Blog Definition: What Is A Blog Exactly?
A blog is just another type of website with key features that separate it from other types, like forums and static sites. A blog is defined by the way a website is built and organized rather than the type of content published on it.
Blogs can be used in a variety of different ways, but there are certain features that make blogs tend to share that make them different from other types of websites, such as:
- Other bloggers authors can interact with your content using trackbacks and pingbacks.
- Content is syndicated using RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, depending on who you ask) to allow readers to subscribe and receive regular updates.
- Readers can leave comments and interact with each other and the author.
- Blogs are built on platforms that make it simple to publish content with little, if any, coding knowledge.
- Content is usually published chronologically.
Other types of websites may have some of these features, but it is the sum of them together that makes a blog what it is. For example, a message board is usually published chronologically and allows users to interact with each other, but that doesn’t make it a blog. In contrast, some blogs do not have all of these features: some blog authors opt to publish without allowing visitors to comment, but even in doing so, the capability is still there and the website is still a blog.
Blogging has changed and grown a lot since the phenomenon began. Blogs started out being used mainly as online diaries, but that’s definitely not the case any longer – solopreneurs and major corporations are now using blogs to promote their businesses. Some people use blogs to express themselves, some blog to connect with their fans or market themselves and their business and others blog as an income stream in itself!
While there are still many bloggers who use blogs in a highly personal way, blogs are absolutely not limited to one particular type of content. In fact, many different types of content are published on blogs these days. Newspapers use blogs to publish stories online. Marketers use blogs to engage readers, get feedback and promote their businesses. Some blogs are set up to serve as a type of online magazine, where entertaining and informative content is published and the blog is monetized by accepting advertisers.
One of the reasons for the variation in the type of content you’ll see on a blog is that since bloggers are able to define their own measure of success and how they get there, there is a lot of room to be creative and experiment with this highly flexible publishing medium.
There is no limit to the type of person who can blog: bloggers come from all walks of life. Business owners, celebrities, parents, writers, educators, TV personalities and professionals across all different industries are all using blogs to share content with one another and to promote themselves.
There are many different approaches to starting a successful blog, because the steps you take are going to depend on your reason for blogging and on the type of audience you’re trying to engage.
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