I cannot remember how many time people -including my students and clients -will ask me how they can promote their websites or business ideas online. My regular ready answer to them is to “blog about that.” In amazement, they will then ask, “What is a blog and how can I go about it?”
Well, you may be one of them that ask this question. I did also.
While blogging is not entirely a new idea, it is beginning to gain more prominence due to its ability to create a full time job to people who understand the basic and who follow the principles judiciously. Some people who started asking what a blog is started doing so because they hear when people claim to be bloggers and they are said to be rich. You may have also learnt that most internet wealthy entrepreneurs are very rich from only blogging.
You may have also heard that blogging has made some Africans millionaires overnight without engaging in any other activity except blogging. You continued to ask the person that gave you the news that Linda Ikeji is a blogger and she is so rich what she normally does to be a blogger.
Well, all those questions and supercharged interests about blogging are good but they all start with with is a blog?
What is a blog?
Look at this description by blogbasics.com:
“A blog is a frequently updated online personal journal or diary. It is a place to express yourself to the world. A place to share your thoughts and your passions. Really, it’s anything you want it to be. For our purposes we’ll say that a blog is your own website that you are going to update on an ongoing basis. Blog is a short form for the word weblog and the two words are used interchangeably.”
It makes sense to think about the involvements of the underlined words.
Personal journal or diary: In your diary, you keep records without anybody ordering you to do so. Most often, you keep the records as they come or as the ideas flow in your head. I have a diary I carry about which I can “IDEAS.” In this diary, I write down any idea that flows into my head which I think will make me money or will add up to my success in the future.
I have a friend who is a comedian. He keeps a record of jokes he hears each day or the ones he reads on facebook. So when he has a show, he throws most of those jokes in a manner that even the original owner will not trace it to his jokes. He is able to do this because he has his diary/journal handy all the time and this makes it even hard for him to forget any joke.
A blog is like that. From this definition, you can deduct that a blog is a place (on the world wide web) where you can express yourself and not because somebody wants you to but because you want someone to listen to you. Here you share your passion, hates, likes, knowledge, interests, answers to questions many people ask, and so on and on.
You also observed the nature of blogs. From this definition, blogs are meant to be updated on regular basis. If you just post an information, that is good but it does not make it a blog. It is just a static website that has no updates. For your website to meet the criteria of a blog, it must retain regular feel of new posts.
Look at another description by Wikipedia.org:
“A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (“posts”). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page.”
Can you see that blogs consist of discussions?
This is one aspect of blogging that makes it very unique in that it allows for public participation. May be you have been a blog participant in the past without knowing it. Have you read a post before and decided to share in on-going discussions about it? The more people contribute to a blog, the more the blog’s visibility improves. This is not achieved in ordinary information website.
Another aspect of blog that gives you all the license you need is the informal style that it adopts. You are free to use any style to make your blog engaging. You can write your blog for any group of people. You can use your blog to address traders or use your to teach a section of medicine. All that is important is that someone should find what you are writing meaningful, understandable and someone should be able to identify with your blog and say, “it looks like this was written for me.”
So in summary,
A Blog (Weblog) is a kind of website that requires regular posting of facts by an individual or group of persons which maintains an order and may be addressing a particular niche (purpose) or several niches.
If you are able to write on a partular area of life and stick to that while you make post all the time on that niche, you are blogging. Then if you make this on regular bases, for different or diverse niches or purpose, or if you choose to make this your business -earning your living through this -then you can be called a blogger.
Some Blogging terms you must know
I am making this post with people who know nothing or very little about blogging in mind hence the need to explain the basic terminology. Below, you will find some terms about blogging explained.
- Blog (noun) – a journal or diary that is on the web, is updated regularly by someone or group of persons and maintains a particular purpose or niche.
- Blogger(s) (noun) – a person who keeps a blog. This is the person or group of persons with the responsibility of making regular posts on a blog.
