I am pretty certain that at one point in time or the other, the issue of what a blog is – or more aptly, the question: what is a blog? presented itself to you.
It is also my guess that at that material point in time, the answer eluded you in majestic fashion and you had to rely on some external source for a direct answer that made sense at that time.
The reality is that, there are thousands of awesome people who are still in the dark about what a blog is – and these thousands are actively and persistently still looking for answers on a daily basis to this age-long question and reality.
It is for those who are interested in getting to know what a blog truly is that this post is both created for and dedicated today.
Let’s fire 🙂
What is a Blog?
A blog, traditionally, was an electronic journal where thoughts and opinions were expressed in a diary-like manner. The only differences a traditional blog had with a diary was that:
- Its entries were in reverse chronological order – meaning the last entries were displayed first &
- It was meant to be consumed/read by the whole world (or some predetermined readers) and not only the original writer…in fact, its appeal was largely hinged on the ideal of sharing with the world and the ‘democracy of the web’.
Then, it was commonly called a weblog – a ‘log’ of one’s activities published on the web for everyone to take a look at or read.
Today however, a blog has evolved to something more holistic and far more comprehensive than it was in the days of yore.
A blog today is a platform for businesses to communicate better with their customer base, a medium for private persons to launch into journalism and the reality of sharing their opinions with the world and importantly, an e-commerce tool – creating a million (possibly, a billion) dollar venture/reality.
By no means thus can a blog be undermined; further, by no means should a blogger or the act of blogging be viewed as something of less value than any other profession – say medicine or law since there are professional bloggers today who earn full incomes with their blogs and do so at ease, right from the comfort of their rooms.
Why is the Concept of Blogging so Seductive?
The blogging rush is here and many people are actively in the business of creating new blogs.
As a matter of fact, about 73.9 million new posts are published on WordPress.com alone – which is a tiny percentage of the true state of blog posts published each month – across various platforms.
This is an indication to something that you have probably already guessed: blogging is hugely popular and utterly seductive.
However, the important question is: why is blogging this popular and seductive?
The answers are neatly laid below for you:
First, blogging is low-cost – and does not require a huge capital outlay to make money for the blogger in question.
If you decide on the numerous free platforms, there is no direct investment, aside a laptop and internet connection, two things which you almost certainly already have.
Who will call such a reality expensive?
Second, there are no barriers to entry!
To start a blog, no one will ask you what nationality you are or will be interested in your sex or any other thing which would discourage new entrants from ensuring a freer entry.
This means one exciting reality: you’re actively welcomed to start your blog irrespective of who you are, what you prefer and which country you reside in.
Isn’t this plain sexy?
Third, blogging is so popular and is getting increasingly seductive by the day because it provides a work form that is location free.
A blogger can thus work anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection and a computer.
It is also important to note that this location flexibility has nothing to do with the eventual income of such bloggers either at the end of the week, month or year. If anything, they even earn more for being location rebels and opting for an alternative lifestyle.
Fourth, there is no limit to the earning you can rack in as a professional blogger.
While traditional jobs have an upper limit that is next to impossible to break through, blogging is distinctly different: with a little tweak/hack here or there, you are on the way to doubling or even tripling or quadrupling your present earning or check.
Now, who doesn’t appreciate more money?
Finally, a blog (or the art of blogging) does not require a certificate or any formal education.
This means that, if you’re a citizen of a country like Nigeria or India where undue premium is placed on certificates (and you don’t have one), you can still brilliantly earn an awesome living if you can set up and run a simple blog, provided you know your left from your right.
Knowing your left from your right implicates literacy – and the ability to write in a manner that though is simple, is correct, effective and straightforward.
Is Starting a Blog Immediately a Smart Option?
Having treated the various advantages of blogging that have made it so seductive worldwide, it is important to now turn our attention to something that concerns you directly: should you start your own blog immediately?
Without much ado, the answer is a huge and an instant ‘YES’.
