Blog use expanded
A weblog – or simply blog – is a website that ‘publishes’ or features articles which are referred to as ‘entries,’ ‘blog posts,’ or simply ‘posts’ written by an individual or a group of people who utilize one or any combination of the many functions available in modern blogging software offered by the various platforms. Whereas the original blogging technology that existed two decades ago was limited to written content, the rapid advancement of digital technology has allowed blogging platforms to offer:
- Straight text blogs;
- Photograph or image blogs (photo-blogging);
- Video blogs (video-blog);
- Audio file blogs (audio-blogging), and;
- Hyperlink blogs.
Typically, a blog is arranged in reverse chronological order and can be used for a variety of different purposes; but the most frequent uses of blogs, traditionally speaking, have been online journals, web diaries, content management systems and Web publishing platforms. These uses are more adaptable to blogs because the type and variety of components found in the standard blog were, and still are for the most part, more conducive to these uses.
Here are a few of those components:
- Post date – The date and time of the blog entry
- Category – The particular subject group to which a post most closely identifies
- Title – The title or main theme of the blog, which should be relevant to the subject
- Main body – What the writer actually conveys in the blog; the story told about a particular blog topic
- RSS and trackback – A method of connecting blog “A” to several other blogs/sites via links
- Comments – Commentaries added by readers (interaction) in the form of feedback and opinions
- Permalinks – The method by which every blog post has its own unique URL
- Other optional items – Calendar, Archives, Blogrolls, and various Add-ons and/or Plug-ins
As in the same fashion that a blog is usually designed with a header, that same blog can also have a footer – found at the bottom of the blog – installed, if the owner so desires. Footers can show the post date, the author, the category, and the ‘stats’ (the number of comments or trackbacks). But a blog footer is not often as elaborate or stylish as the header, and therefore does not require a great deal of time spent creating it.
In so far as a blog’s subject is concerned, there are numerous types of blogs, comprised of various themes, interests and industries, including, but not limited to the following:
- Political blogs – on news, politics, activism, and other issue based blogs (such as campaigning).
- Personal blogs – also known as online diary that may include an individual’s day-to-day experience, complaints, poems, and illicit thoughts, and communications between friends.
- Health blogs – on specific health issues. Medical blog is a major category of health blog that features medical news from health care professionals and/or actual patient cases.
- Literary blogs – also known as litblog.
- Travel blog – with focus on a traveler’s stories on a particular journey.
- Research blogs – on academic issues such as research notes.
- Legal blogs – on law (technical areas) and legal affairs; also known as ‘blawgs.’
- Media blogs – focus on falsehoods or inconsistencies in mass media; usually exclusive for a newspaper or a television network.
- Religious blogs – on religious topics.
- Educational blogs – on educational applications, usually written by students and teachers.
- Collaborative or collective blogs – a specific topic written by a group of people.
- Directory blogs – contains a collection of numerous web sites.
- Business blogs – used by entrepreneurs and corporate employees to promote their businesses or talk about their work.
- Personification blogs – focus on non-human beings or objects (such as pets, plants, robots, etc.).
- Spam blogs – used for promoting affiliated websites; also known as ‘splogs’.
In amazing numbers
Blogging is typically done on a regular (almost daily) basis, a frequency that is almost expected, in view of the fact that the term “blogging” refers to the act of authoring, maintaining, and/or adding an article to an existing blog at regular intervals; while the term “blogger” refers to a person or a group who manages and maintains the blog.
Today, more than 152 million blogs can be found in the Internet; this according to Brandon Gaille, in his article titled, How Many Blogs are on the Internet. But the amazing thing is that, this figure is continuously growing; and as technology makes blogging software, tools, and other applications easier to use and more accessible for just about anyone to update or maintain a blog (even those with little or no technical background), who knows how much the number of blogs will increase.
Because of the growth rate of blogs and a trend towards personal ownership, bloggers can be categorized into four main groups:
- Personal blogging – Bloggers who focus on a diary or on any topic that an individual feels strongly or passionate about.
- Business blogging – Bloggers who focus on the promotional and advertising aspect of expression, usually to sell products and services.
- Organizational blogging – Bloggers who focus on internal or external communication within a community or organization.
- Professional blogging – Bloggers who are hired or paid to do blogging.
The money aspect of blogging
As with any other industry or popular vocation, blogging has reached the point where just about everyone with a computer and access to the Internet wants a blog, but not everyone is capable of managing one or even conveying the message he/she wishes the world to know. Enter the professional blogger, or as is more casually referred to, the pro-blogger, which is someone who blogs for a profit. Pro-bloggers, to put it another way, are people who make money from blogging (as an individual blog publisher or a hired blogger), and can be very much in demand from time to time, and depending on the subject.
Below are just some of the many money-making opportunities for pro-bloggers:
- Advertising programs
- RSS Advertising
- Affiliate Programs
- Digital Assets
- Blog Network Writing
- Business Blog Writing
- Non-Blogging Writing
- Flipping blogs
- Consulting and speaking
Where there is a money-making opportunity, many entrepreneurial-minded, enterprising and talented (as well as some not so talented) will be attracted to the opportunity; and as such, pro-bloggers of all stripes will make their services available. But they must know and understand a few things if they are to be effective at, and achieve success in, pro blogging. There are as follows:
- They must be patient. Pro-blogging requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention a long-term vision;
- They must know their audience. Targeting a specific audience or group is a key to building a readership;
- They must be an ‘expert’ on the particular subject. Focus on a specific niche topic and strive to be the “go-to” blogger on that topic, and;
- They must be willing to diversify. This requires them to experiment with various topics and add affiliate programs that enable them to make money online (aside from blogging).
- They must try not to bore their readers. Focusing on the blog layout can help in this area. White spaces, line spacing, and bigger fonts make a blog welcoming to read.
A blogging entrepreneur?!
If you have aspirations of becoming a problogger, it is quite possible that you will earn money from a vocation such as this; but keep in mind that in any entrepreneurial undertaking, it is necessary to take risks, and you must possess passion as well as a positive (be an optimist) attitude in order to be a successful entrepreneur, which is essentially what a pro-blogger is. Good luck!