Have you been hearing a lot about blogs lately but not sure what they are? Blogs have become an important part of the internet, and more people than ever before are using them for work, pleasure, or both. But what is a blog, and what is it used for?
In this comprehensive guide, you will find clear answers to these questions. You will also learn about the difference between a blog and a website, how bloggers get paid, the types of blogs, examples of good blogs, and more.
Now, get a snack, and let’s get started!
What is a blog?
A blog (short for “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website featuring a series of posts related to one topic. It can be used as a platform to express ideas, share information, give advice, and connect with others with similar interests. Blogs are typically written in a conversational style and provide commentary or news on a specific subject.
You can see in the image below how different articles are related to one topic: blogging.
Blogs are typically updated frequently, displaying content in a reverse chronological order (new content appearing at the top of the page). This makes them an excellent way for readers to stay updated on the latest news and information.
Confused? Let me make it simple!
Let’s imagine you have a passion, like playing guitar, for example. You want to share your passion with others, teach them how to start playing the guitar, how to become a pro, types of guitar, etc. You can start a written platform to write about all these topics.
After some time, you may have 100+ articles covering all sorts of stuff around the guitar. This platform is your blog.
What is a Blog Used For?
As mentioned before, blogs are used as a platform (a content management system) to express ideas and share information. But to be more precise, they are also used to educate others and build an online presence, help a business with brand awareness, become an expert in an industry, and grow an email list.
1. To Educate Others and Build an Online Presence
Most blogs are used as a platform to teach others about a particular topic or provide them with helpful resources. These resources can be anything from educational tutorials to news and opinion pieces.
By regularly writing and updating content, the blog author or blog authors can build an online presence and establish themselves as expert in the industry or online community. This helps create trust and credibility, leading to successful collaborations and business opportunities.
2. To Help a Business With Brand Awareness
Businesses can also use blogs to increase their brand awareness and help them stand out from the competition. By creating content that is informative and entertaining, businesses can effectively reach their target market.
Additionally, they can use their blog to keep clients up to date and advertise products and services.
3. To Become an Expert in an Industry
Blogs can also be an excellent platform for establishing yourself as an expert in your field. By regularly publishing content related to the topic, you can become more visible and gain more credibility within the online community. This will help you stay ahead of your competition and keep up with current trends.
4. To Grow an Email List
Finally, blogs are often used to grow an email list. This can be done by offering valuable free content or resources (for example, an ebook) in exchange for a reader’s email address. As your blog grows, so will your email list and reach, allowing you to build stronger relationships with your readers and customers.
Now that you know what a blog is and what it’s used for, let’s answer one more question: what’s the difference between a blog and a website?
Blog vs. Website: What’s the Difference?
A website typically focuses on providing information about a business or brand. It usually includes pages such as “About Us”, “Contact Us”, and other static pages related to the company’s products and services. On the other hand, a blog is typically used for informing and engaging with readers. It often includes commentary and opinion pieces, helpful resources, and educational tutorials.
A blog can also be a component of a website.
Confused again? Let me elaborate!
Let’s say a company called ABC sells website security services. They create a website and add all the important pages: home, about, services, pricing, contact, support, etc.
Now, they want to reach more people and increase their brand awareness. To do so, they want to write articles around the website security topic. So, they decided to add a page called ‘Blog’. In this example, a blog has become a component of a website.
When ABC writes an article (aka “blog post”), it will show on the Blog page.
Now, let’s go back to our guitar example. When you create your blog, you can also add these pages: home, about, and contact. But unlike ABC, which talks like a business selling services, you will mainly talk about yourself and your expertise. You will display your pictures and show yourself as an expert. You can check my homepage to see an example.
On your blog, you will also add a ‘Blog’ page, but unlike ABC, which has a customer service, IT team, marketing team, etc., you will focus more on writing and promoting your articles. You will call your website a blog.
To sum up, the difference between a website and a blog is that a website typically focuses on providing information about a “business” or “brand”. In contrast, a blog talks about the “blogger” and is typically used for informing and engaging with readers.
Blog vs. Wiki: What’s the Difference?
