first, it was called the b2 / catalog project. And finally, it was opened to the public in 2005, improving many aspects where other platforms failed.
It is important to differentiate two versions of WordPress that are actually two different ways of using the same platform:
The open-source version of WordPress.org that anyone can install on a host (this is the version I use on this blog).
The WordPress blog of the company Automattic also uses the free version of WordPress but offers on its own servers for free at WordPress.com (yes, with many limitations regarding hosting it on your own hosting).
Seeing the importance that blogs were having, Google also took over Blogger in 2003 and, at the same time, launched Google AdSense, a platform for users to earn advertising revenue with their blog.
They added many more functionalities in the following years and allowed the user to use their own domain blogspot.com of the type <loquequieras> .blogspot.com, hence what is usually referred to as Blogspot referring to Blogger.
In the following years, the different media have been integrating blogs as a channel of information, and in some, they are truly important, such as the Huffington Post blogs where experts and professionals from different specialties write.
In 2010 it was said that there were already 160 million blogs and 180 million the following year. This boom has undoubtedly been thanks to the use that began to be given to blogs as a communication and advertising channel, so get an idea of what there will be today ten years later.
And today, WordPress.org has established itself as one of the best known and recognized platforms in the world of blogging.
In addition, in 2019, they released a new version of their editor/layout designer called Gutenberg, which seems to make the task of writing and designing the blog pages and articles much easier. 😃
📐 Parts of a blog
Although each blog is a world and can be designed in a thousand ways (each one belongs to his father and mother), there are at least five main parts that remain in most blogs:
Header or headerThis part is usually at the top, and it is where the logo, the title, and the main menu with the sections that the blog has is usually put. Some also put the blog’s description, links to social networks, advertisements, etc.
The header serves above all to highlight the blog’s identity and so that the reader can navigate through the main sections or categories it has.
This ( is the main part of the entire blog and is usually on the left side or occupying the entire width (when there is no sidebar).
This is where the articles or posts’ content goes, with the title, the main image (which you can get in image banks ), the date, the author of the article, the text, announcements, subscription forms, comments, etc.
2. Sidebar or sidebar
This is a narrower column than the main column and is usually on the right side, although some blogs also place it on the left side or do not put it directly.
There are usually “boxes” or widgets that have different functionalities in the sidebar, such as links to social networks, subscription forms, a search box, advertising, special menus, the most popular posts, etc.
3. Footer or footer
This part is placed at the bottom of the whole and usually occupies the blog’s entire width or the same width of the main column.
4. Background or background
It is the part that occupies the entire back area of the blog and is on which the rest of the parts are placed.
In most cases, one color is used for the blog background, although several colors, gradients, images, videos, patterns, etc., can also be used.
🗂️ Blog types
There are blogs of all kinds. You can find blogs to teach something, tell stories, show what you know how to do, disseminate information on a topic, sell products, and offer services. All types! For this reason, a useful and interesting way to classify all the types of blogs that exist is this:
👤 Personal blog
💻 Professional blog
🏢 Corporate blog
ℹ️ Thematic or niche blog
➤ Personal blog
This is possibly the most common/general type of blog, and it is logical because you have already seen that the blog was born mainly as a kind of personal blog where you can tell your experiences, ideas, thoughts, etc.
In my specific case, I started in this world of blogging by creating a personal blog where I told about things that I experienced in my work, ideas, personal opinions on current affairs, etc. And without a doubt, that blog was essential to create this other blog that you are reading now.
➤ Professional blog
With the second generation of blogs and after many have discovered the great advantages it has, these types of professional blogs have multiplied and, in many cases, also seek to enhance their brand (which is often made confused with the blog of personal type).
Many decide to create “a good blog” where to publish content that helps them, for example, attract customers for their business or even for the blog to be their own business (the latter would be my case).
And I emphasize the issue of working on the personal brand.
Because I think that nowadays, a professional blog, even if it offers information and objective data, should have a personal footprint, yes or yes because that is what is going to differentiate it from other blogs.
I’m not just telling you, take a look at this video of 2 great personal brand experts such as Cláudio Inácio and Andrés Perez:
➤ Corporate blog
It would be something like the professional blog that I explained before but oriented to companies, corporations, brands, etc. Here we also try to take advantage of the blog’s advantages and, in many cases, “humanize” the image of these companies.
Later you will see more examples of companies and organizations that use the blog to add value to users, generate trust, and attract potential customers in a much less intrusive way than with classic advertising.
➤ Thematic or niche blog
By this, I mean the type of blog that focuses on a specific topic that normally specializes in it (cinema, music, sport, a specific author, a current problem, a product or service, etc.). You can imagine that this type would encompass countless blogs.
When this type of blog aims to generate income, it is usually called a niche blog (niche market). If we talk about a very specific niche (for example, tennis sports shoes for children ), it is called a micro-niche; and when it comes to a very broad and general niche (for example, sneakers ), it is what is called a macro niche.
🤔 What is a blog for?
I have been asked many times (and not a few in a derogatory way.).
