what is a blog

What Is A Blog? (All You Must Know For Beginners)

Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by Jordan Alexo

Ready to shake up the web with your unique voice?

Great! With over 600 million blogs out there and 77% of internet users reading them, there are big blogging opportunities just waiting for you.

In this guide, you’ll discover all the basics. Such as what a blog is, its history, and its purpose.

Also, the reasons to start a blog, how they work, and the key differences between blogs and websites.

By the end of this, you’ll have a great understanding of blogging. You’ll be ready to start your blog and make money.

So, what do you say? Are you ready to begin? Let’s do this!

Key Takeaways

  1. Blogs vs. Websites: They’re not the same! Blogs are updated regularly, build a community, and sometimes personal. Websites? More static and formal like about, contact pages, etc.
  2. People Still Love Blogs: Over 409 million people view over 20 billion blog pages monthly. So, no, blogs aren’t going extinct any time soon.
  3. Making Money Blogging is Real: Ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, selling products, or offering subscriptions – these are all legit ways your blog can earn you money.
  4. Start a Blog Right: Nail down your niche, pick your platform, and get your domain name and hosting sorted. With these three basics, you’re ready to kick off your blogging journey.
  5. Successful Blogs = Authenticity + Value: Look at the big players like TechCrunch, Moz, or Pinch of Yum. They’re all different but authentic, and they’re all about delivering value to their readers.

Discover the blogging tools you need to have to grow your blog and succeed. Click here to read more.

What Is The Definition Of A Blog?

What Is The Definition Of A Blog

Alright, let’s start with the basics. You see, a blog – short for “weblog” (who knew, right?) – is essentially a digital journal. A place on the internet where you, or a group of people, regularly post content on, well, just about anything!

Think of it as a platform where you share your thoughts, express your views, post updates, create tutorials, or even share that guacamole recipe your friends can’t stop raving about.

Here’s the cool part:

Unlike traditional websites, blogs encourage interaction. They’re not static; they’re dynamic and full of life! Readers can comment, share your posts on social media, start discussions, and even contribute guest posts.

Each post you create on your blog is like adding another room to your virtual house. The more rooms (read: posts) you add, the larger your house grows and the more visitors it can accommodate.

And just like in the real world, the more visitors you have, the more lively (and potentially profitable) your house becomes.

Remember, though, blogging isn’t just about pumping out posts.

It’s about creating quality content that people find useful, informative, entertaining, or inspiring.

It’s about building a community, sparking conversations, and making a difference in your little corner of the internet.

So, blogging could be your ticket to reaching a global audience, whether you’re a business looking to build brand awareness, an expert aiming to share knowledge, or someone with a story that just has to be told.

History of Blogging

Now, if I were to ask you, “When do you think the first blog was created?” what would you guess? 2000? Maybe the late ’90s?

Well, prepare to have your mind blown because the first recognizable blog was actually launched way back in 1994 by someone named Justin Hall. Yep, blogging is older than Google, my friends!

Justin’s blog, ‘Links.net,’ was a simple online diary sharing his thoughts and ideas.

first blog Justin Hall

It wasn’t the most glamorous thing. But it was the start of something big. It was the birth of a movement that would redefine how we share information and connect with others online.

Fast forward to 1997, and we have Jorn Barger, who coined the term “weblog.” Then, in 1999, Peter Merholz shortened “weblog” to “blog.” And just like that, a new digital term was born.

But here’s the kicker.

In the early days, creating a blog required a solid understanding of web design. It was pretty much a geeks-only club.

But that all changed with the appearance of blogging platforms like Blogger in 1999 and WordPress in 2003.

Suddenly, anyone with an internet connection could share their thoughts with the world. You no longer needed to be a tech nerd, spending hours learning HTML coding to have a blog.

Fast forward to today, and we’ve got a mind-boggling 600+ million blogs worldwide, according to Web Tribunal. And blogs aren’t just personal diaries anymore.

Instead, they’re powerful tools for businesses, influencers, news agencies, and anyone looking to share their knowledge online.

So, blogs are an awesome way to do it, whether you’re looking to build a business, share your knowledge, or share your stories.

What is a Blog’s Purpose?

Let’s clear one thing right off the bat – blogs aren’t just online diaries for someone who wants to share their stories. Nope!

They’ve evolved into much more than that. For instance:

1 – Information Sharing and Education

Many blogs exist to educate their readers, providing value through how-tos, guides, tips, and advice.

For example, blogs like “Moz” and “Search Engine Journal” have mountains of information for anyone eager to learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

2 – Business and Marketing

Blogs help companies connect with customers, share news, and boost online visibility.

According to HubSpot, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. That’s huge!

3 – Community Building

Whether you’re passionate about vintage watches, vegan recipes, or video games, you can find a blog out there for you.

By sharing content and encouraging conversation, blogs can create a community of like-minded people.

4 – Storytelling and Personal Expression

Got a story to share? A cause you’re passionate about? Blogs are an ideal place to express yourself and make your voice heard.

5 – Earning an Income

Successful bloggers can monetize their blogs through advertising, affiliate marketing, and selling products or services.

Glassdoor.com did one study that concluded, “On average, bloggers can make over $51K a year!”

So, as you can see, blogs serve many different purposes. And the beautiful thing? You get to decide what purpose your blog serves.

Whether it’s to share your knowledge, connect with customers, build a community, tell your story, or even earn some extra cash. The blogosphere is your oyster.

How Do Blogs Work?

At its core, a blog is a website where the content is organized in reverse chronological order. In other words, the newest posts appear at the top.

This is a key feature that distinguishes blogs from traditional websites. A typical blog consists of the following:

1 – Blog Posts

blog post 1

These are the heart and soul of your blog. They’re individual entries that you update regularly.

Your posts can include text, images, videos, and more. Also, they can be anything from an in-depth tutorial to a brief update on what you ate for breakfast (if that’s your thing).

2 – Comments

blog comments

This is where the magic of interaction happens. See, readers can leave comments on your posts, start a conversation, ask questions, or provide feedback.

3 – Archives

blogging categories

As your blog grows, your older posts are stored in archives. This keeps your blog tidy and helps visitors find older posts. Also, archives can be organized by date, category, tags – you name it!

4 – RSS Feed

This stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a way for readers to subscribe to your blog and receive updates whenever you post something new.

It’s like getting your blog delivered right to their digital doorstep.

5 – Social Sharing Buttons

This lets your readers share your posts on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms.

And this helps your blog reach and bring new visitors. Besides, the best part is you don’t need to do any extra work; your readers do the sharing for you!


A blog works by providing fresh, exciting content that readers want to engage with and share. According to Social Media Today, 77% of internet users regularly read blogs.

3 Popular Blogging Platforms (CMS)

Remember when I said starting a blog is easier than ever? I wasn’t kidding! Thanks to Content Management Systems (CMS), you don’t need to be a tech guru to get your blog up and running.

Here are three popular blogging platforms that can get you from zero to blogging hero in no time:

1 – WordPress

wordpress .com great platform to build your site

This is one of the most popular blogging platforms out there. Over 40% of websites online are powered by WordPress.

Also, this platform comes in two flavors:

  • WordPress.com: A hosted version where you can create a blog for free. However, all your content is stored on WordPress’s servers. And you have fewer features compared to the self-hosted version.
  • WordPress.org: It’s the self-hosted version of WordPress. You have full control over your website. But you need a web host provider, like WPX Hosting, to use it. Also, it required a bit more technical knowledge to set up.

Both versions offer a ton of features, plugins, and themes. All this makes WordPress an incredible option for anyone who wants to get their feet wet with blogging.

2 – Blogger

blogger com

Blogger is a free and straightforward platform designed by Google, perfect for beginners.

It might not have as many features as WordPress. Also, their blog designs look more outdated in comparison. But Blogger is super easy to use, and you can have a blog live in minutes.

Plus, being under Google’s umbrella, it plays nicely with other Google services like AdSense and Analytics.

3 – Medium

medium com website

This one’s a bit different. Medium is a platform for bloggers who want to focus purely on writing without worrying about design or technical stuff.

You won’t get a personalized domain, and monetization options are limited. But Medium’s built-in audience can give your content exposure immediately.

Furthermore, you can make money from Medium’s Partner Program. With it, you earn money whenever someone engages with your content or becomes a medium member.


Each platform has its pros and cons, so choose one that fits your needs and goals. If you’re serious about blogging and want complete control, WordPress.org is the way to go.

