Blogging and It’s Importance
Since its introduction, the web has increasingly become a popular platform for individuals, groups and businesses to voice their opinions and share information. Whether it is a website or an email, the internet has truly become a global community, successfully traversing geographical and political borders. One of the most common ways through which people, companies and organizations share information is through blogging. Currently, there are over 100 million blogs online; all containing different forms of content. So, what is blogging and what’s its role in the business sector, the society and people’s personal lives?
A blog, a short term for web log, is a form of a social networking site where, entries are posted and shown in a reverse chronological order meaning that newer posts appear first. The entries or posts can either be in form of videos, texts, audio or images. In contrast with static sites, blogs allow for interaction between the readers and the owner(s) thus its classification as a form of a social network. In fact, the success of a blog depends highly on this interaction.
The Beginning and Growth of Blogs
Blogging goes as far back as 1993 when a company called Mosaic Communications Corporation, started what is considered among the first blogs. However, blogs did not become much popular until 1999 when numerous blogging tools were made available. These tools allowed for simple, efficient and non-technical blogging. In the years following, the number of blogs grew rapidly to the millions that we have today.
Today, blogs have been known to influence political decisions, affect businesses and even alter people’s personal lives. The power of blogging is all too evident in its influence over various aspects of our lives.
Types of Blogs
Not all blogs are similar; various classifications are used to group blogs as discussed below.
In regards to content, you can find the following types of blogs online;
•Textual blogs. These are blogs that contain text content such as articles or personal stories.
•Photoblogs. Blogs that contain images.
•Video blogs which are made up of video content.
•Art blogs. These contain works of art.
•Audio blogs or podcasts.
•Edublogs which are used for educational purposes.
•Microblogs. These contain very short entries.
Most people start blogs based on their hobbies, jobs or passions. This has led to different blogs focusing on different genres. Some of the most common types of blogs by genre are music blogs, fashion blogs, food blogs and travel blogs among others.
A blog can also be classified according to the device used to create it or the device through which it is accessed. For instance some video blogs are created using webcam cameras. Other blogs are meant for use on mobile devices only.
4. Other types
Other blog types include personal blogs which feature personal stories and experiences, organizational blogs maintained by groups and organizations for communicating events and other important information and finally reverse blogs which have their content created by the public.
Blogging as a Source of Income
The growth in popularity of blogging has turned it into a potential source of income. If you are planning on earning some money from your blog, the following are several ways in which you can do it.
•Advertisements. Banner ads on your blog can earn you quite some cash especially if you have a high traffic inflow.
•PPC or pay per click advertising. Basically, you get paid whenever someone clicks on an ad on your blog. A good example of PPC advertising is Google Adsense.
•Downloads. You can also sit back and watch people pay for and download your eBook, music or any other types of files.
•Promoting affiliate products and getting a cut of their earnings.
•Sell services. Are you a designer, a freelance writer or an editor? You can easily sell your services through your blog.
•Let readers pay for membership. For this, you have to provide consistently high quality content worth the payment.
•Become a consultant. If you have a blog that shows your authority on a certain subject, you can contribute your time towards helping people and in return they would pay for your advice.
•Ask for donations. This only works if the content is extremely high quality and of value to the readers.
Generally, blogging is a fairly easy way of making some extra cash. The biggest advantage is that you do not have to do a lot of work to earn money, once you have set up the mechanisms, the rest falls into place.
Essential Blogging Tips
Even though statistics show that there are more than a hundred million blogs right now, several millions of those blogs are inactive. Chances are, someone started out but then gave up almost as soon. Reasons for discarding a blog may include lack of readers, lack of time, disinterest in the genre and many others. To ensure that your blog doesn’t’t end up like millions of others follow the following basic tips.
•Write and post about what you love. Once you start a blog that has to do with your passion, chances of you giving up are low.
•Find a blogging platform that you can easily work with. Popular platforms include Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress.
•Create a posting schedule. You may decide to post daily or thrice a week; whatever you decide, stick to it.
•High quality content is a must. In addition, the content must be relevant to your audience and most importantly, it must offer value to them either form of humor, useful information or just life wisdom.
•Interact with your readers. This is what creates an active community and attracts even more people.
•Interact with other blogs by commenting and sharing their posts.
•Promote your blog through various ways such as social media. This is especially so if you are looking to make money from it and you need a high traffic volume.
Once you understand your readers and find out what makes them happy, blogging becomes a smooth ride.