What is a Blog? And Why You Should Start One

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It sure seems as though everyone has a blog these days. The fact that you’re reading this it likely means you’re thinking of starting one yourself.

So why is it that blogging has exploded over the past few years?

How is it that people are generating income from their blogs? What exactly is a blog and how do you create one?

Today, we’re diving deep into the world of blogging and breaking down everything you need to know.

Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of blogs and what makes them such unique destinations on the internet.

What is a Blog?

Let’s cover the basics first…what exactly is a blog? The Google definition reads as follows:

“a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc.”

A blog is like a website in that you can visit a particular page to learn a little bit about a particular topic.

But it’s not a website that sells any particular product or service.

It’s considered to be more of a diary or journal that is usually maintained by one individual person: the blogger.

Most bloggers update their blog with daily, weekly, or monthly with posts related to a particular niche or topic.

Typically, a blogger chooses one topic they have knowledge of or interest in and focuses on that.

Search online and you’ll find blogs about food, fashion, sports, technology, science, art, and about every other subject you can think of. Bloggers can choose to make their blogs private, but most bloggers make them available online for the entire world to see.

Posts are the fundamental components of any blog. Every blog on the internet includes different posts written by the blogger.

Sometimes the posts are all on the same subject. Sometimes they vary. It’s up to the blogger to post the type of content they think their readers will want to view.

What do these posts contain? Well for starters, they contain written content (that’s an obvious one). But they can also contain images, videos, and segmented sections with different headings.

Some bloggers create lengthy posts that contain tons of information, while other keep their posts short and sweet. Again, it’s up to the blogger to present their content in the way that makes the most sense for them.

Some blogs have a few visitors each month, some blogs have millions of dedicated readers. You’ll be able to tell when your site is starting to gain momentum and enjoy some popularity.

With enough posts and readers, you’ll start getting traffic from other sites and social media platforms.

If you know a thing or two about SEO you might even be able to rank high on search engines and generate traffic that way.

Definitions Associated with a Blog

We’ve touched on the following terms above, but for those of you who are new to blogging, we’ll break it down further.

Here’s a recap of the key terms (and their definitions) associated with a blog.

  • Blog (noun) – An online journal or diary that you can find on the internet. FYI, you’re reading a blog right now.
  • Blogger (noun) – An individual who owns a blog. This person keeps the blog going by creating and publishing new posts. Bloggers usually share news, post information, give their opinions, and review products or services. FYI, right now you’re reading a post from a blogger who often writes about blogging.
  • Blog post (noun) – An article or a written piece inside the blog. Blog posts are what make up the blog. For example, this article is a blog post that we wrote for the blog you are reading right now.
  • Blog (verb) – To create a blog and to maintain a blog. For example, before we starting writing this piece, we decided to blog about blogging.
  • Blogging (verb) – This is the action of maintaining, writing and posting new posts to your blog. For example: “tomorrow we will be blogging about how your blog can make you money.”

Don’t let yourself get confused by the terms. It’s actually quite simple. Bloggers write blogs.

Blogs are the “websites” they create and fill with content. When bloggers blog, they’re blogging.

The History of Blogging

The internet’s first blog

You can trace the history of blogging back to Justin Hall. In 1994, he created the first blog (unofficially) by posting his thoughts and personal experiences online.

At the time, blogging wasn’t even a word.

A few years later, people in-the-know would come to call it a blog or a “weblog”, but most people had no idea what that meant.

Justin Hall’s 1994 blog was a simple website, but it looked much like blogs do now. His blog started out as a sort of personal diary, where he would post about all kinds of things he found on the internet. He created regular posts and he’s still doing it today, which is impressive in its own right.

It’s Hall’s site that sparked an entire generation of bloggers.

The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997. Fast forward to 1999 and the term was shortened to the word “blog” that we still know and use today.

But if you think about the term “weblog” it makes a lot of sense in regards to what a blog actually is.

It’s a log of sorts – an online diary – a website journal. It’s a collection of posts about whatever topic you want to write about.

The only difference between a blog and a traditional diary is that a blog is not under lock and key.

It’s online and available for the world to read.

Way back in 1999, most people didn’t even have computers or internet access. But many of the people who did start blogging.

Yet it would take four more years for it to become a popular thing to do.

If you know anything about blogging you’ve heard of WordPress. And that’s because they were the original creators of the free blogging platform. In 2003, WordPress started offering a free platform that changed the way people thought about blogs.

All a sudden, creating a “weblog” online became an easy thing. You no longer had to be a computer expert to create a site and publish it online.

WordPress was, and still is, easy to install, use, maintain, and update. Today, more than 75% of all bloggers use the WordPress.org or WordPress.com platform.

There are dozens of blogging platforms you can choose from, but WordPress blogs continues to evolve and update all the time. It remains the preferred choice for most bloggers online.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to build your site with WordPress or some of the other popular blogging platforms, click here.

Why Do People Blog?

