Do you have a story to tell? An experience to share? A passion you want to spread? If so, then blogging may be for you.
Blogging allows you to share your voice with the world. It gives you a platform to connect with others, build a community, and make an impact.
But exactly what is blogging? And how do you get started?
In this beginner’s guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need about blogging. From understanding what a blog is to launching your first post, I’ve got you covered.
So, get ready to take a deep dive into the blogging world!
Table of Contents
The Origin Story of Blogs: From Websites to Businesses
Let’s start from the very beginning.
The first blogs emerged in the late 1990s as simple online diaries and journals. Back then, blogging was a hobby, and blogs were mostly personal sites where people documented their daily lives.
The term “blog” short for “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997. It referred to the process of logging activities on the World Wide Web.
However, blogs soon evolved into something much more powerful.
People realized blogs can be excellent educational resources, too. Subject matter experts (SMEs) started blogs to share their knowledge with the world.
We saw the birth of many technology and computer blogs during the “.com” boom in the early 2000s.
During the rapid growth of social media in the mid-2000s, blogs exploded in popularity.
They became a tool for self-expression, social interaction, and community building. From travel to food to parenting – blogs on every topic started sprouting up.
No longer a basic online journal, blogging became a full-fledged medium to share stories, ideas, and expertise.
The most exciting evolution came when bloggers realized they could make money from blogs by selling products/services, advertisements, sponsored posts, etc.
Suddenly, everyone wanted to become a blogger!
Blogging was no longer just a hobby but a viable business.
Some of the most well-known companies like HubSpot, Moz, Copyblogger, etc. started off as blogs.
Cut to 2024, blogging is a “BIG” business. Just look at these mind-blowing stats:
- There are over 600 million blogs on the internet today
- 77% of internet users read blogs
- Bloggers publish over 70 million posts on WordPress every month
This just shows how blogging has grown from simple online diaries to powerful websites that attract millions of visitors and generate revenue.If you want to learn more about the emerging trends in blogging, then kindly check out our blog “Future of Blogging”.
So Exactly What is a Blog? Define Blog
Now that we’ve seen the origin and evolution of blogs, let’s clearly see the blogging definition.
A blog is a frequently updated website consisting of articles, social features, multimedia content, and more. It covers one specific niche, industry, or topic in detail.
The primary focus of a blog is to publish high-quality content consistently.
The content is displayed in reverse chronological order with the newest posts appearing first. This content can be in the form of written blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.
A key characteristic that makes blogs stand out from static websites is how interactive they are.
Blog visitors can share content on social media, subscribe to email updates, comment on posts, participate in forums, and so on. The conversation around blog content is multifaceted.
Many blogs allow readers to subscribe to receive updates whenever new content is published.
Email newsletters, RSS feeds, and social media groups are various subscriptions options.
Here are some common types of blogs seen today:
- Personal blogs
- Business or company blogs
- Professional blogs
- Interest-based blogs
- Cause-based blogs
As you can see, the topics and niches are limitless when it comes to blogging. You can blog about literally “ANYTHING” today.
However, successful blogs always have a tight focus on one target audience and provide specialized information for them. The laser focus is what attracts loyal readers.
Now that you know what a blog is and the diversity of topics covered, let’s look at the business model of a blog:
Business Model of a Blog
For experienced bloggers like us, blogging is so much more than a hobby. It is a business.
But how exactly does the business model work for blogs?
Simply put, the business model of a blog involves:
- Creating and publishing HIGH-QUALITY content consistently at NO COST to attract TARGETED traffic or visitors to the blog.
- Once a blogger has a large enough qualified audience for their niche, they MONETIZE the traffic by selling products, services, ad space, and more.
This is the basic flow for any blog:
Of course, the strategy and monetization techniques differ based on the type and focus of the blog. But the traffic → audience → monetization core remains the same.
Now that we’re clear on what are blogs. Let’s look at how to be successful and profitable with blogging in 2024.
Why Do People Blog?
There are many motivations for starting a blog, including:
- Share your passion or expertise
Blogging lets you tell your story and provide value to readers who care about your niche. It feels amazing to know your words matter.
- Make money
Yes, you can actually make money by blogging! I’ll explain the details later, but bloggers can earn through things like ad networks, affiliate sales, products, and coaching services.
- Build connections
When you start a blog in a specific niche, you can build a community around it. Like-minded readers will become regulars and engage with your content.
- Establish Expertise
Blogging consistently about a topic establishes you as a trusted expert on it. Readers will value your opinion and come to you for advice.
For instance, finance blogs that post in-depth, well-researched articles build credibility. Soon people see bloggers as authoritative sources on investing, taxes, etc.
- Escape the 9 to 5
Many bloggers start working for themselves full-time after gaining some success. The location flexibility and freedom are huge pros.
Some travel bloggers I know even earn while globetrotting the world! The laptop lifestyle is appealing.
There are immense benefits of blogging for business owners and bloggers, as explained in our post on “Benefits of Blogging For Business Owners and Bloggers“.
No matter your motivation, the ability to influence others is what makes blogging truly rewarding.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
Now comes the fun part – picking a blogging platform to set up your blog on. Let’s look at the most popular options:
WordPress is by far the most widely used blogging platform. Trust me, it may seem intimidating as a beginner but it’s really not too bad!
Once you get the basics down, WordPress gives you endless flexibility to add functionality and customize your site. Their themes and plugins are awesome.
