What is a Blog? Definition of Blog, Blogging & Blogger

By
Shanna Lindinger
|
April 17, 2024

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These terms get thrown around a lot. Blog, Blogger, Blogging.

Today we're going to look at the difference between a blog and blogging, and clarify what a blogger is.

First things, blogging is akin to writing in an online journal that allows you to share thoughts, ideas, and opinions on various topics. But what does blogging mean, exactly?

Do You Know What a Blog Is?

If you don't know what a blog is, that's okay. You've landed in the right spot. Understanding what a blog is today, we need to go back a little bit. That means dig into a bit of history.

Starting with what was the first blog. The first blog was created by Justin Hall on Links.net in 1994 but was referred to as his personal homepage. The term "blog" had not been conceived yet. Back then, blogs were more like personal diaries that people would share online. They were more like online journals where people would talk about their daily life or share things they were doing online. And it wasn't until 17 December 1997 that the term "weblog" was conceived by Jorn Barger. The short form "blog" was coined by Peter Merholz in April or May of 1999, when he jestingly broke the word weblog into the construction we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com. This was when people began to see a real opportunity and a new way to communicate information online. This is where blogging and what we now call the blogosphere began.

Blogging has become an essential part of online communication. It doesn't really matter where in the world you are; blogs have come to provide a platform for individuals, organizations, and businesses to share their individual or collective thoughts, ideas, and experiences with a wider audience.

What is a Blog?

What is the simple definition of a blog?

A blog (short for weblog) is a web page that is updated on a regular basis. It can be used for personal comments or for business purposes. Blogs tend to be interactive and generally have comments sections at the end of each blog post.

What is a blog definition
Source: Wix Blog


Exploring the Essence of Blogging

To define blogging, it is the act of regularly updating a website with new content, typically in the form of blog posts. But what does blogging mean beyond just updating content? These posts can cover a wide range of topics, from personal reflections to professional insights, and everything in between. But at its core, blogging is about sharing information, experiences, and opinions with an audience in an engaging and accessible format.

A blog, short for weblog, is a kind of online platform where individuals or organizations share their thoughts and ideas on various subjects. It functions as a place for personal or business expression, where a writer or group of writers can publish articles or blog posts. These posts are generally displayed in reverse chronological order, with the newest appearing at the top of the page.

Blogs are designed to be interactive, giving readers the opportunity to leave comments and share posts on social media or through email. As of January 2023, the number of blogs on the internet is almost mind-bending, with over 600 million globally and 31.7 million in the United States alone. Examples of popular blogs include NerdWallet and Buzzfeed.

In short, a blog is a frequently updated website or web page used for personal or business expression, where ideas and thoughts are shared in the form of articles or blog posts.



There are an endless number of different types of blogs, each with its own purpose and audience. Some of the most common types of blogs include personal blogs, business blogs, news blogs, and niche blogs.

So what is the meaning of personal blog? Well, a personal blog focuses on the individual's thoughts, experiences, and opinions. Business blogs are used to promote products or services and engage with customers. News blogs provide up-to-date information on current events, while niche blogs focus on specific topics, such as food, travel, or fashion.

Why Start a Blog? Understanding the Benefits 

There are several motivations for starting a blog. As mentioned, this can be for personal use, so you can express your views or opinions on a specific topic. Raise awareness about a particular issue you're passionate about. And then, there is a business need where the main aim of a blog is to connect with a target customer or audience and sell products or services. This can be anything from technology, climate change, real estate, food, or fashion.

The value in starting a blog as a new business is the potential to attract potential buyers and grab their attention. Without blogging as an avenue, your website would remain invisible in the current market, whereas running a blog makes you both searchable and competitive.

Besides a blog boosting traffic and sending quality leads to your website, the primary purpose of a blog is to connect you to your relevant audience.

The more frequently you post, and the better your blog posts are in terms of target and quality, the higher the chance of your website being discovered and visited. This makes a blog an incredibly effective lead-generation tool. And converting any incoming website traffic into high-quality leads is gained by adding a great call to action (CTA) button to your content. A blog is also a great way to showcase your authority within a niche and build a solid brand identity.

