If you spent any time on the internet, you’ve heard the term blog or blogging. It sounds so mysterious and cool, like earning millions from the beach. So what is blogging exactly, you may ask?
What is blogging?
Blogging is, basically, logging your thoughts on the web.
Blogging came from “weblogging” which over time got shortened to the term of blogging we know today.
Blogging has definitely come a long way from how it was when it first came on the scene.
Original blogs were literally digital versions of personal diaries.
Bloggers would write about their days, their opinions and their rants. Blogs were (and for some still are) ways to keep the distant family updated on their life, keep track of some personal challenges they were going through, documenting their journey, travels, etc.
As people became interested in reading the stories of others, the blogs began to change into sort of online versions of magazines, newspapers and books. Bloggers began to write not just for themselves and closest family, but for strangers, people that were interested in what they had to say. Blogs began to be more elaborate, catering for what people were looking for, becoming more controversial and outspoken, and they started to feature photos and later, videos.
The number of blogs on the web literally exploded. Everyone was doing it.
Blogs went from diaries to travel journals, food and recipe posting, lifestyle musings, political articles, technical how-to’s, sci-fi forums and so much more.
As blogs attracted the attention of online audiences, sales opportunities presented themselves.
Suddenly bloggers realized they could not just share their thoughts and grow a following, but also make money from their writing.
Since then blogging and blogging techniques evolved into what is now called “content marketing” and “inbound marketing” (more about those in the future posts). These terms mostly apply to blogging for business.
What is content or inbound marketing?
The main concept behind content marketing is that you blog to provide valuable free information to your readers, building a relationship with them that, one day, might transform into one of a customer and the seller.
Now, the question I hear all the time (and one I asked myself when I was starting my blogging journey) is:
“Do I have to be a writer to be a blogger?”
While being a writer definitely helps, it’s not a requirement.
The beauty of blogging is that it’s less formal and more conversational than professional/commercial writing.
On a top of that, the structure of a blog post is totally different than that of a book or an academic paper. Paragraphs are shorter, there are more bullet points, bolded titles, different font sizes and of course images, video and audio make blog posts that much more fun.
Blogging is super rewarding and it benefits many.
You get to express yourself and share your knowledge and your readers get to learn something new, get inspired, make that decision they’ve been mulling over and, if anything, get entertained.
Blogging for business has a huge benefit.
Besides what I’ve mentioned above, you get to reach people you wouldn’t have reached before, you get to create relationships and attract your ideal customers.
Blogging for your business lets you show your expertise, establish your authority and market your business for virtually no money.
Blogging in business is a classroom, meeting room and a billboard, all in one.
Of course, blogging is not the only avenue to show what you’ve got and attract potential customers to your business. There are videos you can post to YouTube (free method of marketing), there are podcasts where you can interview top experts in your field and show your own know-how (also a free method of marketing) and of course there is social media with a ton of platforms to showcase your business.
However, not all of these methods are created equal. You might hate being on camera or can’t stand how your recorded voice sounds like. Social media might seem too overwhelming for you and rob you of time at the same time.
Blogging, especially if you’re are an introvert, or just starting out and figuring out where you fit in, it is the best way to test the waters.
It costs close to nothing (domain and blog hosting from Namecheap is about $20 for the first year!), it allows you to learn as you grow, it’s a gentle and a forgiving way of getting your thoughts out there when you’re just beginning and it leaves a lasting impression on the world.
I believe in the power of written word and if you have something you want to pass on to the world, to make someone’s day, to teach someone a skill you know so well, all without having to spend a year writing a book, blogging is your best tool.
As a marketing and promotional tool, a blog is valuable as well. You get to attract just the right people, help them, encourage them, show them the way and, potentially, make them your customer.
If you’re starting a business online, start blogging as a part of your content strategy. In this post I give you the steps on how to create your blog, but if you want even more detail and step by step instructions on how to setup your blog sign up for FREE 7 Day mini-course!