I’d recommend WordPress for any new blogger. It just has the most robust features and community support.
Wix makes it super easy to create a beautiful, professional-looking blog without needing to know any code. It has drag-and-drop templates you can customize.
Great platform for bloggers focused on visual aesthetics. Downside – ads on the free plan and less flexibility vs WordPress.
Medium is a popular free blogging host. Very clean interface and seamless publishing. Medium handles all the technical stuff for you.
But – limited customization and monetization options. You don’t fully own your blog content either.
Blogger is Google’s free blogging platform. Very straightforward and simple to use. Lots of basic customization options. Also easy integration with Google products.
Decent option for new bloggers who want a free, no-frills way to start. Less control vs self-hosted platforms like WordPress though.
Squarespace provides beautiful templates to build blogs, stores, and websites. Powerful blogging features but much less flexibility compared to WordPress.
Good for bloggers who care more about aesthetic design than customization or SEO.
There are tons more platforms, but in my opinion, WordPress is the best choice for most beginners. The pros simply outweigh the cons, and it’s not as hard as it seems!
How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps?
Ready to launch your own blog? Follow my 5 simple steps to get up and running fast:
Step 1: Choose a blogging platform
Your blogging platform is the content management system (CMS) software that powers your blog behind the scenes.
As I mentioned earlier, the top options are WordPress, Blogger, Medium, and Wix.
I highly recommend using WordPress as it provides the most flexibility and features to grow. Many successful bloggers use WordPress.
Step 2: Register your domain
Your domain name is your unique blog web address that shows up in search engines and what readers will type to access your blog.
Choose a domain that’s short, memorable, and includes your main keyword.
For example, WellnessBlog.com or JulieSmithTravels.com.
Step 3: Find web hosting
Web hosting provides the storage space to host your blog files online. The best web hosts for WordPress blogs include Bluehost, SiteGround, and HostGator.
- Bluehost price starts at $2.95/month
- SiteGround price starts at $3.99/month
- HostGator price starts at $5.95/month
Step 4: Install WordPress
Now it’s time to install the WordPress software onto your web hosting account. Most hosts make this a simple 1-click install. Then you can log into your WordPress dashboard.
Step 5: Customize your blog
The fun part is designing your blog! Choose a theme, tweak the settings, add pages, and publish your first post.
And that’s it – you officially have a blog! It may take you a day or two to complete the steps if you’re brand new. But once the foundation is set up, the rest is easy.You can learn more details about blogging in this comprehensive guide – Personal Blog Meaning: Discover Niches, Benefits & Cool Tips.
How to Make Money Blogging?
Here are some of the best ways for beginner bloggers to make money:
- Sell Advertising Space
A classic way blogs monetize is through advertising. Sign up for Google AdSense and you can make money by placing their ads on your site.
Just having the ads visible earns you cash whenever users click on them. It’s totally passive! You can also sell banner ad space directly to advertisers relevant to your niche.
- Affiliate Marketing
This is my personal favorite. Find products or services that align with your blog’s topic and join their affiliate program.
Next, add links and promotional content for the affiliate product naturally in your posts. When one of your readers clicks the link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission! Affiliate income can really add up over time.
- Create Online Courses
Once you become an authority in your blogging niche, consider creating online courses. These are in-depth learning experiences you sell access to—think videos, PDFs, worksheets, and community forums.
Set up your own course platform or use a site like Teachable. Promote your course to your email list and blog readers.
- Sell Merchandise
Design T-shirts, mugs, and other custom swag featuring your blog’s brand and sell them through platforms like TeePublic. Or create digital products like ebooks, guides, and templates that readers can purchase on your site.
- Offer Consulting Services
Monetize your blogging expertise! Offer social media consulting, writing services, or virtual coaching in your niche.
You already put in the work to build authority—now brands and individuals will pay for your know-how. List your services on your blog and set up booking calls.
Other ways to earn money from blogging are
- Sponsored Posts Or Paid Reviews
- Sell Banner Ads On Your Website
- Make Money by Website Flipping
- Event Blogging
See, there are so many options to earn an income from that blog you’re building. Don’t obsess over monetization at first though—just focus on creating kick-ass content and building an audience.
The money will follow! And along the way, be sure to enjoy the blogging journey.
Tips for Blogging Success
Here are my top 5 tips to build a successful blog you love:
- Post consistently, at least 1-2x per week to start. Consistency is key!
- Reply to blog comments, answer questions, and interact on social media.
- Create content upgrades – Develop freebies like cheat sheets and guides to offer in exchange for email signups.
- Experiment with different formats like mixing up your content with videos, podcasts, webinars, Q&As, etc.
- Guest post swap or partner with relevant bloggers to tap into new audiences.
Avoiding common blogging mistakes is also important for success. Check out our post about “Terrible Mistakes That Almost Every Amateur Blogger Make” to learn what to watch out for.
By following these tips and staying persistent, you can absolutely find blogging success and influence.
And there you have it, my friends! We’ve gone on quite the journey exploring the world of blogging – from its humble beginnings to the booming business it is today.
I hope this beginner’s guide about “What is Blog?” provided you with a helpful overview of what blogging is all about and how you can get started.
The possibilities are endless when you find your niche and share your unique voice.
Don’t be intimidated. Just start writing, engage with your readers, and have fun with it!
Stay consistent and soon you’ll be on your way to blogging success. Let me know if you have any other questions. I can’t wait to see the awesome blogs you create!