One of the first questions I get asked when people ask me what I do for a living is "What is a blog?" Technically blog is short for weblog but I haven't heard anyone use the word weblog in a long time. A blog is basically a personal website where you record your thoughts, opinions, reviews, poetry, photographs or anything else that interests you.
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What is a Blog?
What makes a blog different than a traditional website? A traditional website tends to have a static front page. The content on the front page rarely changes. It may be a photograph of the business's brick and mortar store. It may be the plate of brownies that the bakery is well known for along with their address and their hours. The content on that website is generally the same each time you visit it with maybe a few seasonal photographs and product changes.
History of the blog
The earliest weblog appeared on the internet back in the 1990s as a type of online diary. People posted the details of their lives, what they did that day, what milestones their children reached, etc. Posts were displayed in reverse order so the most recent post was always at the top. As blogging became more common, it became possible to leave comments for others and people did this in hopes that the blog owner would find interest in what they said and visit their blog in return.
Why should you start a blog?
Today, there are millions of different blogs. And, they have very little in common with the way blogs existed twenty years ago. While some people do still use their blog as a form of personal diary, there are many other reasons people have blogs as well. Many use them as creative outlets to share their latest craft project, photography, or recipe. Product review blogs are very common ways that people share their thoughts about products they've tried. There are informational blogs in every topic imaginable from auto refinishing to zoo keeping.
Businesses even have blogs. And, many use them as ways to drive traffic to their traditional website. A paint company may have a blog for interior design tips. A vegetable company may start a recipe blog. Authors often use blogs to share their short stories in hopes that readers will then purchase their full-length books.
No matter what the reason you have for starting one, with all of the tools available today it's something that is easy enough for anyone to do.