There are dozens of reasons why people set up a blog. Special thanks to Content Powered for the release of this information and visuals, so we can all absorb how large the #1 CMS is today.

Based on interests, motives, and goals, these are the most popular reasons why people create and maintain a blog:

1. To Express Themselves

Everyone wants to be heard. Creating new blog content is a great way to put your opinions out there and share your ideas with the world.

2. To Deliver Valuable Information and News

Some blog owners focus on new content on pressing topics such as politics and social issues. Others focus on celebrity and entertainment news or follow the areas of art, science, and technology.

It’s a way to provide valuable information to people with similar interests as you.

3. To Make Money

This is a big one. It might shock you to know how much money some bloggers are making. With affiliate marketing and advertising, blogging has become a business.

As of 2017, the Huffington Post news blog was raking in about $14,000,000 per month. The entertainment blog Perez Hilton was bringing in $575,000 per month.

Yes, you read that correctly.
If you have a great blog with a large audience, you can make some serious money.

4. Self-promotion

Yes, some people blog only to promote their own agenda. A personal blog is not selfish or shameless. It’s a legitimate way for people to build their online persona and promote whatever it is that they do.

5. To Connect with Like-Minded People

It’s no secret that people like to form connections online. Some prefer those connections to face-to-face relationships they have in the real world.

If you’ve got a point of view, blogging is a great way to connect with other people who share your views on the world.

6. To Gain Knowledge

You will come across some bloggers who actually blog for feedback on their blog. They might be looking for some new information or searching for people to share ideas with them.

7. To Find a Better Job

If you’re looking for a job, you can use a blog as an online portfolio. This is especially useful for writers, artists, photographers, and others in creative fields.

A blog provides a way to showcase your talent to the world.

8. To Improve Writing Skills

Some bloggers are trying to improve their writing skills and communication techniques. Readers are honest.

Bloggers know that they’ll likely hear some constructive criticism along the way.

9. To Share an Experience

Maybe you’re traveling the world. Maybe you’re embarking on a weight loss journey. Some blog articles exist for the sole purpose of the blogger’s need and willingness to share their experiences with others.

10. To Promote or Grow a Business

It’s hard to find any business that doesn’t have their own blog. Everyone wants to be an authority on their chosen subject, so business owners often create a blog site to increase their credibility.

Blogging in 2020: A Reference Guide for Every Blogger and Fan of WordPress

Few software solutions have revolutionized and changed the face of the internet like WordPress has.

Created and founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little back in 2003, the CMS has come a long way from its start nearly two-decades ago.

Let’s take a look and see where we are today.

Fact #1: WordPress Users Produce 70 Million New Posts and 77 Million New Comments Every Month

When it comes to content creation on the internet, look no further than WordPress users and their blogs.

Not only is WP the number one CMS in the world today and makes it extremely easy for anyone to go live with a site in just minutes, it makes the content creation process a whole lot faster and non-techie as well.

More than 70 million new posts and articles are published every single month from WordPress-powered sites. As a result of such content, another 70+ million plus comments are contributed to these sites as well.

Yes my friends, WordPress definitely makes the internet world go round!

Fact #2: Roughly 350 New Blog Posts Just Went Live While Reading This

Not only do these content creator and blogging sites make the internet world go around, they also do it at super light speed!

With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, content is getting published faster than you can image. In fact, there likely have been more than 350+ new blog posts going live while you read just the first few sentences of this article.

Fact #3: By the Start of 2020, Most Blog Articles Ranged in Between 1,231 – 1,351 Words

With WordPress making the process of content creation so simple, it’s easy to see how and why the internet is getting flooded with more articles and blogs posts than ever before.

Not only do these sites want to publish content and get more traffic, they also want to rank higher in the search results as well.

However, just publishing content isn’t going to cut it. Not only will you need to have a solid content promotion and link building strategy in place, you will also want to make sure your articles have more than 1,200+ words of text in each. Want to improve your chances for ranking even higher? Try going for a mega resource post with over 2,000 words!

Fact #4: More than 21.1 billion WP Articles are Read Every Month

So much content, so little time.

Even with that being the case, more than 21 billion articles are being read every month from sites that are running off the WordPres platform.

The funny thing is, the majority if people who are reading the content have no idea what WP is… and that’s all part of the magic process why it works so well!

Fact #5: 80% of Internet Users Regularly Read Blog Posts

To go along with the fact that over 20 billion articles and blog posts are being read online every month, it’s not just from a small select group.

In fact, 80% of all web users are regularly reading blogs.

This can likely be because WordPress is powering some of the most popular sites in the world today, and also that WP articles rank so well in the search results.

Fact #6: 70% of Consumers Say a Blog Adds Credibility to a Site

Speaking of blogs… people like them, and they add credibility to a brand as well.

If you already have an online business or brand and don’t have a blog, then you are simply missing out.

Outside of adding credibility, blogs can improve site traffic from SEO and social, while also allowing your site to cover topics in more depth than you might be able to on a single product or ecommerce page.