- Blog (verb) – the action relating to making posts or updating a blog. You can say something like “I will blog about that tonight” or “I will blog before going to bed” or “I blog 5 times everyday.”
- Blogging (verb) – performing blog 3 above. Blogging here means a regular and consistent action or actions of making a blog.
- Post (noun) -refers to the information of a blog given by someone or a group of people. You can say, “I have not seen the post you referred to in that blog.”
- Post (verb) -relates to creating information or submitting an article on a blog. You can say, “I will post all I know about Malaria on Wednesday.”
- Posting (verb) -like blogging, it is the continuous action of making information available on a blog. You can say, “I will be posting series of articles on making money with blogs on my blog starting from December 1.”
With these terms, you have already mastered a lot that will help you for a take off.
Let us see other aspects of blogging.
Types of Blog
There are many different types of blogs based not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is presented or written.
- Personal blogs
- A personal blog is an ongoing online diary or commentary written by an individual. All details that are supplied come from this individual. A personal blog may allow other people to make comments thereby boosting the participation and visibility of the blog. It should be noted that due to the nature of person blogs, it takes much work to create the desired income with a personal blog. Nevertheless, a number of personal bloggers have become famous, both in the online community and in the real world. In this era of information marketing, channeling personal blogs to solving problems and making posts that people want to read is what makes the whole difference.
- Let me give you an instance of personal blogs that I know that are making the owners rich everyday.
www.mynaijainfo.com is a personal blog of one of my students. Actually, Chuks Wisdom Cee is graduating this year from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. He started this blog as a news blog and this is the 2nd year of the blog. If you really want to know the actual worth of www.mynaijainfo.com, kindly visit http://www.worthofweb.com/website-value/mynaijainfo.com/
Let me show you this screenshot from here
What you have seen is a screenshot showing the traffic of this website.
With 678,000 pageviews per month and for a personal blog, Wisdom make reasonable money from his blog.
If you check the link I gave above, you will also find the estimated monthly earning of this website. Believe me, if a Nigerian student can make 1/4 of this amount online, he can be considered rich.
A personal blog can earn the owner lifetime income that no business can earn but this depends on the value placed by the owner of the blog. In subsequent posts, I will be showing you what to do for your blog to make you rich. Yes, if you are reading this post and you don’t have the intention making a blog that will make you rich then you are simply wasting your time.
- Collaborative blogs or group blogs
- A collaborative blog is that type in which posts are written and published by more than one author. The majority of high-profile collaborative blogs are based around a single uniting theme or niche, such as politics, technology, religion, education, etc. In recent years, blogging has seen the emergence and growing popularity of more collaborative efforts, often set up by already established bloggers wishing to pool time and resources, both to reduce the pressure of maintaining a popular website and to attract a larger readership. Worthy of note is that the more content a weblog has, the more it has the potential of making money because more content means more traffic.
- People engage in collaborative blogging for several reasons. That is actually not part of this post. But the major reason is to ease the stress of posting bulky information all the time. More people doing a particular blog will result in more people working less to achieve the desired result.
- When you post updates on facebook and continue to respond to comments by friends or friends of your friends, you are actually microblogging. Microblogging is the practice of posting small pieces of digital content—which could be text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media—on the web. Examples of these include Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and, by far the largest, WeiBo. Nowadays, organizations use microblogging to reach great number of audience who they target for their events, programmes, or products. Once in a while, you will see posts by banks or other companies and you will see how the people continue to comment on these.
- Sometimes, companies use microblogging to announce their incentives or offer to the public. What can be more rewarding than using free or very cheap means to reach the people to use your product of subscribe for your services.
- Companies these days hire bloggers who know what it takes to microblog and this action has proved successfull more of the times.
- Corporate and organizational blogs
- According to Wikipedia, “a blog can be private, as in most cases, or it can be for business or not-for-profit organization or government purposes.” When blogs serve the interests of a company internally or made available only to employees via an Intranet, they are called corporate blogs. Companies use internal corporate blogs to enhance the communication, culture and employee engagement in a corporation.
