A blog is essentially a personal online discussion or written article published on the Internet consisting of relatively informal, oftentimes personalized journal-style text posts. Blogs are usually displayed in reverse chronological order, with posts appearing at the top of the page, usually in order of date. There are many different kinds of blog, ranging from the fairly simple and easy-to-establish social networking sites like MySpace to more complex professionally established websites like WordPress and Blogger. In some ways, blogging is similar to online journals in that both entail the submission of articles, with the main difference being that blogs are generally self-hosted and tend to retain much of their author’s identity throughout the life of the blog. While the overall purpose of writing a blog post is to share your thoughts and ideas, it should be remembered that each blog has its own audience and readership, and is therefore not suitable for some types of publications such as newspapers, magazines, and certain specific kinds of business websites.
A personal blog, or “web log”, is a type of blog that is maintained by an individual and is usually focused on a particular individual. The most popular type of personal blogs is those maintained by adults, since they tend to address more serious issues and concerns than personal topics or hobbies. Some of the most popular personal blogs are those focused on pets or small children.
Another way to use blogging for SEO or search engine optimization is through “dofollow”. Dofollow means that when you leave comments on other blogs, your URL is included in the comment fields. This can be an excellent tool for finding your way around the many different communities and websites on the Internet, since you can bookmark your favorite websites for future reference. However, it can also be a time-consuming process, since it requires you to manually add your links in every comment you make, as well as manually entering the website’s URL addresses where you want to link to.
Many bloggers, who are seeking to establish a large readership, utilize a blogging platform that offers a “pay-per-post” format. Pay-per-post blogs are like traditional article-based blogging platforms, but instead of publishing your blog posts for free, you must pay a fee to have them published. For each blog post you write, you are given the ability to choose which website you wish to allow automated posting of that post to. The blog software then determines how much to charge you per post, and your target audience and revenue potential will determine the size and number of blog posts you can have up to a set limit. Some blogging platforms even offer a free basic account that allows you to only publish one blog post at a time, and if you make several high-quality blog posts, you can increase your fee.
Many internet marketers, and even individual entrepreneurs, who are launching their own online community often use blogging as a venue for building their online community. One way this is done is by having an opt-in blog that allows readers to subscribe to a mailing list. By doing so, they become an “informant” of the online community and are targeted to be part of that community. As they become regular members, those individuals can be targeted through paid advertising or other sales incentives, and those visitors can be converted into paying customers.
Of course, blogging isn’t just used to build a community or generate income. Blogs of all kinds provide valuable content that can be of interest to people who are already doing things you know and enjoy. Whether that means you blog about your family, your favorite hobby, or something you’re passionate about, blogging can help you do your job better. If you’ve never blogged before, it can take some time to figure out what works best for you. Try out this “how to” primer to see if blogging is right for you: