Everything you wanted to know about blogs. Blog meaning! What is a blog? What is blogging? What is blog writing? Who is a blogger? & How to write the perfect blog post?
What is a blog? (Blog meaning).
A blog is the short or abbreviated form of ‘web-log’. A blog is like an online journal or diary where bloggers record their experiences, opinions and information which is updated regularly.
What is blogging?
Blogging is the act of maintaining a blog by uploading posts, articles, information and opinion which is regularly updated.
The History of Blogging.
First Blog is Created (1994).
The worlds first blog was links.net, created by Justin Hall in 1994, while he was a student at Swarthmore College, USA.
He called it an online diary as the word ‘blog’ had not yet been coined.
The Word ‘Blog’ is Coined (1997).
It was in 1997 that Jorn Barger coined the term ‘weblog’ for sites like this and over a period of time, ‘weblog’ became ‘blog’.
In the early days, you needed to know code to start a blog.
Birth of Blogging Platforms (1998-99).
Then around 1998-99 blogging platforms like OpenDiary, Xanga, Blogger and LiveJournal were launched.
Suddenly it was now possible for anyone to create an account and start blogging without knowing code.
But they were limited in the amount of control over the look and feel of the blog.
Content Management Sytems Launched (2003).
Blogging really took off, in 2003, when content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and TypePad were launched. It was now possible to fine-tune your blogs’ look and feel exactly the way you wanted it to be.
Start your own Blog
Today WordPress powers 38% of the web. This blog too runs on WordPress.
But wait, before you run off and download WordPress to start your own blog.
You will first need a domain and web hosting.
After purchasing a domain and hosting, you still do not need to download WordPress at all.
Hosting companies like Hostinger will provide you with a free domain and manged WordPress (i.e. WordPress pre-installed and ready to use).
Please refer to the step-by-step guide on how to get started with Hostinger.
A Way to Make Money from Blogging (2003).
Around this time, Google bought over the blogging platform ‘Blogger’ and were working on launching Adsense and Adwords.
Now there was a way for bloggers to monetize their blogs and make money by placing targeted ads on their blogs.
Today there are many ways to monetize your blog and make money by blogging.
What does a blog consist of?
A blog consists of blog-posts and pages.
The landing page, contact & about me are examples of pages.
What is a blog post?
Blog posts are articles in a blog about topics related to your blog niche containing text and media (images, infographics, video and audio) to explain the topic in detail and structured to enhance readability and easy understanding
What is the structure of a blog post?
A blog post typically consists of the following.
- The header,
- Meta description,
- Blog Post Title,
- Featured image,
- Author / Published date
- The main content,
- The comment section and,
- The footer.
Structure of a Blog Post (Infographic)
The header is an important part of a blog post. It appears at the top of your blog post and is the first thing that catches your readers attention.
The header will contain your blog logo, blog name, tagline, menus and a search button.
First impressions are important. Make sure to have a great header which is also practical and useful.
Design a professional logo with Canva and make your blog unique and stand out from the crowd.
I recommend installing the WordPress theme Astra to make your blog stand out with stunning headers.
The Meta description is a short introduction to your blog post. It shows up below the post title in the search engine results.
The meta description should be limited to a length of 923 pixels since anything above that gets automatically truncated will not be seen.
Below is an example of how the meta description appears in the search results page.
Google does not consider the contents of the meta description for the purpose of ranking.
Despite this, the meta description is important because its main function is to generate a click-through.
The meta description should entice the reader to click your link and not any of the other competing links.
Blog Post Title
This is the title or heading of your blog post.
It appears on the search engine result pages and is a snapshot of what the blog post is about.
The blog title should be limited to 512-pixel length, as anything longer gets automatically truncated.
Below is an example of how the title appears on search engine result pages [SERP’s].
Ensure that the title of your blog post is catchy enough, to make the reader want to click on your link.
The content of your blog post should match the expectation created by the title.
If your content does not deliver what the title promises, the reader will feel cheated and abandon your post.
This has an undesirable impact on the bounce rate. A high bounce rate will hurt your rankings.
The featured image is a visual representation of the blog post title.
It is usually found just above the main content below the post title and is prominently displayed on the archives and internal search results.
You can either use free images from sites such as Pixabay or Unsplash as a featured image for your blog post or create your own.
I recommend creating your own featured image using snappa.
As the free images have probably been used hundreds of times before, for something unique and to make your blog stand out, you should create your own featured image.
Unique images have a better chance of getting featured in google image search results.
Author Name and Published Date.
While this may be obvious in a single author blog, if your blog has multiple authors, then it helps the reader know who has written the particular post.
The author name should ideally link to an ‘about me’ page, with a picture and bio of the author.
This helps in building a relationship with your readers.
The published date on a blog post is useful to the reader to gauge the freshness of the post and hence its apparent relevance to their search.
Some SEO’s argue in favour of not showing the published date on your blog posts as readers tend to favour newer content, so if your post is old compared to other posts on the search result page, then you would lose out.
That said, I personally do not like blog posts without a date and generally tend to avoid them.
It is my suggestion that you should show the date on your posts, but not the published date.
Let’s say you have some posts on your blog which are over a year old, and which you have just updated. How do you let your readers know this? It doesn’t help that the published date on the post is still a year old!
I suggest, as we do on this blog, show the ‘last updated’ date on your posts instead.
This would indicate that the content is up to date and still relevant and useful.
This is the part of the blog post which elaborates upon the title and provides more information.
The main content will usually contain,
Media (video & audio),
Social share buttons,
Call to action.
Most people, when reading online, tend to scan rather than read every word on the screen.
To make for easy reading, the main content should be divided into subheadings. Paragraphs should not contain more than 2 to 3 lines and should be well-spaced.
Make judicious use of bold text, lists, images, infographics and media to convey as much information as possible.
If required, use video and audio to make your point.
The main content area is also the place to have your social share buttons. These will allow your readers to easily share your post on social media.
The main content must conclude with a conclusion and a call to action. The conclusion is the gist of all the points that have been discussed earlier in the main content in a concise 4 to 5 sentences.
Finally, the main content ends with a call to action statement. This can be a simple request asking the reader about their opinion regarding the post and to leave a comment.
It can be a request to the reader to submit their details and subscribe to a newsletter.
The comment section encourages dialogue and helps build a relationship with your readers.
Comments by your readers will provide you with valuable feedback. Readers can ask questions, express their viewpoint and even request you to post about a particular topic.
Do make it a point to reply to every comment, even if it is a simple thank you message.
The footer is sometimes the most neglected part of a blog. It has its own importance within the structure of a blog post.
It is a good idea to repeat the navigation menu (from the header) in the footer so that the reader who has scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page will not have to scroll back to the top of the page to access it.
For convenience add a ‘back to the top’ button for easily scrolling back to the top of the page as well.
Each and every blog post may not have all the elements mentioned above but, a perfectly structured blog post will enhance the user experience, readability, decrease bounce rate, and as a result, your posts will rank higher.
The art and technique of writing the perfect blog post is something that you will master over time with experience.
The blog structure will, however, remain more or less the same.
Did you find this post useful? Let me know in the comments.