If you’re a newbie or casual blogger, Blogger or WordPress.com might be a better choice. And if you’re all about the writing, give Medium a shot.

Difference Between Blogs And Websites

I know the days when I felt confused about this topic. I also know most beginners often wonder about the same. So let’s clear up this mess once and for all.


A website focuses more on providing static information. Well, this information doesn’t change frequently – like a Home page, About Us page, Contact Us Page, etc.


Remember our earlier definition? Blogs are a type of website where content (blog posts) is updated regularly.

This content is organized in reverse chronological order, so your latest post is the first one your visitors see. Also, blogs encourage interaction through comments, social shares, and sometimes even guest posts (someone writing a post for your blog).


In simple terms, all blogs are websites, but not all websites are blogs. Do you dig?

And here’s the kicker: websites and blogs are no longer mutually exclusive.

Many businesses now have a blog section on their website. Why? Because according to a report by Tech Client, websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages.

This means the more pages ranking on search engines, the more opportunities for organic traffic.

So, whether you’re a business or an individual, adding a blog to your website is important.

It can boost your visibility, engage your audience, and even open up new monetization opportunities.

What Are The 4 Types Of Blogs?

So, you’re wondering what are the different blogs out there?!?

Well, you have a whole universe of blog types, each with its unique flavor. But the most popular ones are:

1 – Personal Blogs

Personal blogs are like online diaries where individuals share their thoughts, experiences, and passions.

Think travel blogs, food blogs, or mommy blogs. Some people also prefer to keep them private. Instead of handwriting your thoughts in a physical diary, you can type them in your blog.

Anyway, there are no rules here, and the more authentic you are, the better!

2 – Business Blogs

Companies use these to engage with customers, share industry news, and boost their online visibility. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors. How’s that for a stat?

3 – Niche Blogs

For most people looking to crank some bucks online, this is where they end up.

These blogs focus on a specific topic. Whether it’s vegan cooking, digital marketing, or underwater basket weaving (yep, it’s a thing). For instance, Jordan Alexo is a blog focusing on “helping bloggers use AI to grow their business.”

See, niche blogs can be great for establishing yourself as an expert and building a dedicated audience.

3 – News Blogs

Just like it sounds, these blogs focus on news – either general or within a specific industry. They’re all about delivering the latest and greatest news to keep readers informed.

4 – Affiliate Blogs

These blogs make money by promoting other people’s products. When a reader clicks an affiliate link and purchases, the blogger gets a commission.

However, nowadays, “niche” and “affiliate” blogs go hand in hand. It’s like most bloggers focus on a niche where they share how-to, tips, recommendations, etc.

But then make money through affiliate marketing – Often by reviewing relevant products and including affiliate links throughout their blog posts.


Remember, the best type of blog is the one that aligns with your passion and goals.

You’ll be investing time and effort into your blog. So make sure it’s something you enjoy!

Do People Still Read Blogs?

guy reading a blog

Sure, social media might be all the rage, and TikTok dances are a blast. But blogs are still king when it comes to getting deep, valuable, searchable content.

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

According to a survey by HubSpot, a whopping 60% of people read blogs. And here’s another juicy stat: OptinMonster reports that 409 million people view over 20 billion blog pages monthly. That’s a billion with a ‘B’!

And that’s not all. Blogs are trust-builders. They provide a platform to share your knowledge, tell your story, and connect with your audience personally.

When readers trust you, they’re more likely to become customers, subscribe to your newsletter, or share your content.

So, to answer your question:

Yes, people still read blogs. And with the right strategies, they could be reading yours too!

How Do Bloggers Make Money (5 Popular Ways)

Dreaming of sipping mojitos on a beach while your blog earns you passive income? It’s possible, but it takes strategy, patience, and a bit of hustle.

Here are five popular ways bloggers make bank:

1 – Advertising

You can sell ad space on your blog or use platforms like Google AdSense that automatically display ads. But be careful; nobody likes a site plastered with too many ads, right?

2 – Affiliate Marketing

Remember when we talked about affiliate blogs? Well, any blog can use affiliate marketing.

When you promote a product from someone else – this could be online courses, software, apps, clothing, diapers (not dirty ones, of course), etc.

Your readers buy through your unique link, and you get a commission. Just remember, always disclose your affiliate relationships.

3 – Sponsored Posts

Brands might pay you to write a post about their product or service. Keep in mind, though, trust is crucial in blogging.