- For example
- When a bank posts a new threat information through the bank’s intranet to serve the knowledge of the staff, this is a form of corporate blogging. Internal corporate blogs can be used to communicate news about company policies or procedures, build employee up for the business identity and idea of the organization or to improve the employee’s morale. Companies and other organizations also use external, publicly accessible blogs for marketing, branding, or public relations purposes.
- Some corporate blogs are maintained by ghostwriters who are paid to promote the image of the organization. For example, I blog for Garland School, Lagos. Garland School blog focuses at promoting the image of the school; telling the world what the school can offer. The blog also educates the public on the way to choose a good school for their kids and what to avoid while making career choices for your children.
- Many people have been earning a balanced income from blogging for establishments whose interest it is to promote their goodwill.
- Aggregated blogs
- When a blog combine several interest areas in one blog and make their visitors stick instead of searching here and there for related posts, we look at them as aggregated blogs. Individuals or organizations may aggregate selected feeds on specific topic, product or service and provide combined view for its readers.
- By genre
- Some blogs focus on a particular subject, such as political blogs, education blogs, journalism blogs, travel blogs, health blogs, farming blogs, writing blogs, fashion blogs, juvenile help blogs, drug free blogs, etc. There are blogs that tend to help students pass external examinations. When you visit such blog, you already know what you are looking for. It is wise to note that such a blog requres some expertise since all you will be posting is getting into a particular audience who are usually desperate for answers. Yes, you don’t have to be a professional to run a blog, yet, you need good information that you can teach well for you to do your blog well. Remember that if your blog posts only trash, you are ruining the success that may come to you through the blog. If your blog deceives people, they will post negative remarks and people will shun your blog. If your blog copies materials from other blogs, people will mark it and avoid using it since it wastes their time reading same material twice. This is one reason one has to be very careful making a choice of type of blog to start.
- In my other posts, I will show you how to make lengthy posts without having to copy items from existing website and ruining your chances of success.
- By media type
- This kind of blog comprises videos, links, sketches, photos, mixed media, etc.
- -A blog of videos is called a vlog,
- – A blog comprising of links is called a linklog,
- -A blog containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog
- – A blog comprising photos is called a photoblog.
- – Blogs with shorter posts and mixed media types are called tumblelogs.
- – Blogs that are written on typewriters and then scanned are called typecast or typecast blogs.
- – A blog hosted on the Gopher Protocol is known as a phlog.
- By device
- A blog can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose it. For example, if a blog is written using a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA it could be called a moblog. This can happen when a newspaper reporter or a private/ personal blogger picks up information as they happen in an occation or a function and uses his/her mobile phone to upload it with related picture or videos. We find such blogs in used as evidence in legal matters.
- Reverse blog
- A reverse blog is composed by its users rather than a single blogger. Users have privileges given to them like same done in collaborative blogs. Here, the blog hosts many authors who are allowed to write on same topics or area but are guided by the limiting number of entries that they can write.
- One good side of this kind of blog is that the authors can draw attention to their individual private blogs and use the reverse blog as a pointer to their personal blogs or posts in other blogs.
In the next post, a sequel to this, you will begin to find out how to make meaningful blogs and how to start posting in them.
I will show you the difference between free blogs and paid domains for your blog.
You will learn how to register your first blogs and make it rich from the start.
I will show you how to use available blogging tools to make your blog look beautiful and create powerful posts free of charge.
Then finally, you will learn how to start making money with your blog.
Blogs are money but you must learn how to do them right before you can start thinking of how to make money with blogs. Due to how much of information you need to know before you can post worthwhile blogs, I have fragmented this post into about four. Do not stop here if you wish to make money from you blog. The last of the 4 will show you what to do when you get discouraged because you will. It will also show you how to deal with writers block.
So please, come back here if you want to be successful in making money with your blogs.
To your success.