Although a blog and a wiki are both online content management systems, there are some key differences between the two. A blog is used primarily to inform and engage readers with posts that focus on thoughts and personal experiences. On the other hand, a wiki is more of an encyclopedia-style site that focuses on providing factual information about specific subjects.
Wikipedia is a perfect example.
In addition, blogs are typically written by one or a small group of authors. Wikis, however, are generally written collaboratively, with many contributors writing and editing content.
Finally, while a blog will usually have a reverse chronological order where new posts appear at the top, a wiki is more organized into categories, with the most relevant information appearing first.
What Is a Blogger?
A blogger is an individual who regularly adds content to a blog.
Bloggers often write about their interests and expertise to inform readers. It can be anything from personal stories, politics, online education, lifestyle advice, reviews, tutorials, etc.
Most bloggers want to grow their audience and reach more people with their writing.
To do this, they might use social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to promote their work. They may also collaborate with other bloggers or create partnerships with companies.
Check out this post to learn the difference between a blogger, a vlogger, and an influencer.
How do Bloggers Get Paid?
Bloggers can make money in various ways, including affiliate marketing, offering sponsored posts, selling courses, selling products, services, and subscriptions, and showing ads on their blogs.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when a blogger promotes another company’s product, and if the reader purchases that product through the link provided by the blogger, the blogger earns a commission.
To explain more, with affiliate marketing, the blogger will receive a unique tracking link to use in posts and social media. When readers click on that link and purchase the product, the blogger receives a commission from the company.
This is an easy way for bloggers to make money with little effort since all they have to do is share their affiliate link and wait for people to buy through it.
2. Sponsored Posts
Companies sometimes pay bloggers to write positive reviews about their products or services on their blogs. The blogger will write a blog post talking about the product. It is known as sponsored content.
The companies can also provide the blogger with a product or service in exchange for writing a review about it on their blog. This helps the company get more exposure while also paying the blogger at the same time.
Many bloggers also make money by selling courses on their blogs. This usually involves creating an online course focused on teaching a particular skill or helping people learn something new. The courses can be video tutorials, digital downloads, PDFs, and even webinars. The advantage is bloggers don’t have to create costly physical products.
4. Products, Services and Subscriptions:
Bloggers can also make money by selling physical products, services, or subscriptions on their blogs. These blogs provide anything from handmade jewelry to digital marketing services. Bloggers can also offer subscriptions or a monthly newsletter, which people can pay for in exchange for exclusive content and discounts.
Finally, bloggers can generate income by displaying ads on their blogs. This is generally done through ad networks like Google Adsense or Mediavine. Whenever someone clicks on the ads, the blogger earns money.
Overall, blogging is a great way to make money online. By writing and promoting fascinating content, bloggers can attract more readers and eventually monetize their blogs by using any of these methods.
Types of Blogs
There are different types of blogs that you can create. Some popular ones include niche or professional blogs, personal blogs, news blogs, affiliate blogs, company or business blogs, and reverse blogs.
1. Niche or Professional Blog
Niche or professional blogs are focused on a specific topic. Some examples are lifestyle blogs, beauty blogs, food blogs, and travel blogs. These blogs often provide readers with information about the topic in depth. My blog, Iconic Blogging, is a niche blog.
2. Personal Blog
A personal blog is more about the individual’s life and experiences. People talk about their personal lives. A personal blog shares stories and offers advice to readers. It often contains photos, videos, and other media content.
3. News Blog
Unlike niche and personal blogs, news blogs are similar to news websites but are run by an individual or multiple authors (usually a small group). These blogs focus on providing up-to-date information about current events.
4. Affiliate Blog
Affiliate blogs are focused on promoting products and services that the blogger is affiliated with. These blogs naturally contain affiliate links and reviews of the products they’re recommending.
5. Company or Business Blog
Companies use company or business blogs to promote their brand and share news about their products and services. They often include tutorials, behind-the-scenes footage, and other content related to the company’s mission. They also write blog posts yo attract customers.
6. Reverse blogs
Reverse blogs, also called “group blogs”, are a unique type of blog that has grown in popularity recently. Unlike traditional blogs, where the content is created by the author and then posted to the site, a reverse blog is one where visitors submit their own posts to be published on the blog.
