In this 21st Century, almost everyone has come across a blog or website online with or without knowing. For instance, maybe you used a blog to get more information on digital marketing or you went on Google and searched for your favorite recipe and stumbled across a few blogs with the information you need. In fact, if you’re reading this article now, guess what? You’re actually on a blog. Very strange right! Truth be told though, the word “BLOG” is not alien to many people these days.
Of late, bloggers have become famous for several reasons. Blogging has become another career or a gig for a lot of individuals. Seeing this, many people are even opting to join the blogging community with hopes of reaping the benefits that come with it.
In South Sudan, blogging is still misunderstood. You find people owning Facebook pages and they call themselves bloggers. Others garner some followers and they upgrade their status to bloggers.
In fact, I have been receiving a lot of questions about blogging from newbies, people who want to start a blog, and my readers. People ask, what is a blog, who is a blogger, how is a blog different from a website and others ask what is blogging, etc.
When you receive such multiple questions, you often realize that people are green about blogging in general. If you’re a newbie and have the same questions, relax because am about to introduce you to the blogging world
So if you want to learn the definition of a blog, a blogger, and differentiate a blog from a website, relax and let’s get kick-started.
So, what is a Blog?
A blog [a short version of ‘weblog’] refers to a type of website with contents (articles) published and arranged in chronological order. The blog contents are organized and displayed with the most recent content displayed at the top of the blog and the old ones following. Another term for blog content is entries or blog posts.
Blogs are categorized into types which include: Personal Blog, Niche Blog, Company or Business Blog, Affiliate Blog, Reverse Blog
However, for this article, we shall be focusing on Niche Blogs. This type of blog often concentrates on certain topics which the blogger is passionate, skilled, and knowledgeable about. For instance, if you’re a fashion mogul, your blog will exclusively talk about the latest fashion and trends. Such blogs are often run by one person or a small group of people.
The blog contents are written in a chatty and conversational tone with the comments section enabled to allow readers to respond to the article they are viewing and encourage a lively conversation.
Some of the popular niches in the blogging community include: travel blogs, fashion blogs, Health and Wellness blogs, Food Blogs, Personal Finance Blogs & Lifestyle Blogs
When compared to other types of websites, blogs usually present fewer features that may be useful for instance, the archives, comments, and categories.
Today, blogs have become popular for content marketing. Businesses and individuals are using blog sites to promote their goods and services, thereby attracting more customers online.
History of Blogs
If you were wondering where blogs even came from, Now is the time to pay close attention. Blogs evolved from journals and online diaries in the mid-90s.
By then, internet users were already running personal web pages where they could publish regular updates about their personal lives, thoughts, and social commentary.
On the other hand, the term “web log” was first used during the late 90s. It later became known as “weblog”, then “we blog” and finally just “blog”
And due to the increasing number of such web pages, several tools started being developed which made it easier for people to create personal blogs and online journals. With those tools, blogging became popular and also non-technical users gained access to the same technology.
In the year 1999, Blogger.com was launched and became the most popular platform. Google purchased it in February 2003. Later that same year, the first version of WordPress as a blogging platform was released in May 2003
In the present day, WordPress is the most popular blogging platform powering over 42% of all websites on the internet.
What is the difference between a Blog and a Website?
A blog refers to a type of website. The only difference between a blog and other types of websites is that a blog is updated regularly with new content which is organized in reverse chronological order (new posts first).
Typical websites are static in nature with contents organized in pages and are not frequently updated while a blog is dynamic in nature, updated with new contents (multiple articles) regularly.
A blog can be a sub-section of a large website. For example, businesses often have blogs where they communicate, inform and educate their clients and prospects.
You can use WordPress to develop a website and a blog that’s why you will notice that a lot of businesses are often developing their sites on WordPress.
Therefore, all blogs can be called a website or part of a website however not all websites can be called a blog.
What Is Blogging?
Blogging is the art of writing articles, publishing them, and maintaining a blog site.
However, blogging is more than just writing and publishing an article. It involves blending your content with multi-media such as photos, videos, audio, and other forms of media. You also have to do a plagiarism check on all your articles to ensure that they are unique, moderating comments, editing and updating your posts (articles)
You’ll need to learn most of the skills to become a good blogger. Take for example, for your blog to skyrocket, you need to be a very good content creator who is able to come up with original and unique articles for your blog. You also need to be good at SEO in order to be able to optimize your blog and make its contents appear on search results like Google and other search engines.
Skills that go handy with blogging include; Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Digital marketing, website designing, Graphics designing, Content writing, and post publishing skills.
Who is a Blogger?
A blogger is simply a person who owns and manages a blog site. He or she expresses his/her opinions and knowledge on different topics for a target audience. One can never be a blogger without a blog site.
I have witnessed some social media users (especially South Sudanese Facebook page managers) who have amassed a good number of followers masquerade around as bloggers even though they own no blog sites, but the fact is they aren’t bloggers.
A lot of people think that bloggers belong to a certain group of people but in reality, anyone can become a blogger including students, politicians, tech-savvy, teachers, politicians, single moms, or even the uneducated. Class doesn’t really matter.
How Can I Become a Blogger?
There is no shortcut to becoming a blogger. If you want to become a blogger, a sure way is to set up your blog site and start creating and publishing content. Starting a blog site is the only way you can become a blogger.
You can either set up your blog by yourself or hire a professional website developer to develop it for you at a good cost.
What Is a Blogging Platform?
A blogging platform refers to a software or tool which lets you create and publish your content on the internet or manage a blog site (website). It provides an easy and quick way to create a blog for people who may know little about programming and technology in general.
A lot of blogging platforms are content management systems (CMS) because they allow you to manage content uploaded on the internet.
How Do I Start a Blog On My Own?
To start a blog on your own is pretty easy. Foremost, you have to choose a blog name also called a domain name then choose, the best blogging platform that will suit your needs. We do recommend that you go with self-hosted platforms. There are few choices when it comes to selecting a self-hosted platform but the most popular is wordpress.org.
Thereafter, choose a web hosting service. For newbie bloggers, I strongly recommend Bluehost. Bluehost shelves over 2 million-plus websites online.
They will offer you a free domain name when you sign up with them and 30 days money-back guarantee in case you don’t like their services.
Bloggers are mobile and don’t have to be in one place all the time. They live on the internet and can work from anywhere in the world. Starting a blog in South Sudan is a life-changing decision you need to make. It is simple, requires very little capital to start and you can work anywhere at any time. At the time of writing this article, I was comfortably seated in my bed.
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