The Blog About Blogs.

We have all heard the term ‘blog’. This could range from “The blogs are saying…” to “Read a blog about…”, but what exactly is a blog, how do you start one, and what makes a good blog?

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What is a Blog?

The term ‘blog’ comes from the word ‘weblog’, which describes websites that contain an ongoing chronicle of information. Blogs are made up of blog posts and can be about any and everything you imagine. You can often find blogs about food, travel, fashion, sports, or anything else you may be interested in. Bloggers (the person writing the blogs) may start personal blogs, sharing intimate details about their lives with their audience. Bloggers can also work for bigger companies, writing content for their companies’ target audience.

When browsing blogs on websites, there are some things to remember about how the blog may be set up. 

  1. Blogs are in reverse chronological order, meaning the newest blog will always be at the top of the feed. 
  2. Blogs are often archived. They can be archived by month or year. 
  3. There is an overall theme of blog posts. One blog site is going to have blog posts related to one central idea.

How to Start a Blog

Starting a blog is fairly simple.

  1. Find your overarching topic. This should be something you are very passionate or interested in. If you are writing an educational blog, you should pick a topic you know thoroughly and can answer questions about. 
  2. Choose a platform. Blogging can be done through a hosting site, such as WordPress, or through a content management system. Content management systems are mostly used by bloggers with more blogging experience, whereas a hosting site might be easier to navigate for a beginning blogger.  
  3. Choose a domain name. Your domain is the link that people will be using to access your blog (example- Katiesblog.com). Domains can be purchased for often less than $15 a year. However, you do not have to purchase a domain if you do not want to. If you are using a hosting site, such as WordPress, they will give you a domain name. 
  4. Set up your web account. This will be done on whatever hosting platform you decide to use for your blog. Most blogs are hosted by WordPress, but there are a number of other options including SquareSpace, Wix, Hostgator, and many more. All of the sites will ask you to create an account with your information and payment. If you did not select a domain name, your website will then allow you to create it. 
  5. Pick your theme and layout. This is where the fun begins. You can choose from a template or create a custom website interface. In this portion, you choose your logo, fonts, colors, and pictures that you want on your site. 
  6. Write your content and promote your website! Now that you have your website ready to go, you can now begin to create content for your blog, if you have not already done so. Be sure to advertise your new blogging site on all of your social media accounts to begin the flow of website traffic to your website.
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A Good Blog

What makes a good blog? There are many answers to this question. Here are a few features that make up a good blog post.

  1. Have a specific audience – When writing your blog post, be sure to write with your target audience in mind. You may not be able to get every single person who browses the internet to view your blog, but you can get the people who are interested in your blogging topic to view and hopefully return in the future.
  2. Use SEO – SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is what allows your blog to be viewed when people type into search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. People often go to search engines with questions, so if your blog uses these same keywords, it is more likely to be viewed by your target audience.
  3. Strive for about 500 to 1000 words – Blogs can truly be any length you want them to be, but 500 to 1000 words are where most blogs range word-wise. With all of the different types of media people consume (radio, television, social media, etc.) people have a shorter attention span than they once did. People will read things they are interested in, but if the content is too long, they may not read to the end of the blog.
  4. Use pictures and gifs – Pictures are a great addition to blogs. They help separate text and help the view further understand the content. Gifs have been around for a long time, but have recently re-surged on social media. Using gifs in blogs may give the viewer a laugh during the read and encourage them to read other blogs on your site.
  5. Edit! Edit! Edit! – Proof-reading and editing before publishing your blog is very important. Typos and grammar errors are not the best to have when trying to maintain visitors to your sites. Visitors should have full confidence that you know what you are talking about when telling them information they may need.
  6. Turn on your comments! – Allowing your visitors to comment on your blog gives the visitor the opportunity to continue the conversation you are having with them. Comments can lead to many user interactions and the success of your blog. Comments can lead to trackbacks and pingbacks.

* A trackback is if another blogger wants their viewers to be able to see their comment and their blog. Blogger B will send a trackback to blogger A and Blogger B’s comment is displayed, with the link to their blog.

* A pingback is if a blogger links another blogger’s blog in their blog. Both bloggers independently have blogs, with one having a link to the other.