Fact #7: 33% of Consumers Rate Blogs as the #1 Factor in Site Credibility

Of the many different ways to rank a site or brand that you are going to buy from, what do you consider most important?

Is it the site design, the brand name or the pricing and quality of service?

Amazingly enough, 33% of consumers say they want to see a blog on a site in order to qualify it as credible.

Fact #8: 65% of Marketers Plan to Increase their Blogging Efforts in 2020

WordPress sites are a dream come true for content creators, SEO experts and agencies, and of course online marketers.

However, many brand experts and marketers are still behind the trend when it comes to having a site of their own or making the necessary connections to get content or ad placements list on them.

Because of this, 65% of marketers say they want to focus more on their blogging efforts in 2020 and beyond.

Fact #9: 53% of Blog Traffic is Organic, while Only 15% if from Paid Ads

Getting traffic to your site and blog articles is awesome — especially when it’s free!

However, with only a few free organic listings in Google for each keyword available, it’s super tough and very competitive.

Even with this being the case, bloggers create content and get really good at their SEO all in an effort to rank.

As a result, roughly 53% of all traffic to WordPress sites is from organic search and only around 15% is from paid advertising.

Fact #10: Over 25% of All Websites on the Interner Now have a Blog.

Gone are the days of basic HTML web sites. They are static, boring, clunky and not user or SEO friendly.

WordPress makes the process of not only have a completely interactive and responsive site easy, it also makes the process of having a site with a blog easy as well.

For this reason and more, over 25% of sites on the internet now have a blog as well.

Fact #11: Marketers that Blog are 1,300% More Likely to have a Positive ROI

Blogs are no longer run by individuals that simply want to have a little place of their own on the internet.

Instead, it’s all about business and creating content that provides value to an audience.

This is why we are seeing more blogging activity from businesses, brands, experts and professionals that want to grow in reach and overall ROI.

Marketers are also in on the action and those who focus on blogging are likely to see more than a 1,300% gain in ROI versus those who aren’t.

Fact #12: Only 1/5th of Business Blog Posts are Longer than 750 words

With as much of a focus as there is to blogging and how importance it can be for growth and SEO purposes, it looks like ony 1/5th of businesses aren paying attention.

Posting content isn’t just about pushing something out there for the sake of it. Instead, it should be a thought out and well-timed process.

In most cases, you are going to want your blog content to be longer than short–however, 80% of businesses are still posting less than 750 words long.

Fact #13: Longer Blog Posts Generate 900% More Traffic and Leads

Again, back to the importance of content creation and putting in the time and work to make it worthwhile. Longer content simply performs better across all metrics.

This is even more so in SEO and getting long tail keywords and more organic rankings.

Short blog posts of less than 700 words don’t rank very well. Longer blog posts of 1,200+ words or more,often lead to 900% more leads and traffic.

Fact #14: Sites with Blogs have 434% more Indexed Pages

It’s easy to get your site indexed in Google, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to rank well.

To improve the chances of indexing and ranking higher, every site should have a blog and consider running off the WordPress platform.

Industry reports show sites with blogs have a 434% greater chance of ranking higher and getting indexed, over sites without blogs.

Fact #15: Blog posts with Images Get 94% More Visitors

The best content in the world isn’t just text based–it’s visually appealing as well.

Just take a look at social media and see what people are sharing and commenting on. No one wants to read 1,200-word articles with no visuals.

Google and audiences around the world feel the same way.

Blog posts with images not only provide better engagement and are easier to read, they also get 94% more visitors.

Things to Keep in Mind When You’re Blogging

Now that you know what blogging is and what it’s all about, are you ready to get started?

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to create your blog and turn it into a money-making opportunity.

Decide which blogging platform you want to use. WordPress, Squarespace, Typepad, and Blogger are some of the most popular options, but there are a variety of other platforms to choose from.

Decide what the focus of your blog will be. Pick a niche. Think about what you have to offer that can connect you with readers and turn you into an authority on your chosen topic.

Create amazing content. Without content that provides value to your readers, you can’t expect your blog to grow much of a following.

Increase readership. Create blog posts that inspire readers to share your content. If you can draw traffic to your site, you can start to monetize your blog through advertising, affiliate marketing, and other avenues.

Related: How to write blog content that engages readers

Don’t blog for the sake of blogging. Find your niche and make sure you have a point of view. Regardless of what your blog is about, you’ll likely get a few friends to visit your site and leave comments. But if you want to be a legitimate blogger or make money from your site, you’ve got to take the process seriously.

Blogging is a way to share your opinions and detail personal experiences. It’s also a creative way to share valuable information with people who care about the same things you care about.

In some instances, your blog may be able to get people to change their opinions about a particular topic.

But for the most part, it’s a way to connect with other people who already share your views.

You can blog for a variety of different reasons. You can use it to vent, you can use it to influence others, or you can use it to provide high-value content to an audience with similar interests as you.

There is no right way or wrong way to blog.

It’s all about expressing yourself in the way you want, and the way you express that depends on what you want to get out of it.

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