In the strictest sense, a blog can be defined as a website or webpage containing individual blog posts or published alongside other blogs presented in reverse chronological order. A Blog post consists of text, images, and digital resources published onto a site or page which can be accessed and read online.
A blog can be managed by a single individual, a small group, or a corporate marketing team and there are many different types of blogs. Blogs are often written in an informal or conversational style and contain various elements and features that help them to achieve the goals they were created for.
What is a Blog? A Short History of Blogging
Blogging has existed for many years, with the very first blog post published online in 1994. In the years since, the blog has evolved from a short passage of text into a diversified internet resource used by billions to learn, share information, and generate revenue.
As more and more people learned how to start a blog, personal blogs emerged in the late 90s as a form of digital journaling, alongside the first blogs about news and events (1998). By the turn of the century, novel blogging platforms like Blogger had emerged, and people were beginning to share blog posts, comment on them and – you guessed it, make money. By around 2002, blog advertising started to change the blogging game, and dedicated blog search engines had emerged.
By 2003 – with the launch of Google’s AdSense – bloggers quickly realized the potential that blogs held to make money, while companies and brands were scrambling to get in on the blogging action. With sites like WordPress allowing bloggers to build their own blog websites and video blogging (or ‘vlogging’) accompanying the rise of YouTube, the humble blog was making its presence known.
Today, various types of blogs perform vital roles in business, marketing, sales, and driving the internet information economy. Blogs have begun to evolve rapidly with Web 3.0 advancements and elements of responsive design, AI, UX, and mobile. This is pushing a booming blog industry into playing an increasingly important role in the passion and creator economies.
Blogs vs. Websites vs. Wikis
Understanding the answer to what is a blog begins with separating it from everything else.
Think of the internet as an enormous library. Websites are like shelves containing many different books, and each blog post represents a book on a shelf. Every day, new books are added and removed from the collection, and shelves are moved closer to the entrance based on how good, bad, relevant or current the information sitting on them is.
Wikis, on the other hand, are like non-fiction books in those libraries. They are public property and can be edited or revised by pretty much anyone, anonymously too. Blogs are like published novels or textbooks and can only be created and posted by their author, with the blogger responsible for their content.
Blogs are unlike websites; they exist either as a section of a website or as individual posts on a blog platform, but not as a standalone website. Blogs are updated regularly, are far more effective at engaging with audiences, and can be added, removed, or changed on a website as often as you like.
Blog Websites and Platforms
Blogs can be published online by posting in places where internet search engines can find them. Ideally, bloggers will want to post their blogs on dedicated blog websites or on blogging platforms, providing an avenue for people who may want to read them (AKA’ niche audiences’) with a way to do so.
Readers can browse platforms, search for specific blogs using tags, keywords, or filters, or simply run a search online and click on the results linking them to various blog content.