You're able to build trust with your audience by using the knowledge you have within your niche to create both informative and engaging posts. Creating great blog posts gives your business credibility, especially if your brand is still young and relatively unknown. And this ensures you an online presence and niche authority simultaneously.

The Anatomy of a Blog: Understanding its Structure

The appearance and format of blogs have evolved over time. However, most still maintain a particular set of standard structures and features. These are essential components that make a blog functional and user-friendly.

Some of the standard features found in a typical blog include:

A header with a clear navigation bar or menu

A main content area that showcases the latest blog posts

A sidebar that may contain social media profiles, key blog content, a call-to-action, or a special offer

A footer with related links such as the website's privacy policy, disclaimer, about us page, and contact information.

What is the standard structure of a blog infographic
Basic blog structure

The example above is the basic structure of a standard blog, where each segment serves a specific purpose and helps visitors navigate your blog effortlessly.

Blogging has many benefits, both personal and professional. Building Your Online Presence: Blogging helps you to establish yourself as an authority on a specific topic or industry. Improving Your Writing Skills: Consistent writing can help improve writing skills and develop a writing voice. Networking and Collaboration: Blogging provides opportunities to network with other bloggers and collaborate on projects. Personal Growth: Blogging can be a source of personal growth and self-discovery.

Blogs vs. Websites: Understanding the Differences

The lines between blogs and websites have become increasingly blurred in recent years, with many businesses now integrating blogs into their websites. This has left many wondering what the real difference is between the two.

What Sets Blogs Apart from Websites?

Blogs are characterized by their dynamic and regularly updated content, with opportunities for readers to engage and interact through the comments section. A travel blog like The Points Guy or a food blog like The Minimalist Baker is a great example of a successful blog. On the other hand, websites are more static and unchanging, with information that stays essentially the same. A website could be about a topic, business, or person, such as a static website like Webflow or Oyster

Another way to differentiate a blog from a static website is to look for byline elements, like the publishing date, author credit, category, and tags. Blog posts usually include these elements, while static website pages do not. Additionally, a visitor to a blog can expect to see new content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In contrast, the content on a static website will likely remain the same from one visit to the next.

What is Blogging?

The early 2000s were a huge turning point in the blogging world, with a few major blogging platforms getting their start. To put things in perspective here, according to a list compiled in 1999 by Jesse James Garrett, there were 23 blogs live on the internet. By 2006, according to Technorati's State of the Blogosphere report, there were 50 million. Several political blogs were born during this time and were highly popular. Next was in-depth topic blogs which took a deeper look at current affairs and pop culture. By 2001 how-to blogs began to surface. At this point, "meta blogs" (blogs about blogging) make up a sizable segment and are the most popular and successful blogs. 

Several popular blogs got their start in the early 2000s, including Gawker (the first significant gossip blog to launch), Boing Boing, Dooce, Gizmodo, Wonkette, and the Huffington Post. Jason Calacanis, who started Weblogs, Inc. in 2003, sold to AOL for $25 million. This sale helped solidify blogs as a great power or influence rather than a passing fad.

2003 saw the launch of the AdSense advertising platform. Adsense was the first ad network to match ads to the content on a specific blog. It was also AdSense that made it possible for bloggers without massive audiences to start making money. 

Once bloggers realized it was possible to make money from their blogs, the number of meta blogs soared. Now infamous bloggers like Darren Rowse (Problogger.net and Digital-Photography-School.net), and John Chow (Blogging Secrets and Make Money Online: Roadmap of a Dot Com Mogul), made significant amounts of money telling other bloggers how they could turn blogging into a full-time career.

Definition of Blogging

Blogging is creating and curating written, audio, visual, and other media for self-publishing or vanity publishing online. That is running your own blog or that of someone else. There are a variety of skills needed to start blogging, which we'll get into in another post. Still, the three most important traits at this point are curiosity, consistency, and discipline.