Only endorse products you genuinely like and think will benefit your readers. Also, you often need decent traffic to get sponsored post opportunities.

4 – Selling Products or Services

Have a skill or product to sell? Your blog is a great platform for that. Think e-books, online courses, coaching services, or even physical products.

5 – Subscription/Memberships

If you’ve got killer content, you can charge people for access. This could be a subscription to your blog or a membership for exclusive content or community access.

But remember, making money from a blog isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time, effort, and you must provide helpful content to your readers.

What Do You Need To Start a Blog (3 Important Things)

So you’re ready to dive into the blogosphere. Exciting times!

But before you take the step, there are three key things you need to get your blog off the ground:

1 – A Niche

I’ve seen it over and over again – the most successful blogs are those that focus on a specific niche. In other words, you shouldn’t be all over the place.

The hard fact is Google doesn’t like it! Instead, they prefer and rank better blogs on search engine results that go deep into a particular niche.

So, find something you’re passionate about (as long as it’s profitable and not over-saturated). Or at least a topic you can write about long-term and doesn’t make you lose interest quickly.

But the “key factor” here is to enter a niche: “that is profitable and not too crowded.”

This way, you can make money and still crack into the market.

If you’re having a hard time choosing a niche, read “11 Best Niches For Blogging With Low Competition.”

2 – A Blogging Platform (CMS)

We’ve talked about this earlier. Choose a blogging platform that fits your needs. Whether it’s the feature-rich WordPress, beginner-friendly Blogger, or writer-focused Medium, pick the best platform.

3 – A Domain Name and Hosting (If you’re using self-hosted WordPress)

Your domain name is your address on the web, like ‘JordanAlexo.com.’

web hosting

Choose something catchy and relevant to your blog. As for hosting, it’s like renting space on the internet to house your blog. You can try popular choices like Bluehost, SiteGround, and WPX Hosting.

Now, these are the basics. Of course, you’ll also need great content, a nice design, and a promotion strategy – but these three are the starting blocks. It’s like building a house: you wouldn’t start with the roof, would you?

One more thing – if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be! There are many resources and guides (like this one right here!) to help you.

5 Blog Examples of Successful Blogs

Nothing like a bit of inspiration to get you pumped up, right? These five successful blogs started out just like you – with an idea and a whole lot of passion. Let’s take a look:

1 – TechCrunch


This tech blog started in 2005 and has become the go-to source for tech industry news. It’s so successful that AOL bought it for about $24 million!

2 – Moz


Moz started as a blog by Rand Fishkin. It’s now a leading SEO tool company, but the blog remains a fantastic resource for anyone interested in SEO.

3 – Pinch of Yum


Lindsay and Bjork started Pinch of Yum as a hobby. Now, it’s a full-blown business serving tasty recipes and blogging tips. They even share income reports to help other bloggers succeed.

4 – Mr. Money Mustache

This personal finance blog is all about financial independence and “a life of leisure.” Its unique, personality-filled approach to a niche topic has garnered a huge, dedicated following.

5 – Nerd Fitness

Who said fitness couldn’t be nerdy? Steve Kamb started Nerd Fitness to help desk jockeys, nerds, and average Joes level up their lives through fitness.

Notice something about these blogs? They’re all different, but they’re all authentic, provide value, and speak to a specific audience. That’s the secret sauce right there!

Last Thoughts

Boom! There you have it – everything you need to know about blogs, from A to Z. We’ve gone from what exactly a blog is to how they work, why people still read them (hint: they do – a lot!), and how you can make some serious dough blogging.

We’ve dived into the differences between blogs and websites (yeah, they’re not the same thing), taken a peek at popular CMS options, and even explored the various types of blogs.

But we didn’t stop there. Oh no! We broke down what you need to start your blog (niche, platform, domain name, and hosting – check!) and gave you a dose of inspiration with five successful blogs that rocked the blogosphere.

Starting a blog isn’t just about making money (though that’s a sweet perk!). It’s about sharing your voice, connecting with people, providing value – and having a blast while at it.

So, what are you waiting for? There’s a whole blogosphere out there waiting for your unique voice. Go on, dive in, and let the blogging adventure begin! And remember, I’m just a click away if you need help. Now go rock the blogging world! You’ve got this!

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