So you want to start blogging? You’re in luck. There’s never been a better time to blog than right now. The costs are low. The tools are easy to use. And the rewards can be great. Sit back and relax as I walk you through the basics of blogging.
But first, what is a blog? According to Google, a blog is “A web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.” Blogs were originally created as a mechanism for people to publish their thoughts. Blogs were seen as a fringe tool used by average Joe’s to share their opinions online. But over time, blogs have become dominant websites on the internet.
Alexa provides a great list of the top sites on the internet. You’ll see that many of them are sites you use every day: Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc. No blogs here. These are transactional sites that serve multiple purposes.
But, when you look at some of the top media sites in the world, you’ll notice an interesting trend. Pingdom, an internet monitoring company, has provided an interesting snapshot: WordPress completely dominates top 100 blogs. This report mentions a bunch of sites that most of us instantly recognize: The Huffington Post, mashable, various Wired Magazine, New York Times & CNN blogs, etc. The key thing to understand here is that these are HUGE sites with TONS of traffic. And what do they all have in common? The publishers communicate with readers via stories (called blog posts). Readers interact with the content by reading, commenting and sharing that content with their friends.
All of this reading and writing and sharing generates tremendous website traffic, which translates into premium content sales (ebooks, subscriber only access) and ad revenue (sponsorships, display and text ads wrapped around the stories).
What does this have to do with you and blogging?
A lot – actually. These tools that are used by large multi-national, multi-million dollar organizations are available to each of us. And most of the same features are available for free. And the remaining features are available at a nominal cost. So, with a little bit of talent and a whole bunch of effort (don’t fool yourself, writing well is tough), each one of us can build an audience and reach our blogging goals.
Stick around… over the next few posts:
- I’ll give you a tour of the “tools of the trade“;
- I’ll teach you how to “build your Tribe”;
- I’ll show you various methods of monetizing your blog; and
- I’ll show you how to measure the success of your blog;