As I said before, you can find countless blogs and almost any topic. Come on, and you can find a different type of blog for almost any objective that comes to mind.
That is because the benefits of a blog are enormous.
Yes, there are also videos, podcasts, social networks, etc., but today (and after so many years!) A blog is still one of the channels that generate the most trust, and that is key to achieving those goals you set for yourself.
But the best thing is that you see for yourself what a blog can be used for, and for that, I leave you here these seven options with real examples.
Surely some had not even occurred to you.
1. Make money with a blog.
Many still do not believe it, but a blog can be used to earn money perfectly. What’s more, the blog can be your own business (as is my case).
You can generate income from different “sources” other than the main one you created it for. For example, I recently won a team SEO contest where the prize was € 5,000.
But to explain this to you in much more detail (because the thing has fabric), I leave you this article where I not only explain how to make money with a blog but also my REAL and personal experience, with the income that some of the ways that I generate use to monetize it:
➤ How to make money with a blog
Be careful; I already warned you that it is not easy at all, no matter how much some want to make you believe otherwise. It takes a lot of work and many hours to “hit the key” (and hit the keys).
Even so, with these examples, I want to show you that indeed a blog can be used to get you even a little extra money:
On TV, there is a handsome guy who puts on cologne while taking a yacht through crystal clear waters and surrounded by beautiful girls. And do I have to think that will be me if I get that cologne?
However, a brand that gives you useful and valuable information without asking you anything in return will generate a trust that will last longer and will be much more effective than all the handsome yachts together.
You are going to see some examples of this and how it helps to promote that product or service:
If you see their blog, you will realize the amount of quality and really useful articles they have for anyone who, for example, has a website, uses WordPress, is interested in SEO, etc.
Once again, it is about adding value to the reader, generating trust in him, and in the long run, he takes into account if he needs a good hosting provider one day.
2. Promote an event with a blog
Many organizers of events of all kinds have realized the importance and “power” of attraction that a blog can have when promoting them.
Creating content related to the event’s main theme positions you, not only in Google but also within the sector you want to reach so that readers go to the event. If you show that the blog content is interesting, it is logical to think that it will also be.
And another very interesting way to use the blog to promote an event is to talk about it weeks before its celebration directly. In this way, the reader participates in this event as if it were their own, which makes many feel involved with it.
In this case, the blog articles are content-oriented precisely to everything that has to do with the event from minute zero: how it is being prepared, if there will be gifts for the attendees, if the record is achieved, etc.
3. Find a job with a blog.
That’s right because nowadays, a Curriculum Vitae has the same utility as an ashtray on a motorcycle: none. And yet the blog not only “tells” what you know how to do, but it also shows it :
- Do you know how to use an image editor? Great, because a video published on your blog where you go directly explaining and editing an image is the best way to show that you know how to do it.
- Do you know how to mount a car engine? Great, because surely a guide explaining all the steps and details to consider will make it clear that you are a crack.
- Do you know how to make fashion designs? Great, because posting some sketches on your blog and telling some tips on how to do it becomes the best way for them to see your potential.
- Do you know how to keep accounting? Excellent, because explaining what tools there are to do it, demonstrating how they are used, and giving your advice to bring everything up to date is sure to convince more than one company manager.
- Etc. etc., etc.
See what I mean? Thanks to the blog, it is not that you “look” for work, but that work finds you. This is the magic of developing your brand with a blog.
The fact is that this way, you will be putting it to egg to the manager or human resources department of any company interested in your profile because they will see for themselves that you know how to do what you say you can do.
And you would be surprised how effective a blog is in this regard. I’m going to show you three real cases of people who got a job thanks to a blog:
4. Disseminate information with a blog
Of course, a blog also serves to disseminate any information that may or may not be of interest to anyone who reads it.
Within this option, you can find many types of blog on numerous topics, whether professional or more “personal”:
⚗ Science blog
👗 Fashion blog
📱 Technology and Internet blog
💚 Health blog
🎮 Videogame blog
💋 Makeup blog
📚 Literature blog
💲 Economy blog
📜 History blog
🎓 Educational blog
🤔 Philosophy blog
📽 Film blog
✈ Travel blog
🕷 Superhero blog
📢 Bargain blog
🍽 Cooking blog
⚽ Sports blog
🖥 Computer blog Etc…
Perhaps some of the blogs that disseminate information also have other objectives (promote something, earn money, sell products, etc.) but what is clear is that from the reader’s point of view, they are mainly places where you can find information that may interest you.
5. Find clients with a blog.
Today it is very rare not to find a professional who offers online services and does not already have his blog. And the reason is very simple, and it is the same as having a blog to find a job, which demonstrates what you can do.
But be careful because this is not only a matter for «digital professionals» … Many have realized that the blog can be a good way to attract clients, whatever business they have, even locally.
Today Google increasingly defines the results of the searches we do according to our tastes, other previous searches, the site where we are (the so-called local SEO), etc. This is why a blog can help attract customers even to a small neighborhood store.
6.Capture students with a blog
I’m going to tell you a secret that is not so secret at this point: And it is logical.