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Writing blogs is an engaging and informative way to spread content to a particular audience. There are many successful blogs of all different types that have helped many people for years. Here are some tips that I have picked up from writing blogs over the years.

  • Make a blogging schedule. Consistency is key to any successful blog. Pick a topic you can ramble about and schedule them!
  • Make sure you really think about what you want to name your blog. This is not going to change and this is what people are going to remember. 
  • Remember when picking a theme that it is going to be the same throughout all the pages. Be sure to choose fonts and colors that are pleasing to the eye for long periods of time.
  • Have fun with your blog! Get creative and think outside the box!

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing, Taylor! I think you captured all of the basic steps to blogging in this post. I have some experience with blogging already, but you included information that was new to me too. For example, I never knew that “blog” stems from “weblog”. I also learned what a trackback and a pingback are from this.
    You mentioned that WordPress is a common blogging platform, but I’m wondering if you looked into any other platforms, like SquareSpace or Wix. I’ve mostly worked with WordPress in the past, but I’ve heard SquareSpace is pretty nice too. The difference is that WordPress requires a little more coding background and offers more features because of it. SquareSpace is more for people who wish to create a blog, but don’t have much experience with coding. Because of this, it’s limited in its resources and flexibility. If you’d like, you can read more from where I got this information from: https://www.bluehost.com/blog/wordpress-vs-squarespace-why-wordpress-is-better/?gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=CjwKCAjwlbr8BRA0EiwAnt4MTknUcFxms-Ws_LeH3yqVbief6lXeDvhUfnLbH3HI3UxLvwpDcN0K1hoCtjYQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

  2. Taylor,
    Nice job on the blog post for the week about blogs!! I really enjoyed this week’s topic and how you hit the main points of blogs because I want to start my own blog soon, but I don’t really know how to start one, so your post really helped me learn more about blogs and the best strategies to use when creating a blog. I really enjoyed the numbered lists you used for “How to start a blog” and “A good blog” because it made the main points stick out more clearly, and it made them more comprehendible. My favorite part about the post was the bulleted list of tips you have for writing blogs from your own experience because they are very helpful tips that don’t come from a website, but from actual experience. Out of curiosity, what type of blog posts do you write or what is the overarching theme that you write about in your own blog posts? I think it’s really cool to write blogs, but right now I don’t have the time to start one, so I’m hoping over Winter break or even the Summer, I’ll be able to start my own. I haven’t really thought about what I want to blog about, but I really enjoy learning about society’s views on food and weight and how they lead to eating disorders, and I also love to cook, so maybe something revolving around all those topics. I haven’t read many blogs or really got involved in reading them, but I found a website with 10 blogs that will inspire your life, so if anyone needs a blog like that, the link to the website it here. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/top-10-most-inspirational-bloggers-the-world.html.

  3. Hi Taylor!
    You did a great job giving an overview of blogging basics! The way you used a bulleted list and walked us through how to effectively start a blog was really informational. This type of content is perfect for those new to blogging. I am the Firm Editor for GrandPR (GVSU’s student PR firm) and my main responsibility is running the blog page. Many of the things you mentioned are concepts I use on the daily with my position. Something that I learned from your blog was the specific terms “trackback” and “pingback”. While i know the concepts in practice, I was unaware of their names! Thanks for sharing that! Since I am close to graduation (this December), I want to revamp my blog! Since I will no longer be a student I need to find my new niche. Here is an article I found talking about the importance of segmenting yourself and how to go about doing so!
    https://themetrust.com/how-to-find-your-blog-niche/

  4. Taylor,

    First, thank you so much for this post! I know it was mandatory and accompanied the fact that we’re learning about blogs in class, but since we’ve started talking about them, I’ve been especially interested in writing my own legal blog. The idea of starting my on blog felt very daunting, but reading your post made me feel a lot better, and a lot more equipped with the knowledge I’d need to effectively start one of my own! Also, since we talked about headings and catchy titles last week, I really appreciated the cleverness of your blog title! It definitely made me excited to read it. The part of your blog I enjoyed the most was the fact that you broke down how simple it really is to start a blog. Again, this made the process seem achievable, and has encouraged me to finally pursue the creation of my own blog! (Hopefully) I think another reason I’ve never created a blog is because I’m afraid I’d run out of things to write/post about after a while. I found an article that helps combat the issue of running out of things to write, and how to keep writing content that stands out to readers. It can be accessed here: https://www.leadpages.com/blog/unique-content-how-to-create/ Finally, I had no idea what pingback or trackback meant before reading your post, or that “blog” came from the word weblog! That was a fun fact for you to include. 🙂

  5. Hi Taylor! I found your blog for this week very well put together and organized! I think it lays out the basics of successful blogging in a way that makes the whole concept of starting and maintaining a blog much less daunting. Blogging has always been something I could see myself starting, but never getting around to it because it seemed like there was so much to remember. Your bullet points, catchy headings, and concise text is the perfect way to describe blogging so that it seems like a much more attainable goal. I also found this website (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/7-tips-for-writing-that-g_b_10724558) that lists a few more things to remember when writing blogs. I feel that we have already talked about many of these things in class and in your blog such as SEO, getting the users to complete actions/not ending the conversation, and being useful and informative. But, I think that it’s important to keep being reminded of these things because even though they seem small, they all work towards a blog that is best for the users and that you can be proud of!

  6. Hi Taylor! I liked reading your blog about blogs! I especially liked that you started with the roots, explaining how blogs began and worked your way into a more in-depth explanation. Your comments about SEO and the target audience struck me. I often assume that some blogs just increase in popularity by magic I guess, forgetting that having specific and targeted marketing strategies increases the number of readers. I find the SEO to be especially interesting because it seems to drastically impact the ability of a blog to reach people. A Hubspot article enlightened me, highlighting the fact that not only keywords improve SEO, but URL structures do also. This means if the URL is organized in the way that the website is organized, and includes the keywords this helps the SEO. This along with adding the meta description that appears on Google are helpful ways to improve it. Here are more: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/blog-search-engine-optimization

  7. Hi Taylor,
    Thanks for your blog post this week! I liked how you organized content through the use of numbered lists that outlined the key steps in creating a blog and making a good blog. I also liked how you pointed out the options an experienced blogger might consider versus what a beginning blogger might consider. It was helpful to see where beginning bloggers start out and what they can do once they have gained more experience blogging. The visuals you included helped demonstrate your discussion of the importance of including pictures throughout a blog post and were fitting for the post. I also appreciated your own blogging tips at the end of the post! Your point about the importance of a blogging schedule was something I was interested in learning more about, so I found the following article (https://www.shoutmeloud.com/perfect-blogging-schedule-business-blog.html) that outlined five key steps in creating a blogging schedule. The article made an interesting point about the potential problem of posting too often and overwhelming readers, causing them to stop returning to your site. The article also pointed out that once you establish a blogging schedule, you can step back and evaluate whether your blog is meeting your desired goals and encouraging your audience to return for more content. It was interesting to see just how important and insightful a blogging schedule can be!

  8. Hi Taylor!

    This blog was really insightful and broke down basics that I would think often get overlooked. I have written a number of blogs whether that be for my personal blog, GrandPR, or internships and your mention of what makes a good blog is stuff I have always been told to consider. As you mentioned, it is cool because all blogs are roughly set up similarly and include the same things, but the content can vary so much. I think that the fact that blogs tend to be shorter help them cater to a wider audience as well. This makes it easy for people to get good information in a shorter amount of time. Consistency is something I need to get back on for my personal blog as I have been MIA for quite some time on it. I use WIX for myself but have used WordPress and Squarespace for class and work in the past. This article got me thinking about how many bloggers there have to be in the world. This is an industry that has so many different topics in which people can take on so many different perspectives. I found that there are over 600 million blogs in the world today among a ton of over blog stats you may want to check out at: https://growthbadger.com/blog-stats/#:~:text=There%20are%20over%20600%20million%20blogs%20in%20the,to%20471.6%20million%20blogs%2C%20as%20of%20July%202019.

