There’s usually a progression to the common questions I get about blogging. That progression is roughly like this: What Is Blog? How To Blog? Why Blog?
What Is Blog?
When the question is formed like that, it sounds odd. It makes it sound like “blog” is some sort of disease or painful condition, as in “Did you hear that Stephen got the blog last week?”
Granted, most often when I get asked “what is blog?” it typically comes from older folks who are less familiar or comfortable with the online world around them. When I explain that a blog is like an online diary and is a contraction of “web log”, it becomes more familiar. But of course blogs have evolved into much more than online diaries these days. In many ways, blogs have become a new form of journalism and have been responsible for some important social and political changes in the world.
How To Blog?
Once you understand what a blog is, then it is natural to want to know how to blog.
This is a question that is asked by many more people. Anyone who has spent even a little bit of time online will know what a blog is. A smaller number of these folks will know how to blog themselves. That is, they don’t know how to set up and design a blog website. But, with all the easy blog systems available (e.g., Blogspot, WordPress, Tumblr, etc.), there is now a new generation of people who are quite familiar with how to blog. And this number is growing rapidly.
This question gets to the crux of the matter.
Even some folks who have been blogging for a few years haven’t really answered this question properly. Today, many bloggers are looking for quick ways to make money online. If you Google “Blog Success”, you’ll find the first page of listings dominated by websites explaining how to make money by blogging. By this measure, a successful blog is one that makes a lot of money.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against making money with a blog. But, if making money is the primary, driving force behind your reason for creating and running a blog, you may become disappointed very quickly.
Whatever your reason for blogging, my one piece of advice is this: be genuine in your posts. Try to create the kind of blog that you’d find helpful, entertaining, or stimulating in some way. This is the best way to create a community around your blog. And if you can do that, then your blog will be successful.