A blog (also called a weblog or web log) is a website consisting of entries (also called posts), usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video appearing in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry appearing first (similar in format to a daily journal).
Blogs typically include features such as comments and links to increase user interactivity. Blogs are created using specific publishing software.
Variations of the term blog:
● Blogging: The act of writing a post for a blog
● Blogger: A person who writes content for a blog
● Blogosphere: The online community of blogs and bloggers
As the Internet has become more social, blogs have gained in popularity. Today, there are over 100 million blogs with more entering the blogosphere everyday. Blogs have become more than online diaries. In fact, blogging has become an important part of the online and offline worlds with popular bloggers impacting the worlds of politics, business and society with their words.
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The Future of Blogs:
It seems inevitable that blogging will become even more powerful in the future with more people and businesses recognizing the power of bloggers as online influencers. Anyone can start a blog thanks to the simple (and often free) tools readily available online. The question will likely become not, “Why should I start a blog?” but rather, “Why shouldn’t I start a blog?”
Blogs are one of the most common ways for both individuals and businesses to create a distinctive “voice” online. In fact, there are over 27 million blog that uses the WordPress platform alone.
The popularity of blogging brings regular changes and improvements to the technology, and for the novice user, this can create a sense of overwhelm and an inability to use the tools to their maximum potential.
If you are a blogging expert, you can create a very lucrative business by providing blog consulting support to all types of bloggers.
Some of the reasons you may want to consider starting a blog consulting business include:
· Startup costs are minimal.
· You can offer support in any or all areas of blogging including, setup, customization, marketing and content writing.
· You can tap into your creative passions while helping your clients.
· You have a broad target market at your disposal, including personal bloggers, small business blogs, corporate blogs, etc.
· Your business can be entirely home-based.
· You can work as much as you want, whenever you want.
· You can offer ongoing services to your clients, creating steady income.
Some of the potential challenges of starting a blog consulting business include:
· You must have expert skill, knowledge and experience with all types of blogs and blog platforms.
· You have to be able to explain technical processes in non-technical terms.
· You may have to include an element of education about why blogs are beneficial in your sales pitch.
· The competition may be stiff, depending on your target market.
· It can take a while to establish a solid client base.
5 Elements to Start a Blog Successfully
When you make the decision to start a blog, it’s likely that you want people to visit it. In other words, you want to start a blog that has a good chance of being successful. Even your mother won’t visit your blog if it’s boring.
Follow the 5 elements of successful blogs below to ensure you’re on the right track from the moment you create a blog.
Your blog should reflect your personality and who you are. If it reads like dull news, it’s unlikely that people will want to return again and again. Inject your personality into your blog posts. Write as you speak. Make your blog posts conversational. Use your unique voice to tell your story in each and every blog post. Your unique voice is what makes your blog personable and interesting.
One of the key components of your personality and unique voice is your opinion on topics related to your blog’s overall subject matter. Don’t be afraid to inject your personal opinions into your blog posts. Without your opinions, your blog posts will read like news stories. What make a blog interesting is the personal opinions of the blogger behind it.
Don’t just publish a blog post and forget about it. The strength of a blog comes from the community that evolves around it. In order to grow the community on your blog, your readers need to feel like they are participating in a 2-way conversation. If someone leaves a comment, respond to it. If a reader emails you directly with a legitimate question or comment, respond to that person. Make your readers feel important by talking with them, not just at them.
Your blog needs to bring something useful or interesting to readers or there is no point in their visiting. In other words, your blog needs to add value to readers’ lives for them to take the time to read what you have to say. You can add value by publishing posts that provide more than just news recaps or a list of links to other websites and blogs. Your blog posts need to actually say something unique in your own voice, with your own opinions, and in a conversational manner.
Don’t publish a blog post and then disappear for a week or month. Successful blogs are updated frequently Readers grow to rely on them for the useful information, valuable commentary, or engaging conversations that happen on your blog. If readers can’t rely on you to be there when they visit with new content or conversations, they’ll look elsewhere.