The World of Blogging 101

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A blog, sometimes called a weblog, is a type of online personal web site where people can express themselves, share information and ideas, and interact with others on a daily basis. Blogs are similar to other sites like discussion boards, however they are especially popular among teenagers and young adults. A blog is generally a written discussion or personal online journal posted on the Internet, usually consisting of discrete, usually anonymous diary-style text posts. Posts are generally displayed in chronological order, with the latest post appearing at the top of the page. Blogs are somewhat similar to message boards but unlike message boards, blogs can be individualized with text, photos, links, and animated graphics.

Blogs were originally created as an easy way for university students to communicate using personal computers. Blogs were also helpful for those who were new to blogging because they provided a place to share opinions, experiences, thoughts, and ideas. In recent years, blogging has become a popular form of communication for many individuals and organizations. Blogs can be used for business purposes by those involved in e-commerce, social networking, and content publishing. There are literally thousands of blogs available on the Internet, making the ability to effectively communicate with others virtually impossible.

There are numerous types of blogs, including the most common blogging and social networking sites such as WordPress, Blogger, MyBlogSite and LiveJournal. follow a specific theme; however, there are some blogs that offer users the ability to add their own personal stamp to their writing. The blogging and social networking blog type tends to attract more readers than other types of blogs because it allows the writer to express a personal viewpoint on a given topic. Unlike traditional news organizations, blogs do not require the writers to adhere to a specific format. As long as the content is interesting and consistent, readers will come back for more.

Although blogs have evolved into a mainstream way to disseminate information, blogs still have their roots firmly planted in the traditional community-based media. Blogs are still read by a traditional base of readers who tend to value consistency in content. These readers are usually younger and Internet savvy. While the overall number of blogs written has decreased over the years, the number of readers who regularly visit and contribute to blogs remains steady.

Some bloggers have turned to blogging as a way to earn money. Bloggers may choose to make advertisements placed on their blog posts or through sponsored links. Bloggers who choose to blog for money need to carefully select the niche they will specialize in and choose a topic that will attract readers who may be interested in buying a product or service advertised on the blog. This type of blogging requires the blogger to be well versed in advertising and promoting products and services and can often result in high start up costs.

Social networking and blogging sites such as Facebook and MySpace have taken blogging to a whole new level. These sites allow thousands of users to join each day, many of whom are actually users who simply “like” the writer or website. In this type of setting, bloggers who are serious about making a profit need to develop a strong following. The best way to attract followers is to participate in conversations within the communities of these social networking sites and provide meaningful information to those within the communities. Bloggers who are not careful about the tone or subject matter of their blog posts may find themselves alienating some of their followers. Once again, a carefully crafted profile page will help a blogger attract followers and those followers will eagerly promote the blog to their friends.g

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