Exploring the Popularity of Blogging

Blogging continues to be a dominant and growing trend, leaving many to wonder why it has become so popular. Understanding what does blogging mean helps unravel its widespread appeal. In order to understand the rise and popularity of blogging, it's important to delve into the history and factors behind it.

Blogging first emerged as a new source of information, quickly being embraced by media outlets as a platform to share editorial opinions and connect with readers. Businesses soon saw the value in using blogs as a way to directly communicate with their audience, improve customer satisfaction and keep clients updated on company developments and product launches. With increased engagement and interaction, blogs helped build brand trust and exposure.

For personal and niche bloggers, blogging provided the opportunity to reach a larger audience interested in specific subjects. By fostering engagement and interaction, bloggers could cultivate a loyal following, leading to increased readership and exposure. This, in turn, opened up opportunities for monetizing the blog through the sale of products or services.

All in all, blogging's popularity can be attributed to its origins as a source of information and its evolution as a tool for businesses and individuals to connect, share, and build relationships with their audience.

What is a Blogger?

A blogger is defined as a person who regularly writes and shares material for a blog. Material can be the opinion and knowledge on different topics, then shared with a particular audience or readership in mind.

Definition of a Blogger

Expanding out a little, a blogger is basically a person who has an interest or knowledge on a particular topic or is willing to learn and share those learnings with an audience. There is a broad range of topics to blog about, including but not limited to lifestyle, health and wellness, finance, and parenting. 

The short of it is anyone can be a blogger. Most recent times, bloggers have become recognized for several reasons. Since there is potential to make serious money through blogging, like vlogging (video blogging), it has become a real alternative career path or side gig for many people. If you're reading this, you, like many, may be considering joining the blogosphere. What is potentially the best part about being a blogger? You can do it from anywhere. Call it a remote-first job!

Why are So Many People Blogging?

Have you ever thought about blogging? Do you want to start a blog of your own? Have you thought about why? There are as many reasons to start a blog as there are people in the world - well, maybe not quite that number, but people do start blogging for various reasons. Some bloggers feel very strongly about a particular topic or issue, like an environmental cause or social issue. Some may have a story to tell about a particular experience or experiences. And others may want to share knowledge on a specific subject to help people in a certain way. The driver behind all of this is a platform enabling you to communicate and impact people from all walks of life. 

Is Blogging Still Worth It?

As has been mentioned already, blogging isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, blogs are as relevant now as they were ten years ago. If not, more so. But why is that? First things, the barrier to entry is super low. You don't need a four-year degree or ten years of experience to enter this world. If you're savvy with words and have the ability to express yourself and your personality through your writing while sharing your opinions or thoughts on a particular topic, you can go far. I always think of Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income's blog and how incredibly successful he has been. He is a stalwart and tangible example of potentiality.  

Remember, the great few make it to the top of the mountain. But with consistency and determination, you have the ability to reach the top. Everyone started as a beginner at something. Blogging is here to stay and is an actual means to a great life as long as you can continue to evolve and adapt to an evolving environment. 

Can You Get Rich Off a Blog?

It's worth mentioning at the beginning here that this is not a get-rich-quick scheme, regardless of what you've read or watched on YouTube. I went broke believing I'd have a blog up and making at least $2,000 a month within 6 months. Let go of that dream unless you have money to throw at agencies and freelancers. But that doesn't mean slow, and steady doesn't win the race. 

Before monetizing your blog, you must focus on your Google SERPs ranking and building up a specific niche topic. It's no lie that this will take time and targeted quality content. Once you have gained authority and credibility in your particular niche, the money will follow. 

A few ways you can make some solid money as a niche blogger include the following:

1. Ad placement

Having ads placed on your blog privately or through an ad network. Ad placement on your blog is the easiest way to make money. You're paid via impressions (known as a view-through), which is when a user sees an ad or clicks on your blog. You can quickly sign up for ad networks like Mediavine, Ezoic, AdThrive, or Google Adsense. In the case of successful blogs like Mashable, ad networks would reach out directly with a request to run ads.

2. Contracted or salaried placement

Many companies hire bloggers as freelance contractors and full-time employees. They often create content about an organization's products or services, predominately within content marketing or public relations departments.

