What is Blogging?
Blogging is the self-publishing of various content types online. In the early days blog content was mostly text with some basic images. Thanks to the evolution of technology, blogs today contain a much richer variety of content types.
Although Blogging is a term which came to be recognized only in the late 1990s, it actually took form earlier than that. Usenet newsgroups and message boards, Bulletin Board Systems, and other mediums were used at the time.
It wasn’t until blog platforms started appearing that the culture really began to expand. Today, Bloggers can choose from a wide range of Blogging services to use, or even run their own self-hosted blogs.
Two simple words but requiring a rather complex answer. The reason for this is because there are so many possible types of blog. To simplify things, we need to divide blogs into two categories – non-commercial and commercial.
Non-commercial blogs are those created by individuals just for fun. They may enjoy writing or photography and simply want to share their hobbies with the world. These blogs are mainly started with simple intent – for example, a hobbyist who writes about crafts.
Commercial blogs are created for the purpose of furthering business objectives. For example, a company selling frozen seafood may make use of a blog segment for marketing reasons – to increase traffic volume and improve business branding.
Is Blogging the Same as Running a Website?
The line between blogs and websites is getting blurrer by the day. Traditionally, websites mostly contained static information, while blogs were regularly updated and presented information in chronological order.
Today, thanks to the flexibility afforded by technology, blogs can be designed to emulate traditional website structures, even though new information is constantly being added. However, the information presented is still technically presented in chronological order for ease of consumption.
Getting Started with Blogging
Blog Service Platforms
When it comes to ready-to-use blog services, users today are simply spoilt for choice. Brands cater to a wide range of blogging needs, from the professional to different media formats. Let’s take a look at some of those available:
- WordPress – This world-famous content management system offers a blogging service through WordPress.com. An account will give you a ready-to-use installation of WordPress which you can customize to your specific needs.
- Tumblr – Not a traditional blog service, Tumblr offers microblogging and social networking combined into a single entity. Founded in 2007, it was initially popular with younger bloggers, but that has diminished over time.
- Medium – Branding itself as an online publishing platform, Medium is actually very much a blog service. Its distinctive marketing has led to it becoming the hot place to be for social journalism.
For those growing on restrictions imposed by some blog service platforms or who simply want independence, self-hosting a blog is also a popular option. The separation between web host and blog platform gives bloggers freedom of choice in both. Popular platforms include:
- WordPress – WordPress.org powers a massive number of blogs online today and in fact, even top commercial websites. It’s a strong ecosystem and flexibility is coupled with a gradual learning curve that makes it suitable for all levels of bloggers.
- Joomla – Another content management system, Joomla is similar to WordPress and shares similar traits like modularity. It is suitable for handling a wide variety of content types and can be installed on almost any web hosting account.
- Drupal – Useful for building both blogs and websites, Drupal has a good mix of reliability, security, and ease of use. To run, it makes use of PHP and requires the use of a database. The simple requirements make it a popular choice.
Although this article may show you the diversity of blogging in various ways, most blogs simply start with a spark. If you’ve got an idea or some form of inspiration, build it slowly from there. After all, everything has a beginning.
The best blogs are usually about subject matters that the blogger is passionate about. Blogging for the sake of blogging simply isn’t really worth it.