A weblog, or blog for short, is a type of website that publishes regularly updated articles called posts or “entries.” These articles can contain straight text, hyperlinks, photographs or other images, video and audio. Usually arranged in reverse chronological order with the latest articles at the top, a blog fills the role of an online journal or web diary, an online publishing platform or even a content management system.
Generally, a blog consists of the title, the article body, the date on which it was posted, and the category or categories the topic falls under.
In addition, blogs often contain RSS and trackback that link the blog to other sites, a place for readers to leave their own comments and additional, optional, items such as a calendar, archives, a blog roll and various add-ons or plug-ins.
There are many types of blogs. A few are the following:
- The Political Blog covers news, politics and activism at other issues, such as campaigning.
- The Personal Blog is a sort of online diary of the blogger’s day-to-day experiences, complaints, thoughts, and maybe even poetry.
- The Topical or Niche Blog focuses on a particular issue that is often technical in nature.
- The Health Blog covers various issues related to well-being. A major category of this is a Medical Blog that features news from healthcare professionals or actual case studies.
- A Literary Blog sometimes, known as a “Litblog,” covers various subjects related to good reading.
- The Travel Blog will focus on the blogger’s personal geographic journeys.
- The Research Blog covers research notes and other academic issues.
- The Legal Blog covers various issues relating to the law; it is sometimes referred to as a “blawg!”
- The Media Blog keeps a watchful eye on television, magazines and newspapers, often noting various falsehoods and inconsistencies and biases in the mass media.
- The Religious Blog focuses on spiritual topics.
- The Educational Blog covers scholarly issues and is usually written by students or teachers.
- The Collaborative or Collective Blog is written by a team or group of people.
- The Directory Blog contains a link to numerous websites.
- The Business Blog is maintained by employees or entrepreneurs to promote their company or talk about their work.
- Spam Blog-a blog for sheer promotional purposes that is often or usually automated; also known as a ‘splog’.
- A blog is generally updated on a regular basis (often daily). The term “blogger” refers to the person who writes, updates and/or maintains a blog, while the term “blogging” refers to the act of authoring or maintaining itself.
Today there are more than 3 million blogs online. This figure is constantly increasing. The availability of various tools and applications that make blogging easier has certainly done much to bring new bloggers into the fold.
Mac users can use either iWeb, which is a part of the iLife suite included with every new Mac, to maintain and update a blog, or they can use a third party program like RapidWeaver, another intuitive website editor that includes blogging capabilities.
Or, Mac users can use various online tools such as Blogger.com or the blogging facility provided by their web host. Many or most advanced level bloggers choose to use WordPress, which may require them to upgrade their web hosting package but has a great number of features that make blogging easier, as well as increasing a blog’s search engine friendliness.
Bloggers can be categorized into four major types: Personal, Business, Organizational and Professional. Professional blogging is such a major category of blogging it has been given its own term: “problogging.”
The opportunities for professional bloggers to make money are many. They include advertising programs, RSS advertising, sponsorship, affiliate programs, network and business writing gigs, donations, blog flipping, merchandising and consulting and speaking.
Here are a few tips if you wish to be successful at pro-blogging:
1. Be patient. Blogging requires a long-term vision, time and effort.
2. Target a specific audience. This will help to build your readership and visitor loyalty.
3. Become an expert. Focus on a specific topic or niche and try to be the “go-to” blogger for that niche.
4. Diversify your monetization. Try out various affiliate programs to discover which work best for you.
5. Be engaging. Write in a lively style. Try to avoid boring your audience.
It is possible to earn money and even make a living by blogging. You do need to adopt the right attitude, have passion, and take risks.
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