Overall, there are a variety of types of blogs that people can create depending on their interests or goals. Bloggers need to have a well-thought-out plan before they start blogging to be sure to create relevant content.
Examples of Good Blogs
The best blogs write blog content that resonates with their readers. Here are some examples of good blogs:
This travel space is about budget travel and living a nomadic lifestyle. The author, Matt Kepnes, shares his personal travel stories as well as tips for others looking to do the same.
Do you also want a travel blog? Check out my guide on how to start a travel blog for detailed instructions.
Run Eat Repeat is about running and healthy living. Monica Olivas shares her journey to becoming a successful runner and tips and advice for others who want to do the same.
On My Baking Addiction, a food blog, Jamie shows her love for baking, with a focus on desserts. She shares recipes, tips, and tutorials that help people create delicious treats. Food blogs are very popular and successful.
Iconic Blogging is all about blogging. It covers topics such as blog creation and running, WordPress, content creation, SEO, and more. Piaff Dibota helps new bloggers get started and improve their online presence.
What is a Blog Post?
I have mentioned blog posts a few times now. But what are they?
A blog post is an article written and published on a blog. It’s typically focused on one topic, with the purpose of providing information or thoughts about it. It is usually written in a conversational tone and often includes media such as images and videos to help explain the topic. What you are reading now is a blog post.
Recommended reading: What’s the difference between a blog post and an article?
What Makes a Good Blog Post?
A good blog post needs to have an engaging title, well-written content, and exciting visuals for readers to keep coming back. To successfully do it, you need to create a publishing process.
Blog Post and Page: What's the Difference?
A blog post and a page are both forms of content published on websites. However, there are some key differences between the two.
A post is usually written in an informal style to provide information or thoughts about something. It’s a very informative article. Pages, however, are more formal. They typically contain static information such as company services. Important web pages appear on the entire website but are not updated frequently.
In contrast, examples of blog posts will be ‘How to start a blog’ and ‘Best smartphones of the year.’
How to Start Your Own Blog?
Starting your own blog isn’t as complex as it seems. If you follow the proper steps, you will have an entire blog running in a few hours. Here are the seven steps you can take to create your successful blog:
I go through each of these steps in a complete article on how to start a blog. You will also learn more about your web design, the website builder other blogs use, how to publish content, and how to post content on social media sites.
Check out the article to start your own blog today.
What Makes Successful Blogs?
Successful blogs have strong content, an engaged audience, a steady growth of traffic and followers, and consistent updates. They also have an attractive design that easily conveys the message they want to send out.
Good blogs have strong content, an engaged audience, a steady growth of traffic and followers, as well as consistent updates. They also have an attractive design that easily conveys the message they want to send out.
1. A Unique Voice
A great blog should stand out from the crowd with its unique voice. This is related to how you write your content and the kind of words you use.
2. A Clear Purpose
A good blog has a clear purpose constantly communicated to readers, guiding them on why they should return for more.
3. Strong Content
Content is key to any blog’s success. Good content should be easy to read and understand, entertaining, and informative.
4. Good SEO Practices
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices help to ensure your target audience finds your blog. When search engines like your content, they will show it to more people. And to make content that search engines like, you need to use SEO plugins.
Blog owners should never underestimate the power of SEO.
Many blogs provide a comment section to interact with readers. They also use social media and other interactive methods to build a community of loyal followers.
Profitable blogs also combine different ways to generate income.
Start a Blog and Experience What Blogging is
A blog is perfect for expressing yourself, sharing your knowledge and expertise, and interacting with others. It takes time and effort to grow a successful blog, but with consistent effort and the right approach, you can get there.
In this article, you’ve learned more about the word blog, the difference between a blog and a website, how bloggers get paid, the types of blogs, and more. Hopefully, you got all the answers to your questions. But if you are still thirsty, feel free to comment below, and I will reply as soon as possible.
Moreover, Iconic Blogging provides helpful resources for bloggers of all levels – from beginners just starting out to more experienced bloggers looking to take their blogs to the next level.
Look around and find helpful tips, tutorials, and resources to help create your own blogs or improve your existing ones. I will catch you in other articles.