The “normal” channels for training do not respond to the real needs we have today in our personal and work lives.
I can tell you (for example) about many journalists that I know who in their career have not even seen how Twitter is used and later find that Twitter is an indispensable work tool in digital newspapers …
So in this specific case, and precisely because of that “didactic nature” that a blog already has, it has become a brutal means of attracting students. And I mean both private schools and professionals that are dedicated to training.
7. Live off a blog
This option could perhaps have been discussed within the option to Make money with a blog (if you earn enough, of course), but I wanted to separate it for a very simple reason: you do not manage a blog in the same way.
When you start with the idea of making money with a blog, you usually think in the short or medium term. But when you want to make a living from a blog, you do it (or you should) in the long run.
You can indeed start a blog with the idea of making money and end up living from it (in fact, it is usually “the way”), but surely there will be a moment when you will change the chip and start making decisions your blog is forever.
You have already seen many ways to generate income (affiliation, advertising, info products, training), but what allows you to live off a blog is to plan a long-term strategy to consolidate your blog and its business model.
By the way, if you want to plan a strategy for your blog, it will be great to have an editorial calendar like this one that I use myself for this blog. 👌
⚖️ Does a blog have to comply with the GDPR?
Simply and absolutely YES.
A blog is a type of website, and like any other website, it must comply with the general data protected regulations, especially if you collect personal information (such as names or emails) so that they can subscribe to your website mailing list or leave comments.
But don’t worry, here you have everything well explained, and you will see how it is not so complicated:
👌 Why does a blog work so well?
This is a great question (it’s what you have when I ask myself.
You have already seen that blogs work very well for the different options for which you could have one (of course, it is also interesting to know how to promote a blog ), but why does it work so well?
Well, from what I have learned with mine, I would say that the answer lies precisely in the characteristics of a blog, which for me are mainly these 2:
1. The “humanization” of the web
I believe that the blog is precisely the most human part of any web because it is where the author expresses himself directly with the reader and where he has more possibilities of empathizing with him.
As I told you before, for example, advertising no longer hits us as it did years ago. And it is because now we are more critical; we pay more attention to the people behind, their real experience, and the knowledge they bring.
2. The power of comments
Without a doubt, it is another key point of the success of the blogs. Comments are the means that readers have to communicate directly with the blog’s author, and in turn, with the rest of the readers.
In this way, we not only have the blogger’s attention and testimony; we also have the testimony of other people who will be able to respond with their own opinion. And believe me that today testimonials feed many businesses; You just have to take a look at TripAdvisor, for example.
Ultimately it is about people meeting other people, developing a community among all.
I have verified this myself on this blog when the articles that receive the most comments are in which I talk about myself or my most personal experience. Because just as you empathize with the reader, he empathizes with you, and that strengthens that feeling of community even more.
And that is why people are using so much today as an inbound marketing tool because its power is amazing. 💪
🔮 The future of blogging
Before finishing, I want to take out the crystal ball that I have here. And give my opinion on the future of blogging, which is something that I am asked a lot.
I don’t know what you will think. But I think that with the technological and scientific changes that are coming in the coming years, the difficult thing will be to have something secure to hold on to.
You may have already heard that in the next decade, we will work in trades that still do not exist (you told me a few years ago that I was going to live off my blog, and I would have laughed).
And you may have also heard that in a very short time, almost all mechanical work will end up being done by robots or machines (there are already cars that drive themselves).
So let me tell you one thing: the only safe thing here is YOU.
What did I mean by this?
To face the future, the best thing you can do is invest in yourself and your skills, which are precisely the ones that will help you adapt to everything that comes, whatever it may be.
In a future where machines can replace the most “mechanical” abilities, it is clear that the most “human” abilities will be the best valued.
Because a blog does not teach you to assemble a piece in a factory, it may help you express yourself better, meet other people, try harder, ask yourself about things, be more critical, and empathize, dialogue, to research.
To be more, you.
Yes, that’s it, and I say it the way I feel it:
‘A blog brings out the best in you, changes you for the better.’
And I am convinced that this would be confirmed by all the bloggers that I have spoken to you about here.
Notice that, for example, those of us who are lucky enough to make a living from our blogs have one thing in common, and that is that none of us imagined for a second that we would end up doing it when we started it.
That’s the magic of all this that the blog can be the beginning of a change for the better without knowing it.
📝 How to create a blog
And if you too dare to start your change with a blog and don’t know how to do it, don’t worry because here I leave you this complete guide to create a blog step by step.
As you saw before, each type of blog is different, and you can imagine that not all of them are created for the same thing or with the same things. So in this guide, you will see that I explain how you can do it according to the type of blog you want:
👤 Create a personal or thematic blog
👚 Create a fashion blog
💻 Create a professional blog
🏢 Create a corporate blog (company, services, etc.)
🛒 Create an online store blog
So you know, no excuses and get to work. Because if you want something to change, you will have to do something. Do not you think?
Don’t hesitate to let us know by leaving a comment if you need more info or simply thanks.