So, what a blog is?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions to me via conversations, emails, and messaging chats. Out there, a large number still don’t know what a blog is!
If you too are reading this post then you would be looking an answer to the same question.
There are various ways in which this question can be answered ranging from comprehensive to a technical one. But before I jot down my simple definition, I would like to list some common definitions of a blog.
The Definition of Blog:
‘A blog, also known as a weblog is a hierarchy of images, text, data, and media objects, organized chronologically and viewable in an HTML browser.’
‘A blog is a basic online journal form.’ Ones who write a blog is a blogger and the activity of updating it on a daily basis is known as blogging.’
‘A blog can be defined as a website that is posted on a regular basis and displayed in chronological order. The blog is the abbreviated form of weblog or we blog. Maintaining the blog or authoring the blog is known as blogging.’
What is a Blog?
If you are confused with all these definitions then you don’t have to be worried. Here I present you with the simplest definition of a blog.
‘A blog is similar to a website but is arranged in chronological order. The most recent entry is posted at the front or top of the page while the older entries are posted at the bottom or previous pages.’
Usually, blogs are written and authored by one person, but this is not always the case. A single blog can be updated by multiple writers at a time. Also, it is not essential that a blog is written on a specific topic. You can create a blog talking about one topic or a blog with numerous topics. You can create a blog on any topic, like spirituality, cooking, photography, reading, traveling, hobbies, DIYs, and just anything you can think of.
Blogs can keep people in contact with each other where they can share ideas, learn, and make friends. Even blogs can help people do business with others having similar interests from around the globe.
There are a few useful features of a blog that you must know about. Let’s discuss them in a brief. But before that let me just quickly tell you who is a blogger and what is blogging!
Who is a Blogger?
A person who owns and runs a blog is known as a blogger. He is the one who maintains the blog. They update new posts, shares information, opinions, most up-to-date news, and case studies. The information a blogger update is known as a blog post.
What is Blogging?
The activity of writing new blog posts, updating the blog with new information, and keeping the blog well-maintained is known as blogging.
Useful Features of a Blog:
With the help of blogs, it is possible to keep a good track of articles on the site. Most of the blogs offer an archive on the basis of dates, like monthly, or yearly. The main page of the blog usually features a calendar of dates that are linked to the archives.
You can also create archives on the basis of categories in which the articles are posted in a particular category. Also, you can archive the posts by different authors in alphabetic order. There are endless possibilities. This is a great feature of a blog that helps to organize and to present articles in an organized and composed manner.
The blog offers another special feature known as a feed. With this feature, it is possible for free readers to access the website automatically and search for new content. Also, it allows them to post updates about new posts on other websites. This offers a way to the bloggers to keep their blog updated with the latest information posted on other blogging sites.
One common form of feed is known as RSS also known as Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary.
The feed is a machine-readable format usually available in the XML format for content publication. Most of the online blogs publish a feed in the RSS form. There are different tools that consider themselves as ‘feedreaders.’
With the help of feedreaders, it is possible to keep checking a particular blog and identify whether any content is updated. If there are changes updated to a blog then it is displayed in the new post and a link is sent to it. Each feed includes items that are not published. When you are checking a feed then the feedreader is searching for new items.
The new items are identified automatically and downloaded for reading. Hence, it would avoid you visiting the blogs in which you are not interested. You just have to add a link to the RSS feed for the blogs you are interested in. The feedreader will inform you when there is a new post on the blog. Most of the blogs have syndication feeds available to the readers.
Another exciting and wonderful feature of the blog is its comments section. It is a highly interactive feature that enables users to comment on the article posts, link to the posts, and comment on the recommended one. Such comments are known as pingbacks and trackbacks.
You can manage comments and even deal with unwanted comments in the blog post.
5. Pretty Permalinks:
These are the permanent URLs to the individual weblog posts, as well as the categories of other weblog postings.
A permalink is a thing that another weblogger uses in order to refer to your post or to identify the way you may send a link to your post in an email. Since there might be other links to the individual postings, the URL to that article must not change. Permalinks are considered permanent and valid for a longer time period.
These URLs are visible to people who frequently visit the blog, and must, therefore, be crafted in a way that creates sense. Make sure you don’t fill the permalinks with incomprehensible parameters.