3. Affiliate marketing

This is when you, as a blogger, partner with a company or companies that pay you to promote their products or services. Generally, a company will give you, as the blogger, a unique URL to their product web page. When a visitor to your site clicks on and buys something through that link, you get paid a commission. 

4. Sponsored posts

 A sponsored post is when a company will pay you as a blogger to create content about its brand, product, or service. The caveat with sponsored posts is that you need a large enough audience to reach a large enough readership to make that kind of sponsorship viable for the company. 

5. Selling your own services, subscriptions, and products

One of the main routes bloggers take, and a very profitable one to take as a blogger, is selling your own physical or digital products. This can include eBooks, guides, or online courses and tutorials. The reality is that your blog is a great way to pull your readership into buying your products. The first thing you must do, though, is establish your authority as an expert or thought leader in your field.

After that, you can offer your audience exclusive content or personal services. You can become a coach and consultant and offer courses, memberships, and subscriptions. This is when your audience pays you directly for your expert knowledge and advice or exclusive content available only to a select few. For example, you may choose the finance niche, establish your authority in this market, and offer services like financial coaching or exclusive financial advice that may be available behind a paywall. 

Monetizing your blog can be a really great way to earn income but it’s important to choose the method that best fits your blog's niche and audience.

Do You Want to Start Your Own Blog?

Setting Up Your Blog: Setting up a blog is relatively easy and can be done in just a few simple steps. First, you'll need to choose a blogging platform, such as WordPress or Webflow. Next, choose a domain name and hosting provider. Once you have these basics, you can start customizing your blog's design and layout.

There are a few steps to starting your own personal blog.

The first and most apparent step is picking a name for your blog. This is also called a domain name. Second, you must select the best blogging platform for your needs. I'd recommend going with a self-hosted platform. There are a few choices for self-hosted platforms, with the most popular one being WordPress.org. After several start-stops, I personally went with Webflow

Third, you need to choose a web hosting service. For new bloggers, if you're going with WordPress.org as a platform, I'd recommend Bluehost. The bonus is you receive a free domain name when you sign up with Bluehost. And if you're not that keen on their services, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you're keen to try out an alternative like Webflow, I'd recommend going with Google Domains or GreenGeeks. 

While blogging can be rewarding, it comes with its challenges, like staying motivated, dealing with negative feedback, and creating regular content. Overcoming these challenges is crucial for success. Staying motivated and focused on your goals, seeking support from other bloggers, and taking breaks when needed are effective strategies.

Conclusion

Blogging is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. With the right approach, anyone can start a successful blog and enjoy the many benefits that come with it.

I hope you walk away from this post, having learned all you need about blogs and blogging. From understanding what does blogging mean to exploring its benefits, we've covered the essentials. I'll be working on a series of blog content to help you with your next steps, including blog content and the best ways ahead, so please check back often. I'm super excited to build out blogging resources to help you run and grow a truly successful blog!

If you're keen to fast-track your progress and get started on your blogging journey, check out this post I wrote on the Top 8 Best Blogging Courses for Beginners.

Remember, the key to a successful blog is consistency, dedication, and engaging content.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How has the role and perception of bloggers evolved from the inception of blogging to the current digital age?

A: The role and perception of bloggers have evolved significantly from being personal hobbyists to professional content creators and influencers. Initially, blogs were personal online journals, but with the digital age, blogging has become a mainstream media platform with bloggers often seen as experts, influencers, or thought leaders in their respective fields.

Q: What are the legal and ethical considerations for bloggers today?

A: Legal and ethical considerations for bloggers include copyright laws, privacy policies, disclosure of sponsorships or advertisements, and the accuracy of the content. Bloggers must navigate these aspects carefully to maintain credibility and avoid legal issues.

Q: How can bloggers effectively monetize their content beyond the methods mentioned in the article?

A: Bloggers can monetize their content through various strategies beyond traditional advertising, such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, selling digital products or services, memberships, and crowdfunding. Diversifying income streams can help bloggers maximize their earnings potential.

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