  9. Taylor,
    I want to tell you that your transitions from the very beginning run smoothly. For example, you started with “We have all heard the term ‘blog’. This could range from ‘The blogs are saying…’ to ‘Read a blog about…’, but what exactly is a blog, how do you start one, and what makes a good blog?” then immediately after, you continued on with what a blog is. I love the layout of your post and love that you included a section on what goes into making a good blog. Along with everything that you mentioned that makes up a good blog. I also believe that a good blog uses the “bite, snack, meal” approach as mentioned in the Redish textbook in chapter 7. The bite is a headline, the snack is a key message that your blog should convey, and the meal is the details of your blog. These are key when writing a blog, but in order to use the “bite, snack, meal” approach you must have a specific audience (like you mentioned). Here is an article that I found. It’s about where a person can find their target audience when blogging. https://www.ryrob.com/how-to-find-target-audience/. The article mentioned different ways on what can help. One of the ways they mentioned was Facebook. “Facebook also allows you to follow other pages within your niche, so you may be able to find other influencers who create content in your space—which opens up the door to possible collaboration opportunities.” I just found this article interesting because I always thought of the “who” when it comes to a target audience for blogging, but never actually thought about the “where.” Like where can a person go or search to find an audience?

  10. Hi Taylor!
    I thought you did an excellent job with this blog post! I especially liked the title, it made me laugh. Your content was well organized and well formatted, and I liked the inspirational visuals that you used. The content area that caught my attention was the part about turning the comments on. I never thought much about it before, but comments are a huge part of the blogging community. It is a chance for the audience to share their own personal experiences and how they relate to the blog, which is essential considering that most blogs are about personal topics and strive to be an inviting place for the community. The comments are also an area for the writer to gain inspiration for the next blog posts. I never thought about it until now, but I always go down and read the top few comments on the cooking blogs that I follow! Here is an interesting article that I found about allowing blog comments: https://optinmonster.com/to-allow-blog-comments-or-not-heres-what-the-data-shows/. The article comes to a similar conclusion that you have, that comments are an important part of engaging with your community. Although, the article does also include that comments are “nice to have, not a necessity,” meaning that they are not key indicators of traffic on the blog and do not necessarily boost article performance. The article also includes some interesting graphics, particularly one about comments to views correlation. I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

  11. Taylor,
    I think this blog post did a great job of effectively utilizing lists to outline the process of creating a blog and the important aspects one needs to think about when they’re developing a blog. I think the organization of the post is done well. I do think there was opportunity to use headings or subheadings throughout the post, but the bolded lines effectively worked as headings that could easily allow a reader to jump from section to section. I’ve encountered blogs in the past that don’t use headings at all, so it was interesting to see you take this stylistic choice and find a way to still make the post easily navigable. I had never heard of the terms “trackback” or “pingback”, and it was interesting to learn the ways in which bloggers interact with each others content. I looked into this concept a bit more, finding a good article where bloggers outlined the importance of developing and interacting with a community of bloggers, and the ways in which one can do so. That article is linked here:
    https://www.brandglowup.com/form-a-bond-with-bloggers/

  12. This is great, Taylor!
    I have attempted to make a blog in the past and I had no idea what I was doing. Now, looking over the information about what a blog is is so helpful. In terms of your blog, you have done a great job with organization. I also want to heavily applaud you for using lists. I know personally that seeing a list allows me to take in the information a lot easier because it’s not in a giant block of text.
    Even though this piece is a part of our blog as a whole, I think that the title you chose is very memorable and attributes to what you said in your blog about naming and making it memorable. You’ve done a great job with organization and explaining without loosing focus. I even looked into what bloggers should do to make their site the best it can be and found this article: https://expresswriters.com/10-fundamental-strengths-every-good-blogger-should-have/
    Great job!

  13. I’d like to thank you for a blog post that helps me better understand blog’s creation and writing style. I feel like blog writing has always eluded me, not sure why. I think they seem to be either personal or hard to gain a following for. I think your simple steps for creating a blog is very helpful. I also read some quick steps on this website, , which was so helpful and very detailed. I think the actual writing of content that people want and will read is difficult for me. This author gives a three step equation she says to use with almost any topic. “Point – State your main idea and the point you are covering. Prove – Give an example of the idea you are covering. Perform – Give a simple way to execute the idea.” These simple steps not only reminded me of your steps you have here, but I think add a little something to them. This is a small detail but I think very helpful. Great job!

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