6. Blogging by Email:
There are some blogging tools that offer the convenience to post your blogs directly through an email without any direct interaction through the blogging tool interface. With this feature, it is possible for you to send in the post content to a pre-identified email address.
These are condensed summaries of the blog posts. With this blogging tool, it is possible to handle things in various ways. The excerpts allow to specifically writing a summary of the post. You can generate an excerpt with the first few paragraphs of the post.
8. Post Slugs:
This is the title of your post within the link or pretty permalinks. This blogging tool software simplifies to truncate the title into a more specific form for using the link. It is possible to truncate the title in your desired form.
These are cool bits of programming scripts that can add more functionality to the blog. Plug-ins is mainly a feature that either enhances the already available features or adds new features to your blog or site.
What are the uses of Blogging?
While the practice of blogging has developed over decades, it offers plenty of benefits to bloggers. Here are some uses of blogging that you must know!
1. A great way to express your ideas and passions:
There are numerous blogs out there that offer you a platform to share your thoughts, ideas, and feelings to the others. Whether you are passionate about finance, politics, and cooking, marketing, blogging offers anyone the opportunity to connect with others and network with like-minded people
2. A Platform to Make Difference:
If you want to make a difference in the society then this serves as a great platform to support towards a cause. If you want to support a political, social, or environmental cause, a blog is an excellent way to generate awareness and gain support.
3. Share Your Experiences and Knowledge:
If you like to share your experiences and knowledge with others then you can start a blog teaching the same to others. This can be an easy and cost-effective way to generate awareness among others. The finest part is that you can start building resources on your blog to teach others. It will also offer you the chance to earn monetary gains through your blog by offering educational services online.
4. Polish Your Writing Skills:
If you are seeking a way to polish your writing skills then blogging can be a great way to do this. If you are writing on a regular basis then this will enhance your writing skills. Also, if you proofread your article then it would help you become a good writer.
5. Make Money Online:
One excellent benefit of starting a blog is that it can help you earn great monetary earnings. You can start a blog and move the long way. Over time it will obviously generate ideas for blogs in any other fields. You can use your experience from other blogs and effective marketing strategies to make money through blogging. This will help you boost the growth of future prospects.
6. Develop a Professional Network:
Blogging is a huge community based on endeavors. Large people do blogging in order to network with others. This is the main reason for people to engage in blogging. It helps to build new relationships and at the same time facilitates the growth of the blog.
Once you grow the online network then you will be able to reap even more benefits like gaining access to effective software and tools, workshops, seminars, and other events.
7. Get More Exposure:
You can create an all new business with a blog primarily to enhance your online presence. With the help of a blog, promote the brand in a positive way, you can connect with potential customers, and even generate abundant revenue for your business. Blogging does not offer immediate results, but yes the results are long-lasting.
8. A Way to Develop Your Online Portfolio:
Blogging is an excellent way for aspiring writers to develop an online portfolio. You can showcase your writing skills on big platforms with great reach. If you own a business then you can grow their exposure and identify new clients.
Is Blogging Safe to Use?
Blogging is a highly beneficial tool, but it can put you to some risk. For example, if your blog is a controversial topic then you can become a public target. It is also possible to target the blog for the fun or challenge of an activity. It is possible that some attackers will hold the blog for hostage and restore it in exchange for finances. This is known as ransomware.
Hackers could also gain personal information from your blog. Even they may reach important information about your finances or identity. If your blog is not doing well then this can harm your reputation. Lastly, with your blog, your personal identity is at great risk.
How to Protect Your Blog?
1. Avail a PO Box:
If you use an email marketing address then it is better to use a mailing address that is different from where you live. This will ensure that your home address does not broadcast to every person.
2. Using Domain Privacy:
While you register the domain, it is safest to use domain privacy. There are online registrars that offer domain privacy protection services on an annual basis for a nominal fee.
3. Obtain a Google Voice Number:
As a blogger, you might have to offer your phone number to different apps, services, and clients. The best way is to avail a Google voice number so that you do not end up sharing your personal phone number with each person and to each platform.
4. Backup Your Blog:
You can protect your site against malware and hackers. This is possible by ensuring that you have a backup of your recent updates.
Blogging is an excellent platform offering various benefits. But it can even lead to harassment. The best solution is to take proper steps to mitigate blogging risks. This will keep you protected from ill intentions and help you enjoy your blogging to the fullest!