However, before proceeding with creating a blog, there are some bare basics that you ought to properly understand if you are going to make any sense or money.
The next heading will treat these core basics in a most comprehensive fashion.
The Naked Basics of Creating a Blog
To run a successful blog that makes you money (or any other thing you desire with a blog), you must have or know how to deploy the naked basics below.
1. A Computer: to start a blog, you need a computer, preferably, a laptop.
Blogging with a smart phone or tablet is so stressful and annoying that no one should be made to go through the ordeal.
On the other hand, desktops and other larger units are not ideal for blogging because of their sheer bulk and unsuitability for travel. Remember that you should be able to travel with your computer if need be.
Or, can you attempt to travel with a huge desktop workstation station?
The first basic requirement of starting a blog is thus a computer.
You can get a good laptop on Amazon here.
2. Internet: this is commonsense.
To start a blog and become a blogger, you need to connect your computer to the internet, either by a MODEM, router or by whatsoever means possible.
If you cannot afford a private connection, there are always cyber cafes that would be glad to offer you this service for a small fee.
3. Writing Ability: daily, I see people who desire to become bloggers but have very poor writing skill/ability.
If the English Language is a challenge for you, then, blogging won’t be much fun. Excellent writing ability is thus a must.
However, there is an exception here: if you can get others to write for you, you’ll do just fine. In that case, you’ll need a freelance writer.
However, be informed that this route is not exactly cheap and you’ll need to have a budget if you’re interested in retaining good writers.
(Aside): awesome writing starts at $50/1,000 words.
4. Knowledge of SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a basic – if you are to start a smart blog online, impact the world with your knowledge and make money online.
SEO itself is the art of courting search engines and wooing them to enable them fall in love with your content so that when users search for a related key query, they will land on your own site.
In other words, it is the art of ensuring that your content features on the SERPs – prominently.
The reason why a basic understanding of SEO is important is that, organic traffic from search engines is the number one converting type of traffic: readers that land on your site via search engines are already interested in your topic and will not need any special effort for the conversion process.
That aside, it is also instructive to note that, the organic source of traffic is ‘free’ traffic – which nothing is paid for its direct acquisition. If you are starting and are on a shoestring budget, your best option is thus SEO.
If you are running on WordPress (or intend to use WP – which you should anyway), you should check out this guide: SEO 101: Search Engine Optimization Made Easy for WordPress Beginners.
5. Supreme Niche Knowledge: this is a must – and yet still, one of the biggest mistakes newbies make all the time.
Many who are new to blogging make two mistakes, directly related to this point:
- They choose a niche that they know practically nothing (or at best, little) about or
- They opt to go ‘niche-less’, blogging about whatever catches their fancy.
The two approaches don’t work for reasons that are already clearly defined: the first approach fails because they run out of ideas fast and annoy their readers in the process and the second fails because they wear themselves out blogging about cats, cars and dogs!
To avoid these pitfalls, kindly choose a clearly defined niche – and be dead certain that you know your niche like the back of your palms.
6. Master the Art of Monetization: many bloggers (almost 99%) never for once make up to $100 from their blogs in the entire life of the blog.
While this is strange and appears to be exaggerated, it is nothing less than the gospel truth and hard reality.
Don’t fall into the circle and reality of the 99% that never make up to a simple $100 with their blogs.
To ensure that you are part of the productive 1%, master the art of blog monetization – and ensure that you leave the realm of guess-work before you plunge neck-deep into blogging.
If you must, pay someone who has mastered the process to teach you. Believe me, there is nothing as annoying as a blog that does not produce anything, revenue wise.
Having treated what a blog is, the attraction to it and what it takes to start a blog today, it is only proper that we wrap up this entry.
Blogging (by way of wrap up) is fun – and utterly productive.
However, it is not for those who are not ready to learn or those who think that they can simply hop in and make a killing.
Like everything else in life, it has its own unique code – the adherence which will ensure that you start on the right path and make steady progress toward money, fame, power and recognition.