You’ve been hearing about them in the news. Your grandkids are talking about them. Your neighbors are talking about them. Heck, even the folks at coffee are talking about them! These blogs things are everywhere. But where did they come from and what’s this all about?
The concept of a blog is not unlike the idea behind a weekly newspaper column or personal journal. Basically, one person or a small group of people share thoughts, observations, and articles with readers. It makes a kind of conversation focused around a specific theme or topic. Themes, also called niches, can be simple, like “My Life” or they can more complex, like “Civil War Bullet Collecting and Resale in Virginia”. It is completely up to the author of the blog.
The word “blog” is a shortened version of the phrase “web log” and can be used as both a noun and a verb. I have a blog, and I blogged for three hours yesterday about my trip to town. Blogging refers to the act of creating or adding content to the blog. This is also known as updating or posting to the blog. A blogger not a fancy author, but rather is someone who has a regularly updated blog. Bloggers’ collective creations are known as the “blogosphere”, which has grown from a mere handful of blogs 15 years ago to more than 120 million blogs today.
All those blogs grew out of a movement to share content on a more personal level which was born in the mid-1990s, when web technology became more user-friendly to individuals who lacked hardcore programming backgrounds. All blogs are online and early blogs were typically just one part of a larger personalized web page. However, a blog doesn’t have to be personal. While some blogs are essentially online diaries, other blogs support political or environmental causes, showcase hobbies, discuss sports teams, and even serve as marketing tools for designers and salespeople.
As blogging became more popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, specialized programs designed specifically with bloggers in mind were developed. Today, even if you are not very good with computers, these programs can help you create a sharp-looking blog in just a few minutes.
Becoming an active blogger is as simple as typing. That’s the only thing all bloggers have in common with each other: They can type—and they keep typing and typing and typing. Blogging doesn’t require you to have a degree or special skills. All you need to get started in the blogosphere is common sense and access to a computer.
So why wait? If you are interested in starting a blog, this ebook will walk you through some of the things you can do to get started and be successful. Over the next several pages, we will cover:
• Finding your Niche
• Choosing your Blog Home
• Filling the Blog: Create or Cut & Paste?
• Posting and Search Engine Optimization
• Social Bookmarking Tools
• Understanding Indexing and Syndication of Your Content
• Resources for Bloggers