Interested in starting a blog of your own or carrying one for a client? Today’s topic covers the basic introduction of blogging!
Please leave any comments or suggestions for other content you would like covered during the upcoming blog series.
For now, let’s just get write on in.
What is a blog?
You may think this question is simple, but you would be surprised at the depth of the potential answer.
Nowadays, simply put, a blog can really be almost anything you want it to.
If you’re looking to freelance, one of the first differences you’ll have to make is between a “blog post” and an “article.” In some ways, this is nothing more than a difference in word count and, in some instances, can be pretty interchangeable.
For example, if you’ve got a website of your own, or the client you are working for does, there is likely a separate section dedicated to the “blogroll.” That’s the area where you’d create the blog post or article and it posts it into your feed from there.
The blogroll is usually used for updates or other related content to the website.
In a simple word count comparison, a “blog post” can be considered anything between 300-1500 words, and an “article” would then be anything more than that. That’s always dependent upon the situation, but a good thing to remember, in general, is that Google does not like posts of less than 300 words. Those posts are more likely to be considered spammy.
Google actually prefers longer articles for this purpose. A longer piece shows time, thought, and effort, and makes Google feel like your content is (at least potentially) more valuable.
Besides the simple “word count,” you can also consider the differences between a blog post or an article like this:
Blog posts tend to be more like listicles and how-to pieces. 8 Bridges To Jump Off Before You Die. How to Build a Spaceship, things like that. They are also written in a very conversational tone. Think of how you’d give advice to a friend, and base your tone around that.
An article would be something more in-depth. Think of a sit-down interview with someone that goes in depth about their story. Or features about a local business where you’re almost reading a chapter out of a book. There are more sensory details in these pieces. It’s more about the story, and it’s also a good place to exercise some prose.
When considering the word count idea, I would then say you could call a blog post an article, but you wouldn’t ever really be able to do the reverse.
Where did the word “blog” come from?
Picture this: Anytime you want to get on the internet, you must first endure 2 minutes of a loud, obnoxious screeching noise, and you cannot receive any phone calls during the duration of your time on the web. Unless you had a separate phone line, of course. And no, I’m not talking about your cell phone, because this ancient period I’m referring to is before those were really a thing.
This horror story was known as dial-up, and if you know, you know, and if you don’t — just… you’re so lucky.
Anyway, back in 1997, a man named Jorn Barger coined the term “weblog.” His blog, Robot Wisdom, was one of the earlier “influential” ones, and he used the term to reflect on his “logging the web” as he browsed.
Before that, a Swarthmore College student, Justin Hall had a “personal homepage” that acted similarly to what we would recognize as a blog in this day and age.
The term “blog” itself entered into the mix in 1999 by a programmer named Peter Merholz. Five years later, Merriam-Webster hails it the word of the year.
At first, the general idea of “blogging” was limited to programmers and people who understood the finer details of the internet in those early days.
And then everybody got in on the glory.
Anyone else remember LiveJournal? Blogger? Their little MySpace blog section when that was still a thing? When the term “blog” was first whispered out in 1999, there were 23 on the internet. That saw quite the upswing, seeing as there were about 50 million by 2006. We’ve already added another 0 to that number here in 2021.
Now it’s just a free-for-all out there, which is why, essentially, a “blog” can be for anything. Are we learning about your life? Travel tips? Talking politics? Health? Pet chats? Mold removal? (Been there, done that.)
You can literally write about anything, and to close out this quick little intro before we really get write on in to some of the details in future posts, just remember those exact words:
You can literally write about anything.
And, with some proper research and a lot of time and effort, it is possible to find someone to pay you for your words.
If you’re looking for clients, that is.
We’ll also be covering having your own blog throughout the course of these posts, however many they may be.
And, if you’re out there and just need that final extra boost to get started:
Everyone has to start somewhere.
It’s time to get write on in.
See you next time.