Blogging Basics: What is a Blog and How Does it Work?
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This blogging basics guide covers what is a blog and how does it work; as well as numerous other blogging tips for beginner bloggers.
Today I am going to cover some blogging basics. Have you ever asked yourself, what is a blog and how does it work? It’s not an uncommon question. Blogs can be confusing. This blogging basics guide will answer that question, as well as give you tips on how to build your own successful blog.
So, What is a Blog and How Does it Work?
What is a Blog?
A blog is defined as a regularly updated website, typically run by one person or a small group, that is written in a conversational style.
This differs from a standard website in that most (non blog) websites are filled with informational (static) pages about a company or product. A blog may have some informational pages, but is usually made up of numerous posts or articles. As stated above, these posts are written in a conversational style. This means a more informal style of writing.
Think about a website as having a static homepage, about us page, contact page, and possibly a products page. The information on this website rarely changes. The static homepage is the same, each and every time you visit.
As stated above, a blog can also have informational (static) pages. However, a blog homepage updates each time the author writes a new blog post. Every time you visit the homepage, you may find a new article.
All that being said, a company website can also have a blog. That website might have a static homepage. However, they might also have a tab that links to their blog. Again, this blog page will update as new articles are written.
How Does a Blog Work?
As mentioned above, every time you write a new blog post your blog will update itself. This all happens behind the scenes. Meaning, you write your content in an editor, hit publish, and the post publishes to your blog for you. You don’t need to learn or know code, but you do need to use a program to help you.
These days most people use a content management system like WordPress. WordPress is open source software, completely free, and easy to use. There are other content management systems that you can use. However, I personally prefer, and use, WordPress.
You can check out my post why choose WordPress to learn more about WordPress.
6 Blogging Basics
Now that you know what a blog is, it’s time to get into some blogging basics. Following are six blogging basics to get you started on your blogging journey.
1. Why You Might Want a Blog
If you are a business owner who has a company, sells a product, or offers a service; you probably (hopefully) have a website. A website is a great way to promote your business. But what if you could promote your business even more? What if you could engage with your customers and get them coming back to your website on a regular basis? A blog can do that. See my post on why you should start a blog for some interesting statistics, and more information.
By the way, you don’t have to have a business to start a blog. Lots of individuals start a blog AS a business, or simply as a way to connect with others.
There are a number of ways you can make money with your blog. From advertising, to affiliate marketing, to selling your own product; you can make your blog a successful business.
If you want to blog as a hobby, you can use your blog as a writing, photography, or vacation journal. Or you can use your blog as a virtual scrapbook to share with friends and family that live far away. Think baby pictures and videos for the grandparents to see. The link mentioned above covers blogging as a business and blogging for fun as well.
2. How Do You Start a Blog?
Most people will tell you that starting a blog is relatively simple. For the most part, this is true. However, starting a blog depends upon your current knowledge base, how much time you are willing to put into it, and how much patience you have.
I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning of my blogging journey, but I stuck with it. That was over ten years ago. I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown and learned.
If you are completely green technology wise, it might take you a bit of time. That’s ok. However, if you’ve been reading blogs, are on social media, and have a handle on how to use your computer; you should be good to go.
Either way, my post how to start a blog will take you step by step through the process on how to start a blog.
3. Adding Content to Your Blog
Once you have your blog up and running, you’ll want to add blog posts and update your site regularly. This helps to keep your site fresh, aids in encouraging visitors to come back, and also helps with search engine results. (Search engine results means your blog showing up in search results when someone searches for a particular word or phrase.) This is important because this is how people will find your blog.
See my post on blog content for more information.
4. Writing Great Blog Posts
Do you know what makes a great blog post? Think about how you use the internet. Most people are searching for a solution to a problem.
Have you ever clicked on a link and been disappointed with the results? Me too. There are a lot of bad blog posts out there. So what makes a good blog post?
The first step is to think about your ideal reader. What problems are they looking to solve? Your next step is to “thoroughly” solve their problem for them.
For example, if you run a gardening blog you might write an extensive blog post on how to attract bees to pollinate plants. Or another idea might be a post on how to deal with garden slugs.
If you solve a problem for your reader, they are likely to keep coming back to read your other posts.
5. Making Money With Your Blog
As I mentioned above, a lot of people start a blog to make money. This could be a side income, or a full time venture. Both are possible.
The key to making money with your blog is research and hard work. To make money blogging, you have to write blog posts AND you have to promote them. Promotion via social media channels and building an e-mail list are key. Writing posts that are search engine optimized helps to get your posts ranked in search engines.
There are a lot of steps involved to make money blogging. While it is possible, keep in mind that the most profitable bloggers treat their blog like a business.
For more information, see my post hobby blog to profitable business.
6. When You Hit a Roadblock: Where to Get Help
You may hit a roadblock on your blogging journey. Sometimes things might get confusing, or you might come across some terminology that you are not familiar with. No worries. This is completely normal. My blogging glossary will come in handy during those times. It’s an A-Z Guide of all of the most common blog terms out there.
There are also numerous other articles on this site that can help you. My how to start blogging page covers several blogging topics for beginner bloggers, all the way to more advanced bloggers. You’ll find a wealth of information that will help you to not only start a blog, but build a successful blog.
Blogging Basics Conclusion
I hope you have found this blogging basics post helpful. Blogging can be a great hobby, a great way to support your business, and/or a great business on its own. It’s completely up to you.
Now that you know what a blog is, and you have some blogging basics down; it’s time to get your hands dirty and start a blog. What are you waiting for?
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Thank you so much, I definitely need this! I just got my blog to the point where I consider it ready for people to see–but I have no idea what to do next! There’s so much to learn about blogging and I appreciate how you’ve broken it down so there’s a roadmap to follow.
Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad you found my Blogging Basics posts helpful. Keep it up and good luck with your blog!